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Hercules Chats Up
HEROES Mastermind Tim Kring!!

I am – Hercules!!
The promos tell us that tonight Sylar escapes and comes after Jack Bennet’s family, that Claire Bennet meets her Pyro-esque biological mom (Jessalyn Gilsig), and that we learn the identity of Claire’s biological pop! Everybody seems to think Claire’s real dad is politician Nathan Petrelli. It’s a good theory. Nathan, Matt and Jack are the only three regulars who look old enough to have reasonably fathered a teen, and we know Nathan likes to sleep around. Still, there’s this guy we’ve been hearing about named “Linderman” … We now know there are only 36 people on Chandra Suresh’s List. Two of them married, apparently before their superpowers manifested. The others keep running into each other with alarming frequency. Do the folks on The List all excrete a super-pheromone (or something) that causes them to locate and attract each other? It’s a question I’ve already posed to series mastermind Tim Kring. Speaking of which … **** Ain’t It Cool is in the middle of an email interview with Kring. We were originally going to post the whole thing at once but – because Kring’s first answer touches on tonight’s episode – we’re going to jump the gun and publish the first part of the conversation now: AICN: Ando Masahashi's a young guy; has he accumulated enough vacation time to be out of the office this long? Will there be a discussion of Hiro putting Ando on a sidekick salary? TIM KRING: Ando's and Hiro's employment situation at Yamagoto Industries will be touched upon in episode 14. However, it seems to me that saving the world has overshadowed any petty issues with their jobs. As for the "sidekick" of it all -- I guess I never really looked at him that way. Let me think about that one. Will we learn how Primatech Paper is inhibiting Sylar's powers? When will we learn how Sylar was able to kill Eden from within his cell? They have had him pretty drugged up. That in conjunction with the proximity of the Haitian and Sylar was supposed to be subdued enough to not be able to use his powers. As for Eden, there had originally been a scene that clarified that she was able to distract the Haitian in order to slip into Sylar’s cell. It was our intension that this allowed Sylar the extra power that he needed to overpower Eden. However, I hope it was clear that she killed herself in order to keep Sylar from getting her power. One hears that different writers are responsible to some degree for different characters. Bryan Fuller, for example, is said to have been assigned Claire. Which writers oversee which characters at the moment? This only happened for a couple of scripts. We very soon afterwards reached a point where every writer has written every character. The stories are now divided up on purely ad hoc basis. In an early pilot script, the "big bad" was, if I recall correctly, a superpowered Mideast terrorist who did NOT abscond with the brains of others. Why did you decide to go instead with the superpowered serial killer Sylar? The concept of Sylar as villain was introduced from the very first few minutes of the pilot. He was the "patient zero" that Suresh's father had gone looking for (and subsequently been murdered by). And in the pilot, Suresh finds a cassette tape on the floor of his father's ransacked apartment with the name "Sylar" written on it. In episode two we hear that tape and realize that Sylar is evil. Sylar was planned from the very beginning to be a tangential threat to our Heroes - His story line was planned to run concurrently with the idea of the prophecy of the apocalyptic doom for New York. The terrorist's role in the story has now been replaced by Ted, the radioactive man - NOT Sylar. Also in an early version of the pilot, Isaac cuts off his own hand. Was this element eliminated because of the expense of erasing a piece of Santiago Cabrera’s anatomy every week, or was there more to it? Once I realized how tight the chronology of the show was going to be, I got cold feet about it. In other words, each episode, at least for the first dozen, would pick up almost immediately where the last had left off. We were going to sew the hand back on, but I just felt that an injury of this magnitude would overwhelm the character's storyline. In reality he'd have to spend weeks in the hospital. So we dropped the idea. What were you up to with all that eclipse business in the pilot? Were you using it as a storytelling device to tie all the characters together, or were you thinking in the early going that the eclipse might somehow have triggered all these superpowers? An eclipse is a powerful image that has captivated us as a species since the dawn of man. There