Was Helix Chilling, Or Did It Leave You Cold?

Syfy Helix Premiere ReviewSyfy released its new drama Helix this Friday night — is the outbreak thriller poised to be a breakout hit?

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The premise for the new series, which is executive-produced by Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica), showrunner Steven Maeda (Lost) and Lynda Obst (Contact): Scientists from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) — played by Billy Campbell (The Killing), Kyra Zagorsky (Supernatural), Jordan Hayes and Catherine Lemieux — are deployed to a cutting-edge research facility nestled in the arctic, to investigate a possible outbreak.

In addition to the deadly threat, extremely remote location and maze-like subterranean confines, there’s also personal drama at hand, seeing as Dr. Alan Farragut (Campbell), the man leading the CDC effort, has complicated ties not just to colleague Dr. Julia Walker (Zagorsky) aka his ex-wife (aka a hybrid of Julie Benz and Peri Gilpin), but also to the mysterious virus’ lone living infectee — his brother Peter (played by Neil Napier), with whom Julia once (groan) had an affair.

Rounding out the canvas, Hiroyuki Sanada (Revenge) skulks around, arms folded and mouth zipped, as Arctic Biosystems boss Hiroshi Hataki; Meegwun Fairbrother plays Hataki’s right-hand man/adopted son Daniel; and Mark Ghanime plays U.S. Army rep Sergio Balleseros.

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In the 90-minute premiere, much time was spent tracking Peter through air ducts and such, though in the end the feral, super-strong infectee managed to sneak up on and seemingly relay the virus, orally, to one of the CDC scientists. Comic relief Dr. Doreen Boyle (Lemieux) was quick to glean that Hataki had been lying about using monkeys as test subjects — but why? Dr. Sarah Jordan (Hayes), when not being accused of crushing on boss man Alan, found herself busy warding off quarantined facility employees. And Balleseros showed viewers his hand a bit, with a secret excursion out into the tundra. What is the military’s hidden agenda with whatever Hataki’s team was working on?

What did you think of Helix‘s debut? Was its The Thing-like tension contagious?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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68 Comments
  1. Sara says:

    I don’t know, I found it pretty boring for the most part. I was really excited for this show, but it was kind of a let down. I might try to watch it again, see if it catches my interest some more. I’ll probably watch the next episode, but so far it seems like a candidate for “tv show I meant to watch, but forgot was on tonight.” Bummer.

    • admiralmpj says:

      What Sara said…except I’m getting while the getting is good.

    • David says:

      I agree, pretty much a letdown. I was very hopeful and even watched the 3rd episode which is online and on demand. That was a little bit better but the lack of coherent dialog is beyond frustrating. I wanted to slap several characters into talking lol.

  2. Thom says:

    Characters not intriguing, dialog predicable, GI standing in blizzard with safety glasses and no snow buildup able to aim a frisbee sized satellite dish to transmit info without checking coordinates, crazy monkey jumps on human but doesn’t get even a scratch on her…but since I really dig sci-fi, I’ll watch it again.

  3. kimpie says:

    I found the Canadian show, Regenesis, to be better produced and thought out than Helix is. All Helix is, is a rehash of Canada’s TV series Regenesis. It’s already been done and Ron Moore is just stealing concepts from other TV shows hoping that nobody will notice.

  4. James D says:

    I enjoyed it a lot I mean yes it’s not an original idea but it has enough interesting parts for me to keep watching. not sure how they can make this into a series but we’ll see.

  5. RobMF says:

    I was all in, then they introduced the Monkeys into the fold and I was less interested but I kept watching and then the disease started giving super powers like jumping and climbing into vents and I got less interested again but I kept watching and then the dudes eyes started to glow. I don’t know if I’ll be tuning in next week, which is a bummer as I really was enjoying the first 15-20 minutes and the show went hack.

  6. Len says:

    I thought the pilot was intriguing. Then it didn’t end. Is this show really going to just be running around some sunken arctic research lab avoiding subs rhumb people nfected with a virus? That’ll get old quick.

