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Syfy Picks Up French Anthology Series Metal Hurlant Chronicles

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metal hurlantWith the advent of season-long anthology series like American Horror Story and True Detective, not to mention the slew of horror anthologies peppering the cinematic landscape, it’s high time for this approach to make its way back to television. Now, if it takes Syfy spearheading the movement to bring short-form sci-fi storytelling to our eyeballs, then so be it. The network has acquired the rights to the first two seasons of the French series Metal Hurlant Chronicles, and we can look forward to seeing Scott Adkins kicking everyone’s asses up to their faces later this spring.

It’s somewhat strange that no one has snatched the show up by now, considering it’s filmed mostly in English and looks right up the over-produced alley of networks like Starz or Cinemax. But Syfy it will be. So long as they had nothing to do with its creation, this isn’t bad news in the slightest.

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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.

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DMZ’s Military Dystopia Comes To Syfy Courtesy Of Gravity And Mad Men Producers

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dmzA few weeks ago, Bill McGoldrick, Syfy‘s V.P. of original programming, stated his intention to turn the network into something beyond a place for impossible sea creatures to get caught up in intense weather patterns. His vision is for a future filled with the genre’s top minds turning great ideas into series. While there are zero guarantees on how this will turn out, McGoldrick is making good on his goals by acquiring the rights to the DC/Vertigo comic DMZ, from writer Brian Wood and artist Riccardo Burchielli. The network is already bringing in big talent to develop it. Through their deal with Warner Bros. TV, former Mad Men executive producers André and Maria Jacquemetton will partner with Gravity producer David Heyman in an attempt to spin this war-torn dystopia into cable gold.

First published in 2005, DMZ was inspired in part by the volatile aftermath of 9/11. Set in a near-future where the country has split into two factions—the standard U.S. and the seceded Free States of America—this becomes the setting for a second civil war. The titular demilitarized zone is Manhattan, now only a shell of what it once was, with 1/4 of its population still intact, the majority of which is comprised of the poor and the neutral. There are also some independently war-minded folks that form DMZ militias.

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Syfy Exec Says He Wants Top-Notch Scripted Shows

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HelixSyfy has been an easy punchline for a while now. Before the dark times, before the name change, they used to be called the Sci-Fi Channel and actually aired primarily — wait for it — science fiction. Sadly, somewhere along the way they let themselves be seduced into going cheaper, easier, and lazier, leaving us with a schizophrenic lineup of wrestling, ghost-hunting “reality shows,” and a few decent original series such as Defiance and Being Human. Gone were the really ambitious sci-fi series such as Farscape and Battlestar Galactica. The premiere of Ron Moore’s Helix is a step in the right direction, but could it be that Syfy has finally decided to be more than a shadow of the channel they used to be? One Syfy executive seems to think so.

Speaking to AdWeek, Syfy executive vice president of original programming Bill McGoldrick says that he’s making it a priority to try and attract talented genre writers and creators to help give the channel’s lineup a renewed luster. “I’m definitely out there pounding on everybody’s door who has a name in the genre,” says McGoldrick. “And we’re open to people who aren’t necessarily associated with the genre but have a great idea.”

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Helix Post-Game: The Tense Mystery Outweighs Frequent Stereotypes

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helixWhen Syfy debuts a series (and to a lesser extent, one of its movies), you can usually bank on there a lofty concept that will ultimately get blown apart without any subtlety. The two-part premiere of Ron Moore’s contagion thriller Helix did not buck that trend in the least, filling 90-minutes with damn near every sci-fi trope you can imagine in a series that isn’t just called Science Fiction TV Show. Derivative though it may be, Helix manages to contain just enough intriguing moments to make up for the stilted dialogue and lazy writing.

Instead of just rattling off each and every thing that happened in the two episodes, I’d rather just talk about the things that worked and the things that didn’t. No one here at GFR expected Helix to revolutionize the genre, but there was at least one bit that I can safely say blew my mind more than nearly anything else on TV in the last year or so. In keeping with that optimism, let’s start off with the good stuff. Oh, and be warned about SPOILERS. I won’t spell everything out, but I may ruin a surprise or two along the way.

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Helix’s Season One Trailer Isn’t As Infectious As Its Central Threat

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Here’s what troubles me about Syfy’s upcoming thriller Helix: it looks like a better-than-average Syfy Original movie. I know in my head that this Yahoo! trailer is just giving us an extended look at where the season is going without actually taking us there, but I can’t completely get my brain to believe that it isn’t just a quick version of Ice-Gator vs. CDC-Quake or something like that. I believe it will be better and less generic than it looks, but I also used to believe that Columbus discovered America. Lessons get learned.