It was announced on February 22nd by American television company NBC that Heroes will return for 13 episodes in 2015. Heroes, created by Tim Kring, flew onto our screens in 2006 and told the story of a group of people who found themselves with powers after a solar eclipse and how this changes their lives. The show was split into five volumes: Genesis, Generations, Villains, Fugitives and Redemption. The first series was met with great critical acclaim and high ratings. However, while the second series also had strong ratings, it was criticised by critics and fans alike, who commented that the slow-pace of the show had left viewers disappointed. Nevertheless, the series continued and, despite poor ratings and the effects of the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America strike, reached a fourth series prior to cancellation. The questions that are raised now are: why is ‘Heroes’ being brought back and will it work?
While countless numbers of my friends expressed their disappointment with the show, and stopped watching after the first few episodes of the second series, I continued to watch Heroes with anticipation and enjoyment until it’s end in 2010. This was mainly a result of the exceptional talent of the cast, in particular Zachary Quinto as villain Sylar and Masi Oka as the wonderful Hiro Nakamura. However, I also enjoyed the storyline and, while at times it did feel slow-paced, I found the plot and character development intriguing.
In order to answer if the new series could work, it is appropriate to re-cap on where we left the characters. Series four ended with the heroes joining forces to stop Samuel Sullivan, played by Robert Knepper, and his plan to reveal the power of ‘specials’ by killing ordinary humans. Once victorious, the heroes decide to keep their power’s secret, believing that the rest of the world will not be ready to witness their abilities and would cast them out. However, Claire Bennet, played by Hayden Panettiere, decides to go against this choice and, in front of several reporters, jumps off the top of a Ferris wheel and puts herself back together on camera, showing the world her ability to heal and her inability to die.
This open-ended finale does leave scope for another interesting series and I would like to see the show return in the aftermath of this occurrence. Personally, I would like to see the next chapter in the original character’s lives and I think it could work, if the show returns to the pacing and excitement of its first series. This would mean that Heroes could end on a high, as it should have done. If, instead, the writer’s choose to start afresh with a new set of individuals then the writing would need to be exceptional in order to pull it off, and that is my worry. The return of Heroes has been labelled a mini-series by NBC and as such it could not logically lay way for a new story that was unrelated to its predecessor. The audience will want to see the return of their favourite characters who they grew to love and see how they fare in these 13 episodes, or at least I do. Perhaps Heroes: Reborn could include a mixture of both new and old characters, however, judging by the failure of the original series to do this successfully, it will be a challenge.
It is unclear why NBC have decided to revive Heroes, and they are keeping their cards close to their chest, being careful not to reveal the possible routes that will be taken by the show. They also have yet to comment on whether or not the original cast will return for the mini-series. I hope that we will see the original cast come back, and while I could do without Claire, I do look forward to this next chapter in Heroes.
Written by Roxy Simons.