Behind The Eclipse: "Heroes" Week 10

In the November 20th episode of "Heroes" titled "Homecoming," Peter Petrelli managed to save the cheerleader, Claire Bennet, in the nick of time. But, in doing so, did he actually save the world as the NBC promos suggest?

That answer remains to be seen, but until then series producers/writers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite are back once again to answer our questions (and yours) about the weekly comings and goings of the hit series "Heroes."

This week, the questions were crafted by George Tramountanas, Justin Eger, Jonah Weiland and you! Remember, you can get in on the fun by e-mailing your questions to Jonah Weiland with the subject line "Heroes Question." We'll consider it for inclusion in our next Q&A.

Hey guys, as we like to do each week, we're going to start off with a couple of viewer questions and we got some interesting ones. Don Mercer asked, "Is 'Heroes' based on the Indian mythos regarding Baanaasuran and Shakti?" We asked him to elaborate a bit and he said, "Baanaasuran seems to be Sylar, and Shakti seems to be the cheerleader. In the myth, Baanaasuran goes about the earth wreaking havoc upon its inhabitants; in the end, Shakti kills him. The myth also centers around Kanyakumari, which is where Mohinder is from." So, eagle eyed viewer or is this a reach?

The great thing about "Heroes" is that nothing is a reach. Remember when we talked about Joseph Campbell? The hero's journey crosses all cultures, so to find something similar in a different culture is not surprising. Besides, who doesn't want to see a Claire/Sylar throw down? That being said, we did lots of research in crafting our stories - some of which came from Hindu and Indian mythology. Remember how we've said the number 9 is important? Has anyone looked into that yet? If you haven't, start digging. Maybe if we're nice, we'll give you some more hints on this for a Hannukah/Christmas/Kwanza present.

Hear that everybody? Time to do research into the significance of the number 9.

Matt Liparota had a comment and question for you. "Firstly, I just want to say good job on the show. Secondly, thanks so much for the little side-stories you guys put up every week in the form of the 'graphic novels.' Those mini-comics area primarily the focus of my question: is it at all possible we'll ever see the stories collected in some printed format? I think it'd be really cool to have 'em sitting on my bookshelf." We've heard some rumors that this is in the works. Any word?

We've heard some rumors too. It may take a while to cut through a bunch of red tape, but we're pretty confident that there will be a collection in print eventually. How's that for a commitment?

OK, a little warning to those of you who don't watch scenes from the next episode - this next question contains potential spoilers for tonight's episode "Six Month's Ago." For Niki's introductorion in "Homecoming," it said "Jessica Sanders" instead of Niki. From the preview for next week's show, it suggested we will finally learn who "Jessica" is - her sister! Please tell us that is the case!

That is very much the case. We're all about answering questions on this show - and in next week's episode, we give you a pretty good answer.

"You mean like Batman & Robin?" -- Micah

"Yeah, like Batman & Robin. Only, I ain't wearing no tights." -- D.L. from episode "Homecoming"

Also - and this question may be answered later in the season - is Niki a split personality because of her powers? Or was she a split personality to begin with and the Jessica persona is the only one that knows how to access her abilities?

This very question will be at the crux of Niki's next group of episodes when we come back in January.

Now, considering Peter Petrelli wrestled with Sylar in "Homecoming," didn't he absorb some of Sylar's abilities? Wouldn't that give him some clues as to the full range of Sylar's capabilities? And can you clue us in when Peter will better learn the extent of his powers?

That logic seems pretty sound to us - and who's to say he didn't absorb some of that power already (either Sylar's a terrible shot, or Peter had some other help in fending off those flying locker doors.) As for a clue - Peter will meet someone in January who will help him understand the extent of his abilities. Who, you ask? Exactly.

The show has mentioned a "genetic marker" several times. Is this something found in a person's DNA, is it a formula that takes into account other factors, or something else entirely?

As far as we know right now, there is an arrangement of start and stop codons that our people have that indicates their potential for having an ability. And so far everyone on the list seems to have that marker. But that may be just one piece of the puzzle.

We were a tad confused about what happened with the computer in Mohinder's Father's office during "Homecoming." He said he didn't want to quit the program, so he clicked "no," entered a password, and then the list of people and addresses came up. Did the program complete its process and come up with the list? Or was the list something hidden underneath the program?

