Heroes returns to our screens once again this fall with a whole host of new faces and a few familiar ones for us fans. But sadly a notable character will be missing from the rag-tag bunch of would-be superheroes. For the plucky cheerleader that inspired a nation of fans to “save the cheerleader, save the world” is no more.
At this year’s Television Critics Association summer press tour, series creator Tim Kring confirmed the fears of many that Hayden Panettiere’s Claire Bennet would not be returning to the series that saw her Hollywood career take off. Kring revealed that the character dies a year before the events of the new series of Heroes Reborn and that her death will serve as motivation for her father’s journey which will reveal answers to Claire’s death.
Kring went on to explained that the story in Reborn centres around the new characters, expressing his original intent for Heroes, that each season was to centre around a new group of characters each year, rather than focusing on a core group of ongoing characters. This approach to storytelling would not have eliminated much of the criticism that dogged the series in its final few seasons however, with critics and fans alike lamenting Heroes for introducing too many new characters as the years rolled on.
“This is closer to the original idea of origin stories“, Kring added. “The primal existential questions of why and what’s my purpose? I always thought of it as a show that could repopulate itself. Falling in love with new characters is just as important as returning cast”. With only a handful of the original cast returning for guest roles (including Greg Grunberg’s Matt Parkman, Masi Oka’s Hiro, Sendhil Ramamurthy’s Mohinder and Cristine Rose’s Angela Petrelli), Heroes Reborn has the opportunity to reference the mythology heavy show of the past, through its guest appearances, while exploring a world that is fearful of the newly ousted ‘powered’ through its new cast.
With a trailer, that was first shown at the NBC Upfront back in May, that shows a dark departure for the series and intriguing central characters such as new addition Zachary Levi’s Luke Collins who looks determined to kill as many of the super powered main cast as he can, Heroes Reborn looks set to recreate the magic of the first season and captivate a new generation of fans. Heroes Reborn’s two hour season premiere airs on September 24 on NBC.