Are You Watching Helix?


Zombies have nearly run their course. They, along with vampires, wizards and the ‘supernatural’ in general have had a good run for the past few decades but we’re quickly reaching the point where we’ve had every possible variation of every story, for now anyway. NBC’s Dracula, which was actually pretty good, portrayed the Transylvanian bloodsucker as an American Industrialist out to take over the British energy sector. That’s how far they’re pushing things.

So far, Helix is an exception to the above. I might have skipped it except that it’s from executive producer Ronald D. Moore who previously gave us Star Trek TNG, Deep Space 9 and the revamped Battlestar Galactica. If he has a zombie story to tell, I’m listening.

Helix zombies are also new. They are not Romero zombies, they are fast and agile. They are also ‘infected’ not dead but they are not 28 Days Later Zombies. The virus that has infected them makes them smart. So, they do not shamble mindlessly, nor do they easily walk into traps. They are, in other words, formidable zombies.

The setting is an (incredibly elaborate) arctic research station. This gives it the same sort of atmosphere & tone of Battlestar Galactica or Stargate Universe. They are not trapped on a ship, but they can’t go outside either.

Billy Campbell plays Dr. Alan Farragut who leads a Centers for Disease control team to investigate an outbreak at the research station, run by Dr. Hiroshi Hatake (Hiroyuki Sanada). The research station, it turns out, is located in the frozen north to keep it out of the reach of governments and regulatory agencies.

So, there is a whole espionage / government conspiracy aspect to the the series as well. While somewhat predictable, given the isolated setting it adds considerably to the plot. The zombies are obviously the enemy, but there are other enemies as well and so far, we don’t know exactly who that enemy is or who is playing for which side.

I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won't get into too much more detail, but if the series is going to survive they will have to leave the arctic at some point. I can’t really see a season 3 or 4 with the same people still somehow trapped in the same location battling the same enemies. With the Walking Dead struggling to find itself and resetting every season, Helix could become the classic TV zombie series.

If you're already watching, I've created a handy list of Helix folks on Twitter you can check out.
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