Syfy greenlights Helix

Syfy recently ordered a 13-episode season of Helix, a new sci-fi series by Battlestar Galactica creator, Ronald D. Moore.

We first discussed the show a few weeks ago, but didn’t know quite what the scope would be. At the time Syfy was considering a series deal, rather than making it go through the pilot production and approval process, and it seems that’s just what they’ve done. Casting has not even begun yet, and the cable network is already confident that it will be a hit.

Of course, why shouldn’t it be? Moore is a sci-fi television writing veteran who has penned some of the best episodes of some of our favorite shows, from Star Trek to Roswell, and turned one of the campiest sci-fis in television history into a classic of modern serialized storytelling. He hasn’t always been on target – the BSG spin-off, Caprica, is a noted failure, but even when unsuccessful, his work has always been intelligent and engaging, and, while he didn’t write this one, the attachment of his name will ensure that the pilot will have a strong viewership.

“With its well-drawn characters, taut drama, and incredible production team, we couldn’t be more excited to see this intense thrill-ride of a series come to life,” said Mark Stern, President of Original Content at Syfy and Co-Head Original of Content at Universal Cable Productions in an official statement.

Helix tells the story of a group of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control who rush to the Arctic regions to explore the possibility of disease with terrible potential to decimate the human population.

When they arrive, of course, they find more than they bargain for. Stranded, strained, and fighting for “the key to mankind’s salvation or total annihilation,” there is plenty of opportunity in this plot for dramatic and action oriented set pieces (the lack of real action was the supposed failing of Caprica).

There is no casting news yet for Helix, and it will not see production likely until later this year with a likely premiere in the Fall of 2014. Moore will serve as one of the exec. producers. The pilot was written by Cameron Porsandeh who will co-exec. produce.