Helix

Couldn’t find a thread for this, so I’m starting one.

Saw this, liked it so far. Some cool, creepy stuff, and I don’t recall any moments of really painfully bad writing, which is rare for a TV pilot.

Questions:

  1. Were we supposed to read anything into the fact that those two guys went outside with their faces uncovered and didn’t get frostbite, or was that just a directorial decision to make sure we knew who was out there? I don’t remember if they mentioned the current outside temperature (just that it could get down to -70).
  2. Was the dude who wanted to leave on a snowmobile just panicking and being stupid, or was that a viable plan to leave the base? I think the USAMRIID guy said that the helicopter was coming from a base 200 miles away.

I was hoping this would be like Regenesis but instead it’s more like a SciFi version of the Thing. With added relationship drama.

I was interested enough to keep watching but I was skipping through the horror parts.

I watched the first two episodes this morning. Thought it was ok overall. Unfortunately, there was enough dumb stuff in the first two episodes that I’m not optimistic that I will keep watching. I don’t mind when bad stuff happens to characters, but when they act dumb or stupid to advance the plot, it drives me crazy.

Ep 3 is on the official website. I tend to dislike drama where half the conflict would be resolved is everyone actually talked to each other and said what they knew… and this is leaning on that.

I really liked it. I just hope it doesn’t turn out to be too similar to The Strain.

Oh, god, yes, this.

These are the dumbest scientists since Dr. Christmas Jones. They’re supposed to be crack CDC investigators and, oh, wait, LOOK AT THE FUCKED-UP LITTLE MONKEY IN THE ROOM WHERE WE JUST NOTED THAT SOMETHING BUSTED OUT OF THE CAGES. LET’S GO PET IT!

Later on.

Hey, there’s a psycho infected guy running around killing and infecting people! I’ll just sit in this dark room by myself, back to the door, and play loud music in my earpods while I focus on dissecting this dead monkey (without wearing any kind of serious protection against, say, bodily fluids being sprayed about. This little face shield should be good!)

I just finished the 3rd episode, and I just want to shoot every one of these characters.

SPOILER

“Hey, so, yeah, we’ve had this entire floor that’s completely isolated with 3-foot concrete walls and crazy thick steel doors and it even has its own ventilation system, but we haven’t brought it up until now. But now that I think about it, maybe that’s a better place to safeguard people from the infected dude who is going around through the ventilation ducts killing and infecting people for the past two days?”

Later

EVERYBODY PANICS LIKE A LITTLE GIRL. You’ll know what I’m talking about.

Do you always continue watching shows you hate?

I want to like this. But agh, these are some of the dumbest scientists/doctors I ever seen. Why must they lack common sense?

I know in advertising, its a common joke that we assume our clients have the mental capacity of a slightly retarded 10 year old - Perhaps its the same in the television business?

In shows like this, I think it’s easier to understand when you consider that they’re not trained soldiers, have never encountered anything like this before (and couldn’t even conceive of such a thing prior to this), and were (at least throughout the majority of the first couple of episodes) working under the assumption that they were dealing with a very odd virus that acted like Rabies and killed everyone but one guy…the lead doctor’s brother.

Do they do stupid things? Of course they do. But I read about even dumber actions by professionals in real life every day I open a newspaper. When it gets to The Following level of idiocy, I’ll jump ship though.

I expect CDC investigators who have spent the last 3 episodes talking about dealing with dozens of deadly crises in the third world be able to act with clear heads, logical thinking, and professionalism under stress. Contrast their behavior with, say, Kate Winslet’s CDC investigator in Contagion.

I also expect that scientists working on incredibly dangerous viruses at a top secret base tucked away in the Arctic to not be asshots and not be completely clueless about why leaving the base during a deadly viral outbreak is a total non-option.

And I’d expect everyone (but especially the security guys) to not wonder why infected dude cut off a guy’s right hand, when the action that everyone repeats constantly during each episode is swiping their right hand at security locks.

