Helix – A Series That Deserves A Second Season

helix-title1Date: March 1st, 2014
From: Stephen Sumner, Founder/Executive Editor of
To: SyFy/NBC/Sony Pictures Executives
Subject: Renewal of the SyFy series “Helix”

It is my understanding that as of today, there is still some question as to whether Helix will be renewed. The purpose of this letter is to urge you to please green-light a second season. For, after only nine episodes, it is quite clear that Helix is a science fiction masterpiece.

Here are the factors leading me to that conclusion:

1) Writing – Although the theme of scientists working with viruses in the arctic is not new to the realm of science fiction, Cameron Porsandeh and the entire writing team have brought new life to the paradigm. The sci-fi genre is rife with cliché, but the writers of Helix have taken us to new levels of originality and intrigue. From the overall plot-line to the most subtle of dialogue, I am consistently awestruck by what arises from the minds of those who write the scripts.

2) Acting – Many studios today seem to feel that all that is needed for a hit show is actors with fit bodies, sculpted faces and whitened teeth. Unfortunately, they’re quite often right. However, after nine episodes, it is readily apparent that the main players within Helix are exceptionally skilled at their craft. Each and every one could easily take on a role in Downton Abbey or a production of the Royal Shakespeare Company and do it well. It is such a joy to watch a series where not once have I thought, “How is this person even working? They must just have a good agent.”

julia eyes1

Probably the most powerful words I’ve heard uttered on TV this season.

3) CinematographyStephen McNutt clearly and consistently shows brilliance with the lens. A simple analysis of only two minutes from one episode shows the care, precision and inspiration that goes into camera use throughout the entire series. For me, every week is an exercise in visual bliss.

4) Music – Many series will either utilize generalized themes or simply insert a crowd-pleasing popular song into their soundtrack. But from my perspective, it feels like Reinhold Heil looks at every single minute of every episode and asks himself, “What would be perfect for just this moment?” From the elevator music to traditional scoring to the sledge-hammer distortion of a guitar, the use of music in Helix is unrivaled.

5) Producers – Any adult in any field that has ever been responsible for the overall outcome of a project can tell you how difficult it is to bring a team together that can produce something that is much greater than its individual parts. Executive Producers Ronald D. Moore and Steven Maeda have accomplished that. One can tell that Mr. Moore and Mr. Maeda care about what they do and that shows on all levels of the Helix creative process.

Helix title pic1

By next Christmas, one will see t-shirts emblazoned with this phrase at every mall, high school and university across the country.

I believe I fall within the primary demographic of those whom you and your sponsors would want watching the show. Hopefully my words carry some weight and are representative of others that may not have the time to voice their opinions.

However, when deciding upon the renewal of Helix, consideration has to go beyond the immediate demographics-reach and short-term monetary goals. The continuance of a franchise that will one day rank on the same levels of importance as Alien (1979) and Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009) will indicate that those with programming control at SyFy were not only concerned about money, but about promoting substance and creative brilliance as well.

Please renew the one show being broadcast today that is exceptionally crafted on all levels. It’s only a matter of time before millions and millions of people see the series for what it is: a masterpiece.

I can honestly and without reservation put forth that if Helix is not renewed, I would truly question keeping a cable subscription.

The world doesn’t need Sharknado 2. It needs a second season of Helix.

I thank you for your time.


Stephen Sumner
Founder/Executive Editor

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Stephen Sumner is Executive Editor and Founder of OpHuMod. He can be followed on Twitter at Sumner@OpHuMod and on the Tumblr machine at OptimalHumanModulation. If you’re more inclined to Facebook, check out the OpHuMod FB Page.

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Categories: Film/TV

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39 replies »

  1. CRIKEY!!! I’d give my back teeth to see this Downunder. I haven’t even heard of it! If might turn up at some stage, one can only hope. Or is it a cable program? I must look it up and stop rabbiting. Thanks for the impassioned open letter: this is my kind of interaction.🙂

    • Hiro received his honorary MBE award for his “contribution to spreading British culture in Japan through his performance in a joint Shakespeare production which was staged by the Saitama Arts Theater and the Royal Shakespeare Company during 1999 and 2000 in both Japan and Britain.

  2. Excellent letter! I could not have said it better myself. This is science fiction all grown up. Right along the lines of Fringe, Lost, Orphan Black. If this show is not renewed then I give up. Our world has been taken over by inane reality shows and bad tv.

  3. This opening letter is well written and I am 100% to make sure we get Helix renewed for it is way better than most shows that you see running on tv so get more episode’s in the making. You may think this is just my opinion but I believe it is has many other viewers to go along. Spread the word. And I want a t shirt to say ” Play God Pay the price”

  4. No offense, but the reason why there’s still a question about a second season is simple. Helix doesn’t get good ratings, especially for a scripted show. I won’t argue with you about liking it; you’re certainly entitled to do so. But it would already be cancelled on a network with better prospects than SyFy.

    Your main hope is the fact that it’s on SyFy. That network has little enough going for it that it might be more willing to chance a second season than most.

    • I hear ya. TV is business. Business depends on advertising. Advertising depends on demographics. But that was part of my argument. Something of substance may initially not have a wide reach, but if given a chance, excellence always goes far. Thanks for the feedback!

  5. Periodically I think it periodically needs Hurley to say “I didn’t see that coming….” While it is at times just crazy, it has my undivided attention. I don’t see clearly where it’s going (that’s a good thing), and mysteries get “partially” solved, which is what kept Lost going. Unique vision, and there are damn few of those on TV these days. Thanks for you letter, it’s well stated.

  6. I could not agree more. Helix is a wonderful, intelligent show, and I really hope to see how the story evolves next year.

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