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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Various
Cast:
Hayden Panettiere, Masi Oka, James Kyson Lee, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Jack Coleman, Adrian Pasdar, Milo Ventimiglia, Ali Larter
Writing Credits:
Various

Tagline:
Save the Cheerleader. Save the World.

Synopsis:
Join the phenomenon and discover every hidden clue, electrifying twist and suspense-filled moment in Heroes: Season 1, the epic drama of ordinary people who discover they possess extraordinary abilities. The 7-disc set is packed with over 10 hours of fascinating bonus features including the DVD exclusive - the original extended pilot featuring heroes cut from the televised version!

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 1.78:1/16x9
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish

Runtime: 1009 min.
Price: $59.98
Release Date: 8/28/2007

Bonus:
DVD One:
• Unaired Pilot with Optional Commentary from Series Creator Tim Kring
• Deleted Scenes
DVD Two:
• Deleted Scenes
DVD Three:
• Deleted Scenes
DVD Four:
• Audio Commentaries for Three Episodes
• Deleted Scenes
DVD Five:
• Audio Commentaries for Four Episodes
• Deleted Scenes
• “Mind Reader” Game
DVD Six:
• Audio Commentaries for Four Episodes
• Deleted Scenes
DVD Seven:
• Audio Commentary
• “Making Of” Featurette
• “Special Effects” Featurette
• “The Stunts” Featurette
• “Profile of Artist Tim Sale” Featurette
• “The Score” Featurette
• Sneak Peeks


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EQUIPMENT
Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Heroes: Season One (2006)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 31, 2007)

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, because this website keeps me focused on DVDs, I watch virtually no broadcast TV. That means I only ever check out various series when they come out on DVD, and even then I’m pretty selective about what I view. These reviews take so much time that I can’t take on many TV packages; if I did more, I’d only be able to generate one or two reviews a week.

Usually I stick with tried and true favorites like The Simpsons or The Odd Couple, but occasionally a current series intrigues me enough to give it a look. That proved true for Heroes, the breakout hit of the 2006-07 season. I’ll look at all 23 episodes of this superhero show in the order aired. The plot synopses come straight from the DVD’s package.

DVD ONE:

Genesis: “Events are set in motion as a total eclipse casts its shadow across the globe and a genetics professor (Sendhil Ramamurthy) uncovers his father’s secret research revealing that people with super powers are living among us.”

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the series’ first episode, though I thought it’d probably offer a slam-bang, action-packed affair meant to overwhelm the audience. What better way to attract viewers than to convince them they’ll get the equivalent of a major superhero movie every week?

To my fairly pleasant surprise, “Genesis” takes the opposite approach. It intrigues us with possibilities more than with realities. Rather than throw rock-‘em-sock-‘em action at us, the episode teases us with small glimpses of the characters and what they can – or will be able to – do.

The best intros come for Claire and Hiro. Both offer the show’s most clever moments and we get a better sense for those roles. The others are a little more subdued and not quite so much fun, but they serve the episode well. On its own, “Genesis” isn’t the most fascinating show, but it doesn’t need to be a killer. It serves to set up the framework for the series, and it does that pretty well.

I appreciate the fact that “Genesis” leads us into the roles in a pretty gentle manner. It integrates the various introductions well and makes them both smooth and painless. When the program ends, you might think that you’ve only met three or four main characters. Instead, when you think about it, you realize that a full seven “heroes” and various related parts receive intros here. That fact shocks me, as the show moves through them so well that it feels like we get much more time and depth per personality. As a stand-alone show, “Genesis” isn’t the most exciting, but as an “origin story” of sorts, it works quite well and it gives us a nice opening for the series.

Note that this DVD also includes a longer version of “Genesis” under the moniker “Unaired Pilot”. I’ll discuss it more fully when I get to the extras, but it includes all the footage seen here plus an extra 20 minutes or so of additional bits. If you want to watch it, I think it probably makes more sense to skip “Genesis”, though that’s not a perfect solution either, as the “Unaired Pilot” develops some threads that would never appear in the series.

