BEHIND THE ECLIPSE is edited by CBR Executive Producer Jonah Weiland and CBR Staff Writer Remy Minnick.
Welcome to BEHIND THE ECLIPSE, where writers/producers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coliete join us every week to answer questions sent in by you about all things “Heroes.” This week’s BTE is the first for the new season of the hit NBC show, entitled “Heroes Volume Thee: Villains.”
The season kicked off last week mere moments after Nathan Petrelli was shot, killed and brought back to the life by the return of a face fans haven't seen since Season One. Hiro was given a new quest and met his nemesis before jumping to the future and finding out that his best friend may become his worst enemy. We saw the return of Ali Larter in a completely new role, and fans got the answer to one of the longest running “Heroes” questions — what does Sylar do with his victims’ brains?
We sorted, compiled, collated and indexed each and every one of your questions for episodes one and two -- "The Second Coming" and "The Butterfly Effect," respectively -- before choosing the best of the best to send on to the always gracious Aron Coliete and Joe Pokaski to get the answers you've been waiting for.
Before the guys begin answering your questions about last week’s premiere, we must note that many of you sent in questions about the fate of Caitlin. This question was actually asked in the July’s BEHIND THE ECLIPSE SUMMER SPECTACULAR, PART II, and we re-present the answer here for those of you who missed it:
CBR: In "Out of Time," Caitlin is ripped away from Peter and deported to 2008 Ireland. Last we saw 2008, the Shanti Virus (presumably Strain 138) wiped out 93% of the population. That future has apparently been averted. Caitlin has just entered a sort of 'no man's land.' The question presents itself: Has the future, and the present that she is now in, changed around her, as it did for Ando when Hiro left for April 2006 back in episodes 108-111 to save Charlie, or has she and the entire future that surrounded her disappeared into nonexistence? Did she die during the outbreak? If the her present changed, are there plans to visit her in the future, either by time travel trip or reaching the date in the narrative? Are there plans to bring her back to the present?
Aron Coliete & Joe Pokaski: Our heads are spinning from the permutations. Peter's trapped Caitlin in a future that doesn't exist anymore. It's pretty hard to get back from that. (We would've seen Peter try to get Caitlin back in the remainder of Season 2, but in Season 3 -- he has a whole other slate of problems to deal with.)
Without any further delay, here’s Joe and Aron with answers to your questions about last week’s “Heroes” season premiere!
CBR: Welcome back! To start things off so the fans know where the production is, we’ve just seen the third episode of Season Three, but which episodes are in production right now?
Aron Coliete & Joe Pokaski: We’re in production on Episodes 11, 12 and 13 — that’s right — all at once. We’re prepping episode 14 and 15. And writing Episodes 16 and 17.
One business question before we get to the fans’ -- the possibility of an actors strike. How much of an effect is that having on the production right now? How likely do you think it is that the Actors Guild will strike?
Right now, the potential for an actors strike isn’t affecting production at all. We’re moving forward full steam ahead for our 25-episode season, which we’re breaking into two Volumes. Volume 3 as you know is “Villains.” And Volume 4, which we’re calling “Fugitives.”
Everyone has been asking about characters that haven't appeared yet, though some have been mentioned, and if they are returning, so let’s get a status report:
He’s invisible. So of course, he has been in every shot of every episode.
Flying. If you panned up, you would have seen him.
We actually had some scenes with Dana Davis, but they didn’t make the final cut. So you’ll be able to catch them on the Season 3 DVD.
What’re you doing next week? Molly makes a couple of “unique” appearances this season.
With the special effects in the first two episodes -- between the new villains’ escape, Sylar and Elle's fight, Hiro's future jump in episode 1 and Daphne's speed trail — we’ve had more effects in two episodes then seen most of the first year. Has the budget been blown up a bit? Can look forward to more of the same for the rest of the season?
The special effects this season have been amazing. Eric Grenadier and his team of magicians at Stargate have been incredible — rising to the occasion of the crazy shit we write. We’re just trying to come up with some of the wildest, most insane ideas we can think of.
