Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman


Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Information

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (often called Lois & Clark or The New Adventures of Superman on the BBC) is a live-action American television series based on the Superman comic books. Lois & Clark aired on ABC from September 12, 1993 to June 14, 1997, and starred Dean Cain as Superman/Clark Kent and Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane.

Developed for Television by Deborah Joy LeVine (based upon characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster), the series loosely follows the comic philosophy of writer John Byrne, with Clark Kent as the true personality, and Superman as a secondary disguise. As the show's title suggests, it focuses as much on the relationship between Clark Kent and Lois Lane as on the adventures of Clark's alter-ego.

The series spawned several short tie-in books aimed at young adults, as well as one full-length novel for adults, Lois & Clark: A Superman Novel (1996), written by C. J. Cherryh. The show was entirely shot in California.

Overview

On May 17, 1966, Jonathan and Martha Kent witness the crash-landing of a small spaceship in Shuster's Field outside of Smallville, Kansas. When they investigate the craft, they discover the baby Kal-El. The Kents decide to raise him as their own, naming him "Clark Jerome Kent". Unlike the Silver Age continuity in the comics, Jonathan and Martha (portrayed by Eddie Jones and K Callan) are alive in the TV show, and they frequently visit Metropolis. Clark, throughout the series, proudly states that his mother (Martha, although to maintain his secret identity, he does not identify her specifically) made his Superman costume for him. Clark often consults Jonathan and Martha, either by telephone or in person after impromptu Superman flights to Smallville, about personal and moral concerns and dilemmas.

Twenty-seven years later, Clark moves to Metropolis and gets a job at the Daily Planet under the gruff editor Perry White (Lane Smith). Clark also becomes acquainted with co-workers Jimmy Olsen (Michael Landes in Season 1, Justin Whalin thereafter), who is a photographer, and gossip columnist Cat Grant (Tracy Scoggins). Soon after being hired, Clark is partnered with star reporter Lois Lane. (They get put on the same assignment within minutes of Clark getting a job, but they do not become formally paired on a regular basis until a few episodes in.) Although Clark falls for Lois at first sight, she considers him little more than a pest. When Superman saves her however, Lois instantly becomes infatuated with Clark's alter-ego.

Superman's first mission interferes with the illegal dealings of Lex Luthor (John Shea), a Metropolis business giant and benefactor who is secretly evil. After Luthor's plot has been stopped, as Superman, Clark makes a point of letting the evil genius know that he is watching him and will be there to stop his criminal plots, and the two become archenemies; Clark nonetheless respects Luthor's life, even surreptitiously using his superpowers to save Lex from bleeding to death on one occasion. Luthor develops an interest in Lois Lane and tries to woo her for the majority of season one; although Lois is receptive to his romantic advances, she remains infatuated with the Man of Steel. It also comes out at times that Lois has developing feelings for Clark, although most of the time she inhibits or denies them.

Luthor eventually proposes marriage. Clark, seeing that he may lose Lois, and also knowing that Lex is evil but unable to convince Lois, tells Lois that he is in love with her; she replies that she does not feel the same way about him, but cares for him deeply as a friend. On the other hand, she asks Superman if there is any romantic chance for the two of them. In light of her response to him as Clark, Superman turns her down; Lois then accepts Luthor's proposal. Luthor decides to coincide his nuptials with the death of Superman, trapping the hero within a kryptonite cage in the wine cellar of Luthor Tower, which also contains the chapel where the wedding will take place. As the wedding approaches, Lois realizes she really does love Clark, and she says no to Luthor at the altar. Clark had been working with Perry and Jimmy to expose Luthor before being captured, and they have enough evidence to get the police to barge in on Luthor's wedding to arrest him. Luthor eludes the police and jumps from his penthouse office to his apparent death. Superman has escaped the cage, and as Clark he has rejoined Lois. However, his powers sapped by Luthor's kryptonite, Clark is unable to stop the villain from falling to the pavement. However, newspapers report that Luthor's body has been stolen from the morgue and hint that he may not be dead... or maybe he is surfing with Elvis?

