Syfy is launching a new series Friday (Jan. 10) called “Helix,” which features a group of CDC scientists traveling to the Arctic to investigate a disease outbreak. What they find there is so much worse than they ever imagined.
The virus turns humans into dangerous creatures and will naturally invite comparisons to recent zombie fare, in particular AMC’s hit thriller “The Walking Dead.” Executive producer Steve Maeda says that while they aren’t trying to make a zombie show, the comparisons don’t bother them.
“We’re really trying to not make it a zombie show,” he says. “I would say the main difference about our vectors, as we call them, is that they are not kind of mindless sort of eating machines, and that’s something that you’ll see in later episodes.
“[The vectors are] very scary and they’re human and they look horrible. … Also what we’re going to find out about the vectors is that they’re incredibly smart, and so they retain a lot of their intelligence, if not their humanity, which I think makes them very different from zombies.
“You know what? The comparisons will come, and that’s OK,” Maeda continues. “But we’re really trying to do something that feels different than the typical zombie show.”
Star Kyra Zagorsky, who plays one of the CDC doctors on the show, adds that there’s a lot of actual science behind the epidemic in “Helix.”
“There are real-life epidemic scares out there throughout history where there are these huge viruses that have wiped out huge populations, and so we’re dealing with something that the CDC hasn’t seen before, but it comes from a virus,” Zagorsky says. “And so that’s something that’s based in reality. And then you put the science fiction on that and it’s a really interesting combination. I think that’s another thing that makes it unique.”
Watch the first 15 minutes of the first episode below and tune in for the 90-minute premiere Friday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.