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Ron Moore’s Helix Is Coming To Syfy Later This Year

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Moore

Ron Moore is one of those guys whose names are unfamiliar to those outside of science fiction fandom, and is also one of those guys who is loved by many and abhorred by some, without much room for middle ground. His work on the Star Trek series The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager, as well as the resurgence of Battlestar Galactica, have cemented him into sci-fi history, and now we’ll get a new show to judge him by.

Moore’s latest project, the germophobe’s nightmare Helix, has finalized a deal with Syfy for a straight-to-series order of 13 episodes, and has also found a showrunner in Steven Maeda (Lost). Going straight-to-series saves the show’s initial fanbase from having to get excited about a pilot being filmed, only to have the network inevitably drop it. But going to Syfy also saves the fanbase from being relevant to the rest of the world.

Helix, to be written by newcomer Cameron Porsandeh, centers on a team of scientists living in an Arctic research base where a possible disease outbreak has occurred, and the team must then investigate the problem and figure out a way to protect the rest of the world from certain doom. Somebody get these guys some Purell!

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Syfy’s Stranded Looks For Ghosts, Probably Doesn’t Find Any

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Syfy is back at it again, making things difficult for people who enjoy science and fiction, as well as a proper combination of the two. We’re at the point where their abysmal monster mash-ups aren’t worth an incidental giggle anymore, and the bulk of their normal programming has become possessed by the paranormal and…oh, let’s just nip it in the bud. It’s another paranormal show.

Starting February 27th, Stranded will do what nearly every single paranormal reality show has done before them and stick people interested in the supernatural inside of locations across the country that are supposedly haunted, then record them not actually finding any ghosts or evidence of ghosts. Only this time, they’re not even going with people you’ve never heard of who are paranormal “experts,” but are instead using people you’ve never heard of that can’t even claim to be paranormal “experts.” And the group members — each episode will feature teams of three — will change for each episode. Check out the all-too-familiar-looking trailer below.

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Philip K. Dick’s The Man In The High Castle Coming From Ridley Scott & Syfy

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HighCastle

There’s an up-and-coming force to be reckoned with when it comes to science fiction in Hollywood. A man who goes by the not-very-well known name of Philip K. Dick. There’s no point in drawing out this dumb introduction, seeing as how Dick seems to be one of four science fiction authors that screenwriters are able to get past a film company’s front lines.

This time, Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions is producing an adaptation of Dick’s novel, The Man in the High Castle, turning it into a four-part miniseries for Syfy. All right, now, keep your groans to a minimum. Electric Shepherd Productions, which handles production duties for Dick’s estate, will co-produce with Headline Pictures. Back in 2010, Headline was supposed to have turned the project into a BBC miniseries, but the gods seriously fucked everybody over on that one.

Screenwriting duties fall to sci-fi scribe Frank Spotnitz, who is writing the first two hours and will supervise whoever comes in for the second half. Spotnitz is known for his work as a writer/producer on The X-Files, Millennium, and most recently the Melissa George series, Hunted. To me, he’ll always be revered as the guy who created the X-Files spin-off, The Lone Gunmen, which never gets mentioned enough in the “cancelled too soon” conversations.

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The Dream Team: Six Writers Who Could Make Syfy Great

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Fans have had a love/hate relationship with Syfy — formerly the Sci-Fi Network — for two decades now. And let’s be honest, that relationship has tended toward the “hate” end of the spectrum more often than not. For every Farscape or Battlestar Galactica or Stargate, there are dozens of shows along the lines of Self-Professed Paranormal Investigators Overreacting to Random Sounds in Night Vision or Talented Cold Reader Convincing Grieving Families He Can Talk to the Dead.

But, all evidence to the contrary, I do still believe that Syfy could be saved, and could rally to become the network we all wish it was. There are a few lights in the darkness. Two of the talents responsible for some of Syfy’s greatest shows are returning with new projects: Farscape’s Rockne S. O’Bannon is back with this spring’s Defiance, and word broke just this week that Battlestar Galactica’s Ron Moore is working on a sci-fi thriller called Helix for the network. That’s a good start, but it got us thinking. If, through whatever unlikely sequence of events you care to imagine, we were handed the keys to Syfy tomorrow, which creative talents would we bring in to restore the Syfy name? Or rather the Sci-Fi Channel name, because the first thing we’d do is get rid of that god-awful moniker. Either way, here are our picks (and we’re not including Joss Whedon, because he’s way too obvious and his dance card is full anyway).

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Ron Moore May Be Back At Syfy With Thriller Helix

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Moore

It’s been almost two years since Ron Moore has had a sci-fi series on the airwaves. The guy has written and produced for various Star Trek films and TV shows, Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica and Caprica, as well as Roswell and Carnivale. He’s even supposed to be writing I Robot 2, because that version of Asimov’s book needed further introspection.

But before that, Moore may be returning to the small screen with the thriller Helix, which is nearing a deal with the network Syfy for a 13-episode order. Since Syfy has taken to just ordering full series straight out of the gate, eschewing pilots for already fleshed-out stories, they’ve gained ground in attracting audiences who don’t solely want to make fun of gigantic mythical creatures going head to multiple heads. Not that I watch any of it, but anecdotal evidence tells me Continuum, Haven, and Lost Girl are pretty good shows. I even watched an episode-and-a-half of Warehouse 13 before turning it off.

While most of those shows are a little campy, Helix sounds like it’ll be going the more serious route. The plot revolves around a group of scientists working at an Arctic research facility, and their discovery of a potential disease outbreak that could rapidly spread and destroy the world. It sounds like The Thing, only with germs instead of shapeshifting monsters. I withhold all immediate judgement, but the plot could be interesting, and Moore’s name gives it a definite sense of narrative clarity.

Hopefully hitting TVs later this year, Helix comes to us from Sony Pictures TV, from a spec script written by Cameron Porsandeh, who serves as co-executive producer alongside Moore and Lynda Obst (Hot in Cleveland).

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New Defiance Trailer Seethes and Explodes

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On the surface, Defiance seems like a bored kid’s wet dream of a concept. It’s Earth, but it’s not really Earth anymore. There are loads of different kinds of aliens all forced to put up with one another. But there are gonna be fights. And explosions. Maybe even explosions that fight one another. But the babes are gonna be ugly. Ha! Just kidding! The babes, even the ones with weird alien features, are all gonna be fit. Oh, and guess what else, wish-granting Sandman Tooth Fairy? It’s not just gonna be a wicked exploding show, it’s gonna be a video game as well. And they’re gonna mix. I’m thinking if a babe shows boobs on the game, she’ll show boobs on the show, but I don’t know what network this is going to be on when I wake up.

Well, it’s Syfy, kid, so keep dreaming. Another new trailer for Defiance is out, and it’s shorter, sweeter, and more action-centric than the previous one, which focused more on story and personal relationships. It drives home the fact that this is a place that people are going to fight over, as well as fighting over how to remain peaceful. They use the phrase “new world” a couple of times, but it sounds like the same world to me.