It’s been less than 10 years since the premier of Heroes in the fall of 2006. It was a show that I watched almost religiously, at least for the first season and a half and then once again for the last half of the final season. It came with a large amount of hype as I clearly remembered the early trailers for the series that started with the home video footage of Clair Bennet falling, resetting her broken arm, and declaring that was attempt number six. As the season went on, the catch phrase “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World” became a viral phenomenon as viewers wondered how the season would end with some climactic struggle between good and evil set in what felt very much like the real world.
Heroes came halfway through the ten year run of Smallville which had helped prove the success of taking the world of superheroes and making them as realistic as possible. But while Smallville could have been written off as a little WB/CW series played for teens with the built in name recognition of Superman, Heroes was fully intended for adult audiences with a completely unknown cast of characters. While there was the one teenage character played by Hayden Panetierre, the rest of the cast had a wider range of ages and looks, with only a few “beautiful people” actors along with several more unique looks. Surprisingly one of the breakout characters from the first season was Masi Oka’s character Hiro, the nerdy office drone who discovers that he has the ability to manipulate space and time to teleport & time travel. It was just a combination of his immense power alongside his joyous exuberance even though he mostly spoke Japanese. It actually is also quite remarkable for the diversity of the cast, with many different countries represented within the cast, from Mohinder from India, the Hatian, and Hiro and Ando from Japan.
The show was a brilliant mix of comic book style storytelling with the conspiracy theory and suspicion reminiscent of the X-Files. It was dark, it was bloody, and it was highly polished with well done effects for both the time and the budget which helped sell these superpowers within the real world that set up the entire series. I am very excited to look back at this first season, though I will likely not continue on into seasons two through four right away, especially since the first season is the only one that I own on DVD (owned for at least 8 years and still never watched) and the later seasons have a large drop in quality. I’m very curious to see how this show will hold up after all these years, and regardless of what happens with these episodes, I’m highly looking forward to the return of the show with Heroes Reborn this fall. Before I go, I’ll leave you with a look back at the original trailer for the first season of Heroes.