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Feature: Heroes


One of them can fly, one of them can read minds, one is a killer and one may destroy New York… The Works explores the phenomenon of Heroes with its creator Tim Kring and the cast

Heroes is the brainchild of its 50-year-old executive producer Tim Kring. In his 25 years in Hollywood, writing for Knight Rider and Strange World, serving as producer on Chicago Hope and Providence, he has experienced nothing quite as fervent as the public support for this show.

“It seems to have tapped into a Zeitgeist,” Kring offers. “Looking at what’s happening in the world, with global warming and diminishing resources and terrorism, there’s a sense that people want a wish fulfillment. As if somebody is going to rise up among us, just like you and me, and be able to do something about it.”

If that brings to mind a show about a fearless group of do-gooders, who come together to rid the world of WMDs while magically negating all those nasty carbon emissions, think again. For all its comic book pretensions, Heroes is actually a very subtle show; 17 episodes in – as we go to press – and there’s little sign of this large (and ever- growing) ensemble of characters ever becoming a merry band. It’s a mosaic of fractured plotlines, some that intersect with surprising turns, others that stay on their own course, seemingly isolated.

“I wanted to start the show when people discovered things about themselves,” says Kring. “So with one person in Tokyo, another in Texas and another in New York, and it all happening on the same day, it’s kind of illogical that they would come together that quickly. They start to cross in amazing ways and for me that’s the fun of watching it.”

In other words, don’t expect this bunch to set up shop together, carve a secret base inside a mountain and biff up the bad guys.

“This is not like Justice League in that respect,” the creator defines. “They’re not necessarily going to form a team. They’ll come together in small ways and in small pockets, and when they come together we’ll have to find ways to break them apart, to keep the drama alive.”

The epicentre of Heroes is Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy), a young Indian dealing with the recent death of his geneticist father. Chandra Suresh had defined a genetic anomaly within certain Human beings, one that has given certain individuals their eclectic powers. Mohinder devotes himself to his father’s work, mapping these people’s existence while, at the murkier end of the scale, the shadowy Mr Bennet (Jack Coleman) is on his own mission to deal with them. Played out in this arena are a whole myriad events, conundrums and ongoing plotlines, with serial killer Sylar (Zachary Quinto) hunting down the heroes, slicing open their skulls, and absorbing their powers. Then there’s the impending apocalyptic event that marks the first year: a vision of New York being destroyed by a nuclear blast, a disaster that must be averted.

All this information – and much much more – is drip-fed through the episodes, forming a complex overall picture in which the past, present and future is gradually defined. We’re back to Lost again, but however mysterious and baffling it can be, Heroes has both an agenda and a breathtaking velocity.

“There seems to be an audience that wants a show to be less spelled-out for them,” insists Kring. “They want to have questions and they want to participate. They want to talk to their friends about it the next day, and to guess where it’s going.

“While Season One prophesies this apocalyptic event and deals with that, Season Two will have another story attached to it. There’s really not one central question or mystery posed by the show.”

by David Richardson

Read the full interview in
The Works #A14

Heroes © NBC
Feature © Visual Imagination 2007. Not for reproduction

Taken from
The Works #A14, see below for ordering options
The Works #A14
April 2007
ships from Mar 14 2007
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