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THE ADVENTURES OF Superboy TV Show Season One Review


 Season One Episode Guide

The first season of Superboy starred John Haymes Newton as Superboy along with Stacy Haiduk as Lana Lang. James Calvert played T.J White, a Jimmy Olsen type character who was always seen with a camera. In fact, if you didn't know any better you would assume he was Jimmy Olsen. Lana, played by Stacy Haiduk, was the only one to continue on to the later seasons. She would go on to play in SeaQuest DSV as Katherine Hitchcock. 

Superboy & Lana

TJ & Lana Lang

The first season was produced at Disney/MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida. In the episode # 24, "Hollywood" you can see some of the scenery from MGM at Disney World.

The series takes place at Florida, at Shuster University, but Smallville, Kansas appears in a few episodes, along with Stuart Whitman as Jonathan Kent, a logical TV replacement for Glenn Ford. Whitman is best known for his tough guy roles like Marshal Jim Crown in the TV series "Cimarron Strip". This Jonathan Kent is after the same mold as John Schneider action wise. More than once he gets his hands dirty punching out the bad guys.

Stuart Whitman as Jonathan Kent

Jonathan Kent

The first season, by most accounts is the weakest of the series. You can see the show improving after each subsequent episode.

Here's the good, the bad, and the ugly on season one.

First on its side is the costume. Here we have a syndicated show back in the 80's with a very limited budget, but they managed to get the costume down perfectly. No offense to Superman Returns fans, but the classic look is my favorite. The costume in this series is even more on the money than Lois and Clark's rendition where the insignia was actually a little large. Superboy even had the curl in his hair just like the comic book Superman.

Second, for 70's and 80's TV fans, there are a lot of guest stars, one in almost every show including: Ray Walston (Mr. Han from Fast Times at Ridgemont High and My Favorite Martian) two separate stars from Hawaii Five-0, one from Mission Impossible, Sonny Shroyer from the Dukes of Hazzard, and even Leaf Phoenix, now known as Joaquin Phoenix, the guy who played Johnny Cash in the very cool movie "Walk the Line".

Some of the first flying blue screen sequences are kind of bad, but as the series goes forward the flying and other effects get much better.   

In my humble opinion, the best episode of the first season was "Hollywood," where Superboy travels back to the 1930's. It's lots of fun, and complete with gangsters, machine guns, and Superboy bending the barrel of a gun in classic Superman style. It reminds me of the George Reeves take on Superman just a little bit.

The worst episode has to be #23, "Black Flamingo" which appears right before "Hollywood". Superboy goes into a disguise as a bearded punker to infiltrate a punk bar. If the punk scene brings back fond memories of the 80's for, you then you might like this episode, otherwise it was just a 20 minute waste of time showcasing punk hair do's, and fake punk music. 

The most interesting has to go to the episode "Little Hercules," guest starring Leaf Phoenix, now known as Joaquin Phoenix. He plays a kid who does his own rendition of, "War Games". A genius on the computer, he hacks into a nuclear sub's computer system almost setting off a nuclear blast. This episode even features Phoenix as Superboy. Yes, Joaquin Phoenix makes the list of actors who have worn the Superman costume.

In episode #26 "Luthor Unleashed", we get to see Lex Luthor loose his hair. This Lex, played by Scott Wells, appears early on in the first episode with a full head of hair. Just like the Smallville TV series Luthor, he comes from a rich family, and is about the same age as Clark. He's actually probably closer to the Superboy TV series Clark's age than the Rosenbaum Luthor on Smallville. Not the greatest take on Lex Luthor, but it's interesting to note the similarities between the Luthors. 

Just like in Smallville this Luthor gets to drive cool cars.

Nooo not the hair!

For the quick Season One Episode Guide Rundown complete with guest star list and images.

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