Clark, fearing that his unrequited love for Lois may damage their relationship, lies and tells her that he is not really in love with her but only said so because he would have done anything to protect her from Luthor. Ironically, Lois was about to tell Clark what she had realized—that she loves him, too; now, she keeps it to herself, and their relationship reverts to friendship, as it was.

In season two, Clark and Lois begin to date, but are interrupted by Mayson Drake (Farrah Forke), a district attorney who takes a romantic interest in Clark but has a total lack of regard for Superman. Mayson's death occurs in the same episode as Lois and Clark's first official date. In the next episode, a federal agent named Dan Scardino (Jim Pirri) becomes a rival to Clark for Lois' affections. Lois eventually decides that she likes Clark over Dan, and so they begin dating even more seriously. In the season finale Clark comes close to telling Lois that he is Superman, but between his own hesitancy about how she will react and interruptions by people plotting to expose his identity to the world, he fails at the last minute. At the end of the episode Clark proposes to Lois.

In the third season premiere, Lois replies, "Who's asking, Clark or Superman?" It therefore becomes clear that Lois has discovered Superman's secret identity, although apparently only in the course of the last episode of season two. Initially she resents that Clark never confessed it to her. Their tumultuous courtship involves Lois for a time dating a man who is plotting to kill her in a sacrificial ritual, and multiple assignments where they either pose as a married couple or are alone together for an entire weekend. Lois finally accepts Clark's engagement ring, after one episode during most of which she has his powers, temporarily becoming a superhero named Ultra Woman. The wedding was supposed to coincide with the corresponding event in the comic books, but coordination snafus resulted in the actual on-screen marriage being postponed for a full season. The third-season marriage ends up not being for real, and to makes things worse Lois spends a few episodes dealing with amnesia. Once she recovers, Lois and Clark are back in the state of engagement when two other Kryptonians come to Earth, one of whom is Clark's wife from birth. They insist that Clark go with them to save their world of New Krypton from domination by an evil tyrant, and the third season closes with Clark leaving Lois, but taking her wedding ring as a mark of remembering her and a promise to return as soon as possible. While committed to each other, they both have doubts that he will ever return.

The fourth season starts with Clark heading toward New Krypton. However the evil tyrant has instead invaded Earth, so Clark gets to come back. He even manages to be around Lois again, and by the end of the second episode they have neutralized the tyrant and convinced the New Kryptonians to let Clark stay on Earth. In the next episode Lois and Clark finally do actually get married, although only after yet another failed wedding ceremony. Afterward, evil forces continues to assault them, delaying their honeymoon, but eventually Clark and Lois move into a new home together. Throughout the season they demonstrate the strength of their personal bond, despite some fights, while various villains attempt to destroy them. Some villains try various methods to split Lois and Clark up, while others target them individually, sometimes out of a desire to avenge or emulate Lex Luthor. The newlywed star reporters also explore the question of whether they can have children, which gets answered in the negative, but at the end of the last episode a child mysteriously appears. Originally a fifth season was planned and committed, but it was cancelled by a late arrangement, so who the child is and where it came from is never revealed. (In an interview with KryptonSite, series writer and executive producer Brad Buckner said the planned story was that the child "was Kryptonian royalty, stashed by his mother to keep him safe from assassins.")

After season one, series creator Deborah Joy LeVine left the show as a producer, and a new production team took over the show. Coinciding with this change of production authority, the episode plots gradually shifted from more realistic ones in which Lois, Clark, and Superman often only became involved with criminal elements or dangerous situations through their own initiative, usually through Clark and Lois's investigations as Daily Planet reporters, to more fantastic plots often centered on comic-style villains who specifically targeted Lois, Superman, or Clark from the beginning, rather than endangering the protagonists as a reactionary measure when they became threats to other criminal plans. Whereas many of the stories of season one involved normal human criminals using advanced and powerful technology and/or involved in large and dangerous conspiracies—most, if not all, of the Lex Luthor stories of season one are examples—later plots, especially after season two, much more frequently revolved around villains with special super-human powers and abilities, sometimes drawn from beyond the realm of plausible real theoretical physics. As a result, fans of realistic adventure/drama with some science fiction elements would be likely to prefer the earlier seasons, whereas fans of comic book fantasy sci-fi adventure would be likely to prefer the later seasons.

