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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Welcome to Superboy Theater: Home of Superboy the TV Series since 2000.

Superboy Epi-log #22

Read this fantastic Superboy Epi-log magazine issue #22. The Television magazine of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Comedy, Drama, and Adventure, released in Septmeber of 1992. Inside is a complete episode guide of the Superboy TV Series which contains storyline and plot details, information on guest-stars and more!



Tracy Lynn Roberts (Tracy Lewis) as Darla on Superboy....



Darla was one of the most interesting characters on the Superboy TV Series. Played by the talented Tracy Lynn Roberts (Tracy Lewis), she was Lex Luthor's companion and partner in crime during seasons 2, 3 and 4 of the series. For the most part, she stayed out of the limelight during the second season, merely posing as a supporting cast member for Sherman Howard. However, by season 3 her charactter was really coming into her own. And eventually, Darla was going up against Superboy, toe to toe, and showing herself to be a dangerous foe. Especially when she kindnapped Lana Lang in the episodes "Roads Not Taken" part 1 and 2. Below, view Tracy's updated actress reel edited by the webmaster of Superboy Theater:



Eventually, by season 4, Darla was in a league of her own in the episode "Darla Goes Ballistic". Below, watch one of the best scenes from this episode (and Darla using her powers):





Darla's first appearance on the Superboy series as a strip club dancer....

Tracy credits Sherman Howard for helping to push her character into the limelight as she told me in her interivew that he wrote the screenplay "Darla Goes Ballistic" specifically for her character. Sherman stated: "They don't see what I see and you really deserve to be showcased". To Sherman's credit, any fan would agree.



(Above) Gerard Christopher holds up Tracy Roberts (Tracy lewis) with one hand in the 3rd season episodes "Body Swap".

Comparing Darla to other incarnations of Lex's other "girls" (like Kitty in "Superman Returns") it is clear that Darla is more than just a random Lex-Girl. Lex Luthor was entertaining enough, however, when Darla got her moments on the show, she always managed to break the glass and dazzle the fans.



Tracy Lynn Roberts (Tracy Lewis) aka Darla today.

It is true that fans of the series go on to say that the Darla/Lex relationship was far more cunning than any other female sideckick Lex Luthor had been known to have in the past, including Mrs. Tessmacher (Superman I and II) and Kitty from Superman Returns . It has even been said that there was little, if no friction or drama in the romance between Lex and his other girls in other Superman incarnations. But not when it came to Darla and Lex, it was the most difficult romance and the Superboy TV series pulled it off (or rather, Tracy and her talent made it very believable). The audience truly believed that Darla loved this crazy, and psychotic, evil Lex Luthor.



Darla pulls up in a fast, hip car to pick up the electrified Lex Luthor, in the season 2 episode: "Lex Luthor, Sentenced to Death"!

Below, watch Darla vs. Lana, the ultimate girl-fight on Superboy the TV Series:



Today, Tracy is alive and well, married with two daughters (one daughter named Ashley and a younger named Falon who is in a band). Her older daughter Ashley used to hang out on the Superboy set with her Mom. Her younger daughter Falon is preparing to attend college in New York. Tracy is also a recent grandmother and goes by the name of Tracy Lewis ever since she got married.



(Above) Tracy's daughter Ashley in the middle of Stacy Haiduk (Lana Lang) and Gerard Christopher (Superboy).

Tracy has also decided to revive her acting career as she made the decision previously to put acting on hiatus so she could raise her daughters. She did a film this year with the use of a green screen which she hadn't done since her time on Superboy. She also did work for DC Lottery where she appears on buses that drive by in Washington, DC. Darla, Lex Luthor's right arm who stood toe to toe with the most powerful boy on Earth, Superboy, will always be remembered as a very gritty and tough girl on the Superboy TV series.



(Above) Tracy Lynn Roberts (Tracy Lewis) uses her mind-powers to cook dinner in "Darla Goes Ballistic"...and to the tune of "I Dream of Genie" which was actually her own idea. This is an authentic Tracy Roberts autograph for the webmaster of Superboy Theater.



(Above) Another authentic Tracy Roberts autograph to the webmaster of Superboy Theater. Darla said, "All I ever wanted was a little respect." Also, below is the authentic white suit that Tracy Roberts wore during the episode "Darla Goes Ballistic". This was the only piece of wardrobe Tracy was allowed to keep as a memoir of her role.



Sherman Howard as Lex Luthor on Superboy the TV Series.



By Rennie Cowan

Actor Sherman Howard played Lex Luthor from season 2-4 on Superboy the TV series. His original name was "Howard Sherman" but he decided to switch it and he changed his name to "Sherman Howard". Sherman's portrayal is often very rememberable, and clearly stands out as one of best Lex Luthor incarnations ever to be portrayed. Some fans even proclaim that he is the best Lex Luthor incarnation of any other Superman-related TV show...or movie...for that matter....

Sherman Howard replaced Scott Wells who had played young Lex during the first season. Scott Wells had hair up until the end of season one when the show paid homage to the DC comics interpretation of how Lex lost his hair:. It was during a lab accident in which Superboy saved Lex's life, but the terrible price was the lose of his precious hair. From then on, he and Superboy were enemies.

Ilya Salkind replaced a majority of the cast for the second season which had never been done before on any TV series. It was risky, but Salkind was a gambler by nature and with his strong business sense the recasting boosted up the ratings. All the major actors of the show were replaced except for Stacy Haiduk who played Lana Lang. Ilya had said in the book "Age of TV Heroes" by Jason Hofius and George Khoury: "We kpt Stacy Haiduk. She was 'dynamite'." People just coming into the show might ask, why was Lex Luthor young in season one but much older in season 2, 3 and 4? This plot twist was explained in the two-part season two premiere episode "With This Ring I Thee Kill" Part 1 and 2.

