Steve Maeda and Kyra Zagorsky Talk About Syfy’s New ‘Helix’

FanBolt had the opportunity to talk to both the star and the Executive Producer of Syfy’s upcoming series, Helix. Check out the highlights below!

If you could describe the series to somebody who has no preconceptions about what it’s about, how would you describe it?

Steve Maeda: The way that we’ve been describing the series, it is an outbreak show, at least at the beginning. It starts off as a show about this terrible outbreak that happens in this very remote and dangerous location. And our team has to go up and deal with that.

What then happens, though, it’s hard to describe because it’s – we don’t want to give too much away, but it becomes a mystery and it gets very deeply into science fiction and it gets very much into thriller and mystery elements.

Kyra, how would you describe Dr. Julia Walker and what is it about the character that really drew you to want to play her?

Kyra Zagorsky: I would describe her as a very intelligent, accomplished woman in her field. She’s one of the top scientists with the CDC. And the thing that I loved about this character is that she was incredibly ambitious and got herself to where she is in this line of work, but she exists for purposes outside of her relationships, which I think is a really important thing for female characters in film and TV.

But she’s an independent woman and she does have her flaws in her relationships. She’s just a very full human character and I think that’s what I really loved about her. Sometimes when we’re creating strong females, we give them a weapon and turn them into something macho or she has to be a superhero or she has to be a full on business person and has to be cruel.

There is something about this character. She’s just a full-bodied human character. She’s got a lot of purpose outside of her ex-husband and I think that’s what keeps her active and interesting.

What makes the show so much more than “just another zombie show”?

Steve Maeda: Yes, our watch word over the season was “not zombies.” There is certainly a human element to the show and a science fiction kind of trope that we’re sure to get compared to and that’s okay.

I don’t mind that, but we’re really trying to not make it a zombie show. 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.

That’s something that you’ll see in later episodes. They’re very scary and they’re human and they look horrible. 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.

Kyra Zagorsky: I think also since the show is based in real science. There are real life epidemic scares out there throughout history where there are these huge viruses that have wiped out huge populations. We’re dealing with something that the CDC hasn’t seen before, but it comes from a virus.

Helix is set up in the Artic. How is that going to affect the story as it unfolds?

Steve Maeda: What works for us really well is that it lends itself to a very claustrophobic environment because you can go outside but only for brief periods of time. It’s really dangerous. It forces you to be inside most of the time and that’s how we really saw this. It’s almost like being set on a spaceship where you’re trapped inside with unseen horrors and all sorts of human problems as well that develop from that. So it really lends itself to the series as a whole.

It looks like it’s going to be a great show! Helix premieres tonight at 10pm EST on Syfy.


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