29th Jun2014

‘Helix: Season 1’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Billy Campbell, Hiroyuki Sanada, Kyra Zagorsky, Mark Ghanimé, Jordan Hayes, Meegwun Fairbrother, Neil Napier, Luciana Carro, Chimwemwe Miller | Created by Cameron Porsandeh | Produced by Ronald D. Moore


Helix, the latest series from Ronald D. Moore (creator of Battlestar Galactica), follows a team of scientists from the Centres for Disease Control who travel to a research facility in the Arctic to investigate a potential outbreak of disease. While there, they find themselves stuck in a life-or-death situation that could decide the fate of the future of mankind.

I’ll be honest, I never really got Ronald Moore’s version of Battlestar Galactica – for me the show was all about the huge adventure of space, not the small arguments between the humans exploring the cast galaxies. I was obviously in the minority as the show had, and still has, a very vocal following amongst fans. I was hoping that this latest sci-fi show, billed as a something along the lines of The Thing meets Outbreak by way of The Andromeda Strain, would manage to balance Moore’s penchant for wordy conflab with more on-screen excitement… I was wrong. It doesn’t take more than a couple of episodes of Helix to realise this is yet another case of too many words and not enough action.

Fair enough, the Artic-based horror premise sounded, at first, like a superb idea and the pilot episode is a cracking start to the show: well-executed and well-acted, but by the time the thirteenth episode has rolled around, said premise has backed the shows creators into a corner – a corner (that even given the shows renewal for second season) I don’t see them getting out of any time soon. Never has the phrase “running out of steam” ever been so apt.

This DVD release of the first season features all 13 episodes of Helix, along with cast and crew commentaries, deleted scenes and four all-new featurettes. “Dissecting the Characters” studies the characters and the dynamic relationships that fuel the series. “The Art of Isolation” explores the approach to creating a realistic Arctic research centre. “The Future of Disease” offers insight into findings in the field of medicine and the inspiration behind a possible life-threatening pandemic, and “Ronald D. Moore: The Outlier of Science Fiction” presents never-before-seen interviews with Ron Moore and his unique perspective on developing a new compelling series.

Helix: Season 1 is released on DVD on June 30th, courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.


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