In the second season premiere two-parteer, Lex Luthor had surgically changed his face to look like the billionaire weapons tycoon Mr. Eckworth. He assumed his identity (and his face) and even poured acid on his vocal cords to lower his voice. It was an interesting twist to the show and some felt that having an older, more experienced actor playing Lex Luthor did increasingly help the show. But don't expect the high-class, educated and rich Luthor of the "Smallville" series or the Lex Luthor of the Johyn Byrne revamp. Sherman Howard's Lex Luthor went mad (he was often crazy) and could have easily rivaled the Joker of Batman!

Sherman Howard's Lex Luthor was the mad scientist of the Fleischer cartoons who had a side-kick named Darla.(Tracy Roberts), Lex's girlfriend, was portrayed as a dumb Bimbo. Lex even made her aware of the fact that she was a dumb blonde. Darla was used as a more important character by the third season, and by season 4 got her own episode ("Darla Goes Ballistic") which was, coincidently, written by Sherman Howard. Darla and Lex Luthor were always together when cast in the same episode. Sherman Howard's Lex was indeed sinister and a real foe to be reckoned with on the Superboy TV Series.

Aside from the Superboy TV Series, Sherman Howard is also know for his small roles on three different Star Trek series, spanning all the way back from The Next Generation. On TNG, Sherman played Endar. On Deep Space Nine he played Syvar. He also played a character on Voyagers.

Stacy Haiduk - Lana Lang in Superboy the TV Series.



By Rennie Cowan

Stacy Haiduk played the iconic role of Lana Lang in the Superboy TV Series. She was the girl next door, or rather, the girl right down the dorm hall from Clark Kent. They attended Shuster University together in Florida, straight off the farm. They both grew up in Smallville but Clark never revealed his secret abilities to her, nor his secret identity. There were, however, fantasy episodes that revealed Clark's identity to Lana, but the end always put things back into their proper perspectives with Lana forgetting everything, or it was a dream (or an alternate reality). It was eluded that Lana and Superboy were more than just friends by the fourth season, but as a family series it never fully developed and kept the intrigue alive.



(Above) Authentic Stacy Haiduk personalized autographs to the webmaster of Superboy Theater.

The fantasy episodes where Lana discovered Clark's identity were a two-part episode called "Abandon Earth" and "Escape to Earth" which aired during the second season; time had to be changed, so with a kiss from Superboy, Lana Lang forgot his identity. The other episode was a a third season episode called "Mindscape" where Clark was dreaming that Lana found out about his secret identity. Of course, that was just a dream so Lana never found out. An alternate Earth Lana also discovered Clark's identity, not understanding the point of the Superboy costume in the two-part fourth season episode called "Road to Hell" part 1 and 2.

You may have seen or heard many portrayls of Lana Langs through the years of Superman entertainment history; Bunny Henning, Janet Waldo, Annette O'Toole, Emily Procter, Kelly Schmit,Joely Fisher and Kristin Kreuk. Like Annette O'Toole, Stacy was a red-head and one that is most remembered in the Lana Lang role. In DC comics, Lana Lang had been drawn with red hair; that appeared to be her trademark until Emily Procter played Lana Lang in "Lois and Clark" with blonde hair. In the end, all fans know that Superman will eventually end up with Lois Lane - so some people may ask, why bother? That wasn't the case in the Superboy TV Series. Lana Lang was the star, not Lois, and Stacy Haiduk made us believe that Lana was the right woman for Superman. Lana Lang's first appearance was in Superboy #10 of DC Comics.



(Above) Authentic Stacy Haiduk and Gerard Christopher autograph of issue #1 Superboy:The Comic Book, and (above) authentic Stacy Haiduk autograph of issue #3 of Superboy: The Comic Book.

Like Lana Lang, all of Superman's love interests held the intials of LL (Lois Lane anybody?).

Today, Stacy Haiduk is actively working as an actress and has gained much attention in her latest role as Mary Jane Benson on "The Young and the Restless". She was close to winning an emmy, and many feel she should have received one. She has worked on "Days of our Lives" and there is talks of her coming back to the soaps. So she'll get that emmy yet! Stacy has also had roles on notable TV shows like "Charmed", "The X-Files", "ER", "Prison Break" and even as a series regular on "Seaquest DSV" in which the show directly competed for ratings with the latest Superman incarnation "Lois and Clark".

Stacy Haiduk has also recently played Hannah Nicols on the long-running ABC daytime drama "All My Children". She is sure to stay in the public eye as an actress. In real life, she is married to Bradford Tatum who is also an actor. He has also sculpted artwork for the Desmond Gallery in Hollywood, California. And, he is also the author of a book. Be sure to visit Stacy Haiduk's official website for all the latest news about her exciting acting career.

Scott Wells as young Lex Luthor - Season One.



Scott James Wells is the actor who played Lex Luthor on Season One of the Superboy TV Series. During season one, he looked the same age as Superboy until he was replaced by Sherman Howard, a much older actor. The story of the show to explain an older Luthor was that Lex changed his face with plastic surgery to look like Mr. Eckworth, a weapons billionare mogul. As a consequence he was much older. Lex Luthor appeared in only 4 episodes of the first season.

Below is a clip of Wells' appearance in the episode "The Fixer" (The Trailer):

In the early days of the Superboy TV Series, Lana and Lex were actually on speaking terms and went out on a date. Much in tune with the current "Smallville" series, Lex was less evil and more human. Below, watch the clip of Lana and Lex on a date:

Wells gave an exceptional performance as the young college student Lex Luthor, more in touch with the current "Smallville" series than the later seasons of the Superboy TV Series. Out of the four episodes that Scott Wells appeared in, the most memorable episode is the last of the season. It is called "Luthor Unleashed". In fact, "Luthor Unleashed" is said to be Scott Wells' best performance of his four episode appearances by most fans. In this episode, Lex finally lost his hair due to a lab accident in which Superboy blew the fumes past him (on accident), making Lex's hair fall out. Later during the episode, Lex entertains a collection of wigs and gets a new weapon to harm Superboy with. Below, watch the clip where Superboy unintentionally makes Lex Luthor bald:

Though Superboy was trying to save Lex's life in the lab accident, Lex blamed it on him anyway. The story is very faithful to the original DC comic books storyline that explained why Luthor hated Superboy (and Superman). It was Superboy who had made Lex Luthor bald.

