<EM>Heroes</EM>' Masi Oka Heroes' Masi Oka

Faster than a speeding bullet, NBC's Heroes (Mondays at 9 pm/ET) has soared to smash-hit heights. In its first three weeks, the sci-fi saga has averaged a muscular 13.5 million viewers, and NBC has already ordered a full season of 22 episodes. Heroes fans probably have burning questions, so, in lieu of having on staff an editor with mind-reading abilities, we went to series creator Tim Kring for some answers. (Also watch for the Oct. 23 issue of TV Guide, which spills even more secrets.)

Does the solar eclipse we saw in the pilot have something to do with the characters' discovering that they have special powers?
"In the pilot, the eclipse was really meant mainly to be a single global event that could connect all these characters visually and in time," says Tim Kring. "But that's not to say that we won't discover that it maybe had some other effects, as well. We will, but it will not be explained for a while."

Claire's adoptive father  "Horn-Rimmed Glasses," in the parlance of the show, played by Dynasty vet Jack Coleman  is obviously very sinister. What's up with this guy?
"He knows something, he's tracking these people, and he may be up to no good," Kring says, "but he also loves his daughter and tries to be a good father. It makes for a fascinating character."

Who is Sylar, and why does he remove the brains from his victims' heads?
He's very bad and very powerful, and Kring says it's "reasonable" to assume, based on his brief initial appearance, that he has more than just a single superpower. "He will be our main villain for Season 1," the producer says. As for his amateur surgery, "Clearly, the brain is something he's interested in. And the reason for that will be explained." Look for Sylar to make his next move in November.

Threats are everywhere the serial killer Sylar, the coming nuclear bomb in New York, the people who killed Mohinder's father.... Are they somehow connected?
Of course they are; this is the world of serial drama, where everything's a far-ranging conspiracy. "All of them will start to connect up," promises Kring. "It might take a while, but they connect."

What's up with that mysterious "S" symbol that's been appearing in various places lately?
"I would just say that part of the fun of watching the show is seeing how certain things crop up," says Kring. "And if you look at that symbol carefully, you might be able to figure it out." By the way, the symbol also shows up in places viewers can't see: On the door of a room in the soundstage where Heroes shoots, the sign reads "PROPS" with that special S as the symbol.

Niki's son, Micah, has powers of his own, right? He doesn't seem like an average kid.
"Well, no one on this show is exactly average," laughs Kring. "And both of his parents have special powers, so..." Speaking of special powers, the actor who plays Micah, 10-year-old Noah Gray-Cabey, is a musical prodigy who has already played piano with orchestras around the world.

In the October 2 episode, Hiro traveled through time to November 8, when he saw New York City destroyed in a nuclear explosion. Does that mean the heroes only have until the real November 8 to prevent the bomb?
TV dates and real-world dates may coincide once in a while, but don't read too much into this particular concurrence. "The truth is that the show takes place in a much different time frame," Kring says. "When we have cliff-hanger endings, you're not coming back a week later; you're coming back instantly. So I would not get too locked into thinking something will happen by [the real] November 8. [Our] November 8 might not come until the end of the season."

Watch for the Oct. 23 issue of TV Guide, which features Heroes on its cover and spills even more of the show's secrets.

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