C4 Comes to Heroes’ Rescue
The distributor has had to postpone the release several times since it went on sale around the rest of the world in September because TV3, the network where it originally aired, dithered around with its scheduling after the ratings slipped.
The series is experiencing a similar slump in the US, where NBC is debating whether to renew it for a fifth season (the fourth ended this month).
TV3′s refusal to allow season three’s Blu-ray release here because of its broadcast rights to the series was the latest blow to Heroes diehards — as is the shift to C4. Bad enough that Heroes never aired here in HD, because TV3 refuses to pay Universal’s TV distribution arm the premium it wants for HD content, but consigning the show to its SD-only sister channel means episodes will no longer even be upscaled to near-HD resolution.
C4 tried to put the best spin on fans’ frustration over the long delay between the end of ‘volume three’ this time last year and the start of ’volume four’ with its shrewdly-worded press release: “After much anticipation, Heroes’ fans finally get the chance to see the conclusion to season three (which previously screened on TV3) when volume four, Fugitives, premieres on March 15, at 8.30pm, on C4.
“Added to the excitement, fans will also get the chance to meet James Kyson Lee (Ando AKA Hiro Nakamura’s wingman) when he comes to New Zealand for Armageddon in Christchurch on March 27-28 and Wellington on April 2-4.”
The 12-part volume four opens three weeks after the destruction of both Primatech and Pinehearst, and the death of Arthur Petrelli (Robert Forster). The now-villainous Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) returns with a vengeance by persuading the President and the government to round up all people with abilities.
Led by Danko (Emmy-winner Zeljko Ivanek), the Department of Homeland Security quickly force Claire (Hayden Panettiere), Ando, Hiro (Masi Oka), Matt (Greg Grunberg), Peter (Milo Ventimiglia), and Tracy (Ali Larter) to become fugitives from the people who were once their allies.
Unless C4 plays it off in double-episodes, expect the Blu-ray of season three to bow mid-June and for season four to start soon after on C4 — on the eve of its Blu-ray release elsewhere.