Heroes became the phenomenon of television last year, so expectations are high for its second season. Tim Kring has already taken into account some of the frustrations of last year: long hiatuses, balancing storylines, all converging together. He's got some exciting plans for next year.
"One of the things that I sort of learned in the first season was that we called season one 'Volume One' and it was entitled 'Genesis,'" said Kring. "It just happened to be twenty three episodes long. 'Volume II' is entitled 'Generations' and it by no means has to be an entire season long. I wouldn't expect it to be an entire season long. In fact we're looking at that volume to end in the middle of the season which allows us to wrap up certain stories and allows us to have new stories begin. So you don't get a sense that if you jump on the train that you're aggressively being pushed off of the train because you don't know what's going on. That's a big concern with us."
That also means you won't have to wait until May for the big finish. There could be several throughout the year. "The idea is actually to do smaller finales so that we don't have to carry the burden of having every single character come together to do this great thing. We'll build to certain mysteries that feel like they need to be solved and things will be solved and other ones will kind of straggle along, as with many volumes of books and comic books."
As some volumes focus more on certain characters, don't worry about missing out on your favorite ensemble members. "No, no, no. Everybody still gets woven in. It's just that the cliffhanger aspect or the finale aspect may not involve them as much as some of the other people."
If you're new to Heroes, don't worry. We'll all be catching up at the beginning of season two. "[The premiere] is an episode entitled 'Four Months Later' and so we pick up the stories four months after we left off at the end of the season. There is tremendous mystery in what happened during those four months and that's part of why you're watching these first few episodes. They're revealing what actually happened. So the recap, in a way, is sort of built into the story."
Kring is also adding eight new characters into the ensemble, but it has not been a major artistic hassle. "A lot of it was planned for and felt fairly natural. It's a big cast. One of the things we are doing this year, because we're not asking the audience to start absolutely from scratch, we're not so concerned now about every episode having every single character in it. So we're able to sort of pull back and ebb and flow and let certain characters come to the surface for an episode and sit out an episode. The idea of being able to focus on a couple characters is something we really learned last year was a really valuable thing to do, but you had to have earned enough interest in those characters to then focus on them."
Also, Hiro might get to have more big sword fights. "Oh yeah. All that training and all the sword discussions were part of trying to build a basis of knowledge for him so that he can enter into those kind of scenes. And Masi himself is really quite good with a sword."