Lois & Clark was the second medium (after the much ignored 1988 Superman animated series produced by Ruby-Spears for CBS) outside of comics to break tradition and mirror John Byrne's retcon of Superman, which included making Clark Kent more assertive and less of a clumsy oaf. (George Reeves used to play Clark as competent and strong-willed, but officially he was still described as "mild-mannered". This is actually used to describe Clark Kent in "Lois and Clark" as well.) Dean Cain's Clark gradually becomes a well-regarded and highly competent reporter, even beating out Lois for a Kerth award (much to her consternation). A few episodes directly emphasized that Clark was the unequivocal "dominant" personality, not Superman. Following this theme, an innovation unique to the series was the depiction of Clark Kent and Superman's traditional hairstyles being reversed " here it is Superman whose hair is slicked-back, and Clark whose fringe falls more naturally.

An additional element that reflected the post-Byrne comics was the portrayal of Lex Luthor (at least initially) as a corrupt corporate tycoon, rather than the more traditional mad scientist. In this series, with the exception of Lois, H.G. Wells and four villains (Mister Mxyzptlk, Diana Stride, Jason Mazik and Tempus), everyone who has found out Superman's true identity has either been killed or had his/her memory erased.

Series history

Main article: List of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman episodes


Season one

The first season (1993"1994) was a moderate success, garnering the cast, especially Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain, critical praise for their performances. Lane Smith was a huge success, breathing life and humor into the Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White. John Shea also met with rave reviews over his portrayal of Lex Luthor. Michael Landes' modern-day take on the Jimmy Olsen character gained a cult following, as did Tracy Scoggins' comedic take on Cat Grant, a more recent addition to the Superman mythos at the time. Lex Luthor was killed off in the season finale, after a falling-out between Shea and the producers over the actor's strenuous commute between New York and Los Angeles. No longer a regular cast member, he only reappeared sporadically; once in season two, twice in season three, and once in season four.

Season two

Season two (1994"1995) dropped the character of Cat Grant and replaced Michael Landes with Justin Whalin as Jimmy Olsen. The official reason, according to Landes, was that he looked too similar to Dean Cain (on the DVD commentary for the pilot of Lois & Clark, Dean Cain has admitted that he and Landes looked like they could be related). Series creator Deborah Joy LeVine and the entire first-season writing team were also dismissed. The new producer, Robert Singer, planned a stronger focus on "action"; the show also focused more on the budding romance of Lois and Clark.

Lex Luthor returned in one episode and many other villains began to appear from the comics, such as The Prankster, Metallo, the Toyman and the criminal group known as Intergang, and the show featured new love interests for the ace reporters: Dan Scardino played by Jim Pirri, a government agent interested in Lois, and D. A. Mayson Drake Farrah Forke. This season also featured the debut of fan-favorite villain Tempus played by Lane Davies and H. G. Wells, as a time-traveler. Wells' younger self was played by Terry Kiser, and the older Wells was played by Hamilton Camp. Season two started out rocky but became a success and garnered higher ratings in its initial airings, ending the season in 58th place. The season ended with the cliffhanger of Clark proposing marriage to Lois.

Season three

Season three (1995"1996) would go on to be the most successful season of Lois & Clark in its run. The show averaged at least 15 million viewers per episode, and ranked 44th for the season. In the premiere episode, Lois revealed that she had recently learned Clark's secret identity. Only later in the seventh episode of the season, "Ultra Woman", did Lois finally accept Clark's proposal. The long-anticipated wedding was put off to coincide with the characters' marriage in the comics, which led to many storylines designed to delay and interrupt the wedding on the TV series Another controversy erupted when ABC announced that the wedding would actually take place Valentine's Day weekend, even sending out heart-shaped "wedding invitations" to ABC News staff, only to present viewers with a bogus wedding, in which Clark unwittingly married a clone of Lois. Developed by a mad scientist whose creations requires to ingest frogs periodically as nourishment. Which started a main thrilling climax of a special five-part story, with Lois being kidnapped by Lex Luthor who had put the clone in her place. And later with Lois suffering amnesia after a sharp hit on the head and needed to regain her memory.