Below is a clip of the classic scene where Lex Luthor discovers he's bald by Superboy's doing:

Lex never forgave the Boy of Steel. After season one of Superboy, Wells more or less stopped acting. He appeared in one film and did work as a stand-in. Other than that, he is known only for playing the infamous Lex Luthor during season one of Superboy, the TV series.

John Haymes Newton - Superboy from season one.

By Rennie Cowan

John Haymes Newton was the first to be cast as Superboy in the Alexander and Ilya Salkind production of Superboy: The TV Series. At that time, Haymes was virtually an unknown and that is what the Salkinds wanted: an unknown to play Superboy. John Haymes Newton appeared in the first 26 episodes of the series and wanted to do 105 episodes total. John was the actor who closely resembled Superboy of the early DC "Superboy" comics. In the Superboy comics, Superboy was a teenager. Newton had the build and the look of a teenage Superboy. Ironically enough, today, Newton looks more like Superman.

Newton practiced Tai Chi, meditation and martial arts to inspire his role during season one. He was replaced by Gerard Christopher for the following popular media stories: asking for more money and speeding tickets. Of course, Newton was a very young actor (19 years old). Contrary to popular rumors, all of the stories swarming the net about his dismiss from the show are completely false. John had owned a red corvette and the joy of driving it most likely led to speeding...big deal, right? John Newton has a loyal Superboy fanbase and was well-liked in the role by fans. He and Stacy Haiduk dated during the first season in which case Stacy stated in an interview for the Superman Homepage that one should never date their co-star; maybe this confirms that business and pleasure do not mix, for Stacy firmly believes this now. Today, John stated on K-KAL Radio Live that he bumps into Stacy all the time in Los Angeles.



(Above) John Haymes Newton with his red corvette during season one of 'Superboy'.



(Above) John Haymes Newton and Stacy Haiduk next to John's hot red corvette during their dating days of season one of 'Superboy'.

Gerard Christopher looked more like Superman, or the college Superboy and the show appeared to be maturing away from Clark's college years. Christopher stated in a radio interview that Newton had been difficult to work with; Gerard also stated that he had to work in sometimes impossible conditions during season 2. On this website, in an interview with Dan Recchia, Dan asks the question, "Maybe John was right?" Since playing the role of Superboy, John Haymes Newton continues to grow in his craft. He has co-starred in several major motion pictures, including the critically acclaimed "Alive" (1993) and "Cool as Ice" (alongside Vanilla Ice, which was a very entertaining comedy). He was even a guest star on "Melrose Place" (like Gerard Christopher had been and other cast members of Superboy).

Newton appeared on recent television roles in "Tru Calling" and "Desparate Housewives" (to name only a few). People still remember John Haymes Newton as the Boy of Steel - the first Superboy of season one. Stacy Haiduk talks openly about them dating during season one on the season one DVD set that has been distributed by Warner Brothers. Today, John Haymes Newton is married to actress Jennifer Newton and they have a young son and daughter. John Haymes Newton continues to act in feature films and television, co-starring roles on TV or other small roles. My personal favorite movie of Newton's, aside from his Superboy portrayal is Vanilla Ice's "Cool as Ice". If you haven't seen it, then please do. It is truly entertaining and it is fun to watch Newton play a snubbing college-boy. It's not on the top 100 AFI list, to be sure, but it's a fun movie nevertheless.



John Haymes Newton with his wife, actress Jennifer Newton.

Below are some of my favorite clips from the movie "Cool as Ice" co-starring Newton:

JOHN HAYMES NEWTON IN SUPERMAN CLASSIC

Ever wonder what it would have been like to have a Superboy star play Superman? Well, you can stop wondering. A fan of John Haymes Newton's Superboy incarnation has cast him to do the voice of Superman/Clark Kent for his animated Superman fanfilm called Superman Classic. Superboy Theater has started a petition to get Warner Brothers to hire John Haymes Newton to voice Superman in a real animated movie or project. And John has expressed that he would love to do so. Please sign the petition here. We all think John does an excellent job - so Tim Daly, move over! To watch Superman classic, it's on youtube!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Gerard Christopher - Superboy/Clark kent



By Rennie Cowan

Gerard Christopher was cast to play Superboy for season 2, 3 and 4 for the Superboy TV Series. Gerard Christopher was his stage name; his real name is Jerry Dinome. Interestingly enough, Gerard was older than Christopher Reeve when Reeve played Superman in the Salkind produced productions. He was older than both Dean Cain and Brandon Routh when they both got cast to play Superman...and by almost ten years! So why Gerard Christopher? Well, Gerard's boyish good-looks benefited the show and audiences believed he was college-age. He looked younger than his true age (30). Take a look below, watch Gerard's very first screen test for Ilya Salkind is avaialble on Superboy Theater's youtube channel.

At the end of season one, Superboy the TV Series ranked #48 in syndication. Within 3 weeks of Geard's season 2 debut, it quadripled and ranked in the top 10 of syndication. For the first time ever on television, Ilya Salkind took a chance and recasted all his essential lead roles except for Stacy Haiduk who was there to stay for good.

Gerard Christopher arrived on the Hollywood scene from starring in a big Hollywood picture titled "Tom Boy" (1985) which I remember had played at my local movie theater. The first time I saw Gerard Christopher was when he was Jerry Dinome in Tomboy at the movie theater. Gerard looked a dead ringer for the Superman even back then in Tomboy, a small, cult-movie released several years before his Superboy role. He co-starred with the young Betsy Russell who later appeared in a season episode titled "Superboy...Rest in Peace". So that was a treat for those who were fans of Tomboy.

