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Heroes: Season 1, Part 1 (Review)

Heroes: Season 1, Hayden Panettiere as Claire Bennet

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

SAVE the cheerleader, save the world!” It became one of the coolest phrases associated with American television this past year and launched Heroes into the small screen stratosphere.

Put simply, Heroes is the new show that everyone is talking about. This year’s Lost. A high-concept brain-teaser that pays smart homage to classic comic book conventions, while keeping things geared towards an adult audience.

The story, so far, is relatively simple, yet intricately layered. A seemingly unrelated group of people suddenly discover they have differing superhero powers – ranging from being indestructible to being able to bend time.

At first, they attempt to come to terms with these abilities – to understand and embrace them (as all good superheroes must do). Then, they realise that their powers are needed for much more important reasons concerned with the impending end of the world.

Leading the battle from the front is Masi Oka’s engaging Hiro Nakamura, a Japanese super-geek who persuades his best friend Ando Masahashi (James Kyson Lee) to go with him to America to help save the day.

But quickly involved are the likes of Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) and his sceptical brother, Nathan (Adrian Pasdar), as well as cheerleader Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere) and police officer Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg).

The mysterious Mr. Bennet (Jack Coleman), meanwhile, seems to be hunting them for his own ends, while serving as protector to his step-daughter, Claire.

The first half of the first season admittedly takes a while to properly find its flow. But it’s never less than intriguing, as the show’s writers take time to enable viewers to get to know the characters and the various predicaments facing them.

But once an incarnation of Hiro from the future tells Peter Petrelli “save the cheerleader, save the world”, it becomes a thrilling race-against-time to discover what that means and the cheerleader in question.

Events come to a head in ninth episode Homecoming, an early season highlight, before episode 11 Fallout sets up more intriguing questions for the remaining shows to answer.

If, as promised, the remainder of the first season continues to emulate and even improve upon the achievements of the first 11 episodes, then we’re clearly in for something special.

But, for now, the release of the first half of the series on DVD offers anyone who’s missed out the chance to catch up fast. It’s the heroic thing to do!

View photos of Heroes