The first fan questions for BEHIND THE ECLIPSE Season Three comes from a new BTE participant, Josh Parker:
“We were able to see the new Future Hiro in the season premiere, who had a much different look than the Future Hiro we saw in the first season. Now, obviously the new Future Hiro had not had to experience the death of Ando (perhaps he wishes he had), and thus is not quite as dark and somber. My question, though, is this: was there some traumatizing experience that ‘Emo Future Hiro’ went through that the new Future Hiro had not, that caused him to seek out Lasik eye surgery? Future Hiro wears glasses in this one, yet previous Future Hiro with pony tail had none — was he out of contact solution that day?”
That’s it exactly. You nailed it Josh Parker. The truth is — in the future, they discover that all Lasik Eye Surgeries turned bad and actually damaged the eyes and everyone has to wear glasses again. The future is scary.
“Sylar acquires abilities based solely on examining brains alone -- no blood or adrenaline involved. Claire and Adam's abilities seem to be a function of their blood alone, as it revives both other evolved humans (such as Nathan) and normal humans (such as Noah) -- no adrenaline or brains involved. Now Mohinder is saying that it's adrenaline (while specifically stating that it's not blood). Can you reconcile these seemingly-contradictory bits of information for us?”
Is it really contradictory? Is it? Do you know exactly how Sylar’s power works? I think there are some surprises in store in regards to who and what Mr. Sylar really is. And Claire and Adam’ ability isn’t a function of their blood — they’re blood simply has a strange side-effect when administered to others. So, Mohinder was right — kinda — adrenaline figures in heavily to how these abilities work.
Peter Terry asks a number of questions:
“Is Claire just blocking out her pain or is she actually losing nerve function (in which case she can stock up on vitamin B suppliments)?Ãƒ‘€šÃ‚Â How tied is her not feeling pain related to her emotional reaction of feeling violated by Sylar?”
Maybe it’s emotion, maybe it’s evolution — but either way the Vitamin B Supplement is a great idea.
“Are we going to see any response from Nathan's wife and children to Nathan's near death experience?”
Not immediately, no — but you will see them this season.
“Would we ever see a power that Sylar would refuse to acquire because it is too lame? (really bendy toes or the ability to re-carbonate flat soda)”
You didn’t see him using that Zane Grey melty power that much, did you? Kinda lame, right? Turning things into goo.
“Do we still follow the ‘Nine guardians’ motif?Ãƒ‘€šÃ‚Â Are we going to find out more about who they are?”
Right now our heroes have their hands full dealing with the escapees from Level 5 — so their secret origins is something that’s going to have to wait for a bit.
William AKA Dash-Dot wants to know about Brains. Brains!
“After seasons of guessing, we've learned that Sylar does not, in fact, eat brains (even though eyewitness Molly did say that's what he did in Season One). My roommate, who never believed he ate his victims’ brains in the first place, had an extended gloat session when Sylar finally denied it, and used our DVR to make me watch the scene several times. I'm willing to accept it, I did love the idea, but like many things ‘Heroes,’ this revelation leads to a lot of questions. Was this always the plan? Either way, how does this actually work? Sylar's ability to see how things function allows him to see how each character's powers work, okay, I get it, but how does he manipulate his own body to mimic these things? Or is that also his ability? Finally, did he take something from Claire's brain when he found what he was looking for, or did he just remove his hand? Why were all of his other victims missing their brains altogether?”
Yes. You’ll see. Yes. You’ll see.
Alison B wants to know:
“Will we ever find out who Angela was talking to on the phone at the end of Season Two?”
Yeah. She was talking to the AMTP trying to settle the writers strike — but we all know how that turned out. Seemed they opened Pandora’s Box.
Laurel27 likes Angela’s storyline and wants more:
“I love me some badass Angela Petrelli, but what I love about her is her grayness and what seems to be the struggle with her heart and her brain. Will we see more of that Angela? I hope she's not becoming a black-and-white character.”
You’ll see lots more of Angela Petrelli as she’s taking over Primatech this season. However, all the other people that have held that position — Linderman and Bob — didn’t seem to last long.
The Marquis likes the choice of costumes for Tracy, but wonders if it may have been a hint at something bigger:
“Okay I'm wondering if you guys put in an easter egg hinting at Tracy's power before we found out. When we first see her she's in a white bustier and panties. Which was the original costume of the white queen, aka Emma Frost.”
Good catch, Marquis. That actually had nothing to do with it. The wardrobe was Ali Larter’s choice. We specifically scripted it for her to be naked.
Kyle Kopening thinks he may have caught you in a logic issue — or has he?