In season 2, Gerard looked very much like John Byrne's drawings and his Superboy suit was the same style of Superman costume from the John Byrne Man of Steel comics (not to mention Gerard had the fold-over cape of Byrne's Superman's costume). Gerard was also very atheletic and in good shape; at one time he had appeared on the front cover of Muscle Magazine. And so a new Superboy meant a new stule of Superboy costume, one that was changed to suit John Byrne's artistry with the fold-over cape to fit Gerard's broad shoulders perfectly. The style left after season two for a simplier look without the fold-over cape. But in season one of Lois and Clark, the fold-over style returned halfway through the season. The only difference was that Dean Cain used sholder pads and Gerard didn't need any due to his chisled physique.

Unlike John Haymes Newton who played the character with reserve and a little bit of shyness, Gerard played the role like Christopher Reeve which intailed a "nerdy" Clark Kent. I asked Gerard Christopher during a sit down with the episode "Nightmare Island" if that was his idea, or was it written in the script to play a nerdy Clark. He stated it was in the script but he had fun with it, and did it to the extreme. So most of the goofiness was his idea. When I asked Ilya Salkind the same question, Ilya stated that by the time Gerard Christopher arrived in the role they had decided to do everything "like Christopher Reeve had done it" (in his own words). Ilya further said, "go with everything Reeve". During my sit-down, watching "Nightmare Island" with Gerard he also stated that he swam in the clear-water lagoon and it was his favorite episode because the location was so beautiful. Indeed, his favorite places are within water-bound Santa Monica near the ocean shore.

Of course, there were still fans who were loyal to John Haymes Newton's portrayal of Superboy, but Gerard Christopher would be remembered as the one most associated with the TV series because he stayed with it for three seasons (season 2,3 and 4). Gerard Christopher eventually became one of the producers of the series because of his dedication; but in title only. He did not actually own any of the rights to the series.

Gerard Christopher continued to act after the Superboy series ended and appeared in guest-starring roles in "Melrose Place" (as did John Haymes Newton), "Sunset Beach" and "The Agency". Gerard Christopher was originally cast to play Superman in the Lois and Clark TV show, but one the producers of Lois and Clark realized that he had done Superman before (or in his case, Superboy). The producer immediately recasted him with Dean Cain. Just think, Gerard was going to be Superman; and he was being cast twice for the same role!

On the Superboy Theater youtube channel are some interesting clips from the movie Tomboy, one in particular which Gerard looks very much like a young Christopher Reeve:

Something tells me he was meant to be Superman (or looked a hell of lot like him). Today, Gerard is focusing on his business endeavors and is doing well. He lives in Los Angeles and loves to fly his airplane. He loves martial arts, has a pet turtle, runs his own international real estate business and finance business. He is married to a doctor and has 3 daughters. He is also very much in touch with the fans and has sold Superboy videos and DVDs on his personal website. His intention was to help the fans have access to his three seasons of Superboy but Warner Brothers put a stop to it. So he does not sell Superboy DVDs/Tapes anymore on his website, though he did at one time and that is due to Warner Brothers supervision. We can only hope that WB releases the rest of the series for the fans.

Douglas Barry Meyers who played Bizarro on Superboy the TV Series continues friendship with Gerard Christopher. During the summer of 2011, Meyers took a ride in Gerard's private airplane in Los Angeles. You can view a photo of the flight, and a video shot by Meyers himself below. So Superboy and Bizarro continue to fly together as brothers:

Gerard Christopher has also appeared on the front cover of several romance novels back in the days when he was doing modeling work (and looked very much like a young Christopher Reeve). Below, you will find pics of some of the novels that he had been on the front cover of.

Be sure to visit Gerard Christopher's official website for everything on this Superboy actor. The link is provided above in this biography.



Kevin Kiner: The music composer for Superboy the TV Series.

Article by Rennie Cowan

Kevin Kiner was the composure, the writer, and the performer for all the music heard in 'Superboy' the TV Series. He was literally a one-man-show and the only one solely responsible for the main title score and all the individual music pieces for each episode. The music was arranged on synthesizers and performed from his own private studio. The series wouldn't have been the same without his music--it really had a special kind of energy to it; the musical scores were sometimes so powerful it would literally tell you how to feel. He just didn't arrange background music, he also gave central and guest-starring characters their own unique scores. Bizarro, for instance, had his own little theme. So did Lex Luthor. The audience would always know who was about to appear by the music alone. Kevin is now composing music for the popular animated cartoon 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars'.

Ilya Salkind - Creative and Executive Producer



Ilya Salkind is the Creative and Executive Producer of the Superboy TV Series. When his father Alexander approached him with the idea of doing a Superboy TV show, he immediately thought it could be a very good idea. The series ran from 1988-1992. Ilya Salkind is currently developing a major motion picture about The Abominable Snowman. His company is called The Ilya Salkind Compnay.

Currently in development is Ilya Salkind's "The Abominable Snowman." Ilya is developing many more movie ideas and you can read about them on his company website.

Sovereign: The alternate evil Superboy of the TV Series.



Article by Rennie Cowan

In an interview with Gerard Christopher (Superboy) in Spectrum Magazine #32 he stated that the two-part "Roads Not Taken" episodes were the best of the series (and his own personal favorite). The webmaster agrees; indeed, these were two very good episodes and they have, unintentionally, inspired other later incarnations in DC comic books. But first, who is Sovereign and what is it about the Superboy episodes "Roads Not Taken" part 1 and 2 (from the third season)?