    I was expecting this story to wrap up and them move on to smethng else after the double episode pilot. Apparently not,

    I think I’ll rewatch Regenesis instead next Friday. Maybe I’ll pick this up when all done instead of Turning in weekly to avoid a mutant a week maze run.

  7. Ashok says:

    I’d give it a solid B. It had great atmosphere and a good setup. The most challenging aspect will be if the storyline can work as something longer than a miniseries, and if the supporting cast gets more to work with. I didn’t care about the characters aside from Alan. Thus far, I’d say Helix is the most promising sci-fi series in quite some time. It certainly wasn’t a misfire like Almost Human.

    • Cheyenne says:

      Please help me fight to keep this show on air, reccomend friends to watch and vote in polls. This is my favorite show

  8. Liz985 says:

    There’s a pretty high bar to clear in the Science Fiction / Supernatural genre these days and “Helix” didn’t make it. The CDC team is about as competent as Ryan Hardy’s FBI on “The Following” – and that’s not a compliment. Too many stupid moves by the protagonists of the show that left me, as a viewer, saying “What the hell? That’s a really stupid move” and yet I’m supposed to believe they are the best of the best sent to the Artic as a bulwark against whatever sinister thing is happening? Uh, no. “Dr. Farragut” wants to concentrate on what we know? Well, we know “Helix” can’t make up for bad storytelling with atmosphere and a Hollywood PR machine working overtime. They got me to the pilot, but that’s it.

  9. twinstick says:

    I think something like Helix would be better presented as a movie rather than a TV series like this. There are only so many folks to be infected up there in the Arctic. And, they can only drag out the suspense for so long before boredom sets in.

  10. Babewatcher says:

    It started off slow for me but the by the end I found myself extremely into the show. I loved the atmosphere and I’m definitely going to be sticking around to see where this show is going.

  11. pullsnopunches says:

    Instead of cutting edge drama and tension about the very real terror of deadly, mutating viruses we get more face sucking zombies. Derivative, boring, and totally lacking any spark of creativity.

  12. mandy says:

    I thought it was visually stunning, and I found the quirky use of the Burt Bacharach/Dionne Warwick music to be strangely alluring. lol
    But it was slow moving at times and the dialogue needs work, but I think I’ll stick with it to see if those things improve. And I’m a Jeri Ryan fan, so I’m excited to see how her character fits in.

  13. Eli says:

    Really bad show. Hits every single scifi-horror cliche and trope in the book. And the way the scientists behave is so unrealistic and stupid it brings back nightmares from Prometheus.
    Also like another user already said, you could do a fascinating story about a deadly virus, but instead it’s basically super-powered zombies you get…
    .
    I cannot fathom why critics were so positive about the show these past weeks/months, this show is just bad. When the only way you can create suspense is by making everyone acting incredibly stupid and unprofessional, you’re doing it wrong.

    • John Roberts says:

      So true! I was thinking…wow these scientists make the Prometheus crew look smart by comparison.

    • M3rc Nate says:

      I completely agree with this. I had only seen a previous with one eye in passing and didnt really know anything and i saw somewhere that it was premiering that night so i recorded it. Watched it. At the time, i thought it wasnt that bad, but in thinking back, your so right. I was too busy patting Helix on the back for making the guy so professional when dealing with his “impulsive” aka whore ex wife, but then they go and make her get all personal (their fight about him being in charge) and him having feelings still (“cant lose you again”) and im basically done. This could have been done SO much better. I mean all the pieces are great…CDC, international law-disregarding science station, viral outbreak..etc. But instead its crappy “super powered zombie things” and crappy CGI and crappy characters (how the scientists acted, etc). If done really really high quality with great writing this could be fantastic.

  14. Leigh says:

    OMG. SyFy you are to scifi lovers what the TLC channel is to learning. Who was the script supervisor? Did you EVEN have a science advisor? I should’ve known 15 min into the show when a character says “PRC test”.. There’s no such thing as a PRC test. It’s called a PCR test. (Polymerase Chain Reaction).

