For the last year and a half, Bryan Fuller was showrunning and writing his romantic fantasy series, Pushing Daisies. Last fall, Bryan got the disappointing word that Daisies wasn't going to be picked up for a third season, which left the door open for Heroes to come knocking.
Now it's a few months later, and Fuller is back in the familiar creative stomping grounds of the Heroes writing wing at Sunset Gower Studios. "It's surreal some days," Fuller says with a smile. "It feels as though I haven't ever left. It's the same writers' room and the same offices. In the first season I drew Milo Ventimiglia's face on a pita, complete with bangs, and called it 'Pita Petrelli' and it's still hanging on the board in the writers' room in a Ziploc bag. So it felt like coming back from college, if that makes sense."
To set the stage for how he transitioned back to the old gig, Fuller explains we have to go back to late fall 2008. "Daisies was still filming and we had written up through the finale and I had the back nine [episodes] all charted out. I was ready to go with my show and then Heroes gave me the call. They asked, even if I couldn't come back to the show, could I pop in and hang out in the writers' room for perspective."
Even with the demands of running his own show, Fuller says he remained a loyal fan of Heroes, continuing to watch every week. "Now I get to have the perspective of a fan who can also influence the direction. It's a cool place to be in because I'm a big fan of genre television. I was a big fan of Star Trek, and then I was able to join that writing staff and influence the direction of that show to some capacity. It's really been, as far as fanboy fantasies go, a dream I've gotten to live a couple of times. To come back to Heroes as a fan, we're all grousy fanboys and girls - we're very opinionated, so it's nice to come back and be heard."
"I've had very direct conversations with Tim [Kring, Heroes creator] in terms of what my role is. I was very honest with him and said, 'I don't want to take over your show. I just want to contribute to the show and help it be as good as it can be again.' When I read the pilot two or three years ago and the rest of the first season, I was just very excited about the world and opportunities to tell stories with the characters. I loved how clean the metaphors of the people's abilities were. I got inspired reading that pilot. I wanted to write Claire and I ended up writing a lot of Claire stuff in the first half of the season before I went to write Daisies, and then I came back for the season one episode, Company Man. It doesn't feel terribly unfamiliar or awkward, but it feels like
I am jumping back onto the show when the pendulum is swinging up again, and that's really exciting.
• Read the full interview in issue 10 of Heroes: The Official Magazine - on sale now! For more information visit www.titanmagazines.com/heroes.
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