First Impressions


Aired on: Syfy

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            I’d been hearing buzz about a new science fiction series premiering on Syfy for a while.  The previews for the series, Helix, seemed like a cross between Resident Evil, Invasion and some other Robin Cook virus novel.  I wasn’t sure that I wanted to see it and actually missed its debut on Syfy on January 10, 2014, but I decided I would check out one episode on…and then I watched another…and another.

            Helix stars Billy Campbell as Dr. Alan Farragut a leading scientist at the Center for Disease Control.  Dr. Farragut is enlisted by his ex-wife Julia (Kyra Zagorsky) to join a CDC team headed out to the Arctic to contain a possible viral outbreak at a research facility.  He is reluctant to go on a mission with his ex until he learns that one of the infected scientists at Arctic Biosystems is his brother Peter (Neil Napier).  Joining the team is potential love interest Dr. Sarah Jordan (Jordan Hayes), Dr. Doreen Boyle (Catherine Lemieux) and Army Major Sergio Balleseros (Mark Ghanimé).

            At Arctic Biosystems, the CDC are at first welcomed in by Dr. Hiroshi Hatake (Hiroyuki Sanada), who tells the team that only three scientists were infected in the incident - Peter Farragut and two others.  Only Peter has survived, but he is in isolation in critical condition.  Unfortunately, while the group prepares to discover just what it is that is ravaging Peter’s system, Peter escapes isolation and begins infecting as many members of the research facility as he can.  When research reveals that the scientists have been working with two strains of virus that cannot be identified, Dr. Hatake becomes much less cooperative and much more secretive.

            As the show moves forward, we learn that each and every main and supporting character in this series has a secret.  Each secret may be detrimental to the survival of the group as a whole.  A great deal of sabotage takes place and one begins to wonder at Peter’s strange statement to Dr. Jordan: “You are here for a reason.”  The viewer begins to wonder whether the CDC was brought to Arctic Biosystems to contain and perhaps cure the virus, or for some other nefarious reason.  One thing is certain, no one is who they seem and no one can truly be sure who is infected until it’s too late.

            I have to say that I wasn’t prepared to enjoy this series.  I thought it was a tad bit too hyped and, even though it does seem like a mix of every Robin Cook or similar viral outbreak out there, there is something different about this show.  The base itself is filled with ducts and convenient hiding places, dark areas and the like and the music is intense, giving the viewer the creeps and making him/her think that some infected being will jump out at any second.  The actors play there roles well, their uneasiness about the situation adding to that of the viewer. 

            And there is a mystery to solve here…well, more than one actually.  What is this virus?  Is it from our Earth?  Is it something engineered to create a super soldier gone bad?  And what shipment is it that has a certain Army Major and Dr. Hatake so on edge?  Why don’t they want the rest of the world to know just what is happening at Arctic Biosystems? 

            So many questions and so little time - there are only thirteen episodes in this season and I have already seen three.  Who knew that Helix would be so…dare I say, infectious?  Helix is just one of those shows that you never intended to become a fan of but is so darn intriguing that you can’t stop watching.  I can’t wait to see what comes next on Helix every Friday at 10pm on Syfy.


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