Ronald D. Moore, the mastermind behind the hit series Battlestar Galatica, will return to the small screen with Helix, a new series that will debut on the SyFy channel this evening. The full season 1 run includes 13 episodes set to air throughout January and February.
The show will follow a group of scientists from the Center for Disease Control who are investigating a disease outbreak at a research facility in the frozen arctic. The Helix trailer, which was released in April of last year, revealed little about the series but did give viewers a feel for what they should expect.
Now, with the 15 minute preview of the first episode, viewers will be able to sample the show and decide if they want to tune in or not. A bold move by SyFy as this could attract new viewers or turn off those that were previously interested. After all, the show was already listed as one of our most anticipated winter TV premieres.
In the preview footage, we learn that a mysterious disease has been developed at Arctic Biosystems, run by the seemingly devious Dr. Hiroshi Hitaki (Hiroyuki Sanada, 47 Ronin), whose motives concerning the disease are questionable. It is up to head CDC scientist Dr. Alan Farragut (Billy Campbell, The Killing) and his team to investigate the situation at Arctic Biosystems - not to mention that one of the infected is Dr. Farragut’s brother. Each show will cover the events of a single day, with the entirety of the series covering about two weeks.
The premise of the show isn’t super original, but there is plenty of depth to be mined over time. There are many directions that the story could go as Dr. Farragut’s team uncovers the mysteries of Arctic Biosystems. Not to mention, it appears to be living up to the horror/science-fiction hype that comes with a Ronald D. Moore production. Hopefully the series pans out for SyFy - and becomes another hit like Battlestar Galactica.
However, at first glance, the characters are a bit rote. Farragut’s team is comprised of his ex-wife (who Farragut caught in bed with the very brother they are attempting to save), a sassy Veterinary Pathologists with a knack for trash talking, a nerdy Systems Engineer, and of course a hot young assistant. In spite of all the promising horror and science-fictions aspects that the show has to offer, there's reason to fear that it could devolve with too much time spent on soap-opera elements and not enough on sci-fi mystery solving.
Helix will premier tonight, January 10 on SyFy.