Smallville is a American superhero-fiction television series that aired originally on The WB from October 16, 2001 to May 11, 2006 and on The CW from September 28, 2006 to May 13, 2011. It was based on the DC Comics character Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
he regular cast is introduced in season one, with storylines involving a villain deriving power from kryptonite exposure. The one-episode villains were a plot device developed by Gough and Millar. Smallville is the first season primarily dealt with Clark Kent's coming to terms with his alien origin and the revelation that his arrival on Earth was connected to the death of Lana Lang's parents. After the first season the series had fewer villain-of-the-week episodes, focusing instead on individual-character story arcs and exploring Clark's origins. Major storylines include Clark's discovery of his Kryptonian heritage and Lex Luthor's escalating conflict with his father, Lionel. The disembodied voice of Clark's father, Jor-El, is introduced; he communicates to Clark through his spaceship, setting the stage for plots involving his role in fulfilling Clark's earthly destiny. In a fourth-season arc Clark, instructed by Jor-El, searches for three Kryptonian stones which contain the knowledge of the universe and form his Fortress of Solitude. Clark battles Brainiac in his attempts to release the Kryptonian criminal General Zod, and must capture (or destroy) other escaped Phantom Zone criminals. His cousin Kara arrives, and Lex Luthor discovers Clark's secret. The eighth season introduces Davis Bloome (Smallville's version of Doomsday), and Tess Mercer replaces the departing Lex Luthor. Justin Hartley becomes a series regular as Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) after being a recurring guest in season six. In the ninth season Major Zod (Callum Blue) and other members of Zod's military group are revived (without their Kryptonian powers) by Tess Mercer, and their efforts to regain their powers are the season's central conflict. The final season revolves around Clark's attempts to lose his doubts and fears and become the hero he is meant to be, while confronting his biggest challenges: the coming of Darkseid and the return of Lex Luthor.
- Tom Welling as Clark Kent
- Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang
- Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor
- Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan
- Sam Jones III as Pete Ross
- Annette O'Toole as Martha Kent
- John Schneider as Jonathan Kent
- Eric Johnson as Whitney Fordman
Seasons overview Edit
Tollin/Robbins Productions originally wanted to do a series about a young Bruce Wayne, but the feature-film division of Warner Bros. decided to develop an origin movie for Batman and did not want to compete with a television series. In 2000 Tollin/Robbins approached Peter Roth, president of Warner Bros. Television, about developing a series on a young Superman. That year, Alfred Gough and Miles Millar developed a pilot based on the film Eraser. After watching the pilot, Roth approached Gough and Millar about developing a pilot about a young Superman; the two made a "no tights, no flights" rule that Clark would not fly or wear the Superman suit during the series.
Gough and Millar wanted to strip Superman to his "bare essence", exploring why Clark Kent became the Man of Steel. They felt that because they were not comic-book fans or familiar with the universe, they would have an unbiased approach to the series. Gough and Millar learned about the characters, researching the comics and choosing what they liked. They pitched their idea to The WB and Fox on the same day. A bidding war between the networks followed, with The WB committing to thirteen episodes.
Although Roth, Gough and Millar knew the show would be action-oriented, they wanted to reach 7th Heaven's "middle America iconography". To create atmosphere, the team decided the meteor shower bringing Clark to Earth would be the ironic foundation of the show. The primary source of his life on Earth and the super-powered beings Clark must fight, it would take away the parents of the girl he loves and start Lex Luthor down a dark path. Roth appreciated Clark's conflict in dealing with the fact that his arrival caused so much pain.
The creators also had to address why Lex Luthor would socialize with young people. They created a loneliness in the character which they felt would drive him to reach out to the teenagers, a loneliness echoed in Clark and Lana. Gough and Millar wanted a parallel to the Kents and created Lionel Luthor, Lex's father, whom they saw as conducting an "experiment in extreme parenting." They wanted a younger Kent couple, to be involved in Clark's life and help him on his journey. Chloe Sullivan (another character created for the series) was considered the "outsider" the show needed to ensure that someone would notice the strange happenings in Smallville rather than a "precursor to Lois Lane".
Smallville has been described by Warner Bros. as a from-the-roots reinterpretation of Superman mythology. Since the November 2004 reacquisition of Superboy by the Siegel family, a copyright infringement dispute has arisen over ownership of the fictional town of Smallville and a claimed similarity between Superboy and Smallville's Clark Kent. According to the Siegel heirs, "Smallville is part of the Superboy copyright" (which they hold).
Critical response Edit
Smallville set a WB record as its highest-rated series debut, with 8.4 million viewers tuned in for the pilot. Its premiere set a WB record for adults aged 18–34 and finished first among viewers aged 12–34, with Warner Bros. president Jordan Levin crediting the series with invigorating the network's Tuesday-night lineup. Smallville appeared on the cover of Entertainment Weekly as one of five new shows to watch. After its first season, the series was sixth on the Parents Television Council's 10-best list of broadcast programs. Levin, acknowledging early concerns that Smallville had become a villain of the week series, said that season two would introduce "smaller mini-arcs over three to four episodes" and become less of a "serialized show". According to Gough, although each succeeding season relied more on season-long story arcs, an occasional villain-of-the-week story was necessary. The villain-of-the-week stories were more harshly criticized by fans of the Superman mythology, but Gough wanted to please them and The WB's general audience (teenagers who preferred villain-of-the-week stories over episodes focusing on the Superman mythology).