From Executive Producer Ron Moore, who oversaw the re-imaginging of the highly succesful Battlestar Galactica series, as well as creative forces involved with The X-Files and Lost, Helix, from its beginning has promised to be fun, smart and downright scary.
Tonight at 10pm on Showcase, you can find out if it lives up to its pedigree.
In my opinion… oh yes.
I was lucky enough to get a look at the pilot episode a day early, and was completely floored and spooked by what I saw.
Show creator Cameron Porsandeh has made a series that has me hooked from the get-go.
Bill Campbell leads a mostly unknown (to me at least) cast, which for my money, makes the story that much more believable, because I’m not constantly thinking – oh isn’t that so and so from whatsthatshow? He plays Doctor Alan Farragut, a member of the CDC, who is called to a remote Arctic installation, run by Arctic Bio-Systems, that is studying viruses, pathogens, and as we learn fairly early on… mutagens. The outpost is manned by 106 scientists and 15 support staff, and Farragut and his team are thrown right into the mix.
Viruses themselves are pretty scary, add in a remote environ, a high-tech base, a copious amount of black goo (which couldn’t help but make me think of The X-Files), and the character development we’d seen on the shows mentioned in this program’s pedigree, and you can tell this won’t be your average television show.
There is a large amount of mystery, as we try to learn what’s going on, what this pathogen is, and more importantly, what it’s doing!
There is a large amount of tension, because these characters, despite being professionals, all have pasts, and some of them have intertwined, and there’s going to be a lot of stress for them, not just from the situation going on, but from the company they keep.
There is paranoia… who can the characters trust, and just as important, as the story begins to unfold, who can we trust? There are allegiances and relations at work here.
And it’s scary. There were two rather unnerving sequences that got me in this first episode, I won’t tell you what they are, as mentioned, I don’t do spoilers, but it was enough to make me go GAH!
The VFX, especially the design of the outpost, are top-notch, and you definitely get the hint that we are at the beginning of something pretty amazing with this episode.
Campbell has always been a favorite of mine since I heard he was this close to playing Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and I thought he was great in The Rocketeer, and from what I saw of The Killing – Awesome. He can totally carry a series, and as each of the characters around him continue to grow and develop, I believe he will fit in nicely what will be a strong ensemble cast.
There’s also a nice BSG shout out early on as well that made me smile.
Following right on the heels of the first episode tonight, is the second, so if you can peek out from behind the blanket, watch it, and then let me know what you think of it!
Helix will air Friday nights at 10 on Showcase!