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Helix: Season 1

Score: 91%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Sony Pictures Home

Region: A
Media: DVD/3
Running Time: 531 Mins.
Genre: Sci-Fi/Horror/TV Series
Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Chinese,
           French, Korean, Spanish, Thai


  • Cast & Crew Commentaries on the Pilot Episode and Season Finale
  • Ronald D. Moore: The Outlier of Science Fiction
  • The Future of Disease
  • The Art of Isolation
  • Dissecting the Characters
  • Outtakes
  • Deleted Scenes

Helix: Season 1 pits an all-star CDC team against a deadly and dangerous virus that has infected members at Arctic Biosystems, a research facility strategically located in the Arctic. Led by Dr. Alan Farragut (Billy Campbell), the rest of the CDC team consists of his ex-wife Dr. Julia Walker (Kyra Zagorsky), his protege Dr. Sarah Jordan (Jordan Hayes), and long-time team member Dr. Doreen Boyle (Cat Lemieux), with Major Sergio Ballaseros (Mark Ghamine) of the U.S. Army rounding out the group. While Dr. Walker was specifically requested by the head of Arctic Biosystems, Dr. Hiroshi Hatake (Hiroyuki Sanada), she requested Alan be on the team because one of the virus infectees is Alan's brother, Peter (Neil Napier), the man who coincidentally also broke up Julia and Alan's marriage. What a fun family reunion this will be!

Once the team arrives, they realize they are dealing with something far worse than they could have ever imagined. For starters, Hatake and his head of security (and also adopted son), Daniel (Meegwun Fairbrother) are acting as though they are providing total transparency with the CDC, but they are clearly hiding many things. The team also quickly realizes that this virus is turning some of the infected into vectors, people/creatures who are driven to infect others with this same virus. If they don't control this situation and fast, it could rapidly infect everyone on the base and devastate the world if it got out.

Naturally, this interesting group of highly intelligent doctors, some trying to cure the virus and others having possibly worked on its creation, create a veritable petri dish of personal clashes. As the walls begin closing in and more mysteries begin to unfold, Helix: Season 1 quickly evolves, much like the virus itself, from a basic sci-fi show about a deadly virus to one that includes twists on tried and true sci-fi tropes like zombies and immortality - yet it makes them work beautifully. The acting is fantastic and I love the dynamic between all of the actors. The chemistry between them all is clear and although I don't have a lot of experience with SyFy series, Helix: Season 1 is absolutely great. I found myself glued to the screen, not being able to wait to get to the next episode to see what unfolded. Star Trek vet Jeri Ryan even shows up in a few episodes. While some of the special effects were a bit cheesy, with their limited budget, the crew was able to do some amazing things and the sets really looked great.

Special features include commentaries on the pilot and season finale, deleted scenes, outtakes and featurettes on the show's Executive Producer, Ronald D. Moore of Battlestar Galactica fame, the show's characters, the set designs, and diseases and their relationship to sci-fi. All were interesting to watch.

Perhaps the most disconcerting but fantastic device used in the entire series is the insertion of specific music at pivotal scenes. Songs like "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" and other 60's Muzak/elevator type songs that will play as horrific things are going on create such a brilliant dichotomy that you absolutely know something awful is going to happen as soon as the creepy elevator tunes begin. It's weird and brilliant at the same time. Overall, I really loved Helix: Season 1 and was so pleased to see that it will go on for a second season. It is filled with betrayal, intrigue, mystery and horror, with a stellar cast and excellent writing. If you like sci-fi horror and think the idea of being isolated in the Arctic with a killer virus and even scarier transmitters of the disease is pretty terrifying, check out Helix: Season 1. Just don't watch it during dinner, or if you do, you have been warned. Black mucus - just sayin'.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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