Don’t Look Back: “Discovering new abilities, Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) listens in on a girl’s thoughts, Niki (Ali Larter) finds herself capable of brutal strength, Claire (Hayden Panettiere) deals with high school life after a seemingly deadly fall, and Hiro (Masi Oka) investigates New York.”

Today’s question: how in the world did they get a show with this one’s graphic nature on broadcast TV? We find some material I’d think would push a feature film into “R” territory and yet Heroes appeared on NBC! I won’t judge if this is good or bad, but it really surprises me.

As a narrative, “Back” helps broaden the series’ horizons in a mild manner. We get a new “hero” via Greg, and we also find hints of a villain named Sylar, though the latter doesn’t make an onscreen appearance. As with the first episode, those who desire lots of action will leave disappointed, but I don’t mind. “Back” draws us into the characters and situations even more. I can wait for actual heroics as long as the shows create intrigue like this one does.

DVD TWO:

One Giant Leap: “Claire comes under attack by a high school quarterback, Hiro looks for support from Ando (James Kyson Lee), and Niki makes a gruesome discovery.”

Three shows into the series and someone other than Claire actually does something heroic! Hiro takes that role in a quick bit. We get our first real glimpse of Sylar and start to develop his side of things, and “Leap” offers a little more action than its predecessors. It’s a good episode, though the absurdly obvious product placement for a certain automobile annoys.

Collision: “The heroes have the possibility to connect with one another as Mohinder puts together the final clues to their whereabouts, but will it be too late for the cheerleader?”

Four shows into the series, we start to see the various character threads intertwine more clearly. I like that trend, though I really could live without the Peter/Simone/Isaac love triangle; that seems a little sudsy for my liking. I’m also not wild about the subplot with the rapist quarterback, as it feels a little Afterschool Special to me, though Claire’s powers mean that story’s conclusion is unusual. Hiro offers the best moments, as his gambling session is fun – and even sneaks in a clever Rain Man allusion.

Hiros: “The consequences of the heroes’ abilities become more evident as Matt reads his wife’s thoughts, Hiro is attacked by Las Vegas casino personnel, and Niki loses track of time.”

Though we’re only four episodes into the series, I think Hiro will be my favorite character. At this point, his personality borders on stereotype, but he’s so fun and likable that he avoids those pitfalls. I also like the fact that Nathan is such a politician he can continue to lie about his abilities; Adrian Pasdar’s delightfully smarmy performance helps. Matt gets some good moments as he uses his powers to try to save his marriage, and the disparate characters start to run into each other.

The series pulls off that last side of things in a surprisingly natural manner. It could have used awkward, forced connections among the characters, but instead the show connects the roles with ease. That factor allows “Hiros” to be a good one.

Better Halves: “Niki comes face-to-face with her husband DL (Leonard Roberts), and Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) relays a life-saving message to Hiro.”

After lots of talk, we finally meet DL – and learn that his wife isn’t the only super-powered one in the family. Unfortunately, “Halves” concentrates too much on the Niki story, which is turning into my least favorite. Niki and DL are not an interesting couple, and their tale tends to deflate the episode. We do find an interesting revelation about Eden, but overall this is a lackluster episode.

DVD THREE:

Nothing to Hide: “Relationships are at risk as Matt brushes aside his wife to join the hunt for Sylar (Zachary Quinto), Claire discovers where her missing tape has gone, Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) strategizes with his family, and Niki confides her ‘secret’ to a friend.”

More secrets emerge here, as we find out a regular who also has powers, and we discover what’s up with Nathan’s wife. Unfortunately, those elements aren’t enough to elevate this episode over the level of “blah”. The Peter/Nathan side of things has some moments, but I think the show as a whole isn’t very interesting.

Seven Minutes to Midnight: “Determined to lead a normal life, Claire focuses on homecoming, and Mohinder returns to India to bury his father.”

After a couple of mediocre episodes, the series rebounds here. It moves the overall arc along well, especially in terms of HRG, Mohinder and Sylar. The Hiro cliffhanger ending also leaves us with the appropriate charge and helps turn “Minutes” into a winner.