The list was hidden underneath the program. But the screensaver remains one piece of the puzzle as to how the list was originally devised.

And when will we find out what factors are entered into the program that will generate a list like that? Did Mohinder's father have access to a huge DNA database?

Human Genome project. Genetic Migration databases. W.H.O. access points. These are all public databases for researches working in genetics.

Those of us with TiVos and DVRs were given a treat with the list of addresses seen on the computer screen. There were a number of names on that list that we haven't met yet - Byron, Tracy, Paula, Curtis, Pencala and Teresa were the visible ones that - as far as we know - aren't dead yet. Will we be meeting some of these names throughout the season? Can you give us any hints about the characters behind these names?

We can tell you that we'll meet a few of them this season. And pay close attention to the locations. Too bad this cut didn't show you Hannah Gittleman or Sparrow Redhouse. Than we'd have some stories to tell…

Now that Sylar has been captured, how soon will we learn his origin?

What are you doing tonight?

Watching "Heroes!"

Isaac's latest painting kind of looked like a flaming person (almost an X-Men Phoenix homage, if you're a comic book fan). Any chance this "human torch" could be Theodore Sprague, or have we seen the last of him?

We have certainly not seen the last of Theodore Sprague. We'll get a little insight into the painting in episode 11, and a hell of a lot more in episodes 12 on.

Is this painting a clue as to what transpires in New York City, as seen in the painted floor in Isaac's loft?

Yes. Yes it is. A pretty big one, as you'll soon learn.

Eden and the Haitian worked well together to take down Sylar - almost as if they'd had some training on how to do this. Now, Tim Kring (Your Fearless Leader), in our interview with him prior to the show's start, made it clear we would not see an assembling of heroes like a JLA, but now there are hints that it might be moving in that direction. Could you clear that up for us a bit and give us a hint as to what we should expect, "group" wise?

Don't go picking out curtains for the Hall of Justice anytime soon. Eden and the Haitian have known each other for a while. In fact, I think they met about "Six Months Ago" (where have we heard that term before?).

As we're sure Tim has stated, we're trying to deal with the real world here - and in the real world people certainly work together, just not all of them at once wearing the same ring. That being said, keep an eye out for a cool new pairing (or is it a tripling?) in the next couple weeks.

Let's talk about HRG a bit, AKA Mr. Bennet played by Jack Coleman, who's become one of the most fascinating and multi-layered characters on the show. When we began these Q&As you guys told us not everything may be as it seems. With "Homecoming," we learned Mr. Bennett isn't necessarily a bad guy, but he is a man with an agenda - the one we know for certain being to protect his daughter from Sylar. If you wouldn't mind, tell us a bit about the development of this character. Was he always intended to play this role, or has it expanded as you guys came to know him?

You knew a lot about this character before he had any of his screentime, just by the specs he left behind. Tim (OFL) loved the idea of these glasses, as they invoked a "Cold War Era" feeling. (Jack Coleman swears that the glasses do half the acting - we're not so sure about that). And then the true stroke of genius came along when Tim came to us and said - "Guess what I just added? The guy with the glasses is going to be Claire's father." It seemed to make so much sense. Then it was decided that the only way to make this an interesting relationship was to make this guy a great father. Add to that the amazing chemistry between Jack and Hayden and the end result has been something amazing.

It really has turned into something rather special for the series.

Now, let's move on to Isaac for a bit and the order of his paintings. When Peter originally laid them out, the portrait of his death would have been first on the "page." In actuality, the order was reversed. Again, flub or design? When Isaac paints, is he necessarily painting in forward order, backwards or is it random?

What are you trying to say here?

Are you saying Peter, in his haste, enthusiasm, and naivete put these paintings in the wrong order?

That perhaps the chronology of two pages started with this splash page of Sylar killing Jackie? Are you saying the panels on the next page may be out of order as well? If perhaps Claire running down the hallway before she ran into Peter was first, followed by Peter and the lockers. But wait, that would put the stairway next, then the one of Peter dying at left-bottom. We suppose that would make sense, actually.

But wait, that leaves one space left ….

"I dunno. I'm just a cheerleader." -- Claire Bennet from episode "Homecoming"

We seem to recall a painting by Isaac that depicted Hiro and Ando at the homecoming? But, neither of them were there. Could this be considered a flub or something done by design with answers to come?

