Behind The Eclipse: "Heroes" Week 19

After what seems like an eternity, "Heroes" returns to NBC tonight with the first of a final five episodes entitled ".07%." We've got video previews from tonight's episode as well as a spoiler free review of the episode, but most importantly writers/producers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite are back as they are each and every week we have a new episode to answer your questions (and ours) about "Heroes." How can you get in on the action, simply send an e-mail to Jonah Weiland with the subject line "Heroes Question" and we'll consider your question for inclusion next week. This week's questions came from you, as well as CBR's George Tramountanas, Dave Richards and Jonah Weiland.

Without any further delay, here's Joe and Aron.

Annnnnd we're back. Welcome back, guys! To start with, how you guys doing? It's been a while since we last talked. Catch us up on what you've been doing all this time - did you guys get any time off, or has this been entirely a working "break?"

We're smack in the middle of the two weeks we get off this year. Then get back into working on season two. No rest for us, but that's because it's the best job ever (and season two is going to be amazing)...

Allright, now on to our reader questions. Due to the extended break, we had a lot of them and we apologize to our readers for not being able to include all of them.

We start with "Mike," who doesn't so much want to know about what's going on now, but wants to jump ahead to next season. Mike asks, "I read an interview with Tim Kring where he said the second season will have new characters and a new story. Does this mean that the current cast will be completely replaced? Or does it just mean more characters will be added?"

What Tim was talking about was the story more than anything else. We're going to wrap up most every story line from this season so we can start telling new ones. Tim's use of the word "Volume" isn't accidental. Instead of a sprawling mythology that seemed unsatisfying, he wanted to put together seasons of television that would stand on their own (As well as add up to something bigger). The Harry Potter books are a good analogy. Season Two will have it's own share of mysteries, surprises, new characters and old characters in predicaments and places that you would never expect.

Sakae had an interesting question about some of the younger members of the cast. "Will we see more of the newest generation of heroes, people of Micah's and Claire's age? Perhaps in a future jump episode where we can see how they adapted to growing up with such unusual abilities? (I want to see Micah and Claire meet just so they can talk about this.)"

Absolutely. Abilities do not age-discriminate. In fact, Sakae, we already met the youngest hero a while back. Before season's end, we will revisit her in a big way.

Danny Dyche has a question about the online graphic novels. "I liked seeing Walter Sobchak from 'The Big Lebowski' in one of the online graphic novels. Should we expect any other subtle crossovers?" And what's the story behind this appearance?

The panel as the writers (Aron Coleite and Jesse Alexander) wrote was as follows: "Panel 1 - An Army supply store. Ted buys supplies from an ARMY SUPPLY GUY, dressed all in fatigues. Water. Kerosene lamps. A GUN." The Artist, Travis Kotzebue read that and thought Walter. Or perhaps he read "Water" and thought Walter.

That's the beauty of the graphic novel, we can sneak fun little bits for people to enjoy. You may notice in "Road Kill" that Sylar stole a truck from the Northeast Brewing Company (NBC), or that in the most recent webcomic, Hana Gitelman sent the message out to many users for help - A lot of them were real usernames of fans enjoying the 360 experience on nbc.com. Perhaps soon we'll have a Hero named Danny Dyche. Maybe a blind gymnastic lawyer who dons an outfit with a DD on his chest....

Danny, it appears your greatest life's wish is about to come true!

Jason Fleiss has also been enjoying the online graphic novels and asks, "Early in the season, we saw at least one of Sylar's victims had been frozen, and we've seen Sylar use this ability in the online graphic novels. Will we ever get to see Sylar use his freezing ability onscreen?"

We'll see a little tease of Sylar's freezing power in episode 20, "Five Years Gone," but it ain't nothing compared to what we see him do with it in episode 21, "The Hard Part."

Scott Tindall wants to know about the future of the online graphic novels. "During discussions about the second season, has any interest been expressed in continuing the online graphic novel series in future seasons or do you possibly see it as a bit too much of a chore to maintain?"