Homecoming: “The time to save the cheerleader has arrived, and one night could change the fates of Claire, HRG (Jack Coleman), Peter … and the world.”

Another strong episode, “Homecoming” puts a good emphasis on action and tension. I don’t think the series really explained Peter’s powers well in the past, but this show makes sure we understand what he can do. It also puts Mohinder back on track and develops Sylar. All of those factors ensure that there’s a lot to like about “Homecoming”.

Six Months Ago: “Time jumps back to reveal Mohinder’s father in New York, Claire’s startling discovery, and a legal case that could have dire implications for the entire Petrelli family.”

Want a belated “origin episode”? “Ago” is your show! It provides an intriguing look at the characters before they gained their powers and fleshes them out well. We get a better feel for Sylar’s quest and Hiro moves beyond goofy comic relief to gain an emotional edge. Heck, even the Niki section succeeds in this one!

DVD FOUR:

Fallout: “Isaac’s (Santiago Cabrera) paintings reveal more about the predicted New York City nuclear bombing, Mohinder takes first steps in his new path, and Niki makes a tough decision to protect her son.”

After all the drama of the last couple of shows, “Fallout” acts as a pause to let us catch our breath. It’s something of a placeholder show in that way, as it does nothing major. However, it moves along the overall arc of the series and ends with a big revelation, so I like it.

Godsend: “As Claire faces the consequences of her deal with the Haitian (Jimmy Jean-Louis), and as Hiro and Ando set out to find a new samurai sword, one new hero makes a shocking debut.”

Mostly a character development episode, this one deepens some relationships, especially in terms of supporting characters. Some of those folks learn what their loved ones can do, so that broadens matters. We also meet a new character, an invisible man who works with Peter. It’s a little flat after some of its predecessors, but it gives us enough to be decent.

The Fix: New faces appear to teach the heroes as Hiro talks business with his father, Claire searches for her biological parents, and Peter tries to learn from an invisible man (Christopher Eccleston).”

This show is similar to “Godsend” in that it focuses more on character topics rather than move along the overall story. Claire gets closer to the truth about her past, though, and a few revelations emerge. Unfortunately, we get a lot of DL/Niki, and that side of things continues to bore me.

Distractions: “Family bonds are put to the test as Hiro struggles to make his father understand his new path, Niki makes a choice regarding her future with DL and Micah (Noah Gray-Cabey), and Sylar visits the Bennet home.”

The massive revelation at the end is this episode’s big deal, but that’s not the only reason to remember it. We find a lot more drama after the last couple of character shows, and the series takes a darker turn in some of its subplots. It’s a good episode.

DVD FIVE:

Run!: “Mohinder meets a dangerous new hero, Matt comes under fire from Linderman’s newest assassin, and the identity of Claire’s biological father is revealed.”

Hey, whaddya know – an episode in which the Niki/Jessica plot isn’t a drag! “Run!” offers more action than usual – guess that’s why there’s an exclamation point in the title. Claire’s side of things veers into soap opera territory, but at least Ando finally gets to do something active. There’s more to like here than to dislike, so I think it’s a nice show.

Unexpected: “Matt joins forces with a ‘wireless’ hero (Stana Katic) and a radioactive man (Matthew John Armstrong), Claire strikes out at her father, and Peter learns of a painful betrayal.”

Although I still see too much soap opera in Claire’s tale, the episode’s overall tone of darkness makes it memorable. Matt’s work with his little team creates intrigue, and some shocks come along the way. “Unexpected” moves this along and allows us to really feel like the series is gearing up for something big.

Company Man: “HRG’s shocking past is revealed, and Claire’s home life is changed forever after a terrible explosion.”

As implied by the first part of that synopsis, “Man” gives us the backstory about Claire’s dad. It’s one of the more focused episodes since the majority of it takes place in or around the Bennet home; it doesn’t skip among characters like the usual episode. “Man” really deepens the series’ mythos, and it packs a greater emotional punch tha usual as well. It’s a solid show.

