FanBolt recently had the chance to talk with the team behind Syfy’s Helix, which returns on January 16th. Executive producer Steven Maeda discussed changing the show’s location for season 2, the costs involved with such a chance and the series’ connection to fighting Ebola.
What would Maeda tell us about the location of season 2?
“One of the things we always talked about doing with the show, if we were fortunate enough to have a second season, was changing up the location. And because the show is so self-contained it happens — it really occurs in one space for all 13 episodes. Obviously, season one, we were in the arctic at Arctic BioSystems, and it all blew up at the end of last year, so we can’t go back,” Maeda explained. “So we decided this year to find a great location, which we did. We found this really, really incredible space outside of Montreal called Oka Abbey, and it’s where we’re setting the second season. It’s going to be set on an island off of the Pacific Northwest, and it’s going to be cool an different, and yet the same.”
One of the things about television is you usually get to put all your big costs at the beginning – building your sets and creating the show’s foundation. But with changing locations, how does the series keep from getting overly expensive?
“You’re absolutely right. That’s a huge issue for us. And we don’t have – I mean, if you think about most shows, you’re able to amortize, you know, over multiple seasons, you hope, the cost of the sets, the cost of wardrobe. And we’re kind of saying, for the most part, burn it all and start over again. So yes, it is something we very much consider as we move forward,” Maeda commented. “But we do want to do different locations and change it up, so it is an expense that we bear and it eats up a lot of our budget for the show. But also, part of what we were trying to do is find a great location, and something that was already there for us that we could go, oh, the story could fit really nicely in here, and that’s what we did. We found this location that, when you see it, I think it’s going to be amazing.”
So with the CDC in the news as of late – does Maeda feel prophetic?
“It’s bizarre. I think it’s really strange and scary. It’s nice to know that we were, you know, thinking just ahead of that. But actually, it’s affecting us in a small way as well, because our technical advisor, the guy who’s been reading our scripts all last season and this season, too, to make sure that we’re staying true and honest is actually working on one of the Ebola teams, and so he’s been very busy,” Maeda admitted. “And if it takes him a little while to get a script back, we don’t mind.”
Helix returns January 16, 2015 on Syfy!
Photo Credit: Emma Loggins / FanBolt