The wedding of Lois and Clark was scheduled and prepared by DC's Superman comics team for release during what would have worked out to be third season of Lois and Clark. The ongoing Superman comics are not affiliated with television or movies and move in their own direction at their own pace. When the comic book wedding became known to the producers of the Lois and Clark television series, they asked the DC Comics team to postpone the wedding issue as they were planning to marry Lois and Clark in their fourth season and it would help them if the comic book wedding were to coincide with their television program. The DC comics team agreed to postpone their wedding issue.

Season four

The fourth and final season (1996"1997) had several two-part episodes. It began with the resolution of a cliffhanger involving a previously unknown colony of Kryptonians. A villainous conqueror from New Krypton, Lord Nor, takes over Clark's hometown of Smallville. After the conclusion of this story, Lois and Clark finally wed in the third episode of the season entitled "Swear To God, This Time We're Not Kidding". The same week of the airing of this episode, DC Comics released Superman: The Wedding Album, featuring the long-awaited marriage of Lois and Clark/Superman, written and penciled by many of the writers and artists involved with Superman since the 1986 revamp, including some legends from the Silver Age, and an unpublished work of the late Curt Swan.

The series ended on a cliffhanger in which Lois and Clark find an infant in Clark's old bassinet, along with a note that claimed the child belonged to them. This mystery was never resolved in the TV series; however Brad Buckner (executive producer and writer for seasons three and four) later revealed in an interview that the infant was in fact Kryptonian royalty hidden with Lois and Clark so that they could protect him from assassins.

Earlier in the fourth season, ABC had announced and promised an additional fifth year of the show, so the show's producers and writers were caught unprepared when ABC later changed its mind and decided that no new episodes would be produced. The series had weakened in its Sunday 8:00 timeslot and had been shifted to 7:00 in January, and finally a last-ditch move to Saturdays in the spring. The ratings dropped even further, and the show finished its last season at 104th place. ABC made up for its commitment with Warner Bros. by ordering thirteen episodes of a Debra Messing drama called Prey.

Lois & Clark: A Superman Novel

Lois & Clark: A Superman Novel is a novel by science fiction and fantasy author C. J. Cherryh based on the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. The work is an example of the Superhero fantasy literary subgenre, and because of the romance between Lois Lane and Clark Kent, could also be considered a work of Romantic Fantasy. The book was published in 1996 with a Science Fiction Book Club hardcover edition and a paperback edition by Prima Publishing.

Cast

Regular Cast

  • Dean Cain as Clark Kent/Superman
  • Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane/Lois Lane Kent
  • Lane Smith as Perry White
  • Eddie Jones as Jonathan Kent
  • K Callan as Martha Kent
  • Michael Landes as Jimmy Olsen#1 (Season 1 only)
  • Justin Whalin as Jimmy Olsen#2 (Season 2 - Season 4)
  • Tracy Scoggins as Catherine "Cat" Grant (Season 1 only)
  • John Shea as Lex Luthor (Season 1, four guest appearances thereafter)

