For a few weeks of my life, roughly four years ago, I thought I could fly. I hadn’t grown wings, and I couldn’t afford pilot lessons. Instead, I’d had frequent vivid dreams, in which I could levitate just by thinking about it. It wasn’t easy, but with every dream, I would improve. As bizarre as these dreams were, they felt real, so when I was awake, I was left with the feeling that I could take off using will power alone.
It’s unsurprising then, that I felt something of an affinity with Milo Ventimiglia’s character in Heroes, which kicked off on BBC 2 this week. He plays the flying man of alliteration, Peter Petrelli, a guy inflicted with the same nagging feeling I once had; that he could fly. Indeed, it turns out he could, and so could his brother. So that’s two kindred spirits I’d found. Fantastic.
Sadly, my sympathy for Mr Petrelli dried up fairly quickly, as he whinged and whined, and flailed his impossibly floppy hair through every scene he was in. Each time he opened his wonky mouth, I hoped his character would be abducted and stuck on the island from Lost (a series Heroes borrows from heavily). However, he wasn’t, the whinging continued. Hopefully, now he knows he can fly, he’ll cheer up a bit.
Elsewhere in the X-Me… sorry, the Heroes’ universe, jailbait of the year, Hayden Panettiere did a much better job in her role as Wolverine Bennet. Oop, I did it again didn’t I? I do, of course, mean Claire Bennet, Heroes’ super-cheerleader, who possesses the power to heal instantly. In spite of her character’s similarity to certain yellow-lycra-sporting wild-man, her scenes were genuinely interesting; particularly her repeated attempts to commit suicide. Also, there’s the added intrigue of the bad guy being her step-father. Without wishing to risk a double entendre of any kind, I’d definitely like to see more of her.
Moving on, we have psycho-bitch mum, Niki Sanders, played by Ali Larter. As well as struggling with being a single mum, she’s being hassled by some rather unsavoury gentlemen, to whom she owes a few dollars. One of them gets a bit rough, and knocks her unconscious. She wakes up and they’re all dead. Sudden mood swings and violence aren’t in themselves particularly unusual forms of behaviour among the female of the species, but Sanders is a little different. It seems her reflection has a life of its own, and can do all these things on its own. At the moment, I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with this, but it’s a pretty good reason to keep watching anyway.
Next, we have Santiago Cabrera’s Isaac Mendez, who’s so rubbish I’m not even going to bother. Especially since his power (he can paint visions of the future when he’s ridiculously off his face on class A drugs) is pretty much unnecessary in light of our next hero…
Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka) has the power to bend the time/space continuum. This, I know from my knowledge of every sci-fi show ever made, is a pretty darned useful skill to have. It means he can teleport anywhere in the world, and he can travel through time. He’s also extremely affable chap, who has no qualms about saying hello to complete strangers in New York. If any of the characters could have a spin-off show, I’d back Hiro all the way.Heroes also has a cop who can read minds (I assumed they could all do that), and a cab-driving scientist, who doesn’t have any powers at all (unless turning on a meter and overcharging passengers counts as a power). For the sake of keeping this article to reasonable length, we’ll leave it at that.
All in all, I wasn’t blown away by the first two episodes of Heroes, but thanks to Hiro and that cheerleader’s uniform, I’m sure I’ll be tuning in next week.
And just in case you’re wondering, no, I can’t fly.