  15. ATB says:

    I liked it a lot. I also watched the 3rd episode which is currently available on demand. It’s not going to win awards, but it’s a good show with an interesting mystery. Haters gonna hate, but if you like sci fi check it out. I’m looking forward to the upcoming episodes with Jeri Ryan!

    • Cheyenne says:

      Please help me fight to keep this show on air, reccomend friends to watch and vote in polls. This is my favorite show

  16. Patrick Maloney says:

    Thought it was a smart move to air the first two episodes together because it only got better throughout

  17. Dan says:

    The characters were such blatant cliches and just so damn stupid I couldn’t take the show seriously.

  18. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    I thought @ first it could be a RAGE virus like 28 Days Later when they mention ‘monkeys’. But the virus is making the infected more ‘stronger’ and making them do things like jumping and climbing around like that peter guy who is the carrier of virus so………….IDK i thought it was alright B is a better grade. But i don’t think it will reach the amount of popularity/success like The Walking Dead…….Which i’m a big fan of!!

    • Cheyenne says:

      Please help me fight to keep this show on air, reccomend friends to watch and vote in polls. This is my favorite show

      • Mike says:

        How about no! There isn’t a single likable character in the entire show anymore! And the science is total crap! my 11 year old nephew looked at me and told me it was the most unbelievable thing he has ever had to watch and wondered when the real scientist would get there!

  19. lindasays says:

    Snoozefest. I miss Haven.

  20. Zee says:

    I thought it was pretty boring and slow. I’m really hoping there’s more to it than just running from a virus. The monkey scene was horrible. No way she wouldn’t have gotten a scratch. I thought this might be about mutations or monsters. I will watch an episode or so more and if it doesn’t get better I’ll move on.

  21. LV Sunny says:

    Hoped to be entertained. Sadly, wasn’t. This was the same level as SyFy Original movies. That’s what they should have done, which would have been more entertaining, and not made it into weekly serial. Anyone else irritated by Campbell not speaking in a regular voice or is that his thing, whispering?

    • Rook says:

      YES! I could hardly hear Campbell I kept turning up my tv. But other than that I thought it started slow but was pleased with the second episode. I’ll tune in again to see if they keep up this pace.

    • kerry finn says:

      That whispery voice has got to stop. It’s so pervasive that it’s all I can think about when he’s on camera.

  22. Ray says:

    Every Syfy original series I’ve ever watched has been boring. Thus far, they have only been capable of churning out badly written and very poorly produced material. I managed to get through two season of Being Human but then I just couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t plan on ever watching another Syfy show in the foreseeable future.

  23. arial2 says:

    Not as good as I expected, given all the hype. It seemed more like a combination of the original Andromeda Strain and the original Thing. Give me something more “original.”

  24. Diz says:

    I thought it was pretty good. Will continue to see how things play out.

    • Cheyenne says:

      Please help me fight to keep this show on air, reccomend friends to watch and vote in polls. This is my favorite show

  25. Wow that was some bad writing. Everyone’s either an idiot or at some point got blasted by an idiot beam, people who both should know the stuff they’re talking about speak to each other like the other’s ignorant, had two people talk cagey about who they really work for when they both know who they really work for. What’s sad is the performances are actually okay, which just makes the flaws in the dialogue and general writing all the more glaring.

    I love how they prove Sarah’s a ‘smart one’ (yeah two master degrees and a doctorate my ass) by having her offer an obvious answer to a question set up so perfectly you might as well be trying to shoot a watermelon with the gun barrel right next to it.

  26. David says:

    I was incredibly disappointed in the pilot. I was looking forward to the show but after only fifteen minutes into it I found it to be predictable. You knew who was going to be the “bad guy” and who was going to be the surprise “bad guy” before the crack team even made it to the station. This formulaic method of writing sci fi is going to kill the genre.

  27. meleliot says:

    It’s still sitting on my DVR and I am planning on watching it. I find it interesting that over 60% of the voting gives it a grade of A & B, and over 80% of the commenters trashed it. I guess I will find out for myself.