Parasite: “Terrible glimpses of the future shake the heroes as Linderman is revealed and Isaac paints his most terrifying painting yet.”

Essentially there are three kinds of Heroes episodes: those that develop character relationships, those that expand on backstory, and those that push along the plot. “Parasite” falls into the latter category, and it does so pretty well. Hiro gets his groove back, Claire discovers some news, and we finally meet Linderman. It’s not a great program, but it develops matters well.

DVD SIX:

.07%: “Sylar’s rampage continues with Mohinder’s unwitting assistance, and Hiro resolves to ‘save the world’ when faced with a grim reality.”

Linderman receives extra detail here, as we learn about his powers and backstory. That side of things is the most intriguing, but some other elements create good interest as well, though the big battle between Peter and Sylar is too short.

By the way, if the courier at Isaac’s loft looks familiar, you probably saw Air Guitar Nation. David “C Diddy” Jung plays that part.

Five Years Gone: “Hiro and Ando teleport into the future to find that people with extraordinary abilities are being killed as ‘terrorists’.”

Time travel stories can be a mess, and “Gone” is no exception. If you think too much about all the various conundrums, your head will explode. Better to go with the flow and enjoy this as the fun semi-fantasy program it is.

The Hard Part: “As Nathan prepares for the election, Hiro and Ando’s determination to save the world is truly put to the test.”

Here we finally get some real backstory for Sylar – to a degree. We get a little better handle on what makes him tick, and young Molly from all the way back in episode 2 returns – with a big revelation. Overall, this is a placeholder episode, though, as it moves things along in a moderate way but lacks much excitement.

Landslide: “Nathan reflects on the cost of becoming a member of Congress, and Peter and Claire try to leave New York before the explosion.”

This episode exists to set the stage for the climax, and it does so well. It ties together many threads and we finally learn how Nathan will overcome his deficit and win the election. The program creates a lot of intrigue to get us ready for the finish.

DVD SEVEN:

How to Stop an Exploding Man: “Isaac’s shocking predictions unfold in Kirby Plaza, where the heroes face pain and peril.”

Does “Man” conclude Season One with a bang or a whimper? A little of both, actually, as it turns into a moderately satisfying finale but not a great one.

On the positive side, it does wrap up loose ends and finish the main thrust of the season’s narrative. We find a little action, some emotion, and a few surprises. It’s not the most heart-pounded climax, but it does its job for the most part. It also gives us a cliffhanger ending to keep us hooked for Season Two, and a couple of moments that may foreshadow that season’s events.

Unfortunately, this comes with more than a few moments that just don’t make much sense. I get the feeling that the folks behind the series came up with a conclusion they liked and simply crammed the narrative into that finish rather than allow things to connect more naturally. I don’t want to discuss the illogical elements because I like to avoid spoilers, but there were some things that left me confused.

Still, it does more right than wrong, and it finishes the season reasonably well. At least it leaves me hungry for more, so I look forward to Season Two.


The DVD Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B/ Bonus B

Heroes appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on these single-sided, double-layered DVDs; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The shows looked great throughout these discs.

No issues with sharpness occurred. The shows came across as crisp and well-defined. Even wide shots appeared solid, as they demonstrated virtually no softness or fuzziness. I saw no problems with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement was minor, Source flaws weren’t a concern, though the shows tended to look a little grainy at times.

Heroes came as a series with a varied but usually pretty natural palette. The colors looked good within the production design. They were also full and well-developed in that realm. Blacks always seemed deep and full, while shadows were mostly clean and smooth. My only minor complaint came from lighting, as dark-skinned actors shot in shadows tended to be a little too tough to see. Nonetheless, these issues were pretty insignificant, as the series usually looked great.

Though not amazing, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Heroes worked well. The audio supported the shows just fine. The soundfield emphasized the forward channels and worked quite well within that realm. The front spectrum was nicely broad and blended together cleanly. The elements remained in the appropriate locations and panned smoothly across the channels. Surround usage tended toward general reinforcement and atmospherics, though the rear speakers came to life pretty well during action sequences. Surrounds didn’t dazzle, but they brought some life to the mix.

