While Ronald D. Moore is a geek icon due to the success of his reboot of Battlestar Galactica in the mid-2000s, he hasn’t seen much success since BSG wrapped up in 2009. With the cancellation of the BSG prequel Caprica in 2010, Moore is still looking to recapture his earlier sci-fi success. Hopefully he’s found a winner with the new series Helix for the Syfy Channel, which blends science fiction and horror against an icy Arctic backdrop. Either way, the series has found a leading man.
According to TV Guide, Helix recently cast Billy Campbell as the show’s lead, Dr. Alan Farragut, “an emotionally troubled Centers for Disease Control pathologist whose marriage has recently fallen apart after his wife had an affair with his brother.” Campbell famously played the jet-propelled, Nazi-fighting 1940s superhero The Rocketeer in 1991. He was also a regular on USA’s supernatural series The 4400, and recently played a Seattle politician in AMC’s The Kiling. Campbell may be exactly what Helix needs to become a success, a handsome, charismatic leading man.
Syfy released a few new clips from the show, featuring the same freaky black ooze as you saw in the teaser trailer a few months ago. Whatever it is, it’s definitely on the move, roaming around in the research facility’s air vents and a creepy decontamination chamber. What is this stuff?
Not much is currently known about the premise or story of Helix, but it follows a group of scientists from the CDC stationed in a secret laboratory in the middle of the Arctic. Sent there to investigate a possible outbreak, they find something much more terrifying beneath the icy surface.
Helix has earned comparisons to John Carpenter’s classic science fiction/horror hybrid film The Thing, and with good reason. It seems like this freaky black ooze is destined pick-off the scientists one by one until the whole group is dead. At least that’s the vibe from the teaser trailer and its new short clips. It’s spooky and creepy
“With its well-drawn characters, taut drama, and incredible production team, we couldn’t be more excited to see this intense thrill-ride of a series come to life,” said Mark Stern, Syfy’s president of original content. Welcome back to the Syfy Channel Mr. Moore, they sound glad to have you.
Moore is getting back into a groove. In addition to Helix, he has another genre show in the works at the premium cable network Starz. Based on Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling novel, Outlander is a mixture of time travel, romance, and historical fiction. That series just cast Sam Heughan as its lead, a chivalrous Scottish warrior named Jamie Fraser.
In the years that followed Battlestar Galactica, Moore had a string of failed series, including a remake of The Wild Wild West, A Knight’s Tale TV adaptation, and a pilot for NBC called 17th Preceinct. Needless to say, Moore could use a hit. Hopefully he’ll find that with one, or both, of these genre shows. He deserves continued science fiction love, after all he did write for Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.
PLynda Obst (Robert Zemeckis’ Contact) and Steven Maeda (Lost, The X-Files) will also produce Helix, while Cameron Porsandeh wrote the pilot episode and will serve as Co-Executive Producer. There is no official airdate for the show, but Syfy notes that it will premiere sometime in early 2014 with a 13-episode season one.