A Helix Community
Syfy (ended 2015)

New television shows are a lot like diseases. Sometimes you don't know what you've got until it's too late. And while I can't burst through your computer screen and shove a rectal thermometer down your throat, I can help diagnose some of the upcoming new series that you might stumble upon this midseason. Why all the medical mumbo-jumbo in this intro? Because A) it's hilarious and endlessly creative, and B) this story is all about Helix, a new Syfy drama about staying healthy. I've seen the first two hours of the series and I'm here to help you figure out if it's worth catching in the latest edition of What's This Show, TV.com? 


Helix. Okay I give up, what is it?

Syfy's latest features absolutely ZERO sharks or tornadoes and isn't a co-production of Britain's answer to Hercules: The Legend Continues. This is an all-original science-fiction thriller that's perfect for flu season because it's about a deadly viral outbreak in a high-tech research facility in the Arctic. A group of CDC scientists are sent in to check it out, and then next thing you know unlucky immune-deficient people are barfing up black sludge and suffering to total freakouts. And lest you think, "What's the big deal about a bunch of cold scientists dying in a far away place?" many promos hint that the fate of mankind could be on the line, so you better be concerned.


Who created Helix, and who's in it?

The big name in lights here is Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore, whose name occupies the executive producer slot, but Helix was created by writer Cameron Porsandeh. Lost's Steven Maeda will serve as showrunner, so already the pedigree is pretty solid. The cast isn't loaded with big-name talent, but you'll recognize Billy Campbell (The KillingThe 4400) as the lead CDC science dude and Hiroyuki Sanada (Lost's weirdo temple guardian from Season 6) as the lead scientist of the research facility. Other cast members include Kyra Zagorsky, Mark Ghanime, and Jordan Hayes



When does Helix infect our television sets?

Helix premieres Friday, January 10 at 10pm with a pair of back-to-back, hour-long episodes, so make sure you take a really long nap that afternoon or hit up CostCo for a tub of 5-Hour Energy.


If I'm [blank], I will like Helix. Fill in the blank. 

Blank = a sci-fi fan, a horror fan, a sci-fi-horror fan, cool, smart, and attractive. If I had to compare Helix to something else, I guess it would be John Carpenter's The Thing. There's a lot of that movie in Helix, given its frigid setting and virulent/parasitic subject matter, and that's nifty because The Thing is GREAT.


What's to like about Helix?

Once the show gets going, it's downright spooky! Don't expect lots of gorgeous exterior shots or big-time laser-gun battles, though, because it looks like 99.9999999999999 percent of the series will take place inside the antiseptic research facility. And Helix uses that to its advantage to create an air of paranoia and claustrophobia where there really isn't any room to run for these poor scientists. The limited setting also means that Helix has no choice but to reuse creepy, impersonal, and sterile standing sets, so there won't be any of the awful greenscreen effects that often drag down Syfy's other shows. Helix also has a surprising amount of style (including its theme song!).



What isn't so great about Helix?

Depending on your propensity for being patient, Helix can be considered slooooow out the gate. And the first half of the first episode is a bit of a slog as the story is established. There are also some weird romantic storylines set up early on that feel out of place, but hey, the CDC circle of horny scientists can't be that big, can it? And because this is a Syfy original, expect some terrible dialogue from time to time. 


So, should I watch it?

Judging from the first two hours, this could very well be the best thing Syfy has put out since Battlestar Galactica. Helix is definitely worth checking out. Watch it!


Show me a trailer!

Okay, I have one right here!




Helix premieres Friday, January 10 at 10pm on Syfy.


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 4/10/2015

Season 2 : Episode 13

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I will watch for a while, appears interesting. However, I'm afraid to watch and get into it only to have it canceled for ratings and be left hanging. Or it will open many story lines and never close them like too many (most) other shows any more. That's very disappointing and makes me doubt watching a new show as this one. Anyone agree out there?
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I've yet to watch the series premiere... but already It would appear that for some reason... episode #3 is currently available for viewing. (45 min.) online.
Perhaps a temp. mistake, or perhaps a marketing tactic. Either way... I'm gonna wait to watch the 2 premiere episodes; And also for those wanting to go on a 3 episode marathon, I suppose.
J.
SyFy's Helix ep. #3 @ syfy.com
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First book I read that left me speechless. "The Andromeda Strain". Leave the movie and the mini be. Just know, you start that book - you better have time to just finish it.

