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The license plate on Kaito Nakamura's car is NCC-1701. George Takei, who plays Kaito, was Mr. Sulu in the original incarnation of Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) and NCC-1701 is the registry number of the U.S.S. Enterprise.
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Noah Bennet's (Jack Coleman's) business card has no name, no phone number, and no other contact information. All it says is "www.primatechpaper.com". If you go to the URL, you'll find a rudimentary website for the Primatech Paper company, including a brief company history, a phone number (1-800-PRIMA-16), and an online job application, complete with personality test. As of June 2014 the URL goes to NBC's official Heroes page on NBC.com.
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According to series creator Tim Kring, Noah Bennet has a distinct pair of glasses, due to the fact he had very few lines in the beginning of the series and needed to be recognizable by the audience. Also, Kring said the horn-rimmed glasses were chosen because they had a distinct "early days of the CIA" look.
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Emma Stone auditioned for the role of Claire Bennet.
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The number featured on Primatech Paper's website (1-800-PRIMA16) leads to a rudimentary voice menu for Primatech Paper, including allowing the caller to enter an access number. The option for career info, as well as the corresponding option on the website, states that they are not accepting applications for employment, however.
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A character with the power of invisibility, portrayed by Christopher Eccelston, shares the name (Claude Rains) with the actor who played The Invisible Man (1933).
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The rotating earth featured in the series logo shows a bright spot just off the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. That is the site of an asteroid impact widely believed to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, which opened the way for the rise of mammals, thus the spot could be a subtle reference to the show's theme of a new evolutionary leap.
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The premiere episode attracted 14.3 million viewers overall, and received the highest rating for any NBC drama premiere in five years.
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This series' premise (normal humans begin developing superpowers due to a new genetic mutation) is remarkably similar to that of Marvel Comics' long-running series "X-Men". Stan Lee, co-creator of "X-Men", makes a cameo in season one, episode sixteen, "Unexpected", and Ray Park, who played Toad in X-Men (2000), played season four recurring character Edgar. Also, in one episode, the character of Micah receives a set of classic Marvel comics (Silver Surfer, Incredible Hulk, et cetera). In another, Hiro and Ando visit a comics store and Hiro mentions several Marvel characters such as Spider-Man.
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Although no one appears in all of the episodes, Hayden Panettiere appears in more episodes than any other performer (seventy-two, plus in season three, episode eight, "Villains", briefly through stock footage, for a total of seventy-three) and is the only cast member to appear in every episode of more than one season. She appears in every show of season one and season four). The only other regulars to appear throughout one whole season are Sendhil Ramamurthy (in season two) and Robert Knepper (in season four).
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The casino that Hiro, Ando, Niki, and Nathan visit in the early episodes of season one is the Montecito, the fictional casino featured in Las Vegas (2003). The scene where Hiro and Ando are seen coming down an escalator, having used betting profits from the casino to suit up, pays a very strong homage to a similar scene in Rain Man (1988).
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It was originally intended for Claire's friend Zach eventually to be revealed as gay, and to have his coming out serve as a parallel to Claire's coming to terms with her secret abilities. However, when the manager for Thomas Dekker (the actor who played Zach) discovered that this development was in store for the character, she first insisted that a line identifying Zach as gay be deleted from a script, and then pulled Dekker from the show altogether. Producer and writer Bryan Fuller gave an interview in April 2007 in which he explained that Dekker "was up for the John Connor role in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008) and the manager didn't want him playing a gay character, because it might affect FOX's interest in hiring him. It got really ugly." Fuller also said that through Zach's last appearances on the show, "in all of our minds, the character was still gay, but we couldn't say it explicitly." Several lines remain in the series in which other characters refer to Zach as gay, but it remains ambiguous as to whether they know something the audience doesn't or are simply making insinuations.
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Adrian Pasdar, who plays Milo Ventimiglia's brother, auditioned to play his father in the proposed Gilmore Girls (2000) spin-off. The casting director at the time made the comment that Adrian could pass for Milo's brother because of their strong resemblance.