You have to know going into a show like this that the characters are going to act stupid sometimes and common sense will be sacrificed in favor or plot movement and tension. I mean, if we’re going to apply logic to the show, then basically as soon as the infected doctor escaped and they knew he was in the air ducts they would have put everyone on lockdown under guard in areas where anyone coming through the air ducts would be spotted quickly (large open rooms like the cafeteria, gym, etc.). Common sense says you don’t give the infected psychotic guy in the air ducts small pockets of unguarded population to go after at his lesiure. Common sense says the guard’s missing right hand would be used to gain access since the infected doctor was locked out. Also, as soon as the first group was infected, lethal response against the doctor would have been merited giving the violent nature of the transmission process. On the other hand, the obvious solution by day two is to call in a much larger response team, which to the show’s credit they attempt to do (this may have been in episode 3 which we watched on demand).

My wife and I enjoyed it. It had tension, mystery and just the right levels of pseudo-zombies, creepy goings-on and outright “holy shit” moments that we’ll continue to watch. I thought the third episode ramped things up pretty effectively, and the previews for what’s to come look as if stuff goes off the rails quickly, which should be interesting.

At the very least, it’s not another cop/fireman/hospital/governemt agency show.

I’ve only seen two episodes so I can’t address your first issue. I can only discuss what’s happened in those episodes.

I like the show and even I haven’t felt the urge to go online (or to use my cable provider’s notoriously unreliable On Demand feature) to get the third episode. I’m surprised that you’re actively pursuing something you obviously hate so much. Although truth be told, I stuck with Homeland even after season 1, so I’m obviously guilty of a similar thing. Of course, the show was actually good in season 1 so I guess I was hoping it would return to form.

It’s already been established that the base’s security head is the adopted son of the main villain (or at least what I believe to be the main baddie) so his unwillingness to divulge information could be seen as a result of that relationship. They’re actively trying to hide “the white room” which is the only security system I believe we saw with biometric sensors in the locking system. The security chief may be aware of why the infected individual wanted a hand, but he doesn’t want to give up the info to the CDC.

As for the CDC scientists wanting to leave the base, I’ve not seen that happen. In the first two episodes, they seem committed to remaining in the base and looking for a cure. Also, as mentioned previously, there are plenty of instances where professionalism goes out the door in the event of emergencies.

This show, so far, has the same problem that The Following did for me. The only way the show works is if you assume the people in charge are total incompetent fools who shouldn’t have made it out of the mailroom much less be one of the heads of the agency. I gave The Following 5 episodes before I couldn’t stand watching it any longer; I’ll give Helix the same chance. It has a chance to be a compelling show, it just needs to stop setting up situations that only work if the trained professions are total morons.

This show would have worked out much better as a modern day Andromeda Strain movie. Maybe even a 6 episode mini-series. I have no idea how you drag it out into a full blown multi-season series. You have a limited number of people on a base in the arctic that is 200+ miles away from the nearest other human.

I am curious about one thing. In the first episode they talk about how they have a connection speed much faster than a T1 line, which I assume is always active and isn’t related to the satellite communication that only works once every XX hours. If you needed to send a distress call, why not send an email or something?

They did make it a point to mention that the data connection relies on the satellite being in range in order to connect. Which is pretty common in that kind of setting.

Specifically, I think it was 1 hour/day that they have satellite access.

I would agree the biggest gripe I had was with a finite number of staff that they weren’t sequestered away to a more secure location immediately. Aslo, with people making outright threats about leaving quarantine, why was’nt more security posted on them? I realized they have limited resources for security, which is exactly why you would restrict movement. That and the unlimited access chip in the hand, duh! If your locks are coded to chips in the hand or retina scanners and some guy is found dead missing said identifier, its time to revoke his security clearances. This is a private company not government we’re talking about, I expect competent security guards.

This isn’t available to me despite my $400/month cable bill. Worthwhile tracking down/wait and see/hell no?

I think it’s available on Hulu or SyFy if you want to track it down and watch it. Though you’re in Canada so you might be locked out.

Others have explained the stupidity of researchers/staff/security, if you can get beyond that it could be worthwhile for you. I’m going to try and stick around for a bit in hopes of it getting better. And it has Hiroyuki Sanada in a lead role so dammit I have to support it. I didn’t like Continuum when that first aired but I stuck with it and it eventually got much better so hopefully this is the same.