Sovereign was an alternate Superboy in the TV Series (Sovereign is in the photos above). And he was from an alternate reality of Superboy's life. As scientifically explained in the episode, whenever we make a decision or don't make a decision, a whole antoher world is created. Thus, an alternate reality is created. To make more sense of this, watch the clip below that introduces this episode ("Roads Not Taken" Part 2):

When Superboy met Sovereign face to face, Sovereign asked him, "Who are you?" And Superboy replied, "I am you I am ashamed to say." Superboy had traveled through a portal where history was totally different. Where his alternate self didn't fight for truth, justice and the American way - but for oppression and power, he was the ruler of the planet. "Roads Not Taken" Part 2 actually inspired the Mark Millar 3-issue limited Elsewords 2003 storyline in DC comic books titled "Superman: Red Son". In this Elseworld's tale, Superman actually landed in the Soveit Union (Ukrainian) and was raised to be a cold ruler.



In the photo above, Superboy confronts his alternate self, and the ruler of the planet: Sovereign.



The 3 issue-limited series/graphic novel ("Superman: Red Son") that was inspired by the Superboy third season episode "Roads Not Taken" Part 2. Notice on the left it states "He's Watching You". If you watch the Sovereiegn clips on this page, you'll hear Sovereign announce: "The Sovereign can't be watching all the time, but sooner or later, he will see you!" Sound familiar?

Watch the clip to scene below:

Sovereign was not raised by Ma and Pa Kent, but by a close neighbor who was crippled and insane. He trained Sovereign to rule the world by fear and intimidation. Ironically, the Lana Lang of that alternate history had nothing but hate for Sovereign but loved Lex Luthor. And not too surprising, in "Superman: Red Son" Lois Lane loved Lex Luthor, not Superman. Sound familiar? In short, this alternate world was a complete nightmare for Superboy. Lana hated him but loved Lex Luthor and Superboy was not a hero in this world at all; and he was not one who had vowed to fight for Truth, Justice and the America Way. So Superboy had to fight himself - he had to fight Sovereign to free the world of his injustice.



Sovereign tries to use his heat vision against Superboy.

Sovereign was an evil version of Superboy, ruler the world, and one who ruled by fear, intimidation and supreme might. Sovereign was even a murderer (he would kill his military leaders if they failed him...no, not with a Vaderish death-choke like in Star Wars, but with his heat vision and then he would melt them down to a fleshy mush. Watch the clip below:

"Roads Not Taken" Part 1 also inspired the DC comics incarnation of Kon-El (otherwise known as Superman's clone, Superboy aka Conner Kent)who made his first appearance in the issue Adventures of Superman #500 (June, 1993). Kon-El however didn't like being called "Superboy" and sported a black leather jacket and cool sunglasses. In "Roads Not Taken" Part 1 there is an alternate version of Superboy who flies around wearing cool dark sunglasses and a sporty black leather jacket. Sound familiar? However, he wore black jeans unlike Kon-El. But they both had the black leather jacket and the sunglasses.



Above is a photo of Gerard Christopher (left) in "Roads Not Taken" Part 1 sporting a black leather jacket and cool sunglasses as the good Superboy gone bad - and opposite (right) is Kon-El (Superboy), a clone of Superman clad in a black leather jacket and cool sunglasses.

Below, watch the good Superboy gone bad while sporting a black leather jacket and cool dark sunglasses just like Kon-El (or rather, like Gerard Christopher):

The brother episodes that followed the two-parter "Roads Not Taken" Part 1 and 2 was yet another two-part continuation called "The Road to Hell" (part 1 and 2) and they both aired at the end of the third season. In "The Road to Hell" part 1 and 2 Superboy came upon his older self (played by Ron Ely), with the grey hair and wisdom of a middle-aged Superman.



In the photo above, Superboy meets an older version of himself played by Ron Ely.

Superboy also came upon a child version of himself of whom Lex Luthor was hoping to brew as his own personal Superman; but those plans fell through when Superboy uncovered Luthor's plot. Luthor wanted his own personal Superboy, one who would do his evil bidding in the future - but nice try, Luthor.

"The Roads Not Taken" episodes and the "The Road to Hell" two-part continuation episodes are considered some of the most creative and probably the best episodes of the enitre series. Sovereign's world is not a place where Superboy can be found; not even truth, justice and the American way. Sovereign's world is the way, and certainly the most intriguing Superman character spin-off to date. You can actually watch "Roads Not Taken" part 1 and 2 on youtube. Part 1 is in two parts here and here. Part 2 where we see Sovereign is also in two parts on youtube, here and here. "The Road to Hell" episode 1 (part 1 and 2) and episode 2 (part 1 and 2) can also viewed on youtube (just click on the links I have provided). Enjoy!

Long live Sovereign! Long live his Empire! Enter the portal; into an alternate-timeline not like our own. You will believe a boy can kill (and fly). This is the story of Sovereign (so watch "Roads Not Taken" part 1 and 2).

Rocketed from a distant planet to an evil destiny on Earth. Found by a crazy, old cripple in Kansas who is angry at the world, the man is now bent on raising the super-infant that he found to become a world dictator. He named the super-infant...Sovereign.

Sovereign learned that he possessed the strength of steel; the speed of light; the lust for power (to please his old man); and the power to kill and the desire to rule all of mankind.

He is Sovereign. Master of the Earth. Master of your life. There is no fight, no truth, and no justice. There is only Sovereign. And he will see you. He is always watching you.

The Post Production of Superboy, The TV Series

TV INDUSTRY STORIES - MAGAZINE OCTOBER 1988

LOOK UP IN THE SKY!

Episode Guide: Season 4 of The Adventures of Superboy

Season 4 of "The Adventures of Superboy" consisted of 22 episodes.

