It's a strange feeling, coming back to a show that started with such a bang and ended with such a whimper. I was always a big fan of Heroes, and tried to stick with it even as the series began its downhill descent during the 2007 Writers' Strike and beyond. I always believed the series deserved better storylines and was ahead of its time with complex, superpowered characters who fans really cared about, and it was really heartbreaking to see the show basically fade away in the end. Now that the series has returned with NBC's reboot Heroes Reborn , premiering on Thursday night, creator Tim Kring is getting a chance to fix the issues that tore the original series apart. But can he do it? And more importantly, how will Heroes Reborn compare to Heroes , in both its joys and disappointments?
There are certainly going to be big changes in Heroes Reborn in order to propel the story forward in general. For one, we won't get to see all the faces we held so dear in the original series; in fact some of them may be gone for good. But what we do have is HRG (aka Noah Bennett), new threats, and a new age for both those people with special abilities and those without. It seems that thematic elements similar to the X-Men comics are really running rampant in Heroes Reborn, but how will the show stand out from its predecessor?
1. It's A New Time In The Heroes World
The biggest change from Heroes to Heroes Reborn will be the timeline. Heroes: Reborn picks up five years after the end of Heroes as those with abilities, or "evos," are living in society with their identities known. Some people are committing acts of terrorism against "evos" out of fear or hatred, and some "evos" may have retaliated, which has led to many to go on the run from officials who are biased against them. It's very X-Men in its mutants vs. humans tension, so we'll see if the show can rise beyond this initial cliche into something different.
2. There Are Several New Characters
I'm actually really excited to see how the new characters will evolve in this new world of "Evo" hate and anxiety. But one of the problems of the first season arose out of the fact that there were too many characters and not enough character development. Hopefully, this worry will be erased with the new format of Heroes Reborn, because meeting new people with powers is what made the first season of Heroes so fascinating. According to reviews, it seems many of the new characters introduced in the premiere are those without powers, but that'll change as the new season progresses, right?
3. Only A Handful Of Old Characters Have Returned
Yes, Hiro, Micah, HRG, Mohinder and a few other characters we grew to love (or hate) will appear in the new Heroes Reborn series, and it's entirely possible that we'll be seeing even more familiar faces pop up as the new season progresses. But unlike some fans, I'm not totally opposed to seeing new faces though in order to tie the storyline of the first series into the second. It could actually help us find out what happened to our old favorites.
4. It's A Shorter Season
With only 13 episodes, Heroes Reborn is following the serialized format that is growing more and more popular right now. In my opinion this is great news, as one of the issues with Heroes was the lack of propulsion of story in a 22-episode season. There were so many more opportunities to lose your way as a writer with that many episodes, so many ways to disappoint rather than keeping the story tight and focused. My hope is that the shorter season will yield more immediate excitement and endings of some storylines.
5. Some Of Our Favorite Characters Are Gone For Good
This may be tough to hear but some of our favorite characters aren't just not coming back for the series, they may even be dead when Heroes Reborn premieres. As Kring said at the TCA summer press tour that SPOILER ALERT Claire Bennett is the victim of one of the terrorist attacks on the "Evos," and dies a year before the events of the series.
Hopefully, all of these changes will set Heroes Reborn apart from the original in a good way, and satisfy both returning fans and new viewers just being introduced to Kring's world.