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When their current original programming isn’t working, NBC likes to mess with audience nostalgia, trying to pull viewers into series that they’re already familiar with. But instead of heading 30 or 40 years in the past as they did with their short-lived reboots of Knight Rider and Bionic Woman, they are barely going back in time at all for their upcoming event series Heroes Reborn, a follow-up to the hit series Heroes, and the network has unveiled an extremely vague official synopsis for fans to gnaw on until the pre-production phase offers us some real news.
With 13 episodes, Heroes Reborn will see series creator Tim Kring developing “new layers to his original superhero concept” and the miniseries will “reconnect with the basic elements of the show‘s first season where ordinary people were waking up to the fact that they had extraordinary powers.” The press release also announces a digital series that will precede the miniseries proper, and new characters and storylines will be introduced.
I’m summoning up my power of making the desk rise up to meet my forehead, instead of the other way around. I was really drawn to Heroes’ first season – Isaac Mendez pun, y’all – but the later seasons furthered the kitchen sink approach to storytelling, with an exceedingly ludicrous narrative always trying to do too much. This just sounds like we’re getting yet another superhero origin story, with presumably all new powers and abilities for the new breed of superpeople.
The release makes no mention of any returning characters, though I guess it doesn’t say there definitely won’t be returning characters. (It also doesn’t say it won’t have a Moose Man, so who knows?) Part of the appeal in seeing Heroes return is actually seeing some of them return, rather than watching a stranger-filled tale of good vs. evil. (TV will be flooded with new superhero series next season anyway.) I understand some of the original actors are contractually obligated to other shows and networks, but Masi Oka should be all over this.
And I’m not trying to play the guessing game too early here, but how does everyone feel about Zachery Quinto returning to the show to play the evil Sylar’s twin brother Rylon, who is also evil? Not a good idea, no. But is it NBC good?
Part of me can’t wait until they start casting and revealing more information, with hopes that the digital series introduces some top quality stuff. (Heroes was one of the first shows to embrace web spinoffs, as well as graphic novel anthologies, though neither case resulted in brilliance.) And then the other part of me remembers the worst Heroes episodes and my brain starts to itch in that place that only telekinetic people can reach.
Heroes Reborn will save you from boring television when it hits NBC in Summer 2015. Find more versions of the logo and teaser trailer on the series’ Facebook page.