Watching Helix now. The prominent question I have right now is, "Isn't that babe a little young for Billy Campbell? Gotta be 25 year difference.
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If you want to see a great medical and acurate tv show with good actors and a plot that leaves you breathless I recommend Regenesis, a canadian show.
As for Helix, I'll watch the pilot and then, we'll see.
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Paaaaaaasssssssss for me. Ron Moore lost all credibility with the BSG last seasons, and I'm not into horror sci-fi things, and I don't trust Siffy any further than I can throw it, and with my bad knee Ed I shouldn't be throwing anybody.
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At best it's night time, turn-off-the-lights viewing that I need to see ASAP every week. At worst it seems like my new adult Saturday morning cartoon. Win-win with low expectations (fooling myself, I have high hopes, but not until at least episode 4-5 will I judge hard).
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Tim,

Of course I haven't seen Helix yet but given the fact that you seem to find even the most trivial things to pick apart when reviewing some really entertaining new shows, IMHO, I am quite surprised you didn't rip this show apart for everything it seems to have in common with what is again, IMO, the biggest, best, sitting on the edge of my seat, most intense Brad Pitt movie I myself has ever seen and according to one headline.......

'World War Z' Set to Become Brad Pitt's Biggest Opening Weekend Earner.

Whether there are zombies or no zombies in Helix, it still shares some big commonalities which I really don't think were overlooked, just never mentioned and I guess I'm just a tad curious as to why? Don't get me wrong, Helix has been one of the most anticipated series this season for me and I am psyched that premiere night is finally here! However, I would be lying if I didn't say that even though I would have checked out the show anyway, but World War Z's concept minus the zombies, influenced me quite a bit. Well, here's to some big numbers for premiere night. If it does start out slow, let's try to be patient because I truly believe it will be worth it. Peace, Diane



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Hi Tim, so since I am a molecular biologist I was wondering: is there any focus on actual science or should I consider it more heavily on the fiction side of everything? (I'm gonna check it out anyway, I just wanna be prepared.)
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I'd recommend Regenesis if you're a molecular biologist. It's a canadian show.
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I find it interesting that Syfy put this late on Friday nights. I can understand being late because it is gory, but Fridays?
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I saw the first 15 minutes online. It was OK. I will watch the first two episodes to see if I will like it or not.
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Looks like zombies....so unoriginal and boring.
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I think I'm going to give it a try!
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So, the black oil made it out of the X-Files universe, then eh? Let's hope it will be more Fight The Future meets the Thing than some infected zombies on ice borefest.

The trailer has a really nice 2001, A space odyssey minimalistic look about it. I like that.
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already watched the 1st 15 min. seems really cool, but all of the "romantic" storylines they shoved into the first 15 seemed a little much.

also the first "Frak" on syfy in a long time was nice. hah
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When I heard about this show, I immediately thought about John Carpenter's The Thing. I'm interested; I sincerely hope it will be scary. I just don't know how it will be turned out into a series... A mini-series would make much more sense. Let's see.
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This sounds more like a five part miniseries to me.
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For the record, great review.. I will definitely be watching the show. I have always been wary of SyFy shows (who hasn't) but it looks like they may have a winner with this one..
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The big name in lights here is Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore,

At the risk of being nit-picky, Moore did NOT "create" Battlestar Glactica..

He deserves (grudgingly) credit for an awesome adaptation, but BSG was created by Glen A. Larson..