The fans really seem to be digging the graphic novels and we were very happy to announce that it will be running over the summer hiatus, and if we have any say, over the course of the series. It has certainly been a chore to maintain, but a labor of love. To that end, we're attempting to bring on some of your favorite comic book writers and add their tremendous talent to the Heroes Universe. We should have an announcement on that shortly.

Oh, wow, not that we don't love you guys, but bringing in names from the comics industry is an excellent idea. BTW, any news on printed collections of those graphic novels?

Clear some space on your shelf. Things are looking very good. We're trying to work out the details now and are hoping to make an announcement by ComiCon.

Excellent! More good news! Getting back to the readers, Janet Ordway has what we here in the office consider to be the most important question of the week. Seriously. "OK, so if we assume Sandra Bennett has been kidnapped or is really dead, and now HRG is probably either going to die or be sent away somewhere, what will happen to Mr. Muggles?! Maybe the doggie hotel will run up a huge tab caring for him and when no one claims him he'll end up at the Odessa, TX Humane Society, unclaimed." Guys, if Ted couldn't hurt Mr. Muggles, neither should you! Tell us he's safe!

What is it with you guys and the Muggles? No dogs have been harmed in the making of this epic season of television. And we have plans to use our favorite Canine in season two. Maybe even a love interest...

Wow. There's nothing some like some good ol' fashion puppy love!

Janet also noticed a wedding band on Mr. Linderman's hand and had some interesting theories about who the woman might be or may have been. Will we be learning anything about Mr. Linderman's better half in these final five episodes?

Nope. But we will most likely learn more about this person in Season Two.

Lisa Lee has some inquiries about Nathan. "Will Nathan ever use more of his flying abilities? It seems he's just letting it rot to waste."

That's kind of the beauty of the Nathan Character. Tim Kring (OFL) designed Nathan as the one Hero who was given an amazing power, but who was reluctant, even resistant to using it. Given that he's running for public office, the last thing Nathan needs is a shot of him flying. That being said, flying is cool, and Nathan may be using it once or twice bit in this last stretch.

Lisa continues, "and now that Claire has met her grandmother (Angela Petrelli), it's only a matter of time before she and Peter meet again and she'll know that he's her uncle. Question is how will Nathan handle this?"

Nathan will handle it...well, tonight. Let's just say he's going to have some other things on his mid when he first meets Claire, and that his dealing with her is ... well, "Nathanesque".

Shadowpsykie (AKA Louis) went in depth on the Uluru question and came up with some interesting theories. We'll let him take over for a bit. "Following up on the Uluru connection, one story tells of Uluru being the center of a major battle of the Ancient Spirits. That there was so much blood shed there that the earth itself rose up in grief. It is also noted as being connected to the birth of the Dingo."

Dingo. We mean, Bingo. Louis is getting warm. As for the birth of the Dingo, remember what we said a bout a love interest for Mr. Muggles?

"I also did a bit of research (thanks to some ones Dreamtime comment last week) and discovered that Uluru is also the supposed birth place of Dreamtime. One of the concepts in Dreamtime is the idea of dreaming in another form (say a wolf, dingo, shark). Now this seems to connect Peter to the Dreaming in that when he has a dreamtime premonition, it is not necessarily of him, but of him standing in for some one else (i.e. he dreamed he could fly, he was the bomb)."

Hmm... You noticed that, huh?

Louis, you're on to something. He continues, "Taking all that in, Uluru being the birthplace of, or in some way connected to Dreamtime and the 'Sky Heroes' (ancients spirits that in essesence Dream up reality) that make it up, could who ever or what ever Uluru in 'Heroes' represents be connected to how and why the heroes came to be? Or are the heroes more like the Shaman that channel the spiritual powers of the Ancients from Uluru?" Whew - interesting theories, though. Guys?"

And now we may be into the overthinking....

Uh oh, maybe, Louis, you went too far. Well then, we'll let Matthew Loftin join in who had more on the Dreamtime stuff. "Could the characters gain their powers from the Dreamtime? I can think of some examples how it might be so -- Hiro travels through the dreamtime to skip through our time, DL phases into Dreamtime to make himself intangible in our time, Isaac searchs through time in his mind using Dreamtime as a path to see the future." Innnnteresting.

