Along with Defiance, Helix was part of the advance scouting party for the new Syfy, a sign that the often-mocked network was shifting its focus back to making actual, serious science fiction, as opposed to lightweight fantasies and horrible “reality” programming. Sadly, Helix’s first season was more frustrating than anything else, but it rallied towards the end in a way that actually left me curious to see what season two would bring to the plate. This new extended trailer leaves me tentatively optimistic. Check it out.
Billy Campbell is back as CDC Dr. Alan Farrgut, along with his brother Peter (Neil Napier), who is looking much healthier and less like a bloodthirsty zombie these days. The second season of Helix will be trading the bitter cold of the Arctic for the short-sleeves comfort of a mysterious island populated by an equally mysterious cult. Unfortunately, people are dying in mysterious ways on said island (mysteriously), so Farragut’s CDC team swoops in to figure out just what the hell is going on. Presumably they’ll eventually find a giant frozen donkey wheel that can transport the island through time and space.
This season will introduce Steven Weber as the leader of the island cult, not to mention a top-notch geneticist, and Mad Men’s Matt Long as a new member of Farragut’s CDC team.
If Helix survives to a third season, it’ll be interesting to see if they stick with this pattern of moving the action to a very different location each time. If so, it’s definitely an interesting approach, in some ways making Helix halfway to the sort of anthology approach used by shows like American Horror Story and True Detective. The main characters carry over, but each season could examine a different outbreak in very different scenery from the seasons that came before.
That being said, I’m sure the larger arc involving the nefarious Ilaria Corporation and the silver-eyed immortals running it will continue to be explored as the show carries on. Which is good, because that thread was by far the most interesting element of Helix’s freshman season. Given how things wrapped up last season, the presence of both the immortal Julie (Kyra Zagorsky) and the cured-of-cancer Sarah (Jordan Hayes) suggest there will be plenty of questions for Helix season 2 to explore.
Season two’s storyline kicks off with a deadly outbreak aboard a ship, and the investigation of that will lead them to the island and to the cult led by “Brother Michael.” Here’s a clip from the premiere, with the CDC crew poking around a creepy boat full of (mostly) dead people.
Helix returns to Syfy on Friday, January 16, 2015.