Of course, if you believe the hype of the day, Larson ripped it off from Star Wars, but why open THAT can o' worms.. :D
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Oh I'm watching this for sure :)
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I won´t be watching this trailer, but when Tim says I should watch it, then I will watch it^^
Pro: It is Sci-Fi
Con: It´s on SyFy
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Pro: It is Sci-Fi
Con: It´s on SyFy

Now THAT was funny!! :D
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Oops. Forgot to mention as a reminder to some... it is a 2 episode series premiere.
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Very much looking forward to this. My most anticipated series for the year for me. Just when I was beginning to lose faith in SyFy's steady core sci-fi entertainment, along comes this series that thus far... seems to show promise. I like the cast members as well. Some (of course) from other SyFy shows as well.
J.
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Thanks- may not have checked it out, but I will now.
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I'll be watching Banshee first then will check this out.
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first fifteen minutes here

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Should be good!
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I was a lot more excited BEFORE I heard about the Lost pedigree of the show staff. Ugh, why do these guys keep getting work?
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I can't wait and I have to remind myself to have realistic expectations but it sounds and looks fantastic
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Same here. Waiting with anticipation... but making sure not to set myself up in case it doesn't pan out.
It does show promise from the various interviews, trailers & "1st 15min."
Best of luck to us both.. and anyone else in the same ?conference? (<-- is that the word I'm looking for, lol)
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Stoked for this!

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Can't wait! As a huge Battlestar Galactica fan I'm excited to see Moore's next SyFy creation. As a huge The Thing fan I'm excited for the premise. A Ronald D. Moore/The Thing premise SyFy series fills my sci-fi, horror genre loving heart to the brim. Insert the caffeine IV-drip now because I'll be tuning in to every second of the back-to-back premiere.
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This one had me at the Burt Bacharach playing in the first clip that they put out. Has SyFy found another good one? ... that they are going to murder and shove under the rug. Still pissed about 'Caprica'... Moore's 'Outlander' adaptation on Starz has me a little more intrigued than this.
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I'm definitely going to watch it and see what it's all about. I hope it's great.
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from what i saw in trailers , i could say its the prequel of the walking dead .,
where they create a virus and start an epidemic of voilent dead people
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If so... then this would be prior to the plaque going airborne. And a much cleaner "CDC" like environment back drop.
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I probably wont love it, but maybe I'll like it. Giving it a try.
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In Pat's New Year Resolutions for TV Watching post he suggested we 'Get on the Syfy bandwagon (with Helix in particular)', but as I said there, and as others have said here, I would consider science-fiction one of my favourite genres, yet Syfy has never produced a series that has kept me interested (I tried watching Battlestar Galatica on DVD and only got halfway through season two, although I will try again).

All that aside, Friday is a good night for it, other than catching up on the excess of shows I missed during the week, there's nothing else on for me to watch, so it's not vying for competition.

Also, this line from Tim perfectly encapsulates what I like not only about good science-fiction, but good drama in general, ' 99.9999999999999 percent of the series will take place inside the antiseptic research facility. And Helix uses that to its advantage to create an air of paranoia and claustrophobia where there really isn't any room to run for these poor scientists.' I've always found great drama can come from locking stressed and scared characters in an isolated area, it's why Alien is such a great science-fiction film.

So there @TimSpot, you convinced me, but now my expectations are high, and they best be met unless you want me to come at you with that rectal thermometer.
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the description of the setting also reminded me of Aliens (trapped in a relatively small area with not real hope of escape....isolated, scared, paranoid, claustrophobic)
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Hey look, it's another messianic show that might finally resurrect the scifi television genre. No pressure. While I'm now accustomed to being disappointed by these I'm still powerless to resist them. I'm in.
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Ditto. Nothing more need be said. I should've read this prior to typing an entry earlier.
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hey .. it's R.D Moore ... (he's a fucking genius...)

Not Tim Kring ... (fucking idiot)
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Caprica wasn't good. :P
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I am looking forward to it (and not just because I tend to like what SyFy has to offer on Friday nights at 10, and I seriously think they will bury whether Haven has been renewed in the commercials for this show and well, I presume Continuum will follow this run). I worry that it might lose some of the Thing, Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz of it all, but that shouldn't be an issue in its first season.
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Sweet.
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What did mine say? :P
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Dude.
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Can't wait! Been "dying" to see it! Hopefully it will help me take Syfy channel serious now with their programming choices lol
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