TV review: Heroes Reborn, 5* (3 stars)

TV review: Heroes Reborn, 5*

Superheroes return after a five year break

The first series of Heroes was talked about in the same revered tones as Lost a decade ago. Then it all went to hell with a boring, messy second series. Admittedly there was a slight return to form in season four but by then the damage was done. Now it's back after a five year hiatus for a 12 episode miniseries.

The basic premise is the same: heroes are among us. Random individuals have found themselves with superhuman powers, the big change is that after the events in the previous four seasons the general public know about the existence of these enhanced beings (or as they are now popularly termed 'evos'). After a terrorist attack people with special abilities have been forced underground. This tension between evos and humans opening up the story as a metaphor for racism.

There are a smattering of returning characters, mainly Jack Coleman as Noah Bennett, but none of the big hitters – Hayden Panettiere, Zachary Quinto or Milo Ventimiglia – are back. Instead Heroes Reborn focuses on a new group of super powered individuals including a school boy who can make objects and people vanish, a vigilante masked Mexican wrestler, an evo who hunts his own kind and a videogame character that has come to life.

Unfortunately the market is now overflowing with superhero TV and films; Heroes treads familiar ground to anyone who has watched the X-Men movies or Marvel's Agents of SHEILD. The whole set up feels less real and exciting, the characters more thinly sketched. The deeper themes of discrimination and intolerance are barely developed but will hopefully be expanded upon as the series progresses. It'll keep fans entertained, especially as a whole new conspiracy opens up at the end of the first episode, but Heroes is no longer the vital must watch it used to be.

Heroes Reborn premieres on 5*, Tue 16 Feb, 9pm.

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