During the Helix panel at Comic Con, Ron Moore talked about how he repeatedly refused to read the script for the show’s pilot because the subject matter just wasn’t really in his wheelhouse. Considering the highly anticipated SyFy channel original is very much inside the science fiction genre and seeks to examine larger ethical questions, Moore’s stated apprehension confused more than a few people. Luckily, he was kind of enough to elaborate when he sat for a roundtable in the press room later in the weekend.
Apparently, it wasn’t the science fiction genre that scared him or the idea of stranding a group of scientists in a remote place, it was the idea of doing a show revolving around disease. Here’s a portion of his exact quote…
“I’m just not a hospital or medical show kind of guy. The shows I liked the least while I was working on Star Trek were the ones in the sick bay. It just wasn’t my thing.”
Hilariously, Helix basically takes place entirely in a sick bay. The show, which begins shooting this week in Montreal, Canada, follows a research facility in the Arctic Circle. After hearing about a possible outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention send in a team of scientists to figure out why the outbreak happened and contain it. Once they arrive, however, it soon becomes clear nothing about the gigantic and expensive facility is as advertised. There are hidden floors, secret research and plenty of complicated motivations.
As such, there will be quite a bit for Moore to explore concerning the characters. In fact, there will be a very complicated love triangle, some uncomfortable interpersonal dynamics and even quite a few hallucinations that reveal character backstories (think Gaius Baltar and Number Six on Moore’s beloved Battlestar Galactica). The science will also be as close to spot-on and realistic as possible because while Moore isn’t fascinated by the science, it does matter to him that it’s accurate.
”I’m not that interested in the science part, other than making sure it’s as close to reality as possible.”
Without any real footage released or episode-by-episode plot breakdowns, it’s impossible to gauge how good Helix might be moving forward. That being said, Moore has proven over and over again that he’s worth trusting. He’s more than capable of creating a great show, and if he’s willing to take on material he naturally hates as much as the sick bay, we should all probably realize there’s something here. Besides, the first trailer featuring no real footage was sufficiently creepy enough in tone and visually appealing enough in style.
No official date has been given for Helix’s premiere, but until the time comes, you can amuse yourself with that aforementioned trailer…