is power and mystery and awe in it. However, the eclipse in Heroes was never meant to trigger the superpowers. It was, as you say, a unifying global event that worked thematically with telling stories from around the world. But stay tuned, the eclipse just may have a little more significance than that. to be continued … ***** Finally, NBC was good enough to provide plotlines for all the episodes airing during February sweeps. We cloak these in invisotext for those who fear the spoilage: FEB. 5 "Distractions" WITH THEIR NEW PATHS BECOMING CLEARER, SOME "HEROES'" FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS ARE DRIVEN APART; GEORGE TAKEI ("STAR TREK"), CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON ("DR. WHO") AND JESSALYN GILSIG ("NIP/TUCK") GUEST-STAR -- Hiro (Golden Globe nominee Masi Oka) struggles to make his father (guest star George Takei, "Star Trek"), a corporate tycoon, and ambitious sister (guest star Saemi Nakamura), understand his new heroic path in life. Niki (Ali Larter) has a chance to be with D.L (Leonard Roberts) and Micah (Noah Gray-Cabey) again -- but will she really be with them? Claude (guest star Chris Eccleston, "Doctor Who") attempts to teach Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) to harness his abilities, but the process could shatter Peter's faith in those closest to him. Determined to find her birth mother (guest star Jessalyn Gilsig, "Nip/Tuck"), Claire (Hayden Panettiere) makes her way to a trailer park in Texas. Meanwhile, Sylar (guest star Zachary Quinto) makes a shocking move against H.R.G. (Jack Coleman) -- and his family. Tawny Cypress, Santiago Cabrera, Greg Grunberg, Adrian Pasdar and Sendhil Ramamurthy also star. FEB. 12 "Run!" AS MATT AND SURESH FACE GRAVE DANGER, THE SCANDALOUS TRUTH ABOUT CLAIRE'S REAL FATHER IS REVEALED; CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON ("DR. WHO") AND JESSALYN GILSIG ("NIP/TUCK") GUEST-STAR -- While the scandalous truth about Claire's real father is revealed, her adoptive mother (guest star Ashley Crow) faces a crisis. Matt (Greg Grunberg) takes a job as a bodyguard for a crooked attorney (guest star Aron Malsky), which puts him in the crosshairs of Linderman's very familiar new assassin. Hiro (Golden Globe nominee Masi Oka) and Ando (guest star James Kyson Lee) return to Las Vegas to find the sword, but get sidetracked by a damsel in distress (guest star Missi Pyle). Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) finds someone on the list and unknowingly puts himself in grave danger. Meanwhile, Simone (Tawny Cypress) turns to some unlikely help in her and Nathan's (Adrian Pasdar) struggle to find Peter (Milo Ventimiglia). Santiago Cabrera, Noah Gray-Cabey, Ali Larter and Leonard Roberts also star. Jessalyn Gilsig, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Lisa Lackey, Zachary Quinto and Cristine Rose guest-star. FEB. 19 "Unexpected" UNFORESEEN CHALLENGES AND DANGERS STRIKE THE 'HEROES' HARD; FROM NBC.COM'S 'HEROES' GRAPHIC NOVEL, A NEW 'WIRELESS' HERO NAMED HANA DEBUTS -- Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) painfully learns that someone close may have betrayed him and Claude (guest star Christopher Eccleston). Matt's (Greg Grunberg) world spirals out of control when radioactive man Ted Sprague (guest star Matthew John Armstrong) and Hana Gitelman (guest star Stana Katic), a fierce young woman with "wireless" mental abilities, drop into his life. After blood is spilled, Hiro (Golden Globe nominee Masi Oka) makes a difficult decision about his mission. Claire (Hayden Panettiere) is unable to contain her anger at her father (Jack Coleman). Tawny Cypress, Santiago Cabrera, Noah Gray-Cabey, Ali Larter, Adrian Pasdar, Sendhil Ramamurthy and Leonard Roberts also star. Jimmy Jean-Louis, Lisa Lackey, James Kyson Lee, Zachary Quinto and Cristine Rose guest-star. FEB. 26 "Company Man" TAKEN HOSTAGE BY RADIOACTIVE TED SPRAGUE AND MATT, H.R.G.'S HIDDEN PAST IS REVEALED -- AND NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME FOR CLAIRE; ERIC ROBERT GUEST-STARS -- H.R.G.'s (Jack Coleman) past catches up to him as Matt (Greg Grunberg) and Ted Sprague (guest star Matthew John Armstrong), come to Texas looking for answers, and take him, his wife, son and Claire (Hayden Panettiere) hostage -- leading to a tragic, explosive showdown. Secrets are revealed and new threats to the "heroes" are introduced. Tawny Cypress, Santiago Cabrera, Noah Gray-Cabey, Ali Larter, Masi Oka, Adrian Pasdar, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Leonard Roberts and Milo Ventimiglia also star. Ashley Crow and Eric Roberts ("Less Than Perfect") guest-star. 9 p.m. Monday. NBC.

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