David Anders by Justin Lubin/NBC Photo David Anders by Justin Lubin/NBC Photo

Daring to venture outside the Beverly Hilton base camp for the TCA press tour, on Wednesday morning I trekked to the extremely rural location where Heroes was shooting scenes involving, um, a familiar character, a brand-new one, and lots of intriguing mural art. Oh yeah, and there was a tortoise.

In between shooting videos with a trio of cast members, I grabbed a few minutes with story editor Chuck Kim. Interestingly, he said that Heroes is better for the WGA strike which forced the NBC series to wrap up its sophomore season in December.

"If Season 2 hadn't been cut, we were going to focus [the second half of the season] on the villains," he said. Instead, Volume III, kicking off Sept. 22, will take a more in-depth look at the temptation of the dark side. "The great thing is we've made [that arc] much better than it would have been," says Kim. "We'll be seeing some new [villainous] characters, but we'll also be dealing with our series regulars and see how their abilities are 'tempting' them."

Heroes' three-hour season premiere "event" will wrap up any cliffhangers, then launch into the new arc, which in addition to villainy will explore romance ("I think the fans will really enjoy some of the connections we'll be making," teases Kim) and welcome a return... or two.

In addition to Kristen Bell's multiple-episode encore as Elle, David Anders is expected back as Adam Munroe. Kim, however, wouldn't indulge my appeal to give Anders' fans any more to chew on. "Adam is an immortal guy, so he can't die so easily," the scribe acknowledged. "It's pretty safe to say that he could come back at any time from that coffin" in which he was buried alive.

And when he does, will he be nastier than ever? Says Kim, "Well, he is pretty mad at Hiro!" - Matt Mitovich