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Greetings and salutations, “Heroes” fans, and welcome back to this twentieth installment of this year’s BEHIND THE ECLIPSE. For those of you who may just be tuning in, BEHIND THE ECLIPSE is Comic Book Resources’ exclusive question-and-answer session with Joe Pokaski and Aron Coliete, two writers and producers of the NBC television show, “Heroes.” Every week, when there is a new episode, the CBR Staff collates and compiles a list of your questions for the dynamic duo and Joe and Aron to do their best to answer them.
Last week, BTE’s own Joe Pokaski picked up the pen to bring to us the further adventures of “Heroes” with the episode “Into Asylum.” Peter and Angela took asylum in a church, in a desperate attempt to get some well deserved rest. Nathan and Claire found asylum as well, this time south of the border, where daughter outdid father in a drinking competition with some tourists. Danko made an unlikely deal with Sylar, who acquired a new power of his own: giving Danko the capture he needed and proving that appearances can be very deceiving. Noah covered for Angela and Peter while Angela’s dreams left her determined to reunite the Petrelli family and to find her sister.
Before you check out tonight’s episode, “Turn And Face The Strange,” go BEHIND THE ECLIPSE with Aron Coliete and Joe Pokaski, exclusively at CBR.
CBR: Baby Matt Parkman reminds us of the Zirdonian generals from the “Buck Roger”s TV show. You know, the ones who can “on-think” and “off-think.”Â Last week, a reader asked about the baby being able to kill people with a touch, effectively off-thinking them.Â So it got us thinking, could he on-think people back to life?Â Could baby Matt Parkman actually create a zombie army?Â
Aron Coliete & Joe Pokaski: Really?Â Baby-intitiated Zombie Army?Â Really?Â
But no. Â
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Brian wrote in about the familiar faces popping up this season:Â
“It was great to see season one stars, Micah and Janice again. You hinted that they may return for an episode, but is there any chance of seeing them as regulars again? Or recurring guest stars like Kristin Bell was? I miss Matt and Janice’s relationship and it would be nice to see their chemistry again and with Baby Matthew in the picture, it seems too good an opportunity to miss seeing them together again (But not necessarily ‘together’). Give me some good news here!”
What are you doing two weeks from now?Â Janice is back.Â In a scene. With Matt.Â And don’t even get us started on next season.Â Good enough news, Brian? Â
Petrellilover’s question is all about location, location, location:Â
“I was wondering what is the name of the church in the scene with Angela and Peter?Â I plan on sitting in the pew where Angela & Peter prayed the next time I’m out in Los Angeles.”
There were two churches – one for the exterior and one for the interior – and both are slipping my tongue – and the Locations Department are on hiatus.Â We promise an answer next week. And apologize for forgetting because they are both amazing. Â
Jennifer Redelle Carey had a follow up as well:Â
“I’m more than a little in love with the church that Angela and Peter sought refuge to and I plan to visit this church during an upcoming trip in July to various ‘Heroes’ filming locations.Â I am wondering, though, was the gorgeous angel glass mosaic an actual feature of the church or does it come from your friends at Stargate Digital?”Â
Good eye, JRC.Â That angel was drawn Cesar, our immensely talented storyboard artist, under the guidance of Production Angel Ruth Amann and set into the church by the mighty minds of those at Stargate.Â We set it up to foreshadow some events to be seen in next weeks episode, “1961,” written by our own Aron Coleite. Â
John Rogers is asking a question that seemed to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue:Â
“Can Sylar teleport?Â In ‘Into Asylum,’ he is talking to Danko and when Danko turns around with a gun, he is already at the top of a nearby building.Â There is no sound effect for a car door opening, nor rain coming through an open sunroof.Â As Jerry Seinfeld says, ‘What’s the deal?'”Â
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Sylar cannot teleport.Â That’s all we can share. Â
ReyMatt is curious about the rules of shapeshifting in the “Heroes”-verse:Â
“After Martin died, why did he still retain Sylar’s form? Shouldn’t he have returned to his original appearance?”
ReyMatt, people always ask us about the process in the room, and your question poses an opportunity to illustrate it:Â Â
It started with the general idea of a shapeshifter – how it seemed to be a good power to introduce in all the running and hiding in “Fugitives.”Â Â Mark Verheiden, a veteran of good storytelling, cautioned us not to make it too convenient of a power – and coming from the omnipotent Candice illusionist power, we took heed. Â
This led us to a conversation about lycanthropy.Â Â If this shape-shifting power was DNA based (hence the touching) and painful and arduous, it kept it from being to convenient of a weapon for our most powerful villain.Â Bryan Fuller came up with the term “pop-and-lock” to help understand why the shapeshifter Martin would convert truly to Sylar (physiologically, anyway) and when he died, he would lose the ability to shift from that Sylar form to anything else. Â
This might not make sense – but this is how we understand it. We swear. Â
StSword wrote back in with a few questions:Â
“Just how impressive are you going to make baby Matt’s ability?Â His power apparently allows him to activate latent potential, both electrical and biochemical, what about kinetic or nuclear or have we seen the limit of his powers (at least until he celebrates a few birthdays)?”