Audio quality always seemed good. Speech was consistently natural and crisp, though a little edginess crept into some lines. Music was clean and concise. The score appeared well-recorded and dynamic. Effects also came across as lively and distinctive, and they lacked distortion. Bass response was deep and firm. Overall, the audio was more than fine for the series.

A mix of extras pops up across all seven DVDs. On Disc One, we find an Unaired Pilot: Tim Kring Cut. This 73-minute and 46-second version acts as an expanded edition of “Genesis”; it adds about 20 minutes, 30 seconds of footage to the televised cut. That means you should expect to see a lot of familiar material if you already watched “Genesis”. Some of the scenes here are alternates or extensions, but most of the time the bits will look familiar.

So what about the fresh footage? Some of it really can’t be viewed as “fresh” since it appears elsewhere in the series, albeit sometimes in an altered manner. For instance, we meet Matt 17 minutes into “Pilot” instead of waiting for “Don’t Look Back”. However, while he uses his telepathy to find a child in “Back”, here he locates a terrorist. We also encounter Matt’s wife a few episodes early – and with a different actress, as she was recast for the aired episodes.

Terrorism is the major thread absent from both “Genesis” and “Back” that appears in “Pilot”. We learn a little more about the train wreck in Odessa and get info about terrorists that leads toward the apparently imminent nuclear explosion. None of this appears in the series as aired; the Amid character totally gets the boot for reasons we’ll learn in Tim Kring’s commentary. That’s the biggest change between the two cuts and the most interesting aspect of the “Unaired Pilot”.

DVD One opens with some ads. We get promos for The Bionic Woman, Knocked Up, a certain automobile featured prominently in the series, Hot Fuzz and HD-DVD.

13 episodes boast audio commentaries. These involve a variety of participants. Note that the rosters often rotate during an episode, as various folks come and go, so don’t expect to get all of them together the whole time.

Unaired Pilot: Series creator/executive producer Tim Kring. He discusses changes made between this version and the one that went on the air, sets and locations, cast and characters, some story issues, stunts and effects. Kring offers a pretty nuts and bolts look at the pilot, which is fine to a point but disappoints as a whole. It’s good to hear about the alterations made to this version, but he dwells on locations and dry topics too much of the time. I wanted to hear an overview of the series’ origins and whatnot, but we get none of that. The track’s okay but not exactly fascinating.

Godsend: Actors Jack Coleman, Leonard Roberts and Sendhil Ramamurthy. They give us a few notes about shooting the series but don’t expect many details here. Instead, the track mostly indulges in joking around and praise for the show. This makes it pretty dull.

The Fix: Actors Greg Grunman and Hayden Panettiere and Writer/Co-Executive Producer Natalie Chaidez. Expect more of the same content here, though we get a little more depth. We learn a little about sets and locations as well as general production anecdotes. However, the track remains heavy on praise and jokes, especially when we hear from Grunman; he presents a larger than life personality and occasionally entertains, but I wish we learned more.

Distractions: Grunman, Coleman, director Jeannot Szwarc, and Actors Zachary Quinto and Milo Ventimiglia. I’d love to relate that “Distractions” provides an exception to the rule set by its predecessors, but unfortunately it doesn’t. Actually, it’s probably the best of the tracks since Kring’s, as we get a couple of reasonably interesting notes about the script and visuals. However, the commentary remains lightweight and not particularly informative.

Run!: Grunberg and Writers/Supervising Producers Adam Armus and Kay Foster, and Actor Kevin Chamberlin. I can’t quite decide if Grunberg adds life to these tracks, if he becomes obnoxious, or some combination of the two. Probably the latter, as he’s fun but a little too loud at times.

Does anything about this commentary stand out from the others? Not really. Grunberg continues to dominate, though he’s not involved the whole time, so we do get to hear from others. The writers add some nice character notes but not much more.