Very interesting. When the series was first being discussed last year, we tossed around words like Dreamtime and Collective Unconscious and Anima. But, then again we also tossed around words like Double Double Animal Style and Fart and Bendis. So, who knows what any of this really means.

Suddenly so hungry for a juicy burger. So hungry.

"Ricky, not Rocky" also has some interesting Dreamtime theories. "As pointed out, The Dreaming/Dreamtime have been pointed out as a very possible connection to Uluru and Peter. Dreamtime regards time as an eternal cycle. People continue to live in dreamtime after physical death, so does that mean we could possibly get answers about Charles from Charles in Dreamtime? And does the boy in India have a similar power?"

Let's just say we have not heard the last from Charles, whether we're talking about this season or next remains to be seen and we'll leave that spoiler at that.

So it appears the death of Mr. Devereaux wasn't the last we'll see of Mr. Roundtree? Interesting.

Daniel Terner writes with some more thoughts about the significance of 1962, syzygy, the eclipse and the number 9. "One 'Heroes' thing that ties into this syzygy theory is the significance of the number nine (nine planets!) So, is that why we keep seeing the number nine popping up?"

Not entirely. Let's not forget poor, poor downgraded Pluto. Planetoid! We're trying to make that into a slur. As in, "Grow some balls, you planetoid!" Make it happen.

Anthony Taylor wants to know how deep genre fandom runs on the writing staff. "In 'Parasite,' the NYPD Cop that came to investigate the shooting at Isaac's apartment was named Jeff Tracy - also the name of the leader of International Rescue in Gerry Anderson's 1960s super-marionation TV series 'Thunderbirds.' Who's the 'Thunderbirds' fan on the writing staff that snuck this in?"

Jeff Tracy, Huh? You're looking for name connections in that episode and you're not going to Agents Alonzo and Quesada?

Ahhh Anthony, that's a big miss!

Matthew H has a question about Peter. "This is in regards to the 'scar' mentioned by Future Hiro in Chapter Five, 'Hiros.' If Peter has acquired the spontaneous tissue regeneration' from Claire, how is it possible for Peter to be scarred, marked, or otherwise altered?"

Matthew, we get that question form the network very often. We're going to give you the same response they get - "You will find out in Season 5". We're serious.

Oh, wow, considering how we know that answer has to frustrate our readers/your viewers a lot, it's nice to know you guys are frustrating the network at the exact same level! Take that, NBC!

"Comic Reader Man" (we don't make up their names) asks, "What is the significance of the bugs or cockroaches? We saw one obviously out of place in Sylar's cell, and now a bunch of them occasionally scuttle across the screen on Heroes 360 ... is there a hero out there who collects information through the bugs (ala' Ant-Man)...or maybe not a hero ... could the bugs be connected to Mr. Linderman? Is that his power?" We'll add that over the break we got a look at the pilot script with Tim Sale's sketches and yeah, there are cockroaches all over that thing, too! CRM continued, "Or is it all just subconsciously alluding to the fact that only the roaches will survive the nuclear war?"

There was also the line in the pilot where Suresh compared God to a Cockroach. Maybe God's a little pissed at Suresh for the dig, "Suresh - you planetoid!"

We'll be honest, we're not sure if Jay T is on to something or not, but this certainly sounded good. "I just wonder how closely the significance of 9 might relate to the navagraha ('nine planets/celestial bodies') of Hindu myth. It seems to me that with Chandra (Mr. Suresh) being the name of the moon in Hindu astrology, other prominent figures might also fit.

"Most significantly Peter, as Ketu, and Sylar, as Rahu. In these myths, Rahu is a 'snake that swallows the sun and moon causing eclipses' and is a 'terror-inspiring god' (one can little question Sylar's portrayal as a 'demon'). On the flip side (literally, as Ketu is considered the 180 of Rahu), Ketu is a 'shadow planet' (Peter's mimicking of others?) and 'has a tremendous impact on human lives' (his seemingly inevitable role in the upcoming disaster?).