PROMO TRAILER FOR "THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERBOY"



1. Episode 79
Airdate: October 6th, 1991
"A Change of Heart" (part 1)
Watch the trailer for this episode:

2. Episode 80
Airdate: October 13th, 1991
"A Change of Heart" (part 2)

3. Episode 81
Airdate: October 20th, 1991
"The Kryptonite Kid"

4. Episode 82
Airdate: October 27th, 1991
"The Basement"

5. Episode 83
Airdate: November 3rd, 1991
"Darla Goes Ballistic"

6. Episode 84
Airdate: November 10th, 1991
"Paranoia"

7. Episode 85
Airdate: November 17th, 1991
"Know Thine Enemy" (part 1)

8. Episode 86
Airdate: November 24th, 1991
"Know Thine Enemy" (part 2)

9. Episode 87
Airdate: December 1st, 1991
"Hell Breaks Loose"

10. Episode 88
Airdate: December 8th, 1991
"Into the Mystery"

11. Episode 89
Airdate: January 19th, 1992
"To Be Human" (part 1)

12. Episode 90
Airdate: January 26th, 1992
"To Be Human" (part 2)

13. Episode 91
Airdate: February 2nd, 1992
"West of Alpha Centauri"

14. Episode 92
Airdate: February 9th, 1992
"Threesome" (part 1)

Watch the trailer for this episode:
15. Episode 93
Airdate: February 16th, 1992
"Threesome" (part 2)

16. Episode 94
Airdate: February 23rd, 1992
"Out of Luck"
Watch the trailer for this episode:

17. Episode 95
Airdate: March 1st, 1992
"Who is Superboy?"

18. Episode 96
Airdate: April 19th, 1992
"Cat and Mouse"

19. Episode 97
Airdate: April 26th, 1992
"Obituary for a Super Hero"

20. Episode 98
Airdate: May 3rd, 1992
"Metamorphosis"

21. Episode 99
Airdate: May 10th, 1992
"Rites of Passage" (part 1)
Watch the trailer to this episode:

22. Episode 100
Airdate: May 17th, 1992
"Rites of Passage" (part 2)

Episode Guide: Season 3 of The Adventures of Superboy

Season 3 of "The Adventures of Superboy" consisted of 26 episodes.

PROMO TRAILER FOR "THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERBOY"



1. Episode 53
Airdate: October 6th, 1990
"The Bride of Bizarro" (part 1)

2. Episode 54
Airdate: October 13th, 1990
"The Bride of Bizarro" (part 2)


3. Episode 55
Airdate: October 20th, 1990
"The Lair"

4. Episode 56
Airdate: October 27th, 1990
"Neila"

5. Episode 57
Airdate: November 3rd, 1990
"Roads Not Taken" (part 1)
Watch the trailer for this episode:

6. Episode 58
Airdate: November 10th, 1990
"Roads Not Taken" (part 2)
Watch the trailer for this episode:

7. Episode 59
Airdate: November 17th, 1990
"The Sons of Icarus"
Watch the trailer for this episode:

8. Episode 60
Airdate: November 24th, 1990
"Carnival"

9. Episode 61
Airdate: December 1st, 1990
"Test of Time"

10. Episode 62
Airdate: December 8th, 1990
"Mindscape"

11. Episode 63
Airdate: December 15th, 1990
"Superboy...Lost"

12. Episode 64
Airdate: January 5th, 1991
"Special Effects"

13. Episode 65
Airdate: January 12th, 1991
"Neila and the Beast"

14. Episode 66
Airdate: January 19th, 1991
"The Golem"

15. Episode 67
Airdate: January 26th, 1991
"A Day in the Double Life"

16. Episode 68
Airdate: February 22nd, 1991
"Bodyswap"

17. Episode 69
Airdate: March 9th, 1991
"Rebirth" (part 1)

18. Episode 70
Airdate: March 23rd, 1991
"Rebirth" (part 2)

19. Episode 71
Airdate: February 30th, 1991
"Werewolf"

20. Episode 72
Airdate: April 6th, 1991
"People vs. Metallo"

21. Episode 73
Airdate: April 20th, 1991
"Jackson and Hyde"

22. Episode 74
Airdate: April 27th, 1991
"Mine Games"

23. Episode 75
Airdate: May 4th, 1991
"Wish for Armageddon"

24. Episode 76
Airdate: May 11th, 1991
"Standoff"

25. Episode 77
Airdate: May 18th, 1991
"The Road to Hell" (part 1)

26. Episode 78
Airdate: May 25th, 1991
"The Road to Hell" (part 2)

Superboy: The TV Series DVD Campaign to get seasons 2, 3 and 4 released to DVD (or Blu-Ray) by Warner Brothers....

The fans won, and the Series finally got released onto DVD for our pleasure! Special thanks to WB and Mike Carlin for making all of this possible. What has been written below is simply archived so that we can remember that we CAN do it...and we did!! Ilya Salkind stated to me that the series would never get released on Blu-ray and should not, because the image won't hold up well on Blu-ray. It would if we had a transfer straight from 35mm, the original format. But we got DVD, and we are good with that. Unless ... you never know....

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PETITION

To sign the Official Superboy Theater DVD Campaign Petition simply go to ipetitions.com. Or visit: http://ipetitions.com/petition/superboytvseries . Sign the petition and let your voice be heard so that we can bring season 2, 3 and 4 of Superboy to DVD. There is also another online petition that you can fill out below.

You can sign more than one petition. Doug Chambers of DMWC started the first online petition and it has accumulated over 2,150 petitions!

ONLINE PETITION TO WB TO GET THE SUPERBOY SERIES RELEASED TO DVD

CLICK HERE AND SUPPORT THE DVD CAMPAIGN FOR SUPERBOY THE TV SERIES

Warner Brothers has released only season one of Superboy the TV Series on DVD which starred John Haymes Newton as Superboy (the first Superboy). In order for fans and future generations of Superman fans to enjoy the series the campaign needs petitioners. With any luck, the remaining three seasons with complete extras (like audio commentaries and docu-interviews) will be released. View the Official Superboy Theater campaign ad here.

Like season 1 had been, seasons 2, 3 and 4 master tapes are high-end VHS quality. The original footage of the series that was shot on video and 35mm was, unfortunately, completely destroyed by Paramount which had owned Viacom. However, the VHS footage was enhanced by modern day color correction techniques and digital repair. That is actually what we see on the season 1 DVD release of Superboy the TV Series. So season 2, 3 and 4 will also need color correction and digital repair where necessary, something that Warner Brothers will need to be convinced to do.

