‘Heroes’ Fans Literally Saved Some Characters’ Lives

Superhuman TV shows like Heroes provide viewers a chance at a crossover between reality and fiction. Tim Kring envisioned an ever-changing cast for this particular show. According to Kring, season one would involve killing off the characters.

Milo Ventimiglia and Hayden Panettiere looking at each other on 'Heroes'
(L-R) Milo Ventimiglia as Pete Petrelli and Hayden Panettiere as Claire Bennet | Chris Haston/Getty Images

However, this plan changed when the executive producers realized that fans had developed a liking for the original cast. In retrospect, fans of the NBC superhero drama television series saved some of the characters’ lives.

‘Heroes’ was a different kind of superhero show

ScreenRant argues that the Heroes franchise was created and produced to bring a fresh perspective to the American superhero genre. The original plot was meant to tell the story of 14 gifted characters whose lives intertwine when they learn they have superhuman abilities.

Notably, the cast and the ensuing storyline are not based on any of the preexisting superhero narratives already in play. The pilot episode aired in September of 2006 and was an instant success.

Fans were intrigued by each cast member’s incredible powers and subsequent demise. Within the first four episodes, Jackie’s scalp is telekinetically cut by Sylar, who is there to harm 15-year-old cheerleader Claire. 

Season one ends with Sylar, the season’s villain appearing to die and no one knowing what happened to his body. Further, there are questions about what truly happened to Jessica and Claire’s mother. Overall, the season ends without knowing who died, what characters are to be reunited, and who is expected to save the world.

Who survives past season one?

The subsequent seasons feature a different take on its plotlines, yet it maintained the storytelling style and action sequence that fans of comic books had come to love.

These installations featured part of the original cast and new additions. Still, fans remain the deciding voice in the storyline. Essentially, these fans have managed to keep some of the characters alive.

This inherent influence over the cast can be traced back to fans who cited that some of the cast members from season one were more popular than those in season two. Some critics even felt that the season two cast felt rather stale and that they only managed to undo the stories from season one that fans had grown to love.

Kring and his team had to therefore come up with clever ways to keep these original cast members relevant without watering down the storyline.

It can be argued that season one’s storyline overpowered Peter Petrelli’s character, played by Milo Ventimiglia. Consequently, fans grew to love his fantastic evolution from the unsure hospice nurse to a man with extraordinary powers.

Due to fans loving the character so much, Kring had to bring him back to season two and still find a solution to their overpowering of a single character. Due to public demand, he is brought back for the second season even though his memory is wiped clean.

Hiro Nakamura is another beloved Heroes character who fans successfully managed to save from season one. In season two, Hiro is cast into a feudal Japan, thus further extending his screen time. Additional characters who seem to have been brought back as a result of the liking fans had taken to them are Claire and Sylar.

Kring ends up presenting these characters as having suffered temporary deaths, then he cleverly brings them back to life.

The ‘Heroes’ season finale: Who survived?

All the four seasons of Heroes have been rife with shocking twists and turns. The 2010 finale stuck to this tradition, sending fans reeling as they lived through the emotional rollercoasters with the surviving cast members. Part of the long-awaited climax was the revelation of which of the cast members had survived.

As expected, new characters were introduced. Still, Sylar and Peter make a comeback, further cementing the notion that they remain fan favorites, particularly as the series’ villain and protagonist, respectively. While Claire, played by Hayden Panettiere, continues in her role as the innocent damsel in distress living in a world she barely has a grasp on. 

On the other hand, Hiro continues to help fellow cast members with his space-time manipulation abilities. The finale is a testament to how fans have successfully kept some of their favorite Heroes characters alive, despite a storyline that would have originally ended with their demise at the end of their maiden seasons.

RELATED: Why Another ‘Heroes’ Revival is a Bad Idea