Helix – A fascinating outbreak tale

1509197_654498494613640_1153308129_nI turned on Helix last night for background noise. I was playing on the internet and intended to finish the book I was reading. None of that happened. Helix sucked me in from the start.

The plot of the show is straightforward enough. The CDC is called in to investigate an infection at a lab near Greenland, they do address the jurisdictional question but this is TV so we quickly move past that. They gather a team that includes the brother and ex-sister in law of one of the victims. When they arrive they discover a plague that turns its victims’ blood to black, causes physiological changes and makes them ultra aggressive against the non-infected. Of course all is not as it seems, as there seem to be many things being covered up by the head of the lab.

The show has its ancestry in two of my favorite books of all time. The race against time, the medical detective work to discover the source of the outbreak and the isolation of being quarantined in the facility all brought fond memories of the Andromeda Strain. The idea of an experiment gone wrong and threatening to wipe out a populace if it’s not contained reminded me of The Stand. It’s as though we get to see it from the other side, patient zero. While it’s not a flu somehow with the government intervention it really made me think of all the non-revealed backstory in King’s book.

There has been mention by some critics that this is a zombie story but I didn’t really feel that way. However I can see the parallels. Again it would be as though you are watching Walking Dead from the other side of the story. The origin of the walkers. Still the victims seem to be far more intact mentally than the zombies and they are definitely not dead.

Helix has its melodrama and soap opera bits as well but that’s what keeps us coming back, the characters and how they interact. I thought this was really strong science fiction which, frankly we don’t see all that much. Most science fiction these days is more fantasy based. I enjoyed the first double episode so much I stayed up to catch the third one that is available 1479512_651024298294393_1498064648_non demand. Now I’m sorry I have to wait two weeks for new story.

I give Helix 4 out of 5 stars.  I’m completely hooked.

 

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