Special Guest Stars

  • Harry Anderson as Dr Klaus "Fathead" Mensa (one episode)
  • Richard Belzer as Inspector Henderson (four episodes)
  • Sonny Bono as Mayor Frank Berkowitz (one episode)
  • Peter Boyle as Bill Church Sr. (two episodes)
  • Bruce Campbell as Bill Church Jr. (three episodes)
  • Denise Crosby as Dr. Gretchen Kelly (three episodes)
  • Robert Culp as Mr. Darryl (two episodes)
  • Tony Curtis as Dr. Isaac Mamba (one episode)
  • Morgan Fairchild as Miranda (one episode)
  • Jonathan Frakes as Tim Lake (one episode)
  • Genie Francis as Amber Lake (one episode)
  • Frank Gorshin as "Kill Kill Kill" Lawyer (one episode)
  • Harold Gould as Edwin Griffin (two episodes)
  • Jasmine Guy as Angela Winters (two episodes)
  • Sherman Hemsley as Toyman/Winslow Schott (one episode)
  • Penn Jillette as Darrin Romick, Illusions of Grandeur (one episode)
  • Howie Mandell as Mister Mxyzptlk (one episode)
  • Rick Overton as Victor (two episodes)
  • Bronson Pinchot as Prankster/Kyle Griffin (two episodes)
  • Denise Richards as Angela (one episode)
  • Grant Shuad as Toyman/Harold Kripstly
  • Dean Stockwell as Preston Carpenter (one episode)
  • David Warner as Jor-El (2 episodes)
  • Raquel Welch as Diana Stride (one episode)
  • Adam West as tabloid TV reporter (one episode)
  • Fred Willard as President Garner (three episodes)

Guest cast

  • Kenneth Kimmins as Dr. Bernard Klein (sixteen episodes)
  • Tony Jay as Nigel St. John (seven episodes)
  • Beverly Garland as Ellen Lane (six episodes)
  • Harve Presnell as Sam Lane (five episodes)
  • Sal Viscuso as Bobby Bigmouth (five episodes)
  • Lane Davies as Tempus (five episodes)
  • Chris Demetral as Jack (four episodes)
  • Farrah Forke as Mayson Drake (four episodes)
  • Richard Belzer as Inspector Henderson (four episodes)
  • Mark Kiely as General Ching (four episodes)
  • Justine Bateman as Sarah/Zara (four episodes)
  • Elizabeth Barondes as Lucy Lane (three episodes)
  • Barry Livingston as Sheldon Bender (three episodes)
  • Terence Knox as Jason Trask (two episodes)
  • John Pleshette as Professor Hamilton (two episodes)
  • Terry Kiser as 1899 H.G. Wells (two episodes)
  • Hamilton Camp as 1916 H.G. Wells (two episodes)
  • Beverly Johnson as Mrs. Cox (two episodes)
  • Alan Rachins as Professor Jefferson Cole (two episodes)
  • Emma Samms as Arianna Carlin (one episode)
  • Shelley Long as Lucille Newtrich (one episode)
  • Isabel Sanford as Ms. Duffy (one episode)
  • Delta Burke as Myrtle Beech, the wedding destroyer (one episode)
  • Nancy Everhard as Linda King (one episode)
  • Jack Wagner as Randy Goode (one episode)
  • Robert Beltran as a crook (one episode)
  • Larry Linville as "Grover Cleveland" (one episode)
  • Steve Young (NFL MVP) as Joe Malloy (one episode)
  • David Doyle as Mike, Guardian Angel (one episode)

DVD releases

Warner Home Video has released all four seasons of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman on DVD in Regions 1, 2, and 4.

Complete Season Ep# Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 21 June 7, 2005 July 5, 2006 June 14, 2006
2 22 January 17, 2006 July 5, 2006 June 14, 2006
3 22 June 20, 2006 September 6, 2006 November 1, 2006
4 22 November 14, 2006 December 6, 2006 November 1, 2006

Soundtrack

  1. Main Title Theme (1:06)
  2. Mothership (2:02)
  3. Lois & Clark Courting (3:13)
  4. Final Proposal (2:02)
  5. Clark in the Country (1:45)
  6. Final Battle (4:36)
  7. Lois' Big Band (1:14)
  8. Clark's Salsa (1:47)
  9. Superman Says Goodbye (4:25)
  10. Lois & Clark's New Home (2:53)
  11. Baby Dreams (3:12)
  12. Villains (7:27)
  13. Superman Flies Home (1:26)
  14. Lois & Clark's First Love Theme (1:36)
  15. Virtual Reality (2:37)
  16. Tez Arrives (1:06)
  17. Zarah & Ching (3:51)
  18. Tempus (2:46)
  19. Clark Fun (1:25)
  20. Playing the Game (1:19)
  21. Main Title Theme (Extended Mix) (5:38)



This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Lois_%26_Clark%3A_The_New_Adventures_of_Superman" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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