Tim Kring is creator and executive producer of Heroes,
NBC's new epic saga that chronicles the lives of ordinary
people who discover they possess extraordinary abilities.
Kring received a master of fine arts degree from the University
of Southern California's renowned film school and worked his
way up in production as a grip, gaffer and on camera crews.
He sold his first pitch for an episode of Knight
in 1985. Kring spent the next eleven years writing feature
films, including the sequel Teen
series pilots and television movies such as Bay
In 1998, he co-created the series Strange
served as co-executive producer on the drama L.A.
Kring joined the staff of NBC's Providence
in 1999 as co-executive producer and signed an overall deal
with NBC Studio. In 2001, he created the procedural drama
Sci-fi Online caught up with Kring as Heroes
was about to start broadcasting on the Sci-Fi Channel...
Online: Where did you get the inspiration for this series?
Kring: The germ of this idea came about a year ago now. I
was supposed to develop a show for NBC and I became fascinated
with this idea of a new paradigm of the serialised large ensemble
show. I happened to see two movies that sort of moulded together
in my mind. One of them was The Incredibles. And the
other was the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
by Charlie Kaufman. I started to blend those two things in
my mind over the next few days because I loved both of them.
Mixing the idea of people who had superpowers trying to struggle
with their everyday lives with these people that you could
pass on the street and never think twice about. In my mind,
those two things started to come together and that was the
genesis of where the idea came from.
How does this show differ from other serialised dramas?
With this show I wanted to start from the very, very beginning.
Looking at when people would discover these abilities.
It's very much a journey of the hero in the classic sense
of the term. We watch their growth and their journey through
the course of the show and ultimately, gain this kind of wish
fulfilment that you or I could be these people.
is their journey from very ordinary to extraordinary people.
The show has some fantastic cliff-hangers. Have you found
it hard to maintain the suspense and intrigue with so many
different plot lines?
That's a very, very big challenge. But one of the fun things
is watching characters develop and taking them to places that
even you didn't expect.
writers' room is a very interesting place because ideas morph
and bend and become very different things when you start filtering
through lots of people's ideas.
lot of us in the writers' room talked about borrowing Charles
Dickens idea, who wrote most of his great books in one-chapter
instalments for a newspaper. This idea fascinates me, the
idea of doing something very slowly and deliberately, the
idea that each season would be its own volume with enough
of a cliff-hanger at the end of season one to launch you into
a second season.
having these constant twists and turns and revelations in
the stories, I think the audience may feel like they're going
to run out of steam because there's just too many of these
coming along. It's one reveal after another. But the truth
is, these twists and turns are actually the engine that are
allowing us to generate even more stories. So there is a natural
progression that's allowing us to go with a less and less
Will any of the characters join forces to create a 'superhero
Well, these characters do start to cross in all sorts of interesting
and coincidental and unexpected ways, which is one of the
things that I was most fascinated with.
I think that the audience is going to be really hooked on
trying to guess and predict how these characters' paths are
going to cross. So you take a character like Masi's character,
who's an office worker in Tokyo and Hayden's character, who's
a cheerleader in West Texas, and the idea of how those two
characters will ever cross paths seems impossible and yet
that's what the fun of watching the show is, to see how it
continues along for these two characters to actually come
into contact with each other.
How relevant do you feel the comic book world is to this project?
Our particular venture into that world is through the idea
of the online comic that will run concurrently with the show.
So people can log on, view and interact with an online comic
book every week in conjunction with the episode.
comic won't be necessarily about that episode, but it will
further enhance your viewing of the show. It will sometimes
be an alternative look at what you've seen or the other side
of what you've seen or a story that just sort of enhances
your appreciation of the character and the story.
The show is called Heroes, but will there be a villains
element to it?
TK: Yes, absolutely. We are bringing in other people with
superpowers and they are not necessarily heroes. The show
does introduce the concept of a major villain in the second
episode and that villain becomes a central character for most
of the first season.
Finally, if you had a superpower, what would it be?
When I really started thinking about it for the show, I sort
of decided that flight might be the best one to have it, just
seems like it would be the coolest.
Thank you for your time.
thanks to Julie Warmington at Holler
will begin broadcasting on the Sci-Fi Channel
from February 2007.