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?