Helix (TV series)
|Created by||Cameron Porsandeh|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13 (List of episodes)|
|Production company(s)||Sony Pictures Television
Muse Entertainment Enterprises
Lynda Obst Productions
Tall Ship Productions
Lynda Obst Productions
|Original run||January 10, 2014– present|
Helix is an American science fiction thriller television series that premiered on Syfy on January 10, 2014. The series follows a team of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who travel to a research facility in the Arctic to investigate a potential outbreak of disease. While there, they find themselves stuck in a life-or-death situation that could decide the future of mankind. The executive producers of Helix are Ronald D. Moore, Lynda Obst, Steven Maeda, and Cameron Porsandeh, with Maeda serving as day-to-day showrunner.
Researchers investigate a viral outbreak at an arctic bioresearch station, only to discover that it has disastrous and wider implications for the entire world.
Proscribed genetic engineering research is being done, and the company running the research station seems more interested in containing knowledge of their activities than in resolving the outbreak. Attempts at quarantine result in mutiny and attempted escape, and communication with the outside is mysteriously cut off. It is unclear at first whether the goal is a bio-weapon or to transform humans in some way, and there are two variants of the virus. The first is immediately fatal with no cure. Those infected with the second virus become dangerously violent zombie-like "Vectors", spreading the infection to others, with a small percentage eventually regaining some normality if treated, as it seems several characters have already been infected and cured. Those cured seem to have the ability to control the infected. The "outbreak" is revealed to have been a cover story for using Julia Walker as a test subject, and to deceive the CDC personnel into creating an anti-viral "cure" to the benefit of the Ilaria corporation's objectives.
The series pitch idea was developed by Cameron Porsandeh, who then submitted it to Sony Pictures, where Lynda Obst revised the idea along with Porsandeh. Sony then asked if there was a major science fiction television writer he would like attached as executive producer, and he suggested Ronald D. Moore, who joined the production team and pitched several new major concepts. The pilot script was written by Porsandeh, and while Moore pitched several key ideas he did not write the script itself.
As Porsandeh explained:
So I took a stab at it and we sent it over to Sony [Pictures Television] and Lynda Obst, she takes a real interest in science, she did Contact and really sort of prides herself on the subject, and she saw something in it. So I developed it over at Sony for probably about six months. Then they said "if you could work with anyone on this project, who would you want to do it with?" And I said, "Ron Moore" sort of like it's a fantasy, sort of like "who would you want to date if you could date anyone," and I threw his name out the way you would throw a movie star's name out. They sent it over to him and he was interested so he got on board. Then together we came up with an overarching mythology that would extend over the course of the entire series, then he and I together pitched it to Syfy.
Porsandeh stated that a major feature of the series is that each episode represents the events of a single day within the story: thus the entire thirteen episode first season takes place in under two weeks of in-universe time.
According to Porsandeh, Helix will not make use of flashback scenes to give details about character backstories, the way the science fiction series Lost did. Instead, a key point is that viral infection will at times make characters feverish and hallucinate (which is a real-life symptom of several infections). Thus certain characters will at times experience hallucinations, i.e. reliving particularly traumatic past events. The distinction Porsandeh pointed out is that a flashback is presented as objectively true, while the hallucination scenes in Helix are presented from the characters' feverish hallucinatory states, and thus their unreliable narration will contain several errors which do not match events as they actually occurred.
- Billy Campbell as Dr. Alan Farragut
- Hiroyuki Sanada as Dr. Hiroshi Hatake
- Kyra Zagorsky as Dr. Julia Walker
- Mark Ghanimé as Major Sergio Balleseros
- Jordan Hayes as Dr. Sarah Jordan
- Neil Napier as Dr. Peter Farragut
- Meegwun Fairbrother as Daniel Aerov (or Miksa) and as Tulok (Twins)
- Luciana Carro as Anana
- Chimwemwe Miller as Dr. Joel Haven
- Catherine Lemieux as Dr. Doreen Boyle
- Patrick Baby as Dr. Philippe Duchamp
- Robert Naylor as The Scythe (son of Constance Sutton)
- Christian Jadah as Lt. Klein
- Julian Casey as Dr. Victor Adrian
- Amber Goldfarb as Jaye and as Jane Walker
- Alain Goulem as Dr. Bryce
- Jeri Ryan as Constance Sutton
- Alexandra Ordolis as Blake
- Helen Koya as Thea/Willa
- Miranda Handford as Dr. Rae Van Eigem
- Leni Parker as Dr. Tracey
- Vitali Makarov as Dr. Dmitri Marin
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired||DVD and Blu-ray release date|
|Season premiere||Season finale||Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|1||13||January 10, 2014||March 28, 2014||July 1, 2014||June 30, 2014||July 3, 2014|
Home media release
The first season of Helix will be released in DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats on June 30, 2014, for Region 2 and July 1, 2014, for Region 1. The Blu-ray Disc will feature two exclusives: Writing the Tension, an inside look at the process of writing a serialized thriller, and Fabricating the Plague, state-of-the-art effects techniques used in conception of the virus's appearance in stages to creating the right amount of gore for the plague. Both media formats will contain commentary on the pilot episode with Billy Campbell and Cameron Porsandeh, commentary on "Dans L'Ombre" with Campbell and Steven Maeda, four featurettes, deleted scenes, and outtakes.
- t "Helix". Syfy.com. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
- Goldberg, Lesley (July 19, 2013). "Comic-Con: Syfy's 'Helix' Sets Key Cast for Ron Moore Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- Goldberg, Lesley (March 7, 2013). "Ron Moore Drama 'Helix' Lands Series Order at Syfy". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- Hibberd, James (March 28, 2014). "Syfy's 'Helix' renewed for season 2". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- "SCI FI MAFIA EXCLUSIVE: HELIX Creator Cameron Porsandeh Gives Us the Inside Scoop". SciFi Mafia. November 9, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
- Lambert, David (May 5, 2014). "Helix - Ronald D. Moore's 'Complete 1st Season': Date, Cost, Extras, Box Art". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
- "Helix - Season 1 [DVD + UV copy] ". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
- "Helix: Season 1". Ezy DVD. Retrieved May 15, 2014.