The television series “Smallville” began in October of 2001, and it’s tenth and final season will conclude in 2011. It is the longest running series based on a comic book superhero, and one of the longest running science fiction/fantasy shows in general. Over the past decade “Smallville” has given us a unique version of Superman by focusing on the adventures of a young Clark Kent on his way to becoming the world’s greatest superhero. As “Smallville” prepares for it’s grand finale, Reduxology will take a look at the “super” and not so “super” moments of this historic series.
Part One: Homage Casting
With over nine years and two-hundred episodes under it’s belt, “Smallville” has an impressive Who’s Who list of guest stars and cast members. Seven of those casting choices were winks and nudges to long time fans, and meant as an homage to past screen versions of the Superman mythology.
7. Annette O’Tool (from Smallville sweetheart to Smallville Parent) The honor of being the very first bit of homage casting that “Smallville” ever did, and the first to play the role of someone’s mother, belongs to Annette O’Tool. In the 1983 movie “Superman III“, Anette O’Tool was Clark Kent’s high school crush Lana Lang. In “Smallville” she has stars as Clark’s adoptive mother, Martha Kent. She has starred in one hundred-thirty seven episodes thus far, and has become the definitive Martha Kent.
6. Dean Cain (from Superman to Super-maniacal) The television series, “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman“ is my least favorite interpretation of Superman, and in my opinion Dean Cain was the worst actor to have played the part. However, although I think he was an awful Superman, I do think Dean Cain is a good actor. As the immortal villain Dr. Knox, in the seventh season episode “The Cure“, he was excellent.
5. Terrance Stamp (From Kryptonian tyrant to Kryptonian fortress) In the 1980 movie “Superman II“, Terrance Stamp starred as the super powered villain, General Zod. For twenty episodes of Smallville, Terrance Stamp provided the voice of the Fortress of Solitude’s artificial intelligence, Jor-El. The fortress A.I. was programmed by, and named after Clark Kent’s biological father, Jor-El. It was meant to serve as a surrogate father to Clark (Kal-El) but it was flawed, cold and uncaring. Terrance Stamp having been so well know as Zod, added to the ambiguity of the A.I.’s true nature and purpose.
4. Margot Kidder ( from star reporter to star watcher) Not only did the fourth season of “Smallville” introduce Lois Lane, it gave us two cameos by the Lois Lane of the Superman movies. For the episodes “Crusade” and “Transference“, Margot Kidder appeared briefly as Bridgette Crosby, assistant to astrophysicist Dr. Virgil Swan. The best part of her first cameo was getting to play opposite her “Superman III” co-star, Annette O’Toole.
3. Helen Slater (From Supergirl to Supermom) Just as a previous Lois Lane was cast as the newest Lois debuted, a similar homage was done when “Smallville“ introduced Supergirl. The 1984 movie “Supergirl” starred Helen Slater as Superman’s cousin, Kara. Shortly after Kara showed up in season seven, Helen Slater was cast to portray Clark’s biological mother Lara, for the episodes “Lara“, “Blue“, and the season ten episode “Abandoned“.
2. Teri Hatcher (from Miss Lane to Mrs. Lane) The best part of “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” was Teri Hatcher, whom in addition to being a talented actress, was television’s sexiest Lois Lane prior to Erica Durance of “Smallville”. When the season ten episode “Abandoned” called for a scene where Lois watches a video tape recording from her mother, there was no better choice for the role than Teri Hatcher.
1. Christopher Reeve (from Superman to Mentor) The second season episode “Rosetta” featured Christopher Reeve as astrophysicist Dr. Virgil Swan, a character modeled after Steven Hawking and named after Superman artist Curt Swan. It is Dr. Swan that first helps Clark Kent learn of his Kryptonian heritage. Christopher Reeve reprises his role of Dr. Swan in the third season episode “Legacy” and further points Clark on the path to discovering his alien origins. Both of these episodes also featured musical cues taken from John Willam’s score for “Superman: The Movie“, making a great homage even better.