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Blu-ray Review: Heroes: Season Four

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In 2006, NBC debuted Heroes; the series chronicled the lives of ordinary individuals who discover that they have superhuman abilities. It was a breakout hit and viewers eagerly wanted more; but then the writers’ strike led to an abbreviated second season. The series never recovered from the forced hiatus and limped along for two additional seasons.

One of season four’s plotlines involves Hiro (Masi Oka) losing control of his powers. Thinking he’s dying, he starts doing what he can to “fix” the time stream. Claire (Hayden Panettiere) tries to live a life without her powers, enrolling in college with less than spectacular results. Her story line includes the cliché of experimenting with her sexuality with her roommate. Sylar (who had been mindwiped and rewritten to be Nathan) experiences flashes of his past life and tries to regain control of his mind.

In the season’s main story, Samuel (Robert Knepper) recruits new and old faces to his travelling circus with the intention of creating a community for people with abilities. But when he crosses paths with Hiro, Peter, Claire, Noah, and even Sylar, the Heroes decide to take down Samuel and his travelling circus. The season resolves most of the plotlines, while leaving things open for future storylines, which won’t be seen as NBC cancelled the series.

Part of the problem was the series was supposed to continually introduce new characters and different situations. But certain characters became favorites among both the fans and the producers. And instead of these characters having storylines which ran their courses and then leaving the series, they kept being brought back and being placed in nearly the same situation each season. Or worse, just being there because of their popularity, when their time on the show should have been over. While new characters were brought in, they were overshadowed by these favorites and were gone by the next season with their full potential never being reached.

Heroes Season Four is presented in 1080p widescreen; the series looks excellent. The colors really stand out, especially at the carnival which is rich and vibrant with all the colors bright and lively. The black levels are crisp and defined and never wash the actors out.

The series DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is very good; it never overpowers the dialogue, nor interferes with it. The surround sound lets you hear each of the various powers as their owner uses them. You can understand each actor’s lines, and can distinguish each of them.

Heroes box sets usually have a good amount of extras, including commentaries for each episode, sadly that’s not the case this time as only  four of the 18 episodes have commentaries

“Deleted and Extended Scenes” each of the eighteen episodes has at least one deleted or extended scene and some deleted scenes really fill in gaps to the story whereas the extended scenes change the plot (some for good, some not) and you have a totally different take. At least they’re here now to watch and clocking in at about 45 minutes, that’s enough for an additional episode.

“Tim Kring Post-Mortem” this featurette has the series finale beginning with a conversation with series creator Tim Kring. Here Kring talks about what the series has meant to him, and vows  to do what he can to keep Heroes alive in some form.

“Deconstructing Sylar” this has a long conversation about the character with actor Zachary Quinto, creator Tim Kring, and executive producer Adam Armus. The discussion covers how the character was originally going to be a priest and older than Quinto, what Sylar represents to the series, how the character changed to highlight Qunito’s strengths as an actor and how many different versions of the character Qunito portrayed throughout the series run. There is talk of what would have happened to Sylar if the series had continued on for another year.

“Behind the Big Top” explores the main characters of the carnival, how the actors were cast to their roles and shows how the set was designed and created.

“Heroes Revolution” shows all the different types of media that fleshed out the Heroes universe including characters Facebook pages, their tweets, webisodes, the online graphic novel and more.

“Milo Speaks” has Milo Ventimiglia talking about growing up as a geek; how he’s tried to give back to fandom; this is a brief featurette which could have been expanded upon.

 “Genetics of a Scene” here seven mini-featurettes are combined into one featurette that details seven scenes which are very effects laden. It covers building set pieces, the construction of squibs for a sniper assault, wirework used in the finale, make-up effects and more.

“Heroes Connections Network” each disc has this featurette which highlights each character featured in a particular episode, their bio and how each character is connected to each other.

Heroes Season Four closes out a series that started out strong, but stumbled along the way and never regained its former glory. At least the series was allowed to wrap up most plotlines, while there were talks of doing a TV movie to wrap everything up, that’s not meant to be, and depending on your point-of-view that can be a good thing or bad thing. 

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