Original Air Date : – 25th September 2006
‘Genesis’ is a brilliant pilot episode that sets of the individual storylines of this serialised television shows characters, while also hinting at possible story arcs that will develop around the entire cast. On the day of a solar eclipse, that coincides with the whole world, individuals begin to realise that they have special abilities that have been triggered by this astronomical event. Beginning with a dream like sequence, the first shot is seemingly used to announce ‘Heroes’ stance in television dramas, showcasing the special effects and the nature of the program. Carrying a roster of different individuals that come from not only different ways of life, but also completely different places in the world, the cast feels very international throughout.
Having such an international cast really does make ‘Heroes’ seem extremely big in the world of serialised television programs. The whole episode seemed very much like the beginning issue in any comic book series. This works therefore to the production teams aim, where they strive to emulate the comic book serials that had been released throughout the world.
Carrying sly messages in its content, the show pays homage to its episode title throughout. It also carries a metaphor to the main premise of the show, when a character stamps on – and kills – a cockroach, thus going against the decided god image that had been made earlier in the episode. Also in a bold move, Tim Kring (the shows creator) decides against presenting the shows true antagonist within the context of this episode. This adds to the tension raised in the program, and crafts suspense for the next episode to come along.
Whether it is Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere), a cheerleader who can self heal from any accident, or Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), a Japanese office worker who can stop time, the show introduces its many characters in an easy to understand method. Not interesting in overloading the audience with science facts or plot, ‘Genesis’ slowly introduces each of the many characters in a way that showcases their ability and characteristics while also introducing possible storyline from which they can progress. However, the issue arises with so many characters, when some are dislikable while others are found to be more interesting. This occurs with regard to this episode, with some of the characters becoming slightly annoying come its end. By introducing the characters in this manner, the audience is really drawn into the shows premise. Molinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurtny) is the only lead introduced that holds no special abilities. As such he serves as the audiences way into the shows world. This is showcased further by the character he plays presenting the scientific facts behind the special individuals that appear.
The entire cast act out their roles well. The program does struggle to decide upon its lead character, thus giving audience members no focus point from which to follow. This will therefore lead to an obvious issue when it comes to the development of the plot, as the responsibility is shared throughout an ensemble cast. There is still plenty of scope to progress and hopefully over the next few episodes the many characters will develop well into interesting too watch individuals.
Tim Kring has done brilliantly with his development of his initial idea. He manages to build tension without overusing it, thus making it more potent when it arrives. The screenplay for ‘Genesis’ carries very little action, however the show does hint at more of this element to come in the future. In the 9 years since this episode was first shown, the special effects have aged fairly well, although their is odd moments where it does seem a little poorer in what is common practise today. The artistic style however has aged well, with some strikingly beautiful props having been incorporated into the show.
‘Genesis’ is an episode that centres on the lead characters that feature, instead of the plotline or antagonist of the piece. Surprisingly having no real villain does nothing in disrupting the programs flow, instead allowing the episode to progress in an easy to understand manner. It is intriguing to see where this show will develop into in the future.