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Heroes cast and characters - their super powers explained

From invisibility to time travel, the Heroes have got every base covered.

The full cast of Heroes on BBC Two and NBC
Published: Wednesday, 5th August 2020 at 1:25 pm

Sci-fi drama Heroes was briefly one of the most talked about TV shows in the world, making a huge splash when it premiered on television in 2006.


Coinciding with Heroes return to iPlayer, the series is airing once again on BBC Two, enthralling fans and newcomers alike with a story of superpowers, shady organisations and plenty of intrigue.

In the world of Heroes, superpowers aren't quite as simple as "Hulk smash," with many characters seeing their abilities develop and change over the course of the series.

To clear up any confusion, we've got a guide to the Heroes superpowers.

Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia)

Milo Ventimiglia plays Peter Petrelli in Heroes on NBC and BBC Two

What is Peter's super power? Peter is gifted with a power referred to as "empathic mimicry". In simple terms, this allows him to replicate the powers of those in close proximity to him, which is why he can seemingly manifest such a wide array of abilities. In the first season alone, he accomplishes flight, telepathy and invisibility, among many other amazing feats.

Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere)

Hayden Panettiere plays Claire in Heroes on BBC Two and NBC

What is Claire's super power? Claire is capable of regenerating tissue, which allows her to recover from wounds that might be fatal for regular people and even grow back certain extremities if they are removed. This ability has side effects too, such as preventing her from ever getting drunk and protecting her from contracting diseases.

Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka)

Masi Oka

What is Hiro's super power? Hiro is able to exert some control over the space-time continuum itself, with the ability to slow time for himself, rewind time on certain objects and teleport himself into the past or to a different location. Sometimes, he can extend this power to include people in his immediate surroundings.

Isaac Mendez (Santiago Cabrera)

Santiago Cabrera plays Isaac in Heroes on BBC Two and NBC

What is Isaac's power? Isaac is able to see into the future, but his power has some major limits. His precognitive visions send him into a trance-like state, wherein he paints the ambiguous and sometimes frightening images he sees. However, he rarely gets any context to accompany these artworks, meaning they can be interpreted in a vast number of ways.

Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar)

Adrian Pasdar plays Nathan Petrelli in Heroes on NBC and BBC Two

What is Nathan's power? Nathan has one of the all-time classics: flight. He is able to soar through the air at incredible speeds, but often chooses not to from fear of being seen by the public or abducted for scientific research.

Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg)

Greg Grunberg plays Matt Parkman in Heroes on NBC and BBC Two

What is Matt's power? Matt is telepathic, meaning he can read the minds of others and even compel them to do certain things. He works in law enforcement, initially as a police officer for the LAPD, so this ability comes in handy when working cases - think Lucifer, but less cheeky.

Gabriel Gray aka "Sylar" (Zachary Quinto)

Zachary Quinto plays Sylar in Heroes on NBC and BBC Two

What is Sylar's power? Sylar displays an innate ability to understand complex systems, putting this to work by repairing clocks and watches. However, this brings with it a burning desire for greater and greater understanding, which places Sylar on a dark path towards killing fellow super humans to make their power his own.

Niki Sanders (Ali Larter)

Ali Larter plays Niki Saunders in Heroes on NBC and BBC Two

What is Niki's power? Niki is gifted with super-strength and durability, allowing her to be a formidable brawler and to break into secure areas with ease. Initially, this power only comes out via an alternate personality named Jessica, but she learns to wield greater control over it with time.

The Haitian (Jimmy Jean-Louis)

Jimmy Jean-Louis plays The Haitian in Heroes on NBC and BBC Two

What is The Haitian's power? The Haitian has the ability to remove memories from a person's mind, ranging from specific incidents to entire identities - the latter of which leaves a victim completely clueless about who they are and where they come from.

Claude Rains (Christopher Eccleston)

Christopher Ecclestone plays Claude Rains in Heroes on BBC Two and NBC

What is Claude's power? Vintage horror fans may be able to figure this one out, as Claude has adopted a fake name from the lead actor in 1933's The Invisible Man. He can turn himself completely invisible to the naked eye, with the ability to extend that power to include objects he comes into contact with and other people where necessary.


Heroes is available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Check out our list of the best TV shows on BBC iPlayer or visit our TV Guide for more to watch.


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