Helix: sci-fi or scientific procedural?

If the first 15 minutes are anything to go by, with their new series Helix, SyFy is trying to blend the procedural with science fiction.

Zombies? Not zombies? Hard to tell based on the previews released by SyFy. Here’s what we know for sure:

–It follows a group of CDC officials who travel to a clandestine Arctic lab following reports of an outbreak

–The pathogen is a retrovirus (maybe)

–The side effects are black blood and enhanced strength (maybe)

–The side effects may have been intentional

–It was developed by Ronald D. Moore, the genius who tortured us with Battlestar Galactica

As far as the characters, the preview that SyFy has up throws a good chunk of expository back story at us, including a broken marriage. Conveniently the lead, Alan Farragut, is not only the ex-husband of fellow scientist Julia Walker, he is also the brother of infectee Peter Farragut (who slept with Julia). Kind of soapy. Hopefully that won’t be the focus.

And, it seems to be a sort of CSI: Arctic Circle, with a crack team of scientists battling a mystery illness (or is it a crime?).

So based on what little is out there, it’s hard to tell what the hell is going on. But, if the reviewers at io9.com are right (and they’ve screened the entire pilot), Helix marks a strong return of the dark horror to SyFy. In fact, they call it SyFy’s best new show in years. Then again SyFy has produced very little worth watching in years.

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