Until Death Do Us Part - Jonas

Khamis, Mac 12, 2009

#251. Berita TV : Fugitives embraces Heroes' humanity

Heroes creator Tim Kring embraces the humanity of his characters in the latest volume, Fugitives.

Let's be honest, Heroes went to zeroes after its first season. While we’re being frank, let’s also confess that most of us stuck by the series even when the writers were concocting some seriously tiresome plots and character developments (Hiro arriving in feudal Japan for a romantic bout, Claire flexing her teen/rebel muscles, self-righteous Peter whining about his powers only to lose them and then whining about that too, and we’ve lost count as to what is wrong with Mohinder).

Well, the good news is, the show is back on track – a major pay-off for faithful fans.

The latest volume – Volume Four: Fugitives – reportedly goes back to basics, making it about extraordinary folk living ordinary lives again. Hopefully, Heroes can reclaim other elements that made the first season so special.

Fugitives begins seven weeks after the cliffhanger in mid-season three. After being wishy-washy about which side he wants to be on, Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar) chooses to be the ultimate bad guy – he rats out the super-powered people to the President of the United States (excluding himself, his brother, his mother and his daughter from that list, of course).

This kicks off a manhunt by the government as they believe the “heroes” to be a threat, forcing these people to lead very normal lives and keeping a lid on their powers so as not to attract any attention.

In a recent telephone interview, Tim Kring, the show’s creator and writer, acknowledged that Fugitives is indeed a chance to restart things.

He said: “One of the things that happens to a long serialised story is that your characters grow and change. After a while, they can start to lose their resemblance to the characters you started out with. (In Fugitives), they’re not able to demonstrate their powers as much and that forces them to rely on one another in a very intense way.

“We are very much focusing on the characters and the stories of them struggling to survive in an ordinary world. We are staying true to that idea.”

Sylar (Zachary Quinto), on the other hand, is going against the grain on some personal quest. As it turns out, after being lied to by Angela and Arthur Petrelli, he has decided to track down his real father.

Kring stated: “Sylar’s story is mainly about his humanity. I think a villain is only interesting if we understand where he comes from and what his humanity is all about. There’s something very relatable and archetypal about searching for your true identity.”

Kring also informed that Heroes has been confirmed to return for a fourth season, something that he and his writers are excited about as it means they can now plan how to continue after Fugitives ends. At the time of this interview, Kring and his group of writers and actors were finishing up the finale, episode 25 of the third season.

Besides the fact Heroes has returned to its origin, another reason to celebrate is the return of one of the series writers – Bryan Fuller (the creator and writer of the now-deceased Pushing Daisies).

Fuller wrote for the show’s first season, including the much-loved episode titled Company Man; an episode that steps away from the character-packed stories and focuses solely on a single character. It has been reported that in Fugitives, there is a similar origin episode allowing us to understand Angela Petrelli (Cristine Rose).

“Bryan joined us on the 20th episode of this season,” stated Kring. “He has a very unique voice and a very infectious spirit. He has wonderful ideas. We’ve done 19 out of 25 episodes already, so we were far into it, but he came on as a consulting producer. It’s been very good to have him back.”

According to Kring, despite the series’ ups and downs, he’s never conceptualised an end point to the Heroes’ universe because each story in the series is told in a volume format, allowing for a proper ending and a new beginning.

The story began with Volume 1 titled Genesis which lasted for a whole season. Volume Two, Generations, made up Season Two; Volume Three (Villains) and Four (Fugitives) make up Season Three which has a total of 25 episodes.

“The way we tell the stories in volumes, the stories can be completely separate. They have not much to do with one another in many ways. They’re just separate stories that take 12 episodes to have the beginning, middle and the end.

“There’s an end to Fugitives and it will be the end at episode 25. And then we start a new story that will have an end mid-way through next season. So we could keep going and spinning without an ending.”

Admittedly, the Heroes’ universe has gone well beyond the scope of television series especially on the Internet.

Since the beginning of the series, Heroes’ official site (www.nbc.com/Heroes/) has weekly graphic novels, Heroes iStory (interactive stories) and webisodes, complementing the show. According to Kring, this is going to continue as the team is very aware of its audience, especially where the webisodes are concerned. “They’ve been really successful in terms of creativity, and also the audience has enjoyed it. We’d love to continue that and do more of those.”

Kring, who’s done shows like Chicago Hope and Crossing Jordan, knows that there is no exact science in making a series.

He explains that one learns what works and what doesn’t as a series progresses. For Heroes, he has realised that as long as the story revolves around the characters and their struggle, the stories are always so much better. “I think the main thing is to always come back to the humanity of the characters.”

Welcome back Heroes.

Heroes Volume 4: Fugitives returns to Star World (astro CH 711) every Thursday at 10pm.

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