History Files

THE NEW ADVENTURES OF
SUPERMAN

 

Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, to give it its full US title, was less a run-of-the-mill rehash of the Man of Steel's long running stories, more of an updated, light-hearted, amusing version which captured its audience's imagination and leapt with a single bound into BBC1's top ten programmes. During the first couple of episodes the constant quips and links to more traditional Superman were all part of the fun; Lex Luthor's surprised reaction to Superman's speed when Lex is secretly testing him is to admit with eyebrow's raised in surprise, "He's faster than...a speeding bullet!"

Lois Lane is an ambitious journalist with a romantic streak and Clark Kent, new reporter at the Daily Planet, is a regular guy who, once in a while, just happens to fly through the air with his underpants outside his tights. This retelling of the story focused on the relationship between them, a two-person love triangle that hinges on the scarcely credible premise that Lois fails to recognise Superman as her colleague because he's taken off his glasses. Catherine Grant provides an extra source of entertainment with her efforts to seduce Clark in the office, while Lois dreams of Superman. Clark himself tries his best to avoid Grant, and keep ahead of events in his dual role. A typical example is a scene in an early episode where he spots a light aircraft in engine trouble over the city, and drops his pen under the desk as an excuse to disappear for a moment. When Lois sees him seconds later, he has emerged from outside the office and his face is smeared with oil and grease, prompting a puzzled look from his colleague. He simply smiles and shrugs his shoulders as if nothing is amiss.

The programme initially appeared at the very beginning of 1994, only around six months after its first broadcast in the US. Shown in the classic family slot of 5.30pm on Saturdays, the stories were intelligently written and focused more on the characters than on the adventures, the energetic and mostly unknown cast bringing with them an element of freshness to what is by now an old story. Some of the situations were offbeat, and at first the villains were surprisingly human and believable. The mix worked, viewers being treated to a lively, entertaining series which didn't take itself too seriously, a fairly rare occurrence in an American production. Unfortunately, increasingly shoddy scripting values made later seasons of the programme a shadow of the first series, and it was cancelled with a dwindling audience. The episode running order in the UK was almost the same as for the Americans, with only episodes two and three being switched here. The hero himself, Dean Cain, could also be seen for some years around this date in a long-running Frosties advertisement in which he is practicing for a tough football game.

 


REGULAR CAST

Superman/Clark Kent Dean Cain   Lois Lane Teri Hatcher
Jimmy Olsen Michael Landes (Season 1)   Justin Whalin (Season 2 Onwards)
Catherine 'Cat' Grant
Tracy Scoggins (Season 1 Only)
Martha Kent
K Callan   Jonathan Kent Eddie Jones
Perry White Lane Smith   Lex Luthor John Shea (Season 1 Only)

 


Superman created by: Jerry Siegel
  and Joe Shuster
Developed for Television by:
  Deborah Joy Levine
Executive Producers: David Jacobs
  and Robert Butler (Episode 1 Only),
  Robert Singer (Season 2)
Co-Executive Producers: Deborah
  Joy Levine

  (Season 1), Jim Crocker (Season 2)
Executive Consultant: Deborah Joy Levine
  (Season 2)
Producers: Thania St John and Mel Efros
Co-Producers: Philip J Sgriccia, Jim
  Michaels
and John McNamara
  (All Season 2)
Associate Producer: Chris Long
Supervising Producers: Randall Zisk, Tony
  Blake
and Paul Jackson (All Season 2)
Creative Consultant: Kathy McCormick
Music: Jay Gruska

All details are trademarked and copyrighted by their respective producers. All character and location names are also copyright. No infringement of any copyright is intended.
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