Dou­ble Helix

The bio- chiller’s sec­ond year heats t hings up for t he CDC

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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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