  28. Steve says:

    I’m not usually too picky about flaws in a TV show, but this one was so breathtakingly stupid that it was almost painful to force myself to finish watching it. I can only imagine a real CDC doctor’s reaction to this show if any of them watched it. Some examples: real doctors arguing about why they’re in isolation. Really? Real doctors need to be told why they’re in isolation? Seriously? That’s bad, really really bad. Another example – the security precautions that are taken, or rather not taken. You have a super-strong, violent, and infected maniac running around God-only-knows-where, and people are still casually walking around and “investigating” it like it was some sort of normal incident. Really? Seriously? omglolwtf!

  29. Porter says:

    It sounded like an interesting setting for a creepy, scifi-mystery show, but it disappointed with stupid, unprofessional and unbelievable characters. If a character is supposed to be a top notch scientist, they shouldn’t act like moronic 12-year-olds in the school yard.

    Incomming SPOILER ALERT (for those who luckily missed it)

    So they are working on a supervirus there, but none of the “scientists” have ever heard of quarantine, instead the claim to be kidnapped. Others know there is no way to make a vaccine in time, yet they decide to take and threaten a hostage, cause they want out. Another pseudo-scientist tryies to steal a snow mobile in the arctic without propper clothing. Instead of just letting him die on this 200 miles trip, the military guy stabs and burries him, so we know he is a bad news.

    Then we have more idiotic “scientists” who go and hunt a monkey that is most likely infected. They don’t bother to put on hazmat suits or anything, since they just took them of after they figured it’s not airborne, by looking at rats for 5 minutes. The other scientist, who created the virus, didn’t come up with this great idea ever and weren’t quite sure about it being airborne or not…

    As it turns out one “scientist” played around with this supervirus as a hobby and the boss didn’t sanction this, stating he would never encourage such a thing. Encourage? This should be impossible to pull of at all!

    That hobby-scientist then got himself infected and turned into some super-powered zombie who rushed through the airvents. A dead security guard is found there with a missing hand. They all got little chips in their hands to unlock security doors, but the head of security just stands there puzzled about why someone would steal a hand. Why indeed? The infected guy works there, too, and already has a chip of his own. Apparently with clearance high enough to get to the supervirus storing room without the need of approval. Anyway, he got that other hand now, but instead of revoking all access to this severed hand (and maybe setting up alarms should it be used) they just do nothing. As a result more people get infected.

    Meanwhile the monkey was killed and dissected by a “scientist” sitting with her back to the door, listening to music via earbuds. There is just a crazy infected murderer on the run, so why bother. Also some other infected people were lurking around the station, but nobody seems to feel the need to inform everyone in the station about that. They will find out on their own.

    Noises from the airvents where the crazy, infected super-killer-zombie is known to be? Don’t worry. It’s probably just the station making noises all on it’s own. In this show everybody is bad at making decisions.

    When a room is discovered to be the scene of a previous fight, the “scientists” enter first, ignoring the danger of the infected, murderous zombie on the loose, leaving the security guards outside, doing what they do best: being useless and incompetent. Everyone else ultimately joins them in their own way.

    And those were just the really bad things, that I still remember after a good night’s sleep…

    • Yep, this comment pretty much sums it up.

      Its like watching one of those old 50’s SciFi-movies, where all the ‘scientists’ seem to be recruited at the nearest truck-stop.

      The storylines are is 100% fueled by stupidity.

      • Mike says:

        All in on this post. Same things occurred to me, too. The Arctic must have frozen all their brains, because none of the people are thinking.

        I was so looking forward to watching this series, but was completely let down by the utter lack of intelligence in the story. I won’t be watching any more of this stupidity..

  30. Ryan says:

    Writing is pretty bad. If that is how the CDC actually operates in real life we all are doomed.

