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> Features
TIM KRING ON 'HEROES' VOL. 3
He comments on Season 2 mistakes, the plan to make it all right and the next huge storyarc, ‘Villains’!

By Kiel Phegley

Posted December 20, 2007  3:15 PM

Tim Kring wants another chance, and if you won’t give it to him and his “Heroes”—well, maybe the villains will have better luck.

With the hit NBC series’ third volume delayed into late this season—or possibly the fall of ’08 due to the recent writers strike—show creator Kring and his staff are taking the extra time to learn from Volume II’s early missteps, build up an arsenal of villains and craft a killer kick start for “Heroes” return.

WIZARD: A lot of fans were disappointed in the first half of Volume II, but what’s the outlook moving forward?

KRING: [Originally], Volume III was going to be much more closely tied to Volume II in terms of the virus storyline. There were still issues about the virus that’d be there in a real way. [The next episode is the] beginning of a much bigger opening for Volume [III]. That coincided a lot with us talking about the missteps that we’ve made and gave us a chance to really hit the ground in a very fresh way. Volume III is now going to be an amalgamation of what Volume III and IV were going to be. We’re going to accelerate things and push things much harder and much faster and much bigger. So one of the things that we’re going to do is change the name.

What does that change entail?

KRING: It was originally called “Exodus.” I believe now that it’s going to be called “Villains.” We’re going for a really intense and amazing storyline that we had been thinking was going to be towards the end of our season. Instead we’ve just moved it all up. We’ve just taken it all up a big giant notch. I’m very excited to get working on that. Now unfortunately with the strike, we’re not working on that, but the cool thing about this volume is that we do get to end certain things and start certain things. Most shows have a season premiere and a season finale. We kind of get to do that a few times a year.

 

 

Do you feel like that gives you more chances to play towards what fans respond to?

KRING: Not every volume or every episode is going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and if it isn’t, then the next one will be. It gives us a chance to make these course corrections and to work in smaller chunks, which is one of the lessons that we really learned in Season One. We got to that season ender, and we had to wrap up 23 episodes’ worth of story. That was pretty daunting. We thought, “Never again. We’re not going to do that. We’re going to tell stories in smaller arcs and give people a chance to absorb a lot more over the course of a season.”

At the end of the first season, everyone was again separated around the globe. When you step into Volume III, are you going to flip that? Are you going to see more characters start together on one mission?

KRING: Yes, absolutely. One of the concepts starting at Season Two was that I really believed the audience wanted a similar experience to Season One—the idea of taking these characters, spreading them apart and then watching how they come together. Now in retrospect, once you’ve gotten an audience used to crack, it’s hard to get them to back to a gateway drug. So I think we planned for too long of a windup [in keeping the characters apart until Season Two’s] episode seven. In my mind, looking back at it with 24 episodes I’m like, “Okay, seven episodes in they finally all come together.” It seemed about right, but in retrospect the audience has a different set of expectations now, having watched an entire season. They want things to move faster, and again this idea of volumes really helps with that because we can accelerate story. And in this next volume we’re just going for a much more adrenalized ride.

With a name like “Villains” I would think so.

KRING: [Laughs] Yeah, we’ve been really talking internally for about a year now about the idea of villains and how many villains there really are out there. We’re finally going to unleash those villains into the world. It’s going to be a really, really fun ride.

And since you’ll be introducing more new villains beyond Sylar and Elle in Volume III, does that mean more mythology in the bigger mystery parts of the show?

KRING: Yeah, that’s our stock in trade. That’s what we do, and that’s what I think the audience loves. Audiences love questions. They think they love answers, but in reality they love questions more than answers because questions get them to come back the next week. The balancing act for us has always been the idea of giving answers and giving them on a regular basis so that people don’t build up a lot of frustration. Obviously, the complaints of other shows is the idea of having to wait so long for things that by the time you get that answer, no matter what that answer is, it can’t really satisfy because you’ve been waiting too long for it. We’ve always prided ourselves on being a show that no answer was so precious that we couldn’t tell you what it was.

 
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