The bio- chiller’s second year heats t hings up for t he CDC
Season 2 of Ronald D Moore’s viral thriller goes under the microscope.
Though Helix executive producer Ronald D Moore is worried about spoiling his show’s second season – since, in Moore’s words, the show is “so predicated on surprise” – after some cajoling he manages to summarize year two for Red Alert in three words: “Darker, unusual, twisted.” “We’ll up the ante in a lot of ways, in the scares and the horror,” he says. “But we’re still trying to ride that line, so it’s not a flat- out horror show. Because it’s based in enough real things that are scary enough. The monkey was great, the rats. We had a lot of interesting visual things that we did last season. We’ll be doing more of that.”
The most obvious way in which Moore and Helix’s showrunner Steven Maeda are keeping things fresh is by departing from the arctic base that housed the show’s CDC scientists in their first year, for a remote jungle island where a new threat awaits. The rate at which the show’s story is told, however, will remain the same.
“The format of every episode is [ still] one day. We think that’s a great signature for the piece,” Moore tells us. “And the claustrophobia of it, and still basing it in pathogens and viruses and what can happen when man plays God, and all these underlying themes. That will always be part of the show. But then you want every season to look very different. Not only in the physical location but also in the colour palette and the visual style and what the characters are going through.”
As for which of the show’s characters will return, Moore remarks, “We’re gonna see a good chunk of them in the second season. Not everyone right away. And some characters will show up in unexpected ways right at the get go. Some people will be in the first episode. Some people will be [ back] a little bit later on. To kind of keep you wondering, ‘ Well, is that person coming back?’”
Among Helix’s new faces will be Steven Weber as the leader of a cult living on the island, who’s determined to create a utopia; and Matt Long – best known to genre fans as Ghost Rider’s young Johnny Blaze – as the newest doctor to join the CDC. But the show’s most enigmatic characters will remain.
“The ‘ immortals’ as we call them are not gone,” teases Moore. “They’re still part of the mythology of the show and they’re still a key element of the ongoing story.”
Helix returns to Syfy US on Friday 16 January.
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