  31. MrsXfiles says:

    this is totally ripped from an X-files episode “ICE” where mulder and scully travel to the artic due to a new life form that has been discovred. The people infected with the “worm like parasite” makes the people violent against one another. “We are not who we say we are” This show is similar to that episode, ANY Xphile would be able to make the connection. i will still watch it because, well, i love watching this sh’t! :)

  32. Tammy says:

    Haven hasn’t been renewed yet, Warehouse 13 is only going for 1 more season and we get stuff like this to replace them? I watched it because it sounded promising but it just wasn’t good. I completely agree with the person above who said this storyline will get old quick, I was tired after the premiere already. Also, it’s always in the back of my head that they may cancel it in a cliffhanger, the premiere didn’t get the best ratings for a highly promoted premiere so even if it had been good I wouldn’t have wanted to get to attached. Come on syfy how about keeping great shows with an already established fan base then maybe we will trust you again to watch your new shows, but they have to be better than this!

  33. John says:

    I do not usually comment on anything…but here it goes: Ronald Moore BSG: AWESOMENESS….Still watching it on DVD when I’m bored. Helix, I found interesting because I did not go in with any real expectations even didn’t know Ronald Moore. In fact, after a disappointing year in TV with the exception of Strike Back, Borgais, Game of Thrones and Home Land; Helix comes in as something intriguing, I think someone said.

    The pace is too slow. I want to know what it is and what we are doing to beat it, NOW, and move the frakkin story along. I want to see more people dead, more background on Hatake (grey eyes?) More on the young cutie’s back problem. I want to more about the relationship between Barney the Security guy and Hatake. More about the soldier and Hatake. I see Moore trying to move the story along and the guy from Lost saying: “No, let them watch for no conclusion or a very, very stupid one. They’ll love that!” I honestly believe that the three seasons of Lost I watched were the worst moments of my TV experience and Moore should have known better. Fire him NOW and find some writers from Intelligence (CBN) or BSG to spice it up FAST.

    The filming is beautiful. The lighting is great. The props are simple and expected, but they work. CG was poorly done.

    Too many things left to lose ends like:

    Pilot: Hand signal from Peter?

    Pilot: Grey eyes?

    Pilot: Barrow, Alaska? Ring any bells?

    I still hold out hopes that they can turn it around. the end of episode three was the first glimpse of hope. More of that.

  34. Mike says:

    Thought this show would have had potential but, alas. I’m afraid it’s going to become like most shows today. I.e. “Lost” etc. They will open storyline after storyline, and never tie up the loose ends. If ratings drag, show ends, we are left hanging… Afraid to watch for this reason. I mean, 3 episodes and out of 7 main characters, 4 have “secrets” to make us wonder WTH?… Really? Some people act so unrealistic also. I mean like in episode 3, 4 people looking at infected woman attacking/running towarto them. Security Guard standing behind them (unknowingly) shoots attacker, and no one is surprised or reacts to this gunshot? The noise didn’t startle or scare them? Really? Afraid to much will go on and never end…

  35. Sheila says:

    I loved the pilot and cant wait to see what takes place on ‘Day 4′. I was hoping it would be on this past Friday but see it is scheduled for January 24. I found the show to be intriguing and looking forward to upcoming episodes. Sure it has similar nature to things we have all seen but still find it fascinating.

  36. Mike says:

    This show to me started out good,,but I’m thinking its going to be like “Lost” and go off in so many story lines….I stop watching Lost for that reason, opens stories, never closed. This show is going the same way. Most all main charecters have something to hid. It’s gotten ridiculous……

  37. Sheila says:

    I am still loving the show. Friday was great! I have lots of questions and know they will be answered as the show continues.

    • Cheyenne says:

      Please help me fight to keep this show on air, reccomend friends to watch and vote in polls. This is my favorite show.

  38. Deb says:

    I was so disappointed. The premise is great, but the way they go about everything is so confusing that I couldn’t even tell you at this point what is going on and I consider myself a somewhat savvy person in that respect. I will keep trying to watch it, but am not so sold on it that I can’t miss an episode. That, to me, is the true test. It ends and you can’t wait for the next one.

  39. Mike says:

    Sheila, Really. I don’t think they will answer any story lines that open, they have not given any clues or indications of all the ones open now. Just mystery after mystery….fodder to make you keep coming back….there should be more shows like 24, with a start, a story, and and an end.

  40. John Demarco says:

    Awful – the writing and acting terrible. The most excitement on set was between one of the actors and an executive producer. Brutal. Showcase please cancel.

