It’s All In Your Genes…My Take On Helix

So SyFy has come with yet another original series called Helix.  Now, I’m not a big TV viewer but I am a sucker for good sci-fi/fantasy television serials.  SyFy has had some gems over the years, BattleStar Galactica, and Eureka but it has also dropped some bombs, too.  I’m looking at you Stargate and Warehouse 13.  But when I saw the promos for Helix I was genuinely interested.  Remote artic base.  Some weird ass virus outbreak.  Crazed women running down corridors with blood dripping off their chins…
So, when I sat down to watch the debut I had some hope for this series to not suck, but I knew I was watching SyFy so I wasn’t overeager.  I mean at this point I think Battlestar was a once in a life time fluke of awesomeness for the network, the same network that violates my eyes with junk such as Sharknado… 
Anyways, after watching the first three episodes I’m definitely pleased by what I watched.  What stood out the most to me was that the writing had a good balance of scientific procedural, suspense/horror, and conspiracy theories.  But it takes more then a good plot to keep me interested in a series, it takes characters that I can develop an emotional investment in.  If I don’t give a rat’s ass about the protagonist, or minor characters or the antagonist then why bother with it?  One mistake the writers’ made in the story so far is just throwing in the idea that Dr. Allan Faragut is the brother of Dr. Peter Faragut.  Peter’s not only been infected by the mysterious virus at the start of the series but he also had an affair with Allan’s ex-wife.  Now that may seem rather juicy on the surface, but we know nada about Allan and Peter before all this happened.  Allan is also incredibly stoic throughout the first three episodes.  Your typical bland protagonist, which is disappointing. fortunately, Dr. Doreen Boyle, a member of Allen’s team, is not only somewhat quirky but has a story arc of her own the delves into the conspiracy and mysterious experiments that occurred at the base.  She comes across as not only intelligent in the academic sense but has a down to earth street smarts the other characters don’t exhibit.  So far she’s my favorite protagonist.  In the first three episodes however I would say that the antagonist Dr. Hatake really shines.  The actor that portrays him does a brilliant job at subtly exhibiting a subtle malice not only in his words but most impressively by his subtle facial expressions and body language.  It’s not something you see a lot of in today’s television/movies but it’s fantastic stuff.  Dr. Hatake’s supporting cast are also great at creating the nagging suspicion that something diabolical lurking in the shadows.  If nothing else it’ll be t he fate of Dr. Hatake and company that’ll keep me coming back rather then Dr. Allan Faragut.
Visually speaking the set designs are well done but some of the outdoor stuff, such as an aerial view of the artic base, look second rate.  Considering what can be done with CGI these days SyFy should really pony up the cash and do a better job.  There’s matte paintings and minatures set designs from t he 1980’s that look better then the schlop SyFy tries to pass off as quality CGI.
Overall, I think Helix is a good show that given the time and support of viewers and the network can only get better.  If you enjoy CSI/scientific procedurrals with a mixture of suspsense/horror and conspiracy then Helix is worth checking out. 

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