Steven Weber Will Start Up A Cult In Season 2 Of Syfy’s Helix

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steven weberWhile America is currently on the cusp of falling down on our knees and worshiping a new god named Ebola—or something a little less dramatic—Syfy is putting audiences in danger of catching the NARVIK virus, which has wholly different side effects. Helix showrunner Steven Maeda is putting all the gears in motion for season 2 of the twisty thriller, and he’s bringing TV veteran Steven Weber along for an antagonistic role. We can probably expect a mid-season reveal that he’s actually the father of at least half of the show’s characters.

If you’ll recall, Helix ended its first season with CDC scientist Alan Farragut (Billy Campbell) searching for his ex-wife and fellow scientist Julia in Paris, where she was taken by Spencer “The Scythe” Sutton (Robert Naylor) and is now working for Ilaria Corporation. The NARVIK virus is on the move now, no longer tethered to the frigid Arctic Biosystems setting, and what’s the exact opposite of a quarantined set of labs in the middle of a frozen tundra? An island paradise, of course.


Comic-Con 2014: Twelve Panels You Don’t Want To Miss On Saturday

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Comic-Con 2014 is almost here! Beginning this Wednesday, one of the largest pop culture events around will completely overwhelm San Diego. There’s so much going on, it’s a monumental task just to figure out which of the countless panels and events you want to try and see. Well, we’re here to make your life just a little bit easier by running down all the panels that should be at the top of your must-see list. Here are our picks for the Saturday events you can’t afford to miss!

FuryRoadWarner Bros. Pictures (10:00am – 12:00pm, Hall H)
Warners has got two major science fiction pictures to show off in their Hall H presentation: George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road and the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending (as well as the upcoming The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies). Unfortunately, the program guide doesn’t currently list which guests will be on hand to promote things. I would be very surprised if the notoriously media-shy Wachowskis put in an appearance, but I wouldn’t rule out stars Channing Tatum and/or Mila Kunis. On the Mad Max front, I’d guess we might see Miller on hand, and possibly even the new Max himself, actor Tom Hardy. I’d put the chances of somebody asking him to do the Bane voice at 230%. If nothing else, we know the panel will be screening footage from both movies.

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Scientists Play With Rubber Bands Better Than The Rest Of Us

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rubber bandsWe’ve all done it: bored at school (probably during math class), you find a rubber band in your desk, or your hair, or even your braces. You start playing with it, twisting it around, seeing what shapes you can make before testing out whether you’re stealthy enough to shoot it at someone without the teacher noticing. When I did this, I didn’t come up with anything publishable in PLOS One, but then again, I wasn’t a Harvard researcher at the time. Those folks found a whole new shape when they played with rubber bands.

The researchers, who were trying to make cephalopod-inspired springs, glued together two rubber bands of different lengths and then stretched them out using strings, allowing for each of the bands to twist. As they stretched, the strips starting winding, making an unusual shape. Looking at the picture, I swear I remember shapes like this from the days of stretching out the phone cord in an attempt to escape the earshot of my parents. The new shape looks like a double helix, but not quite. It has “perversions” — seriously, that’s the term for it. Yay, science! That basically means that the helix changes direction — it seems at first to curl one way, but then it reverses. Perversions like this exist in nature, particularly in plants that change their direction to angle closer to the sun or to rest on other objects in their pursuit of light. Essentially, what the scientists did was to create something called a “hemihelix.”


Syfy Renews Helix For Season Two, Promises A World Full Of Black Goo

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If we’re being completely honest, and if that’s not the point of our weird Internet relationship then why bother, I’ve spend most of the last 13 weeks forgetting that Helix even exists. I started out with a relatively high level of anticipation, what with Ronald D. Moore coming back to TV after a lengthy absence and Syfy getting back into the original content game instead of just churning out crappy creature features. But I missed the first episode, then the critics—including our own—were less than enthusiastic, and the show got pushed further and further down my list of priorities until it didn’t even register anymore. Even though I haven’t been tuning in, that doesn’t mean no one is watching Helix, and the network renewed the show for a second season. This quick teaser hints at grim times in store.

The season one finale left a lot of unanswered questions hanging in the air. People are missing, the Arctic Biosystems lab and headquarters has been burned to the ground, and the nefarious Narvik virus is about to go global. We’re talking about the worst world tour ever, with viscous black goo and angry zombies everywhere, as far as they eye can see. That’s going to be all kinds of bad news.


Helix Post-Game: Star Trek’s Jeri Ryan Makes This Clusterfrost Even Crazier

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jeri ryan helixLike a prince arriving to wake a cursed girl using only his kisses, Star Trek: Voyager‘s Jeri Ryan and her team of investment-upholding soldiers enter Arctic Biosystems with two goals in mind: make sure a cure is developed and then kill off everyone who knows about the virus in the first place. It’s a goal that finally gives this series an actual end-game scenario to look forward to, even though I’m sure we all figured out that anyone getting out of The White Room alive was a long shot. Constance Sutton won’t be taking any shit. She does take some tongue from her sex buddy Major Balleseros, though, and it’s as gross as it sounds.

As the resident leader of the Ilaria corporation, Constance wants to make good on her company’s investments and will say anything to anyone to make it look like she’ll do her job lawfully. Alan wants to head down to Level R to get Julia? That’s fine by Constance, who sets up a team to go on the inevitably unsuccessful mission. But even though the plan fails, mostly due to people not using guns the way they should, she still wants Alan to produce the cure, as if just the attempt is worth the same as having Julia’s expertise on hand. Hatake knows that Constance is a woman with many dubious layers, and knows to tiptoe around her, probably when she’s filing her teeth down for whatever reason. (If they reveal that she’s actually a vampire at some point, I might have to completely re-evaluate my opinion about this series.) She actually runs her hands across the spines of books on a bookcase, which is a total villain move.


Helix Post-Game: Aniqatiga Is The Exact Opposite Of Logical Storytelling

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helix“There are no mistakes. Only opportunities wasted.”

These words, spoken by Dr. Hatake in “Aniqatiga,” last night’s episode of Helix, could be about this completely brainless show itself. Less than a week after executive producer Ron Moore criticized science fiction for turning into a “popcorn” genre in recent years, his own endeavor plumbed the depths of stupidity and came up with its arms completely full. The fact that he refers to Helix as “adult sci-fi” makes me think the horse he’s on is so high in the sky that he isn’t breathing properly. Moore should have taken one look at show creator Cameron Porsandeh’s trite jumbled mess and hidden behind the upcoming Outlander adaptation.