To quote Perry White from Superman, the Superboy series should be preserved like a natural resource. It is a part of Superman television history. Gerard Christopher owns the master tapes to the following three seasons, and DVD transfers of the master tapes as well, so it is ready to go whenever Warner Brothers gives the ok.

Episode Guide: Season 2 of Superboy the TV Series

PURCHASE SEASON TWO OF SUPERBOY: THE TV SERIES on amazon.com, WB Archives (on-demand video), Netflix and iTUNES!

Season two of "Superboy: The TV Series" consisted of 26 episodes. And there were two different versions of the openning credit sequence, shown below.

PROMO TRAILERS FOR SEASON 2 OF SUPERBOY

OPENNING CREDIT SEQUENCE (VERSION ONE: LEFT)



1. Episode 27
Airdate: October 7th, 1989
"With This Ring I Thee Kill"
Watch the trailer for this episode:

2. Episode 28
Airdate: October 14th. 1989
"Lex Luthor: Sentenced to Death" 2. Episode 28 Airdate: October 14th. 1989 "Lex Luthor: Sentenced to Death"

3. Episode 29
Airdate: October 21st, 1989
"Metallo"
Watch the trailer for this episode:

4: Episode 30
Airdate: October 28th, 1989
"Young Dracula"
Watch the trailer for this episode:

5. Episode 31
Airdate: November 4th, 1989
"Nightmare Island"
Watch the trailer for this episode:

6. Episode 32
Airdate: November 11th, 1989
"Bizarro...The Thing of Steel"
Watch the trailer for this episode:

7. Episode 33
Airdate: November 18th, 1989
"The Battle with Bizarro"

8. Episode 34
Airdate: November 25th, 1989
"Mr. and Mrs. Superboy"

9. Episode 35
Airdate: December 2nd, 1989
"Programmed for Death"

10. Episode 36
Airdate: December 9th, 1989
"Supboy's Deadly Touch"

11. Episode 37
Airdate: December 16th, 1989
"The Power of Evil"

12. Episode 38
Airdate: December 30th, 1989
"Superboy...Rest in Peace"

13. Episode 39
Airdate: January 13th, 1990
"Super Menace!"

Watch the trailer for this episode:

14. Episode 40
Airdate: January 20th, 1990
"Yellow Peri's Spell of Doom"
Watch the trailer for this episode:

15. Episode 41
Airdate: January 27th, 1990
"Microboy"

16. Episode 42
Airdate: February 3rd, 1990
"Run, Dracula, Run"

17. Episode 43
Airdate: February 10th, 1990
"Brimstone"

18. Episode 44
Airdate: February 17th, 1990
"Abandon Earth"

19. Episode 45
Airdate: February 24th, 1990
"Escape to Earth"

20. Episode 46
Airdate: March 3rd, 1990
"Superstar"

21. Episode 47
Airdate: April 11th, 1990
"Nick Knack"

Watch the trailer for this episode:

22. Episode 48
Airdate: April 21st, 1990
"The Haunting of Andy McAlister"
Watch the trailer for this episode:

23. Episode 49
Airdate: April 28th, 1990
"Revenge from the Deep"

Watch the trailer for this episode:

24. Episode 50
Airdate: May 5th, 1990
"The Secrets of Superboy"

25. Episode 51 Airdate: May 12, 1990 "Johnny Casanova and the Case of the Secret Serum" Watch the trailer for this episode:

26. Episode 52 Airdate: May 19th, 1990 "The Woman Called Tiger Eye" Watch the trailer for this episode:

SUPERBOY THE TV SERIES - Production Awards and Nominations

Rocketed from a distant planet to a new bold destiny on Earth, Superboy: The TV Series acquired numerous television nominations for awards during its' TV run.
1989 - Nominated Best young actress guest starring in a drama or comedy series: Heather Haase.
1990 - Nominated Best Off-Primetime family series.
1991 - Nominated Best Off-Primetime family series.

Episode Guide: Season One of Superboy the TV Series

PURCHASE SEASON ONE OF SUPERBOY: THE TV SERIES at amazon.com, iTUNES, or Netflix. And of course, head on over to WB Archives for the Superboy on-demand season collections!

Season one of "Superboy: The TV Series" consisted of 26 episodes. There were two alternate opener credit sequences for this season (left: first version):