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The characters have biblical names surprisingly often: Peter, Nathan, Gabriel, Adam, Isaac, Noah, Eden, Matthew, Micah, Lydia, Benjamin, Daniel, Thomas, Martha, Eli, Simon, Stephen, Ezekiel, Joseph, Rebecca, Samuel, and Luke.
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Artist Tim Sale provides the artwork for Isaac's paintings. He is best known for his work on DC Comics' popular "Batman: The Long Halloween" series, which was used as an inspiration for Batman Begins (2005).
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Rene the Haitian's motivation behind helping Angela Petrelli, he claims stems from her aid which she gave him years prior. Throughout the show, it is never revealed what exactly Angela did for him.
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In a July 2013 interview, Bryan Fuller revealed that the writers' room worked with independent story lines, meaning that particular writers wrote for specific characters, and not the usual way, with the whole room writing for each character. For example, Fuller said he wrote for Claire and Noah Bennet.
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James Kyson Lee originally auditioned for the role of Hiro Nakamura, but instead got the role of Hiro's sidekick Ando.
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The Pinehurst Company, introduced in season three as a rival to Primatech Paper ("The Company"), has a fake website at www.pinehearstresearch.com.
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Greg Grunberg (Matthew Parkman) originally auditioned for the part of Peter Petrelli.
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"Kirby Plaza Building" is a tribute to the famous comic book artist, Jack Kirby.
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The series shares a remarkable number of actors and actresses with the "Star Trek" franchise (which is also discussed by numerous characters including Hiro and Ando): Cristine Rose (Angela Petrelli / Gi'rai in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)), Zachary Quinto (Sylar / Spock in three movies), George Takei (Kaito Nakamura / Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek: The Original Series (1966): The Original Series and succeeding projects), Malcolm McDowell (Daniel Linderman / Dr. Tolian Soran in Star Trek: Generations (1994)), Nichelle Nichols (Nana Dawson / Niota Uhura in the original series and succeeding projects), Michael Dorn (U.S. President / Worf in The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993), and movies), Dominic Keating (Will / Malcolm Reed in Star Trek: Enterprise (2001)), Erick Avari (Chandra Suresh / three different guest characters in Trek), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (The Swordsmith / Bailiff in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Encounter at Farpoint (1987)), Thomas Dekker (Zach / Henry Burleigh in two episodes of Star Trek: Voyager (1995)), Colby French (Hank / Ensign Weldon in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: When It Rains... (1999)), Mark Colson (Mr. Zern / Dream Alien in Star Trek: Voyager: Waking Moments (1998)), Franc Ross (Danny Pine / Grizzled Man in Star Trek: Enterprise: In a Mirror, Darkly (2005)), John Prosky (Principal / two different Trek characters), Ronald Guttman (Dr. Zimmerman / Gathorel Labin in Star Trek: Voyager: Prime Factors (1995)), Ken Lally (The German / Lieutenant Taylor in two episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise (2001)), Joanna Cassidy (Victoria Pratt / T'Les in two episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise (2001)), Clint Howard (Tom Miller / three different Star Trek bit roles), and Louise Fletcher (Dr. Coolidge / Winn Adani in Deep Space Nine). In addition, Roxann Dawson (B'Elanna Torres in Star Trek: Voyager (1995), also directed episodes of "Voyager" and "Enterprise") directed three episodes of this show.
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There are some tributes within this show to the Alan Moore comic book story "Watchmen", including season one's overall plan of an insidious attack on New York City, and the emphasis on one character (Jon Osterman in Watchmen, Gabriel Sylar on this show) being very good at making and repairing watches.
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Mohinder Suresh is shown to come from (or near) Chennai, which is in the southern part of India. The name Mohinder is common in Punjab, in the northern part of India. It would be extremely rare for someone from southern India to have this name.
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Each bilingual character that tried to speak with René the Haitian in his native language, spoke to him in French. The common language in Haïti is Creole, which is based on French. However, all educated Haitians speak French, and the language is used in the business sector, in ceremonial events, and for education.
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Hayden Panettiere (Claire Bennet) and Danielle Savre (Jackie Wilcox) previously appeared together as cheerleaders in Bring It On: All or Nothing (2006).