“In the first season, it was hinted that Claire would die if her brain or head was removed. In the second season, Adam confirmed that there was "no going back" from having your head blown off. Sylar, however, said that Claire could not die, no matter what he did. Does this contradict the first season's tagline ‘Save the Cheerleader, Save the World?’”
Nope. Claire indeed can be killed, as can Adam and Peter and Sylar, too. Decapitation does a pretty good job. We think Sylar was just fucking with Claire.
Jason Fleece wants more Bob!
“I love Stephen Tobolowski and the character he played, and was dismayed to see him go so quickly and unceremoniously. Any chance we’ll see more Bob?”
Bob’s dead Jason. Bob’s dead.
David wants to know about our old friend Charles.
“As of last week we can now definitely attribute Peter's dream power to Angela, which ends the speculation that Charles Deveaux might have been the source. So this leaves me wondering what Charles' power was (assuming as heavily hinted he had one), and if we are ever going to find out his or any of the other dead founders powers. Also, any chance of Richard Roundtree returning at all soon?”
The dream power is indeed Angela’s. And we’ll learn more about that during the course of the season. Shaft is getting the shaft for the moment. No plans for Charles Deveaux’s immediate future… but you never know.
Okat, it’s Timeline Examination Time with Chris!
“My question has to do with the timeline. In my estimation there are three different alternate futures we were shown on Monday.
“1. The future Peter comes from where the heroes are being hunted.
“2. The future Hiro sees when he teleports and sees Goku Ando (everyone has powers) and the “destruction” of Tokyo.
“3. The current trajectory of the future where the villains escape and kill all the Hiros, (Angelas dream).
“Is this the case, or was the future Hiro saw and the future Peter came from the same?”
These are in fact, all the same future — you’ll learn more about this next week.
“In ‘The Second Coming,’ Sylar says to Claire, ‘You see, I lost everything that made me special.’Ãƒ‘€šÃ‚Â Does Sylar mean that he permanently lost all of his acquired powers except for telekinesis?Ãƒ‘€šÃ‚Â Has his slate of powers been ‘wiped clean’ and does he have to start all over again?Ãƒ‘€šÃ‚Â If so, then by the end of ‘The Butterfly Effect,’ it appears that he only has his telekinesis power, Claire's healing and regeneration power, and Bob's power to turn things to gold.Ãƒ‘€šÃ‚Â Or am I reading into things?”
Nope that’s right. Sylar’s starting over. Getting a whole new slate of powers as he goes. You can count Jesse’s voice powers into the mix as well.
ZooBot23 is wondering about the chain of command at Yamagato:
“Hiro's sister, Kimiko, was both qualified and eager to run Yamagato Industries. How did Hiro end up with the company?”
Hiro’s father left him the company — Japan is still a very male dominated society. Kimiko’s still running the company as Hiro isn’t exactly CEO material, but he still must accept the responsibility.
DC wants to know:
“Since Sylar says that he is now immortal from adapting Claire's powers, doesn't it also mean that Peter is immortal as well?”
They’re all hard to kill — but no one is immortal.
Anthony Harrington has two questions:
“The third volume and season got off to a great start on Monday. Kudos.Ãƒ‘€šÃ‚Â Sylar's assault onÃƒ‘€šÃ‚Â Claire wasÃƒ‘€šÃ‚Â truly dark, frightening, adult, and one of the strongest moments in the show so far.Ãƒ‘€šÃ‚Â In an episode filled with strong moments - good to see Nathan Petrelli re-engaged in politics - the strongest were the moments involving Sylar and Claire.Ãƒ‘€šÃ‚Â
“1)Ãƒ‘€šÃ‚Â Will Jessalyn Gilsig become a regular?Ãƒ‘€šÃ‚Â I'm a big fan.”
Not a regular, no — but you will be seeing a lot more of he smoking, Ms. Gilsig.
“2)Ãƒ‘€šÃ‚Â The only thing I miss is the paintings of Tim Sale - will we see any more of his artwork on the show?Ãƒ‘€šÃ‚Â If other prophetic artists are discovered, will they — could they - have Tim Sale's style or will we see other painters from the world of comics - i.e. David Mack, Alex Maleev, or Alex Ross or even Clayton Crain?”
