Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore has been trying to find his way back to TV since that hit series ended in 2009. After developing several new shows, he finally found himself get a pick up with Helix. The 13-episode first season of the show tells the story of Dr Alan Farragut (Billy Campbell) and his team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who travel to a research facility in the Arctic to investigate a possible disease outbreak. Once there Alan discovers his brother Peter (Neil Napier) is amongst the affected but as his team begins their investigation they get pulled into a life-and-death struggle that has potentially devastating global implications.
Helix has already been renewed for a second season which will make you breathe a sigh of relief once you get to the cliffhanger at the end of the season. The show was treated pretty poorly here in the UK by broadcaster Channel 5. After showing several episodes, the series was pulled and put on hiatus for a couple of months due to underperforming in its timeslot. The rest of the season finally aired on 5* with little fanfare likely meaning a lot of people who were watching the show never saw the second half.
Thankfully the DVD release means that fans of the series can enjoy it uninterrupted and the show is perfect for binge-viewing. The interesting premise may not be particularly original but the series manages to surprise you along the way. What starts off as a seemingly routine virus outbreak drama turns into something much deeper with lots of plot strands developing after the first couple of episodes.
The performances of the cast are one of the strongest points of the show. Billy Campbell is always watchable and he’s fantastic here as leader Alan. Supporting him are Jordan Hayes as Dr. Sarah Jordan, a team member who has feelings for him, and Kyra Zagorsky as Dr. Julia Walker, Alan’s ex-wife. At the research lab in the artic Hiroyuki Sanada is perfect as the shape-shifting character Dr. Hiroshi Hatake with Mark Ghanime making an impression as the duplicitous Major Sergio Balleseros. Sci-fi fans should keep their eyes peeled for Jeri Ryan who is stars in a recurring role.
Special features on Helix – Season 1 include cast and crew commentaries on two episodes, outtakes, deleted scene and several behind-the-scenes featurettes.
Helix – Season 1 is without a doubt guilty-pleasure TV. The science part of the show may make little logical sense but the over-arching story is one that will draw you in and keep you watching. The show gets a little silly at times but it’s addictive and you’ll want to keep watching right until the end. The final episode sets up an interesting season 2 premise which suggests the show will take place on a much larger scale.