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The algorithm in Dr. Chandra Suresh's (Sendhil Ramamurthy's) computer, as it scrolls horizontally, presents gaps in the shape of the helix symbol that appears throughout the series (the tattoo on the shoulder of Jessica, the pendant that René the Haitian wears, on the hilt of the sword used by Kensei and Hiro, et cetera).
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Sendhil Ramamurthy introduced the character of Dr. Suresh with a purely East Indian accent. However, a few episodes into the first season, he begins speaking with an English-Indian accent, and retains this for the rest of the series.
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Major sponsors for the show include Sprint [all cellphones in the show, several prominent logo placements, and a direct mention by prophet Usutu ("bad coverage... should have gone with Sprint")] and Nissan (numerous vehicles, including one that Hiro and Ando repeatedly point out is a Nissan Versa).
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Angela Petrelli is named after Angela Lansbury. The character was inspired by Lansbury's role as Mrs. Iselin in The Manchurian Candidate (1962).
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Everytime an episode ends. The start of the next episode is never shot the same way. It's the same scene but uses a different take.
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Tawny Cypress (Simone) originally auditioned for the role of Niki.
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Mr. Muggle's (the dog's) real name is Lestat.
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René (Jimmy Jean-Louis) is rarely referred to by name. He is usually called "the Haitian".
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The box holding the Kensei sword has the number CRM-114. This serial number belonged to the computer in the legendary comedy-thriller Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), and has been featured in many movies and television shows since then, as a tribute to the movie.
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In the German dubbed version, the passages where a foreign language is spoken (for example, Hiro and Ando speaking Japanese, Maya and Alejandro speaking Spanish) were not subtitled (as in the original version) but instead dubbed, too.
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Lydia (Dawn Olivieri), introduced in the fourth season, is named after the 1930's novelty song "Lydia the Tattooed Lady". This song has been notably featured in movies and television shows such as At the Circus (1939), The Philadelphia Story (1940), and some projects of The Muppets.
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James Kyson is South Korean.
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Kristen Bell (Elle Bishop) and Francis Capra (Jesse Murphy) and Diana Argon (Debbie Marshall) appeared previously on Veronica Mars (2004).
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Former Miss Universe Riyo Mori auditioned for the role of Yaeko.
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In the third season, the Luigi Bormioli produced drinking glasses, "Strauss", are used for bourbon and whiskey in several scenes. In one scene, a character named Tracy Strauss demonstrates her ability with such a glass.
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The type of watch Hiro has is "The Connect", made by Nixon Watches.
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Adrian Pasdar, who plays Nathan Petrelli, also played the character of 'Chipper' in Top Gun (1986). On his office desk in Heroes, you will see a framed picture of him wearing the uniform of a naval aviator.
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The Bennet family's address is 9 Juniper Lane.
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William Katt, who starred as a reluctant superhero in The Greatest American Hero (1981), has done voiceover work for several superhero animated shows, and has his own comics imprint, appears as a reporter in season three.
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Cristine Rose and Milo Ventimiglia both appeared in Gilmore Girls (2000). Cristine Rose guest starred in two episodes playing the grandmother of Milo Ventimiglia's girlfriend, but they never share any scenes.
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The vignettes that aired promoting new characters that would debut in the following season is a technique that originated in professional wrestling, specifically in Memphis, TN with The Fabulous Ones (Steve Keirn and Stan Lane) in the early 1980s and is still used today.
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With the exception of the first season, Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) either stood toe to toe with the main villain in a final confrontation before stopping them, or somehow foiled their plans. In season one, he faced Sylar (Zachary Quinto) with Hiro (Masi Oka) and Niki (Ali Larter), but became a bigger threat in the process, needing Nathan's (Adrian Pasdar's) help to stop himself. In season two, Hiro took down Adam Monroe (David Anders), while Peter destroyed the Shanti virus. In season three, Peter stopped Sylar just before his plan was fulfilled, by incapacitating him with drugs. Finally, in season four, he faced Samuel (Robert Knepper) alone, long enough for the other heroes to rob Samuel of his strength.
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