Can't wait for Season 2 of Heroes? Hardcore addicts can get a quick fix right now with Sword Saint, a new five-part NBC Web series that's currently streaming on YamagatoFellowship.org.
"It's a fake documentary — actually it's more like a Ken Burns mockumentary — that explores the legend of Takezo Kensei," says Heroes creator Tim Kring, referring to the iconic samurai whom Hiro (Masi Oka) will encounter this fall in 17th-century Japan. "Like Burns, we use academic professors, only ours are actors, and they share their historical insight against a background of paintings, tapestries and graphics. It's a chance to dig a little deeper into the new season. Part of the social currency our fans trade on is their knowledge of the show, and this is a fun, cool way to know a lot more than the next guy."
Narrated by John Rhys-Davies (of The Lord of the Rings, Sliders and the Indiana Jones flicks), the series unfolds in three- to four-minute installments. It follows the super-swordsman as he takes on a number of Herculean labors — battling snake women, climbing a massive frozen waterfall, single-handedly defeating 90 cannibals, that sort of thing — in order to find and slay White Beard, a Genghis Khan-wannabe who is trying to conquer Japan. In an über-operatic climax, Kensei cuts out his own heart in order to save the princess he loves. These stories were told to Hiro as a child by his father, the powerful Kaito Nakamura (George Takei).
When Heroes returns Sept. 24, Kensei will be played by former Alias star David Anders, who, last time we checked, was still Caucasian. But this is not some politically incorrect casting mess. "I promise you'll get the scoop behind this in the season premiere," says Kring. "We're going to reveal why — contrary to legend — Kensei is not Japanese."
Check out more Heroes clips in our Online Video Guide.
The Aug. 27 issue of TV Guide features an exclusive look at the Grey's Anatomy spin-off Private Practice — plus behind-the-scenes details on the new Survivor: China. Try four risk-free issues now!
Send your comments on this feature to email@example.com.