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‘Heroes’ has slipped badly in its second season. Slow pace, unappealing new characters, no cliffhangers, Hiro stuck in 17th-century Japan. The good news is creator Tim Kring knows the show is broken and is working to fix it. This week’s show was much improved.

Kring discussed the show with “Entertainment Weekly.”

The details:

”We assumed the audience wanted season 1 — a buildup of intrigue about these characters and the discovery of their powers. We taught [them] to expect a certain kind of storytelling. They wanted adrenaline. We made a mistake.”

The premonition of nuclear apocalypse created a larger context that unified every story line last season. Kring now sees that Volume 2 (the first 11 episodes of season 2) would have been better served if Peter’s vision of viral Armageddon had appeared in the season premiere rather than episode 7. ”We took too long to get to the big-picture story,” he says.

New Heroes Monica (Dana Davis), Maya (Dania Ramirez), and Alejandro (Shalim Ortiz) ”shouldn’t have been introduced in separate story lines that felt unattached to the show. The way we introduced Elle (Kristen Bell) — by weaving her in via Peter’s story line — is a more logical way to bring new characters into the show.”

Hiro’s (Masi Oka) time-bending adventure in 17th-century Japan — where he mentored samurai hero Takezo Kensei (David Anders) — finally came to an end on Nov. 5. But Kring says it ”should have [lasted] three episodes. We didn’t give the audience enough story to justify the time we allotted it.”

Kring regrets sticking Claire (Hayden Panettiere) with a super-dud boyfriend and forcing Hiro to moon over a cutesy princess. ”I’ve seen more convincing romances on TV,” he admits. ”In retrospect, I don’t think romance is a natural fit for us.”

Yet while Heroes has finally found some dramatic traction, this second volume is pretty much a wash. The Dec. 3 episode has been retooled to function as a potential season finale — a move inspired by the writers’ strike and a desire to give the show ”a clean slate” when it goes back into production for Volume 3. At that point, Kring wants to craft a rebooted Heroes that can attract new fans and win back those who’ve tuned out: ”The message is that we’ve heard the complaints — and we’re doing something about it.”