  41. Mike says:

    WTH??? Like I commented on January 18, after watching tonight’s episode halfway through…ITS MORE OPEN STORY LINES….I keep asking myself why am I still watching this show?….

  42. Cheyenne says:

    Helix is going to be on that list of tv shows that got cancelled way too soo unless we fight to keep it on for atleast 3 seasons. Cancelling this show is a terrible decision..

  43. Shannon Fazzio says:

    Ok, I like Syfy and thought Helix looked really good. Loved, loved, loved Battlestar and I had great hopes for this show however the cheese factor is through the roof. The special effects are terrible and the dialogue is worse. I feel as though I have had my daily dose of calcium in the first few minutes of an episode. Maybe, since the “got milk” campaign has been cancelled they could change the slogan to “Got Helix” but the actors could have little black mustaches instead!

    • chris says:

      I completely agree! the show is headed for the garbage pile. Maybe all of the victims will get sent out into the great arctic and freeze like the monkeys!

  44. Cheyenne says:

    People are honestly too stupid to understand the show, so they get confused and angry. Then there’s the people saying that the show is unrealistic about a real CDC team so they write reviews bitching about the show, some even say they yelled at the tv screen. that, my friends is called anger issues. its a TELEVISION show, its not supposed to be perfectly realistic, its supposed to be entertaining. I, for one enjoy the passion and creativity that this show has bestowed upon my life and i believe it is worthy of atleast three seasons, maybe even more! :) everyone who has fallen in love with this show, please help me fight to keep it on air! Thank you!

    • Sheila says:

      I’m with you Cheyenne. I have watched every episode and love this new TV show. If others don’t like it they should find a new show and stop complaining week after week on the show leaving them hanging. Isn’t that what a good suspense show is all about? If it answered all of the questions every week it wouldn’t leave you wanting more. I am a huge horror / syfy fan and think the producers did a great job with this show. I have many friends watching the same show and they too love it!!!!!

  45. James says:

    Helix has become an uneven scifi/horror soap opera using classic themes that are easily recognised from old Hammer Dracula movies,all it needed is Christopher Lee portraying a Mephistopheles role and the approaching ending would be complete.The underlying evil could quite easily get out of control, do we really need another Zombie show?. I don’t think it is likely we’ll get a satisfactory closure with Helix,it should have been a mini series from the start then the themes could have been better developed instead of working towards commissioning a second season.

  46. It’s okay. It does have some creepy scary goodness, but it lacks in originality. BUT, it’s better than some of the dreck they have on there.

  47. Mike says:

    Honestly I liked the first few episodes! But by Dans L’Ombre the plot already feels stretched out and boring. And the over done acting! Uggh! Add on to that, that nothing is ever really explained in an meaningful way and there isn’t a single actually relatable and likeable character (having all either died, flipped back and forth from “good” to “evil” every other episode…) I’ve stopped expecting anything worth while from SYFY channel movies (since I know a couple of there writer and they are actually told to make the movies as cheaply and bad as possible) but they did used to have some decent TV show… well if you ignore the fact that over half there programing is now really bad daytime soaps (ie. wrestling!!) but this is show is going no where fast and even when they go other places in the world in season 2 (instead of the same boring background of blah for an entire season) you will still be left wanting a likeable character to put a bullet in ALL there heads!

  48. Mike says:

    Newest episode worst yet! Peter is a complete idiot and doesn’t even stay true to his own character! All the good actors are dead or missing and I wanted one of the MANY use and throw away immediately bad guys to just shoot them all and call in an actual science team to get ANYTHING done instead of this constant back and forth between 7 character’s!

  49. Zo0tie says:

    I’ve learned how to walk away from bad shows like Helix that nevertheless have a hold on you. When it exceeds your ability to suspend disbelief put it on record and walk away for a couple of weeks. Go fishing, bike riding, camping…anything to get you away from watching ‘stuff’ on a screen. Then when you are relaxed watch the recorded shows. If they still suck erase them and only come back for the season finale. Like flipping forward to read the end of a tedious book, it can give you breathing space to get interested in something else.

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