Helix off to an intriguing start

helix cast

Risking your heart on a show carried by any TV network or channel is a dangerous proposition, as anyone who loved “Firefly” or, heck, even “Star Trek,” can tell you.

One of the channels most likely to kill any series I enjoy is Cartoon Network, where various DC animated universe shows, from “Justice League Unlimited” to “Young Justice” to “Beware the Batman,” died of neglect and erratic scheduling.

SyFy, the channel formerly known as Sci-Fi, has broken more than a few hearts in how it ended series. Syfy canceled “Alphas,” the good take on “X-Men” about people with powers working as government agents, a couple of years ago.

So I’m taking a risk on SyFy with “Helix,” an intriguing new series that’s airing Friday nights.

Overseen by “Battlestar Galactica” producer Ronald Moore, “Helix” takes a team of Centers for Disease Control scientists to a remote Arctic station where, it appears, the 100-plus scientists have been doing all manner of off-the-books research, from nuclear fusion to genetic tinkering to virus research. We’re told the station is one of three places in the world to have vials of smallpox in the fridge.

In this case, the CDC team led by Billy Campbell is called out because a virus has killed two scientists and turned another – Campbell’s character’s brother – into something like a rage zombie: He’s veiny and froths black goo from his mouth. And he’s prone to attacking other people, infecting them mouth-to-mouth with the black stuff.

There’s ultra-suspicious scientists, heavy-handed military types and personal conflicts bubbling right alone with that goo.

It comes across like a mix of “X-Files” and various zombie flicks, set in a frozen wasteland that reminds me of “The Thing.”

I’m enjoying the stark, chilly show and its wacky Muzak-like soundtrack.

“Helix” has aired three episodes so far and you can find them On Demand, like I did, if you want to catch up before the next airs.

Online info says “Helix” will run for 13 episodes, so we’ll get to see what Moore and creator Cameron Porsandeh have planned for this initial storyline.



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