"Looking even further, it is said that when either sun or moon and Rahu or Ketu are in conjunction with one another (ie. Chandra and Sylar or Peter and quite possibly Charles Deveaux?), a solar or lunar eclipse takes place. Could it be that some of the 'major players' in Heroes represent the 'planets' or 'demigods' of Hindu myth?" Wow. Well, what do you two have to say?

Wow. Yeah. That's all we have to say. Wow. That's pretty cool. It's not what we were thinking at all, but we are very impressed. I'll give you this Jay T, since you are looking for a connection to the number 9. You're in the right religion. Right country. Wrong myth. Try again.

That's a big clue, folks. You've got four more BEHIND THE ECLIPSE'S to track it down, too!

OK, we're still getting guesses on HRGs first name. Lots and lots of them. Pretty much every name in the bible has been mentioned thus far, but Mercury McKinnon had some interesting thoughts that came to him apparently on waking from a dream on Easter morning. His guess? Abraham. "In the Bible and Quran, Abraham was a patriarch, the father of the 'chosen people' from whom a 'savior' was destined to come. Abraham had two children, although the first one wasn't born of his wife Sarah (Sandra?!), who had had difficulty conceiving. Abraham is famously tested whether he would sacrifice his child. (In Islamic tradition, the sacrificial child was the firstborn rather than the second-born, even)." It sounded good to us. Guys?

If he was right, and we told you, wouldn't it ruin everyone's experience at the end of the season?

Yeah, we suppose so, but that doesn't mean we're not going to try!

Matthew from the UK writes to say he's hooked on the show and that it's not being broadcast over there yet He wants to know if any British stations have secured the rights to "Heroes" yet? He also added that "Heroes" has established something a massive following over there despite the lack of televised episodes.

BBC2 has purchased the rights to "Heroes," and last we heard they will be airing it this sometime next year. We're excited we've already got a following there - things should get even crazier in season two when the show gets more global in scope.

That's some great news for your British fans. BTW, during the break we got questions from all over the US including our first Alaskan question (as far as we know) and from countries as far away as the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Brazil and Croatia. "Heroes" truly has become a world wide phenomenon.

And before we move on to our questions, during the break we had a number of requests for Primatech Paper/Dunder Miflin cross-overs, specifically one person wanted to see a showdown between the Haitian and Dwight (our money is on Dwight), while another wanted to see Niki/Jessica and Pam box. You know, if you ever get a hankering for a bizarre cross-over, we're very much in favor of either possibility...especially the boxing match.

Jim using the Haitian for a Prank on Dwight may be the best teaser ever, but poor Pam facing off against Niki/Jessica? Can't we just sick her on Creed?

Creed would take Niki/Jessica easy. She has no chance.

Alright, our turn! The Haitian works for the Petrelli patriarch? Does she answer to someone as well? And if she realizes the danger Claire is in, shouldn't she be worried about her two boys as well?

She's got plans for her boys, that's all we can say.>So, with Micah and Claire, we've learned that two parents with powers will most likely result in a child with powers. As both Nathan and Peter have powers, that would seem to indicate that the powers gene runs pretty strongly in the Petrelli family -- possibly even in both parents? And will we ever learn more about the senior Petrelli?

Absolutely. But not until next season.

Candice is an interesting character - can you tell us more about her powers? Is she actually changing her appearance like Marvel's Mystique? Or is she just creating an illusion of some sort

The latter. We wanted to avoid a shapeshifter (less Mystique, more Mastermind for those playing the "Brotherhood of Evil Mutants" home game.) We'll see her illusions get a little more sophisticated in the days to come.

Sylar as "patient zero" is mentioned again, and Mohinder thinks he's unlocked his dad's code. Does "patient zero" indicate some leap in genetic evolution? And how can he be zero if older "Heroes" exist like Claude?

How indeed? How indeed....

Mohinder was actually going to kill Sylar for all that he's done. He fired the gun. He's walking an interesting line in terms of morality there. Was there debate among the writing staff whether he should fire it or not?

