Like millions of television viewers, I was quite disappointed by the way NBC’s once-beloved series Heroes took a nose dive from exciting science fiction drama to cringe-worthy melodrama after a stellar first season. The show never reached the same heights again, but managed to limp on for 3 more seasons before getting put out of its misery in 2010.
Part of the show’s problem was its 22-episode format and stagnant group of characters, so the planned 2015 relaunch of the series, Heroes: Reborn, sounds like it could serve as a bit of an antidote to those mistakes. NBC announced their plans for the 13-episode “event series” earlier this year, and though we’ll all likely go into it with a bit of caution, some new details do make me a bit more optimistic about the show’s return.
Original series creator Tim Kring is on board for the reboot, and recently talked to Entertainment Weekly about his plans for the series and the possibility of old stars returning. We know that Jack Coleman, who played Noah Bennet (or, better know to fans as the mysterious HRG), will be back, but what about the rest of the show’s extensive cast? According to Kring, they’ll be used sparingly, and more for continuity reasons than anything else:
“The vast, vast majority are brand new characters, brand new ideas. [Bringing back previous characters is] really only to give a sense of continuity and a tether to the original world. If it was all completely brand new, we’d miss certain elements that need to be there to give you that bridge to cross to something new. I approached Coleman because he was a character who had a spine through the series that allowed you to meet new characters. So he’s a character I wanted to make sure had a little part at the beginning of this thing.”
So, basically HRG is the Agent Coulson of the Heroes universe. I guess I’m okay with that. After all, he definitely has more of a right to be in these new episodes than, say, Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) or even HRG’s daughter, Claire (Hayden Panettiere).
As far as where the idea for more episodes came from, Kring says the network actually approached him first, hoping to find a new audience and “tie into some of the ideas that were left dangling” after the abrupt season 4 ending.
“[NBC] saw the value in that franchise and brand and asked if I was interested in helming it again. And we had left the story in a place where we had more story to tell. So given the opportunity, I had ideas of where I wanted the story to go originally when we were hoping for a fifth season and so when we were given the opportunity five years later, some of those same thoughts were there as to where this story goes. But five years had passed and I also had new ideas on how to reboot the brand in away that gives people a whole fresh take on the series with a whole host of new characters but gives you that sense of you’re in that world of Heroes you’re familiar with.”
As I said, I’ll be approaching the new series carefully, but now feel a bit of cautious optimism about it. They certainly created a rich mythology and world for the show in its original run, so there’s definitely more material to mine and explore. Now let’s just hope that the 13-episode count means the writing will be a bit more concise and well thought out than it was last time.
Tell us, are you excited for Heroes: Reborn? Or did the first four seasons of this show let you down too much? Let us know in the comments below.