Oh yeah, that painting. We haven't paid that off yet? Hmm… (that's us being sarcastic - wait and see.)

Last week we got to see the hash marks on Matt and Theodore Sprague (AKA Radioactive Man, wait, no, that's a Simpson's/Bongo Comics hero!). Is it just a coincidence that, as the only two "Heroes" that have been experimented on by Claire's dad and The Haitian, they're the one's with the least amount of control over their powers?

If only Millhouse had been around before HRG got to him, he could have saved him with his catchphrase.

You're on the right track about these two guys, that's all we can tell you.

In the past week we've learned that George Takei will play the role of Hiro Nakamura's Father in an upcoming episode and that Christopher Eccleston ("Dr. Who") will be featured in an episode this January. First, can you tell us in which episodes we should expect to see these actors?

Mr. Nakamura will first show up at the end of Episode 13. And the character will appear again in at least Episode 14.

As for Mr. Eccleston, he'll be here soon. You just might not be able to pick him out of the crowd…

Secondly, this is just more interesting casting taking place in the show. We've had Richard Roundtree on the show, who played Shaft, the most well known character during the Blaxploitation era of film making. Now we have members of two of the greatest sci-fi franchises of all time. Is this a deliberate move on the part of the show to salute great genre shows/films of the past and present? Should we expect more of this in the future?

We use a simple formula when casting: Best actor gets role.

Roundtree rocked it, he gets the role.

Christopher Eccelston was perfect for the role we were looking for (we don't want to give too much away on this.)

As far as Mr Takei, it was serendipity. We had joked about his playing Hiro's Father from the get-go, but it wasn't until he showed up in a casting session and knocked Tim's socks off that the role was his. Like Masi before him, he translated from English to Japanese on the spot, he got what we were trying to get across with the character on his first read. George Takei exceeded our highest expectations. We think he'll do the same for the entire audience.

The titles for each episode have been integrated into the show's background in a very cool way. It definitely lends itself to that comic book "feel" to see characters walking on top of the title, etc. Where did this idea come from and whose idea was this?

Like most good ideas, it came from Tim Kring, (Our Fearless Leader). As we recall it, he saw that beautiful shot and said - let's try putting the title there. After seeing it in the pilot it became a no-brainer.

Allright, let's start bringing this week's Q&A to a close. In the Heroes art auction currently taking place, the drawing of Isaac Mendez by Santiago Cabrera reveals a good look at Niki's / Jessica's symbol. Just out of curiosity, have the actors been informed of any of the show's secrets? Or did Santiago just draw this picture because he was curious about the symbol as well?

First of all -- aren't all these self-portraits cool? Who knew these actors could draw (and if your interested, make a bid - the money goes to a great cause for finding a cure for epilepsy.)

I think Santiago had probably just shot the scene in the future with all the helix paintings.

We generally tell the actors whatever they need to know to make the role the best it can be. They are all really good about keeping valuable information to themselves, and teasing and hinting our audience perfectly. Except for Grunberg. Get a few drinks in him …

Any chance you could get Greg to meet the CBR Staff for drinks after tonight's episode? We know a nice bar with comfortable seating. You can come along, too! No? Damn! Cmon, guys!

Time for the weekly tease. Here's what TV Guide has to say about tonight's episode, "Six Month's Ago." "The past is revisited as the clock turns back six months to when Mohinder's father, Chandra Suresh (Erick Avari), arrived in New York to search for individuals with extraordinary powers. At the same time, Peter graduates from nursing school; Nathan's work affects his family; Niki's visiting father brings out the worst in her; Hiro tries to help someone important; and Claire makes a strange discovery after joining the cheerleading squad."

Some secrets. Some origins. Some surprises. Episode 10 is the first in what we hope to be many brilliant departure episodes on the series.

And before we forget - congratulations on your nomination for a People's Choice Award - Best New Show! Not too shabby!

Thanks! We couldn't have done this without, "the people" as the title suggest. Thanks, people. We really appreciate the opportunity to entertain you and answer your questions here. Only you guys can put us over the top in the voting (and kick "Ugly Betty's" butt.) Go to www.pcavote.com. You can vote daily. Thanks for all of your support.


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