theTVaddict.com Interview: Tim Kring HEROES Creator

the TV addict recently had the opportunity to discuss NBC’s fall hit HEROES with creator and executive producer TIM KRING. Not having the unique ability to read Tim’s mind, this TV addict actually had to ask questions verbally (damn my lack of superpowers!). So here it goes, a conversation with the mastermind behind HEROES.

Congratulations on officially being picked up for a full season. Now that the show is guaranteed to run for twenty-two episodes, has this changed anything in terms of the HEROES story-line?

Tim Kring: Obviously it is a lot more fun and comfortable to be working in an environment where you’re a hit and have a full season to stretch your wings. But the truth is, that we’re so many episodes ahead of where the audience is, it just feels like the same challenges every single day.

With the pick-up official, how many seasons does the HEROES story go?

Tim Kring: We have a general idea of where the story is going for a few years. HEROES is the kind of thing that can keep spinning and spinning. There is not an island to get off of or a time frame where the world ends.

We have the entire story-line plotted out for season one. In terms of season two, we have a framework, but nothing specific. The pilot introduced a prophecy which will take the entire season to unravel. At the end of season one, there will be a resolution to the pilot’s prophecy. Season two will deal with an entirely new issue.

Speaking of the pilot, there were some significant differences between the pilot that was previewed at the San Diego Comic Con and the episode that premiered on NBC. Can you discuss why there were some changes, specifically with Greg Grunberg’s (Matt Parker) and Santiago Cabrera’s (Issac Mendez) story-lines.

Tim Kring: With Santiago’s story, we wanted to condense the pilot. In the original version, Santiago’s character cut off his hands. But as we were thinking about it, we didn’t want to have a lead character dealing with a medical issue that major. So we changed it to a drug overdose.

In terms of Greg’s character, Matt Parker was originally introduced through a terrorism subplot [Greg was a cop who discovered the terrorists hiding in the basement of a house]. That subplot isn’t coming back, as we wanted to shy away from the whole issue of terrorism.

How did you feel about the pilot being leaked on the internet several months ago?

Tim Kring: These days, things sort of crop up on the net no matter how hard you try to keep check on them. The truth is, in the end, it helped us create tremendous buzz for the show before it aired. Ultimately, it helped us get viewers.

One of the things that has really struck a cord with the audience, especially women, is the strong female character that Ali Larter (Nikki) is playing? There is a lot of debate as to what her powers are. Can you comment on that?

Tim Kring: It’s safe to assume that her powers are somewhat similar to that of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or the Hulk. We’re leaving the door very open though.

How did you choose the particular powers portrayed on the show?

Tim Kring: I tried to keep the powers related to what the character’s personality or particular need was. In Ali’s case, the character of Nikki was stretched as thin as she could. Wouldn’t it be interesting to have her character be able to be in two places at once?

Could Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) have more then one power?

Tim Kring: Peter may have multiple powers. By proximity to his brother (Nathan), he was able to fly. When he was near Issac, he had the ability to draw the future. It’s fair to say Peter could have more then one power.

The powers are intended to be confusing, as we’re following it through the characters point of view. Nikki’s character is the one character who’s discovering this in the most confusing way. So we’re asking the audience to sort of buy in the conceit that it’s going to be a road of discovery throughout the next couple of episodes. By episode five or six, things should be more clear.

Powers are just powers, it’s what you do with them that defines your circumstances. Depending on the character’s personality, the powers may be used for good or evil. Some of our Heroes will be tempted by the dark side.

Speaking of the dark side, is Sylar a villain HEROES will be following all season long?

Tim Kring: On a show called HEROES, you need a villain, and it’s safe to assume that Sylar has been presented as the season’s major villain. The bodies with heads cut off are not coincidences. There is a method to Sylar’s ‘madness’, and he does present a genuine threat to our Heroes.

Are Sylar and Claire’s father connected?

Tim Kring: There is a connection between the two, which will become clear in later episodes.

In this week’s episode, Claire Bennet presumably died until the wood was removed from her head. Was she indeed dead?

Tim King: It’s safe to assume that whatever power Claire has, eminates from the brain (turned on and off by a switch). There is a clue there as to why the major villain of the show is interested in brains.

Claire’s cliffhanger was jaw-dropping. Will every episode end with a cliffhanger?

Tim Kring: Cliffhangers will pretty much be standard at the end of each episode. With so many story-lines, it allows you to find a moment at the end of each episode that leaves viewers hanging. Some will obviously be more jaw-dropping then others, but we’re committed to keeping the idea alive.

In terms of the show’s structure, will we continue seeing seven or eight separate stories per episode?