We’ve pretty much seen the limit. He’s just a kid. Give him a break. Â
“Has Micah been working alone, other than his Charlie’s Angels?Â Or does he have co-conspirators or informants?”
Alone.Â But he’s going to meet up with some familiar faces for the summer webcomics. Â
Bernie is thinking that in looking forward to Season 4 we may be looking back:Â
“I understand it was always Tim Kring’s intention to start with a completely new cast for Season Two, so since that never happened might we see something similar happen for Season 4, except with bunch of new starring Heroes along with those who return?”Â
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We always wanted that to be the model – but we didn’t count on some of our stars popping like they did.Â This year will be a good mix of old and new, as far as we know right now. Â
Zigi’s Mama wants to see more of CBR’s favorite four legged Hero:Â
“Since Mr. Muggles licked up Claire’s blood, he potentially has at least one power.Â Â If he bit people with powers, he could have even more. This could be extremely cool.Â Can we expect more Mr. Muggles?Â We need more Muggles!! (and waffles, of course…)”
We always want some more Muggles.Â Watch as his medication becomes a major plot point tonight!Â
Jamie Kirkland wants to take a peek at the big picture: Â
“Sylar stating that he wants to be the last evolved human alive echoes his grand scheme in ‘Five Years Gone.’ With other plot points also echoing that episode, was it always planned to revisit that grim future?”Â
We, as people, and as writers are always fascinated with the questions: Are things predetermined, or do you craft your own destiny.Â We’re slowly finding the answer on both levels.Â That’s all we can share. Â
Carl Rood’s question goes south of the border:Â
“Nathan mentioned that Mexico was out of Danko’s range (or something like that).Â Does this indicate a cut in funding and scale, since they went to Japan to get Hiro?Â Alternately, is it a case of a guy who can fly and a girl who heals aren’t as important as the guy they thought could change time?”Â
It was always our opinion that Hiro had gotten his nose enough in US affairs (think as far back as episode 2 from season 1) to be categorized as fair game.Â And they knew where to find him for a quick and extraordinary rendition. I think, for the most part, Nathan is referring to the surveillance and local-law enforcement part of the program.Â Â Sounds like a lame answer, but that’s where we were coming from. Â
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Caryn wants to mix power A with power B and see what happens:Â
“So Baby Touch-and-Go can turn your powers on and Ando can supercharge them.Â So what would happen if they did both at the same time?”
That is an answer we just might just have to find out practically.Â Â
Zach2992 is curious about shapeshifting, illusion and appearance alteration:Â
“Why did you make the shapeshifting ability look different than the illusion ability that Candice had, and how are these both different than Connie’s power of Appearance Alteration?”
Please see above question regarding lycanthropy.Â And not making it too easy like Candice’s.Â And Connie was more like Silly putty girl, right? Â
Kyle Kopeinig is curious if we have been asking the wrong question about Noah Grey:Â
“The new shape shifting power has me wondering: how ‘deep’ do the changes go? Are they only skin-deep, or do the internal organs change? Could one completely change their sex? It’d make an interesting plot twist: Sylar was really Noah’s mother!”Â
Technically that’s possible.
Yet, somehow we can’t stop thinking about it. Â
We hate you Kyle Kopeinig. Â
Din just wants to see a family reunited:Â
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“Hey guys, I was wondering if you had any plans for a Molly storyline? I think it would be cool to see a Parkman family of Matt, Janice, Matt Jr., and Molly (Although i would have preferred Daphne instead of Janice.)”Â
Watch out for Molly in the summer webcomics.Â And she’s certainly near the top of our list of people we’re looking for organic reasons to bring back. Â
Ninail has a couple of questions about Sylar:Â
“How did Sylar manage to remove the shapeshifter’s brain for study without cutting the skull? Through mouth and nose, like with the impenetrable skin guy from the season 2 abandoned scenes? From his evil grin I assume he hadn’t gained shapeshifting through empathy…”
Empathy is not necessarily exclusive from evil – it’s more about understanding. And understanding James Martin was what Sylar’s journey was all about this particular episode. Â
“Any chance to see Sylar-centered spin-off to the series? Or maybe ’70s-style sitcom about Gabriel and HRG being room mates (it would make sense since Noah left his home)?”
Nope.Â But if we were allowed to read Fanfic, we’d certainly read that one.Â
Sonya Sheen thinks appearances may be deceiving:Â
“For a while now you guys have been talking about how Sylar’s and Claire’s dynamic will be more interesting than we know. And now Sylar has his nifty new shape-shifting ability. Now what I want to know is when Sylar has his conversation with Claire at the end of the season, will it be as himself or will he be wearing another persona?”