By the way, here’s one problem with the structure of these tracks: since folks come and go, we occasionally hear some of the same notes twice. This happened a few episodes back when we learned about the dog who plays Mr. Muggles, and it occurs here when the reason we see a Ramones T-shirt gets repeated.

Unexpected: Quinto, Ramamurthy, Director/Co-Executive Producer Greg Beeman, and Writer/Co-Executive Producer Jeph Loeb. I wish I could say something different about this track, but I can’t. It’s the same old collection of wackiness and praise without a whole lot of content. On the positive side: a running gag about David Schwimmer that should annoy but gets funnier as it gets beaten to death. On the negative side: way too many uses of the phrase “rock the house”. Matters do become more sedate – in a good way – when Beeman splits; that man’s a manic maniac!

Company Man: Coleman, Director/Executive Producer Allan Arkush and Writer/Co-Executive Producer Bryan Fuller. Miracle of miracles, we finally get a really good commentary! This one covers many bases as it delves into the episode’s origins and cinematic influences, character issues and choices, camerawork and pre-viz, effects, editing, and a few other topics. The track proves very informative and is the kind of serious discussion of the series we should have heard in the prior commentaries.

Parasite: Arkush, Writer Christopher Zatta, and Actor Jimmy Jean-Louis. I’m happy to report that “Parasite” continues the commentary winning streak. We learn about the series’ writing and directorial processes; specifically, we find out how different writers/directors come onto the show and how things are kept consistent. Jean-Louis talks about his casting and character, and we also find some notes about musical themes and other show-specific elements. This offers a lively little chat that fleshes out the show well.

.07%: Writer Chuck Kim, Assistant to Tim Kring Andrew Chambliss, and Assistant to Dennis Hammer Timm Keppler. Here we find another enjoyable commentary. This one takes on a nuts and bolts approach, as it digs into all the different behind the scenes elements related to getting the series on the air. These touch on a variety of writing, directing, and general production topics, and the track informs well.

Five Years Gone: Grunberg, Ramamurthy and Coleman. If you expect this actor track to continue to run of good commentaries… sorry. Actually, I probably like it more than most of the pre-“Company Man” chats, but that might just be because I got out of that praise/joking rut with the last three discussions. This one does include a smattering of decent notes, but expect more of the usual kidding around and praise. Ramamurthy’s hair becomes a running gag.

The Hard Part: Actors James Kyson Lee and Noah Gray-Cabey and Stunt Coordinator Ian Quinn. You’d think the inclusion of Quinn might change the tone of this commentary when compared to the other actors chats. You’d think wrong. Quinn tells us a little about stuntwork, but mostly we get the usual praise. There’s less joking around than normal, though, and it is mild fun to hear the participants discuss subjects like what super powers they’d like to possess. Nonetheless, this is another pretty ordinary chat.

Landslide: Actors Masi Oka, George Takei and Matthew Armstrong. In terms of focus, this one tells us a little more about locations than usual, as we get info about how LA doubled for other spots. Otherwise we hear talk about how great the series is and not a whole lot else. At least Takei tosses in a couple stories about Star Trek.

How to Stop an Exploding Man: Kring, Arkush, and Executive Producer Dennis Hammer. For the final commentary, the question became who would dominate. Would this be a decent but dry track ala Kring’s discussion of the “Pilot”, or would this be a lively, insightful chat like Arkush’s look at “Company Man”?

The Kring side wins. That doesn’t make this a bad commentary, as it gets into some decent nuts and bolts topics related to the episode. However, it lacks much depth, as general production bits come to the fore and we don’t get much insight into the series’ stories, arc, and other related issues. It’s worth a listen, but as a season summary, it doesn’t excel.

