Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Lois & Clark - The New Adventures of Superman - The Complete First Season

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
6 out of 10
Extras Rating:
8 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Dean Cain as Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman
Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane
Lane Smith as Perry White
Michael Landes as Jimmy Olsen
Tracy Scoggins as Catherine "Cat" Grant
Eddie Jones as Jonathan Kent
K Callan as Martha Kent
John Shea as Lex Luthor

Special Features:
21 episodes on six discs, including the two-hour pilot

Easter Eggs

Commentary on the pilot by Dean Cain, executive producer Deborah Joy LeVine, and director Robert Butler

From Rivals to Romance: series retrospective documentary

"Taking Flight: The Visual Effects of Lois & Clark"

Original pilot presentation introduced by Deborah Joy LeVine

Interviews with Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher

Limited-quantity commemorative bonus disc containing the never-before-released-on-DVD Smallville episode "Crusade"

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital Stereo Sound
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 1074 Minutes

Synopsis:
This is the complete first season of Lois & Clark - The New Adventures of Superman that aired in 1993 - 1994. The following is the official synopsis of the DVD:

"Casting a fresh look on a timeless legend, this exciting, action-packed update of the DC Comics Superman captures the daring exploits of the mysterious visitor from another planet and brings the city of Metropolis to life. Originally aired in the 90's on ABC, this humorously romantic action/adventure hour-long series puts a modern twist on the time-honored, legendary superhero, bringing to life the comic book characters Clark Kent (Dean Cain); his superhuman alter-ego, Superman; and Lois Lane (Teri Hatcher), fiction's first lady of the press, in the most unrequited romance of all time."

Lois & Clark - The New Adventures of Superman is not rated.

The Series:
Over the years there have been many different takes on the legend of Superman, but Lois & Clark - The New Adventures of Superman was unique for a number of reasons. First of all, it was the first Superman show that really focused on the romance between Lois and Clark rather than the super villains that Superman fought. It turned the comics legend from action hero to romantic lead. It definitely made the show more targeted for women. Along those lines, Lois & Clark was the first Superman show that not only gave Lex Luthor hair and turned him into a ladies man, but it also made him a romantic interest for Lois. It was a radical change, but they made it work and left their own unique touch on the Superman mythos. (Lex has never been the same since.) While Lois & Clark wasn't exactly the Superman TV show that comics fans hoped for, it opened up the character to a whole new audience.

Another noteworthy thing about the show was that it introduced the world to Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain. The two unknowns were perfectly cast in their roles. Hatcher was one of the most spunky and beautiful Lois Lanes ever to grace the screen. She was in many ways an equal to Superman despite the fact that he frequently took center stage. Dean Cain was also a good Superman. While not terribly geeky as Clark Kent, he made a handsome Superman and looked great in the costume. I think Cain certainly helped get more women to follow the series.

As for the other supporting characters, they were well cast, too. Lane Smith was good as Perry White. I think he was the first Southern editor of the Daily Planet that I ever saw. They also dropped his trademark line "Great Caesar's Ghost!" in favor of "Great Shades of Elvis!" His Elvis fetish was a little odd, but it gave him a bit more personality. John Shea was also good as Lex Luthor. As previously mentioned, he brought a whole new take to the character that had never been done before. He was still a mad genius, but in a different way. Rounding out the cast were Michael Landes as Jimmy Olsen, Tracy Scoggins as Catherine "Cat" Grant, Eddie Jones as Jonathan Kent, and K Callan as Martha Kent.

Despite the fact that Lois & Clark aired in 1993, many of the effects are quite cheesy. They did a good job with wire removal, but many of Superman's other effects scenes weren't that great. But seeing as how action and effects weren't the focus of the TV series, it's a little more forgivable.

I used to watch Lois & Clark when it first aired in 1993. I saw a few episodes, but I have to admit that I had a hard time getting into it. This wasn't the Superman show that I wanted to see as a comics fan. I was looking for more action and adventure, not romance and hijinks. I think I only watched a few episodes before I bailed on it entirely. Despite this, I recognize that Lois & Clark has legions of loyal fans out there. At the very least this DVD is worth checking out for the sake of curiosity if you're a Superman fan or a fan of Smallville. Fans of Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain will definitely want to add this to their collections.

The Extras:
There are a few bonus features included on the DVD. Here are the highlights:

Commentary on the pilot by Dean Cain, executive producer Deborah Joy LeVine, and director Robert Butler - Deborah Joy LeVine really dominates the conversation in this commentary, but fortunately she has a lot of interesting things to say. She talks about scenes deleted from the original script, how she came up with some of the more clever moments from the pilot, what she intended for the series, etc. Cain also has fun stories about shooting the show. All in all, it's a good and informative commentary.

From Rivals to Romance: series retrospective documentary - This is a half hour look at the making of the series. The cast and crew are interviewed, including Hatcher, Cain, Scoggins, and Shea. They talk about how they cast the show, how they handled the wire tricks, and more. They show bloopers, scenes without effects, and other goodies. It's a great retrospective.

"Taking Flight: The Visual Effects of Lois & Clark" - This featurette discusses the flying effects, x-ray vision, and the other effects from the show. They look positively outdated now, but it's still interesting.

Original pilot presentation introduced by Deborah Joy LeVine - This is a video that LeVine showed at the San Diego Comic Con before the series aired. She introduces the video and discusses the reaction she got while there.

The Bottom Line:
Lois & Clark - The New Adventures of Superman was a unique entry into the Superman mythos. What the series lacked in cool effects and action it more than made up for in romance and acting. While it won't please all Superman fans, it's worth checking out at least once.

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