Save the heroes, save the world

2009-11-13 13:00

Imagine having the ability to be in two places at the same time – you could be shopping up a storm while also having a facial?

What about being able to heal yourself so you’d never have to take sick leave and let your massive workload pile up? Imagine having the ability to read people’s minds so you can figure out what your boss really thinks about you? Or being able to teleport from here to New York whenever you feel like it? The characters of the TV series Heroes seem to be able to do all this, but instead of using it to their own advantage, they are saving the world one day at a time and audiences across the globe seem to love it.

The series centres on the lives of various characters who realise they’ve got inexplicable superpowers. Although this is the central premise of the show, characters are based in different parts of the world where different plots play out. There are two central characters who tie the rest of the “heroes” together. The first is Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy), who is trying to find the truth behind his father’s death who had been investigating the origins of the heroes superpowers.

Suresh also often provides the opening and closing voice-overs in the series.

The other constant is Sylar (Zachary Quinto), the evil and twisted villain who seems to be after the superhumans’ powers.
In each episode missing pieces of the puzzle are revealed, but for every piece found there seem to be more questions which arise. And this seems to be the show’s draw card.

Season one saw characters such as Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman), Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), Tracy Strauss (Ali Larter), Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere) and Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) being introduced to the world.

As viewers tried to figure out exactly what was going on with these weird and wonderful people, the characters were portrayed as confused, lost, and trying desperately to figure why they could do things that normal people couldn’t.

For example, Hiro could teleport between places; while Claire, a cheerleader, was freaked out by the fact that she was unbreakable and Matt struggled with the fact that he could read minds.

Questions like: why was everyone so obsessed with saving the cheerleader? Who was Sylar? Why were paintings portraying these heroes so significant? were hot topics and as the show progressed viewers were willingly drawn along getting more and more involved in the heroes’ journeys of self-discovery. Proof of its winning formula came in the form of viewer ratings which showed 14.3 million people in the US tuning into the debut series, the highest rating for any NBC show in the past five years.

Season two helpfully delved into why some of the characters were endowed with their powers. The powers were linked to some evil, unseen company (similar to the one in Prison Break) where Peter and Nathan Petrelli’s father worked. It was a moment to remember in TV and totally threw the idea of Peter and Claire hooking up out the window much to viewers’ ­dismay.
In the meantime the evil Sylar lost his powers and was trying to find them until he met a Mexican woman who could possibly help him. The Company is revealed and is working on a virus called the Shanti-virus which is detrimental to the world at large. The highly anticipated arrival of season three on SABC3 will hopefully see more questions answered than asked.

The successful series has since made stars of its actors such as Hayden Panettiere, Ali Larter and Milo Ventimiglia. Rumours that Paniettiere and Ventimiglia were sharing an off-screen romance were also floating around. The success of the show also spawned the Heroes webseries, an online trilogy that introduced new characters who would later appear on the show.

In the third season, (without revealing too much, of course) the series takes place over 25 episodes where vital information about who killed Nathan Petrelli is revealed. Other highlights include more information on the villains, Knox and Daphne, while Hiro faces a life-changing decision. In the meantime some of the heroes end up becoming villains while Sylar continues to wreak havoc all over the show when he faces a major identity crisis.

Although Heroes fans are waiting with baited breath for the new season to take to screens there have been some awe-inspiring moments in the preceding seasons which have left viewers with even more reason to keep tuning in. City Pulse lists the top four moments not just for nostalgic purposes but to prove just how great this show really is.

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