If you like deleted scenes, you’ll find plenty here. We get cut sequences for “Genesis” (8, 6:42), “Don’t Look Back” (4, 3:39), “One Giant Leap” (2, 4:17), “Collision” (2, 0:53), “Hiros” (3, 2:33), “Nothing to Hide” (8, 9:36), “Seven Minutes to Midnight” (3, 2:52), “Homecoming” (1, 1:00), “Six Months Ago” (2, 2:31), “Fallout” (1, 1:45), “Godsend” (2, 1:53), “The Fix” (1, 1:19), “Distractions” (3, 2:13), “Run!” (3, 3:26), “Company Man” (3, 1:47), “Parasite” (1, 0:46), “.07%” (1, 0:29), “Five Years Gone” (1, 0:42), and “Landslide” (1, 0:53).

Most of these clips simply add minor extensions to existing scenes. Don’t expect any new subplots or major developments, at least not after “Genesis”; it includes references to the deleted terrorist storyline, and it also would have introduced DL to the series at an earlier point.

Otherwise, these snippets don’t give us anything revelatory, though they do serve to broaden the characters. For instance, we find out how Claire first realized she had the power to heal, and we get a mix of other interesting character insights. Despite a few redundant bits, most of the pieces are pretty interesting. They don’t prove fantastic, but they add to our understanding of the characters.

DVD Five presents a Mind Reader game. This purports to “test” Matt Parkman’s mind-reading ability. It uses numbers to magically attach to a hero, and the DVD will read your mind to tell you who it is. It’s a cute little numerical trick.

On DVD Seven, we find a bunch of featurettes. Making Of goes for nine minutes, 59 seconds and mixes show clips, behind the scenes materials, and interviews. We hear from Kring, Oka, Ventimiglia, Panettiere, Grunberg, Roberts, Loeb, Ramamurthy, and actors Ali Larter and Adrian Pasdar. The program looks at the series’ origins, Season One’s story and character arcs, casting, the show’s Comic-Con debut, and the show’s success.

At less than 10 minutes, you can’t expect much detail from this piece. It starts pretty well as we finally learn a little about the series’ start, but it stumbles from there. For instance, the casting section gives us interesting thoughts about how the Sendhil character changed to accommodate Ramamurthy, but we learn nothing about the other actors. There’s a smattering of good comments but this is a pretty promotional piece overall.

Next we find the eight-minute and 44-second Special Effects. It presents remarks from Oka, visual effects supervisor Mark Kolpack, 2D artist Ryan Wieber, and 3D artist Tony Ocampo. We get a definition of the difference between special effects and visual effects before we find info about the work done for Heroes. In particular, we look at how they created the scene where Hiro stops time to save the Tokyo schoolgirl. This becomes a good look at the effects processes. It’s also cool to learn that Oka has a background in effects and actually used to work at ILM.

The Stunts goes for 10 minutes, 21 seconds. It features Quinn, Pasdar, Ventimiglia, Ramamurthy, Oka, Takei, and Quinto. While we find decent information about how the stunts were executed, the best material comes from the raw footage. I like those elements, as they let us see the stunts as they happened. This isn’t the most in-depth discussion of stunts, but it’s reasonably good.

After this comes a Profile of Artist Tim Sale. This 11-minute and 25-second piece includes remarks from Sale and actor Santiago Cabrera. We learn a little about Sale’s background in comics as well as his work for the series and the use of his art in the show. Some fascinating tidbits pop up – like the fact that Sale is colorblind – and those turn this into a good little show.

For the final featurette, we get The Score. It runs eight minutes, 57 seconds and offers notes from composers Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman and audio engineer Michael Perfitt. They discuss their musical choices for the series and how these elements were recorded. The program lets us learn why the musicians did what they did, so we learn a lot from this useful piece.

DVD Seven concludes with some Sneak Peeks. This area provides ads for Bring It On: All or Nothing, that automobile I refuse to name since it already gets enough product placement, and TV series Friday Night Lights, Las Vegas, House, The Office, 30 Rock, and Miami Vice.

Heroes almost makes me wish I watched more broadcast TV. The series gives us a comic book tale that emphasizes character in addition to intrigue, and it balances the elements well. I can quibble about some choices and episodes, but Heroes usually works very well. The DVD offers excellent visuals along with pretty positive audio and extras. I like the series quite a lot and think this package merits your attention.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.7 Stars Number of Votes: 10
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