We have had a lot of debate over a lot of things morality wise. Whether Matt should take the diamonds. Whether Matt's wife should have cheated. Whether Niki should turn herself in for her crimes. Whether Mr. Muggles should get a blue or Yellow Ribbon at the dog-show - but to be honest, I think we all thought Suresh had every right to pull the trigger on Sylar. Maybe it was the killing of his dad, then using him to lead him to other people to kill. Or maybe we're just jerks.

Hiro goes back to the "grim" future, and this time with Ando. In addition, Isaac paints a dire future for himself. As Hiro couldn't save the waitress from dying, are we supposed to be seeing that he can't change the future?

I suppose we'll find out the answer to that question in the next month.

Indeed. OK, D.L. seems to know when Jessica is in control now (and I have a feeling Micah does as well). Will they be acting on their hunches soon? Also, considering Jessica can tear a human in half, will we ever get a sense of just how strong Jessica really is?

D.L. will be wise and acting on it soon enough, and we promise a decent gauge of her powers by season's end.

Parkman looks screwed. Then again, without the Haitian to block his mind-reading abilities, should he be able to find out all about the "paper company" from its employees?

Depends on how long he stays there, we suppose...

I guess we'll get the answer to that question tonight. Now, the next question isn't related to tonight's episode, but we saw it on a message board and thought we'd ask your opinion: if a "Heroes" fan came up to you and said the show made them interested in picking up a comic book, what comic book(s) would you recommend that they read?

"Superman for all Seasons" or "Batman - The Long Halloween" by Jeph Loeb. And pretty much anything by Brian K. Vaughn ("Y: the Last Man", "Runaways", "Ex Machina") or Alan Moore ("Watchmen," "V for Vendetta," "Supreme") All are good stepping stones to comics in the same way that makes "Heroes" work. They're about character first, and super powers follow. But everybody is different, so they should really go to a comic book store and just look at covers and pick out a lot of stuff that just looks cool, see what sticks.

So far we haven't seen any people with exactly the same ability (with the exception of Peter who can duplicate other abilities). Is this just a coincidence and there are other people walking around with duplicate abilities that we just haven't seen yet? Or is there something to each person having their own distinct ability?

We've hinted around that there is some duplication, for example when invisible man Claude says "You're one of them". We will be exploring this notion further in Season 2.

Will we see any more of Christopher Eccleston's character, Claude, this season?

See him? He's invisible. Hmm, what an odd question...

So, you guys had a big ol' wrap party the other night - tell us everything! Who got the most drunk? Who took of the most clothes? Who spiked the ... wait, no, none of that stuff, but tell us a bit about what went on and what the atmosphere was like at the first "Heroes" wrap party!

The wrap party was a blast. To paraphrase Greg Beeman, it was like a wrap party, only bigger. Eight hundred some odd people all in rare form celebrating a momentous accomplishment. We had it at a spectacular place called the Cabana Club - where the Band from TV (Greg Grunberg's band with James Denton and Hugh Laurie among others) played. Jack Sang, Hayden sang, and received her Diploma from "Heroes High" and Tim played the guitar a bit. You can see some pictures, video and blog on NBC.com.

But the highlight of the night had to be when Mr. Kring gave a speech, thanking everyone for their work on an incredible and incredibly hard year (the crew worked til 5:30 AM on the last stretch of days), citing how it is a labor of love for all of us. "If you're doing this for the money, we're not paying you enough..."

But it was great to let loose with a large group of people we didn't really know a year ago, but now consider family...

Wow, sounds excellent. And before we wrap up, Joe, we understand some congratulations are due - you're a new daddy, aren't ya?

We're still waiting. The due date, coincidentally is April 23, so I've been using the Heroes Countdown clock to count my last days of sleep. We will let you know as soon as the little hero emerges.

Best to you and the soon-to-be Mother, Joe.

We'll see both of you guys back here next week. In the meantime, those of you who are interested in participating in our weekly Q&A with Joe and Aron can do so by simply sending an e-mail to Jonah Weiland with the subject line "Heroes Question." We'll consider it for inclusion in our next edition of BEHIND THE HEROES. Questions should be submitted by Thursday at Noon.

In the meantime, enjoy this selection of photos from the first "Heroes" wrap party!


Want to talk "Heroes" with other fans? Join the discussion right here on the CBR Forums!

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