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Heroes without hope?

Posted By Graham Kibble-White On Sunday, December 21, 2008 @ 8:16 pm In blog | Comments Disabled

With Heroes now on a break, it’s time to ask if the show is finally beyond all hope.http://www.offthetelly.co.uk/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif

Sylar - no more Mr Nice Guy... again

Sylar - no more Mr Nice Guy... again

Although the first episode of this third season showed some promise (Nathan’s new found religious fervor, in particular, looked like it might just go somewhere), things have progressed since then seemingly on a “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” basis.  Yup, continuity and logic just can’t shout loud enough when the writing team are postulating, “Wouldn’t it be cool if: Sylar and Noah had to work together/Sylar was revealed as being Peter’s long lost brother/Mohinder got powers/Ando got powers/Everyone lost their powers…” and so on.

It’s resulted in a show constantly backing out of storyline cul-de-sacs (actually, Sylar isn’t a Petrelli; nor is he good; Mohinder’s cured of his powers etc etc) and dropping bits of the plot as it goes along (What happened to Linderman? Where did the Haitian suddenly nip to in the final episode?).

Season one casts a long shadow over the show, a firecracker run which impressed by blowing every trick in the stack – particularly with its various time-shifting episodes. No more can the show jaunt to an apocalyptic future, or take us back for a peek at how things began… it’s been done.

So what’s actually left? And is the show beyond hope? Here, humbly, are a few suggestions for a revived Heroes

- Kill people! Obvious to say, but it does reveal a lack of confidence that the programme-makers have never yet offed anyone significant. And there are a few characters who’ve clearly passed their sell-by date: Parkman and Mohinder in particular.

- A new point-of-view. The fun of the time travel episodes had been (and notice I say that in the past tense) they offered a different point of view on events. Perhaps this could be achieved in new ways. For example, how about going down the Marvels (a comic book by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross) route and showing us the heroes’ antics from the perspective of ostensibly a by-stander?

- Write out Sylar. The show’s bogey man now seems to be stalking the production team. In series two and three, new villains have been introduced (Kensei, Parkman’s dad, Old Man Petrelli), dressed up as the biggest and baddest threats ever… until suddenly there seems to be a crisis of confidence, and Sylar is hurriedly re-established as top dog. So get rid of him and go for broke with something new.

- Develop Hiro. There’s a pervasive fear in really moving the characters on (Claire and Noah always end up back home, hiding from The Company, for example) which has particularly stultified Hiro. Originally a refreshingly ‘innocent’ voice among the maelstrom, he’s now just unbearably twee. When the show cuts to him, it’s like we’re in a different programme altogether. It was telling that when he was ‘regressed’ to his childhood, he didn’t actually seem any different. How about letting him grow up? And let the show’s immature moral compass waver as he’s forced to make tough choices.

- Have fun with physics. Okay, in a programme where people can fly and spit fire, it seems pointless to nitpick. But that bit when Ando and Daphne used super speed to, not just go back in time, but turn up at exactly the right moment, and across the globe in Toyko, was just too hard to swallow. Reign back in the reality. Wouldn’t it be good if the impact on the human body of travelling at high speed was acknowledged? Or flight – once Nathan got above the clouds, couldn’t he just once panic as he realises he’s confused and no longer knows which way is down (plus, it’s bloody cold). Some exploration of the consequence of powers might just anchor the show a little more.

Anyway, that’s five ideas from me. Suggestions, anyone?

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