Tim Kring: The pilot, and the first few episodes were structured to introduce all of our character’s stories. As we continue to learn more about these characters and invest in them more, we start to narrow our focus. Certain characters will being to cross paths, so we no longer have to tell eight stories, we can tell two or three.

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  • John

    Thanks for the interview. It helped clarify somethings, without spoiling anything.

    “Heroes” is a great premise and so far is doing well. I view all the shows so far as mainly introduction and set up. I look forward to the story to really start rolling.

  • Jenny

    Excellent! John is right about helping to clarify some things without giving too much away. :)

  • Sam

    Yes this was a great score tvaddict. Very nice interview. Loved the questions and responses. Now, when will we all be getting that interview with Degrassi’s Peter, lol?

  • http://www.thetvaddict.com thetvaddict

    Sam – the interview with Jamie Johnston will be posted tomorrow. Sorry for the delay.

  • http://cdn_tvaddict.livejournal.com jls

    Fantastic interview! Thanks. I love knowing that they have the whole season mapped out. That always makes for better story-telling.

  • http://www.heroes-tv.com ComicFan

    Great interview, asked a lot of questions fans have been asking.

  • http://www.fanpop.com/spots/heroes Hiro Fan

    Thanks TV Addict! Between this interview and the discussion of the superpowers (again with Tim Kring) on TV Guide, the Heroes team has been lobbing a lot of juicy tidbits into the anxious mouths of its fans.

    Would have loved to know more about Claire’s father as well as the man in the bar who appeared to “block” Matt’s thoughts.

    Oh well, you’ll have to have Tim Kring back for another interview to answer those questions…

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  • Amber

    What a great interview! Very informative without giving away any spoilers. He’s right that the pilot leak just created buzz for the show. I was already interested in the concept of the show and the actors, but once I saw the pilot online, I became a fan of the series. Now I tune in every week religiously. Pilot leaks are not always bad!

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  • kelly

    this show is amazing and this interview was great…. so looking forward to future shows.. This show leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat…. p.s it is very diffrent from all of the other shows, which is a breath of fresh air….

  • nathan

    my only question is are the characters all expendable. can they be killed off such as the characters in LOST and can more people be introduced later??

  • Yong Choy Peng

    Cool show! Great interview. Love the series!

  • http://www.ewebtvworld.com Jordan

    Hey, that was a great interview. I suspected that Nikki’s power was similiar to the Hulk. I think Heroes is great, I just wish they would speed up the pace a little bit.

  • SHEILA E

    ISSAC MENDEZ IS BASED ON THE UNDERGROUND NYC ARTIST NAMED EELE. TO READ MORE ABOUT EELE
    LOG ON TO:http//www.jewishworldreview.com/0804/grove080604.asp
    TIM KRING BASED THE TV SHOW HEROES ON THE LIFE AND ART OF EELE, THERE ARE MANY ARTISTS IN NYC THAT KNOW THIS FACT AND WE ARE ALL LOOKING FORWARD TO THE TRUTH COMING OUT!

  • http://forex00.blogspot.com/ James

    are you sure about that? Because I had different results actually..

  • http://RichPetrelli.StarSearchCasting.com Rich Petrelli

    Interesting how you guys came up with the two brothers for the show, Rich Petrelli and Peter Petrelli which mirrors me and my brother. Fluke???

    Rich

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  • russell strafa

    Is the character of “Angela Petrelli” modeled after somebody you know, why the name Petrelli? I have distant cousins by that name. Thanks, Russ

  • http://www.heroeswire..com Heroes NBC TV Forums

    Ahh great insite here.

  • http://www.outtheretv.com james

    great show! really makes you think! also i cant keep my eyes of Claire Bennet shes a honey

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  • Dessieboy

    looking forward to the following season(s)

  • http://NONE AHMED SAMMY

    THIS IS ABEST TV SHOW ISEE IT IN MY LIVE ITS VERY COMPLETED AND EVERY ONE WORK FROM HART SO THATS MAKE IT DONE I WISH IF YOU TIM KRING ACCEPTED ME TO DO ANY NEW CHARACTER IN YOUR FANTASTIC TV SHOW I KNOW THATS DREAM PUT ILOVE FROM HART SHARE GOOD WORK LIKE THAT SO THANK YOU TIM KRING AND EVERY ONE WORK IN IT GOOD BAY SEAR

  • Brad Hallston

    Its funny to read this now, after Heroes has been cancelled, and long after it was ruined … Who, 3 years ago, when Heroes was approaching its peak, could've foreseen the carnival?