Combustible Celluloid

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993-94)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Lovers Lane

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Buy Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman - The Complete First Season on DVD.

The creators of this wonderful show had a brilliant idea. Instead of focusing on the usual action-oriented Superman stories, the show would expand the fascinating relationship between Superman's alter ego, Clark Kent (Dean Cain) and his Daily Planet co-worker, the hardheaded Lois Lane (Teri Hatcher). The raw material was already there for a brilliant, on-again, off-again Sam-and-Diane-like love affair.

It helps that Hatcher and Cain have such lovely on-screen chemistry and that Cain is able to keep a little of Clark Kent's shy nerdiness, while making him modern and stylish. Cain's Superman character is a little less interesting, although the show's writers do come up with some cleverly entertaining suspense stories.

Lane Smith plays gruff Daily Planet editor Perry White, and instead of muttering "Great Ceasar's Ghost" when perturbed, he uses a variety of Elvis-related jargon. Tracy Scoggins plays a new character, society columnist Catherine "Cat" Grant, who comes on strong to Clark. Michael Landes plays the modern-day Jimmy Olsen, while John Shea plays a new, updated Lex Luthor with hair, the wealthy head of a giant corporation.

Only one problem crops up for those of us who are Superman aficionados. When Clark first arrives in Metropolis in the pilot, he's has not yet invented the Superman persona or the costume. But the Clark Kent disguise -- complete with glasses -- always came about as a result of the Superman persona. So Clark, with his perfect, supervision, would not need glasses until after he invents Superman.

DVD Details: Warner Home Video's Complete First Season box set comes with 21 60-minute episodes on six discs, plus a seventh bonus disc featuring an episode of "Smallville." Extras include a making-of documentary, a featurette on the special effects, and various commentary tracks.

Starring: Dean Cain, Teri Hatcher, Lane Smith, Michael Landes, Tracy Scoggins, K Callan, Eddie Jones, John Shea
Written by: Deborah Joy LeVine and various others, based on characters by Jerry Seigel, Joe Shuster
Directed by: Robert Butler and various others
MPAA Rating: NR
Language: English
Running Time: 60 minutes each (1074 minutes total)
Date: June 24, 2005

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