Why not both?Â He is Sylar. Â
Smoove is thinking there may be some consequences:Â
“With Sylar’s new ability are there going to be ramifications? You don’t just turn into someone else and everything is okay? Right?”
Smoove, you are knocking on our door, so let us direct your attention to episode 24: “I am Sylar.” The subtitle could credibly be: “I am still Sylar, aren’t I?” Â
Misael thinks Sylar might be interested in his future:Â
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“I’d like to know whether the subject of Noah Gray will come up again? I’d like to see Sylar’s reaction to finding out the life he would have had if he hadn’t returned to his evil ways. Since Peter’s the one who saw this in the future, he would be the only one who could tell him.”
We’d love to see exactly the same thing – but the further we get from that moment, the less likely we are going to be able to reference it without pushing it with the audience. Â
Marquel McGhee’s questions is picture perfect:Â
“You guys once stated that every picture Isaac Mendez painted came true.Â You stressed that every one has.Â However, Usutu painted a different future for Matt after things had changed, and that different future, (with Matt crying and holding a nuked Daphne) and Matt’s painting of a nuked DC didn’t come true.Â What made Isaac so good that he always got it right, but not Usutu or Matt?”Â
For starters – the Matt/Daphne pieta did in fact happen – just in an alternate future that Peter averted. As far as DC, in the words of our African Friend: “Be Patient, Parkman.”Â
Lauren M wants to know more about what type of mother Angela really was: Â
“In the church when Angela said she never gave Peter comfort when he felt confused a as a child – was she implying he manifested as a child, which doesn’t seem right, or just that she could have told him her secrets so he would know he wasn’t alone in these feelings, or even what his future held. I hope we find out more about how the boys grew up and how the secrets their parents kept affected their lives. Angela may feel guilty but she and Peter do share a bond that sounds like he grew up like her because of her love. Can you or will you evaluate on that? Nature vs Nurture – since the pilot Angela and Peter seem to hint to a growing up where she was very loving towards him.”Â
I think what Angela has been, since Tim created her in the pilot is the mother figure. A slightly more “arch” version of the protective mother lion who will do whatever she can to protect her cubs. Which includes batting them around and teaching them to hunt on their own.Â Â
Vince Yim is curious about things left on the cutting room floor:Â
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“According to Greg Beeman’s blog, there were several scenes in which HRG takes Micah under his wing that were cut for time. Is this going to be lost forever until season 3 hits DVD? It seems kinda important sounds like it’ll affect the rest of the season.”Â
First off, let’s just take a second to reflect on how awesome Beeman’s Blog is.Â I can’t think of any other show that has such a fun and informative inside look. Â
Okay, second is over.Â Â
Now, with regards to those scenes, we had a whole “D-story” in which HRG took Micah under his wing and in turn, got a morality lesson form the boy. Along the way, several things happened, roughly in this order.
- The initial ending of episode 20 was that HRG takes Micah under his wing after Tracy’s death.
- Episode 21 was pushed up in production, as we ran into problems with episode 20.Â So the stories were pushed along a little more quickly than we usually have time for.
- As we started filming scenes in the Church, Jim Chory was getting some amazing, spiritual shots that took up some air time. And Hayden Panetierre was acting the crap out of some moments, but they were also taking time, in the best possible way.
- As we started looking at the timing on the episode – it was clear we were going to be long.Â And something had to be cut.
- Then we shot one of the HRG Micah scenes.Â It was beautiful.Â But as we just watched Jack come in through the confessional door the previous day and he nailed all the emotion in that one look – it occurred to us that we might be able to jettison this story (from which Micah ran away at the end,Â so on a macro level it didn’t matter) to save that time we’d need for the other stories.
- We spoke with Bryan Fuller and Greg Yaitanes, who were running into some time issues of their own.Â We all decided to alter that story. Which we think turned out for the better.
In football, it’s like reading a defense and calling an audible.
Brian Fisne thinks HRG noticed that something was fishy:Â
“I feel like HRG looked a little skeptical that Sylar was actually dead.Â He knows how powerful he is and I can’t imagine that he thinks Danko was able to take him down alone.Â Does he believe that it was actually Sylar in the body bag?”
What are you doing tonight, Brian? Â
Sylar Jason wants to know with Tracy “gone” does that leave another character for Ali Larter to play:Â
“Many of us expect Barbara coming to the show. We saw her only once on a photo with Dr. Zimmerman and the German. Will you reveal how and why she’s connected to them?”Â
Eventually.Â Â But watch carefully through the rest of the season, Sylar Jason.
Thanks as always to Joe Pokaski and Aron Coliete for taking the time to participate in BEHIND THE ECLIPSE. For those of you who want to take part in our next Q&A about this week’s episode, “Turn And Face The Strange,” email us your questions for the chance to see them answered right here in next week’s BEHIND THE ECLIPSE. Please make sure to get in all your questions in by 6:00 PM Pacific time on Thursday, April 9.