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The Telefile
Tim Kring and Zachary Quinto Talk <i>Heroes</i> Season 3, Defend <i>Heroes</i> Season 2 It seems like a century has passed since the last new Heroes episode aired, so with Season 3's September 22 premiere rapidly approaching, we dialed in to a massive media chat with creator Tim Kring and Sylar himself, Zachary Quinto, to get caught up on what has happened and what we can expect to see next season. Before we begin I should warn you about two things: 1) If you ever meet Tim Kring, do not bring up Season 2; it's a very touchy subject with him, and 2) that everyone on this call received a screener of the first hour of the Season 3 premiere, so if you want to be super duper surprised when the episode airs, do not read on. The events of the first hour of the premiere are discussed after the jump, spoiler-phobes!

The first hour answered a lot of questions but it also left some unanswered. How deep into the season will we get an understanding of how Linderman's back from the dead and why Niki is called Tracy, and what did Sylar do with Claire's brain when he was fishing around in there?

Tim Kring: You know, some of those questions will linger a little bit but I think -- actually, you know, by the end of the third hour of the show you have kind of most of those. I mean, one of the goals of this season was, because we will have been off the air for nine months, we didn't want to drag a lot of story behind us...We didn't want to feel like you had to have watched two years of this show to catch up. So we wanted to answer things really quickly so that you could move forward on this volume and have a kind of clean path in front of you. The goal for us from now on with these volumes is to try and answer -- you know, literally 95% of the questions that are posed in the beginning of the volume will be answered by the end of the volume.

I wanted to kind of clarify something because it's been brought up a couple of times, this idea of Season 2 versus Season 3, versus Season 1... the truth is what you were referring as Season 2 was not really our Season 2. It was -- it turned out to be Season 2 because of the writers' strike. It was really, you know, sort of like watching a movie and having the projector break 40 minutes into it. So what we're doing now for Season 3 was really going to be contained within the body of Season 2. So to the extent of a character like Sylar who spent the first volume of Season 2 without his powers, in the subsequent volumes he would've gotten those powers back and then gone on a series of adventures.

Will there be any major changes you'll be making to the storytelling, maybe to help viewers follow the story? Are you going to feature any characters more prominently than others?

TK: Well, this season we are not really introducing any new characters that have their own storylines. So we are concentrating very much on the core characters that we've had for two seasons now...But no, in -- we have a certain style of storytelling that really is a kind of pastiche of storytelling where there are multiple characters and multiple stories going on at the same time. The difference in this volume, Villains, is they are all feeding one big, giant story. So no, we're not really planning anybody anymore than anybody else, I don't think. The audience may feel that way at times, but I think in the aggregate, when they see it put together, certain episodes may lean a little more heavily on one character or another. But by the end I think it'll kind of balance out.

Zachary Quinto: I'll add onto that by just saying I think our show does a remarkable job of tracking all the characters and then sort of bringing them back around to one another and dovetailing the stories into each other. And, you know, for a cast as large as ours, I think all of my fellow actors would agree that each of us get a significant amount in all the episodes that we're in to chew on - you know, that there's never a feeling that one storyline is suffering in favor of another.

Zach, what's been your career plan using Heroes to get movie roles and how did you choose Star Trek as your first hiatus movie project?

ZQ: Well, I hardly chose it, so to speak. I mean, you know, I -- this whole year for me has been such a blur of good fortune that it's -- very little of it was by design, you know. I feel like I remain as grateful to be on Heroes now as I did when I first started. And it's so fulfilling creatively and professionally... You can't get ahead of yourself, because no amount of success or exposure, or opportunity is going to really matter or be ultimately fulfilling unless you can be totally present in what you're doing right now.

We got some of Sylar's background as Gabriel Grey. How much more of his past would you be interested in learning about and how much darker/more evil would you like to see Sylar get?

ZQ: Well I'd certainly be interested in learning as much about his background as the writers see fit. I mean, we do go there again this year. At a certain point you'll sort of revisit that character and the shades of that character as you first saw him. As far as how evil I'd want him to get, I feel like Sylar's evil is rooted in a great humanity and in a lot of smallness, and a feeling of sort of emptiness. And so I don't really look at it as like how evil could he possibly get. I sort of look at it as like, what he has in front of him and the choices that he makes in order to seize his opportunities or to feel -- he's constantly, constantly wrestling with the desire to feel special, the desire to feel valid, the desire to feel viable. So I feel like those are the ways that I come at it more than the level of evil that he achieves, because those are really just means to an end.

Tim, do you see any danger in losing a "normal" viewpoint by giving Dr. Suresh superpowers? Are you in danger of losing that humanity?

TK: You know, I would say yes and no. And it's one of the great challenges of doing a serialized story, is to try to keep the audience guessing and to keep things fresh. So just -- you know, what we've always sort of prided ourselves on is the ability to have the audience not be able to predict where we're going. And so hopefully with Sylar, just when you think that you have figured out what his role is for the rest of the series, he'll change again and reinvent where that character is. But yeah, somebody needs to be able to play the role of the outsider on this show and so I would just say stay tuned to see who that is.

No hints?

TK: It will be someone you know already.

Do you pay attention to what fans are saying and does it ever affect what you do on the show?

TK: Well I would love to be able to say yes it does affect us, but the truth is -- well let me give you an example. The truth is that when we premiere on September 22, we will be just starting to shoot Episode 13, which is the finale of the volume. So to the extent that we could have any input from the audience after people have seen that, I think we would be -- we're so far ahead that there really is nothing that we can do about it. Unfortunately the audience is very, very far behind where we are creatively on the show. So there's not much we can do about it.

Will the virus storyline be coming back and will we find out what happened to Caitlin?

TK: Well, the virus story was really the casualty of the strike and I think a lot of people have already heard this story. We re-jiggered literally the last couple minutes of that volume when we knew the strike was imminent and changed the ending so that that virus never broke out. The second volume of Season 2 was going to be an outbreak story that would last eight episodes and it was all avoided by Peter Petrelli catching this vial of a virus and so it did not break; and therefore, did not get out into the community. So, you know, three episodes into that volume we would have found out what happened to Caitlin, and as a result of the writers' strike, that has been sort of a lost part of the mythology of the show that may never return.

During Season 2 you introduced the group of 12 and in one episode Hiro's dad said there were 8 of them left. And then a couple episodes later Matt said that they were all dead. So are we going to see any more of group of 12, or are they all dead?

TK: You actually will see more -- yes, you will see a few of them. And that was referring to the idea of the kind of previous generation. The second volume of the show was called Generations and explored the idea that there was a whole series of people who came before our characters and acted in ways that our characters then had to go and... it's basically the idea of the sins of the parents had been visited upon their children. And we will see that some of those people survive in very interesting and curious ways in Volume 3. There's still some remnants of that previous generation.

Do you think the show was judged too harshly in Season 2? TK: Yeah. You know, that is always the nature of something that hits in a big way, in a very zeitgeist kind of way. It's very hard to be shiny and new all the time. And so of course that's something that always concerns us but there's not a whole lot we can do. We just make the story that we make. And as for how the season was judged, I think the fans that really stuck with the show saw what ended up being the second -- especially the second half of that volume finally come together in the way that the first season did. In the first season, we took about eight or nine episodes before the characters even crossed paths with one another. And if you stuck with it, you were rewarded to see where that story went. In the second season, as I said, there were 13 episodes that will never be seen. And so I think it was obviously very hard to judge it as a whole without literally over half of it never being seen. So, you know, that's kind of all I can say about it.

Excited for the premiere or dreading it? Rant and rave in the Heroes forum!

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