A Beginner's Guide to NBC's 'Heroes Reborn'

Forgot what happened on the original? Here's a primer about what you missed — and need to know about NBC's revival.

When Heroes Reborn premieres this week — five years after the original series went dark following a four-season run — NBC hopes that the Tim Kring series will reclaim some of the magic of the original show — circa season one, before ratings plummeted from a series high of 16 million to a low of under 4 million viewers.

In its heyday, the sci-fi series was hailed as fresh, relevant and an inspiration to the overall TV landscape. At its worst, naysayers believed the show had become bogged down with unlikable characters, convoluted storylines and a lack of vision. Whether creator/showrunner Kring can reclaim the show’s glory days with the limited-run mini remains to be seen, but he’s hoping a new breed of heroes — coupled with a few key returning favorites — are the recipe for success.

While Kring previously said that Reborn would easily appeal to viewers who didn't watch the original, here’s a refresher on where the original left off and what new (and returning) viewers need to know about the series going in. 


At the end of the series finale, Claire the cheerleader (Hayden Panettiere) jumped off a building in front of news cameras. This was significant because Claire was always able heal herself, and when she didn’t die, heroes were officially exposed for the entire world to see.


Five years after that final event, humans and Evos (short for “evolved”) have found a way to coexist in relative peace, despite some naysayers. During an event celebrating that new co-habitation in Odessa, Texas, however, a terrorist attack changes everything and once again the Evos are forced into hiding.


Noah Bennett or HRG (short for "Horn-Rimmed Glasses" and played by Jack Coleman): Claire’s father and a former employee of Primatech Paper. The company was just a front for an organization that hunted heroes and put them in captivity. Toward the end of the series he fought often with Claire in a bid to keep her safe. He has no powers.

The Haitian, Renee (Jimmy Jean-Louis): A silent type who worked with Noah, The Haitian is able to erase the memories of humans and evos alike. He and Claire formed a special bond toward the end of the series.

Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg): A police officer who works in the LAPD at the beginning of the series. Viewers followed Matt as he realized he had telepathic powers, and eventually, mind-control abilities. He has always fought against using his powers, wishing to just be a normal citizen of the world.

Micah Sanders (Noah Gray-Cabey): The youngest hero to be regularly featured on the original series — and a fan favorite — the child showed early signs of technopathy, the ability to communicate with technology and machines. He is back in Reborn, and has aged considerably.

Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy): A professor who takes over his father’s research about evolved humans in the first season, Mohinder began the show as an everyday hero. When he discovered an algorithm that allowed normal humans to take on powers and tested it on himself, however, he eventually went over to the dark side. Throughout all four seasons he remains one of the most morally complex characters.

Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka): Another fan favorite, Hiro is a samurai-sword wielding time traveler who fiercely believes in the power of heroes. His storylines were mostly subtitled, as he traveled the world with his best friend Ando (James Kyson). Because Ando didn’t initally have any powers, the two were sometimes plagued by issues of jealousy.


Despite so many returning faces in the revived miniseries, Heroes Reborn will focus mainly on new characters, as played by Zachary Levi, Judith Shekoni, Robbie Kay, Henry Zebrowski, Kiki Sukezane, Ryan Guzman, Eve Harlow, Francesca Eastwood, Krista Bridges and Rya Kihlstedt.


To help bridge the time gap between the end of the original series and the beginning of Reborn, NBC put together a six-part webseries, Dark Matters, on YouTube. The project serves as an additional primer for fans of the series who want extra background heading into chapter one, “Awakening.”


“This has a beginning, middle and end,” Kring, who is aware that prolonged episode orders watered down the show’s storytelling abilities, tells THR. “We’re making a contract with the audience that we’re actually going to do that. There’s no talk of anything to come after this.”

Heroes Reborn debuts with a two-hour premiere on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. on NBC. Whose storyline are you excited to see? Sound off in the comments below.

Twitter: @amber_dowling