Hopefully you got your fill on a lot more Tim Sale goodness this week. And you’ll see some new Alex Maleev work next week, too. Stay tuned!
Jason wants to know about Tracy/Nikki/Jessica:
“I am very pleased that Ali is back for season three and am intrigued by her new character. In previous BEHIND THE ECLIPSES as well as show commentary it was always brought up that Nikki had a split personality disorder and that her personality split was a result of her powers emerging as a coping mechanism. Now this was never stated in the TV show itself, but can we still believe that these things still hold true with the introduction of the new character of Tracy Strauss?”
“Also Nikki/Jessica's death was never shown in the first two episodes, but it was filmed and will probably appear as a bonus feature on the season 3 DVD. Since it was not shown on television is it fair to say that it did not happen?”
Nope. It happened. And it will be on the Season 3 DVD.
“So how come Mohinder is turning into Jeff Goldblum's ‘The Fly?’ Seriously, the similarities between the beginning of that movie and the beginning of ‘The Butterfly Effect’ are startling. Were you guys that inspired by it? Or is this a weird coincidence?”
Inspired, definitely. Mr Beeman and Mr. Arkush love paying homage to the masterful work that came before us.
Landman comes with questions:
“Are we going to finally find out this season how Future-Peter got his scar? Can you give us a hint - was it a person or object that gave him the scar?
No hints yet. Gotta keep some of the magic alive.
“Who was Future-Peter running away from in the opening, and why would he need to run anywhere when he can teleport himself? Why would Claire think that she could kill Future-Peter with a gun?”
He was running away from “Heroes” fans on the boards, asking tough questions of him. You’ll find out why she thought he could be killed next week.
Volts wants to know about timelines:
“Is present day in the ‘Heroes’ storyline still March 21, 2007 (the day after Nathan was shot) or has more time past? Is the lack of fixed dates in the first two episodes, the Going Postal webisodes, and the most recent arc of graphic novels intentional? Will we be seeing any more fixed dates anytime soon?”
Wait? What day is it? You’ll see less fixed dates moving forward. But the timeline will remain intact.
Quinton Peeples wants to know about your comics work, like Joe’s “Secret Invasion: Inhumans” and Aron’s “Ultimate X-Men”:
“Glad you are back. With both Aron and Joe writing comics now as well as the show, is there cross-pollination between the two? Do you ever get ideas and think ‘Oooh. This would be great for the X book,’ or ‘I should save this for the show.’ Fantastic season premiere! Keep up the good work!”
Is this the Quinton Peeples? Writer and director of my favorite horror film “Joyride!” You rock, man. Thanks for mesntioning our books — we’re just trying to do good writing whatever medium we work in.
Cael comes with questions:
“Okay we know there are 12 Founders of the Company. Three being girls: Angela, Paula, and.... some other lady. Is her name Susan Ammaw? Hopefully this will seriously end a question people keep debating about but won't ask.”
I believe it’s Amman. And yes. Amman.
“In an earlier BEHIND THE ECLIPSE, you said Bob would be turning objects into things other than gold, but so far everything has been coming up gold. Was the original idea to allow him to do other stuff and because of some event it was just decided to be just gold?”
Originally, Bob was going to turn a wood door into steel to stop a rampaging Niki in the episode “Out of Time,” but the effect looked, well, like crap, so it was cut. But we had every intention of making Bob more than just an alchemist.
“Sparrow Redhouse, is she ever gonna appear? You guys said she would but she hasn't.”
She was potentially going to make her appearance in episode 12, but that might be pushed off until later in the season. Keep your eyes peeled.
Brian wants to know:
“Is Matt on the path that will guide us a bit closer to Uluru?”
Yes. Lots of great Matt Parkman stories to come.
And we close out with The Sharpness (nice handle, d00d) who asks one of the most important questions ever submitted in BEHND THE ECLIPSE history:
“All this time-traveling over three seasons leaves me wondering, where is Future Mr. Muggles?”
Future Mr. Muggles will be seen next week in Episode 4, “I Am Become Death.”
Thanks as always to Aron Coleite and Joe Pokaski. For those of you who already have questions after last night’s episode, "One Of Us, One Of Them" the e-mail lines are always open, just send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure to get all your questions in by 6:00 PM Pacific time on Thursday September 2, 2008 to be taken under consideration for next week's BEHIND THE ECLIPSE.