SEASON ONE PROMO TRAILERS



1. Episode 1
Airdate: October 8th, 1988
"Jewel of the Techacal"

2. Episode 2
Airdate: October 15th, 1988
"A Kind of Princess"

3. Episode 3
Airdate: October 22nd, 1988
"Back to Oblivion"

4. Episode 4
Airdate: October 29th, 1988
"The Russian Exchange Student"

5. Episode 5
Airdate: November 5th, 1988
"Countdown to Nowhere" (the TV Pilot)

6. Episode 6
Airdate: November 12th, 1988
"Bringing Down the House"

7. Episode 7
Airdate: November 18th, 1988
"The Beast and Beauty"

8. Episode 8
Airdate: November 26th, 1988
"The Fixer"

9. Episode 9
Airdate: December 3rd, 1988
"The Alien Solution"

10. Episode 10
Airdate: December 10th, 1988
"Troubled Waters"

11. Episode 11
Airdate: January 21st, 1989
"The Invisible People"

12. Episode 12
Airdate: January 28th, 1989
"Kryptonite Kills"

13. Episode 13
Airdate: February 4th, 1989
"Revenge of the Alien" (part 1)

14. Episode 14
Airdate: February 11, 1989
"Revenge of the Alien" (part 2)

15. Episode 15
Airdate: February 18th, 1989
"Stand Up and Get Knocked Down"

16. Episode 16
Airdate: February 25th, 1989
"Meet Mr. Mxyzptlk"

17. Episode 17
Airdate: March 4th, 1989
"Birdwoman of the Swamps"

18. Episode 18
Airdate: March 11th, 1989
"Terror from the Blue"

19. Episode 19
Airdate: March 18th, 1989
"War of the Species"

20. Episode 20
Airdate: April 15th, 1989
"Little Hercules"

21. Episode 21
Airdate: April 22nd, 1989
"Mutant"

22. Episode 22
Airdate: April 29th, 1989
"The Phantom of the Third Division"

23. Episode 23
Airdate: May 6th, 1989
"Black Flamingo"

24. Episode 24
Airdate: May 13th, 1989
"Hollywood"

25. Episode 25
Airdate: May 20th, 1989
"Succubus"

26. Episode 26
Airdate May 27th, 1989
"Luthor Unleashed"

SUPERBOY season one DVD boxed-set

The complete first season of Superboy: The TV Series is on DVD and available at amazon.com here. This was the only season released without the on-demand method, but for purchase at regular retail stores. The retail price is usually between $35.00 but $11.00 used. The DVD set includes the following:

* 26 episodes on 4 discs.

*Audio commentary by John Haymes Newton and Executive Producer Ilya Salkind on two episodes.

*"Superboy: Getting off the Ground" - a making-of featurette with cast and creators.

*John Haymes Newton screentest.

*Excerpts from the documentary "Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman".

There are two versions of the Superboy TV Pilot. Only the first version appears on this DVD set released by Warner Brothers. To learn more about the second version of the Superboy TV Pilot, please visit the site's Superboy TV Series Pilot page here.

Below is the Webmaster's signed Season One DVD Box set autographed by Ilya Salkind and Stacy Haiduk.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Death of Superboy - The Reality Behind the Demise of the Series



Article by Rennie Cowan

Back in the early 2000's it was speculated, based on articles that appeared in two magazines, that the Producers of Superboy the TV Series were going to kill off Superboy (Gerard Christopher) with a cliffhanger ending for the 4th season and then resolve the death in TV movies. This scenario may be speculation based on the articles and Ilya Salkind himself stated at Wizard Con 2010 that they never planned a series of Superboy TV movies. However, I wrote a letter to Viacom in the Fall of 1991 and received an answer from their Vice President of Public Relations, Betsy Vorce on September 3rd 1991 that "occasional" Superboy movies were possible within the following few years. This doesn't necessarily confimr a "Death of Superboy" string of TV movies, but it does prove that the Salkinds and Viacom were tossing around the idea (and had the desire to make Superboy TV movies based the Superboy TV Series). In fact, in the book "Superman vs. Hollywood" by Jake Rossen the author states that Viacom promised the fans Superboy telemovies.

The actual letter I received from Viacom Vice President of Public relations about the cancellation of the Superboy TV Series can be viewed here (just click this link). I was able to clear up this "Death of Superboy" possiblity with Gerard Christopher during a lunch with him in Los Angeles. He was never personally planning or writing a string of Superboy TV movies, or anything called "The Death of Superboy". To him, it was probably all Viacom. My letter from Viacom pretty confiirms this. Viacom had probably hoped to do a string of Superboy telemovies but the legal debacle between WB, the Salkinds and Viacom put a stop to anything further. Not to mention the fact that WB didn't want another Superman show on the air at the same time as "Lois and Clark". This may hurt their ratings, they speculated, so DC comics stood with WB and simply would not approve furture Superboy televsion scripts. The Superboy series was stopped after season 4

The Viacom promises for telemovies featuring "The Death of Superboy" was published in the 9/13/91 issue of Comic Buyers Guide (in Darren McNeil's Animation News column). This is what the article stated:

[Spoiler Warning: This item gives away something about the episode you may not wish to know]. The last episode (#100) of the Syndicated Adventures of Superboy finished filming recently. How does the series end? Oh, Lex Luthor just kills Superboy, that's all. It's called "Obituary for a Superhero" and its meant to be a cliffhanger series ending. Unlike Alf though, this will be resolved in the first of a series of Superboy two-hour TV movies (a la Perry Mason) that'll be made for 92-92.

USA Today reported the same thing in 1992. An article stated that the series would end with Superboy's death which would pave the way for several TV movies over which the death would be resolved. But this speculation was released before the 5th and 6th season of Superboy was blocked by Warner Brothers by influencing DC to simply not approve their scripts, making it hard for the show to continue. WB placed a lien on the series by 1993 once all the rights were in their paws. The initial idea for the 100th episode called "Obituary for Superhero" was meant to be the death of Superboy (according to this same speculation). But because of the sudden legal debacle against the series the idea had to be changed and instead of Superboy "officially" dying and coming back in a string of Superboy TV movies, Superboy merely used his smarts to beat Luthor by hoaxing his own death. To this day, no script for this speculative "The Death of Superboy" telemovies has emerged. They probably don't exist either. Viacom had high hopes, but WB wanted to produce and control their own character.

Based on that blurb above and the USA Today article the conclusion is simply that WB put a stop to all future plans Viacom or the Salkind may have had for the series. Betsy Vorce, their Public Relations VP mention Superboy TV movies in the letter that was mailed to me. Viacoms high ambitions and talks swarming around the set (creative ideas) somehow reached the ears of the media. We do know that the lien by Warner Brothers put the Superboy show to a complete stop; and it is only speculated that during filming the Producers came up with the hoax idea to finish off the "Obituary" episode at the last minute. But in the letter I received from Viacom, it states that 100 episodes were always in their business plan. So in the end, their business plan was successful.

The producers of Superboy did in fact have planned a season 5 and 6 before the legal debacle. Ilya Salkind himself stated, and confirmed this, at Wizard Con 2010 in Anaheim (you can find him saying this himself in the video section of this website under "Ilya Salkind and Aaron Smolinksi at Wizard Con Anaheim 2010"). Ilya also confirmed that there had been talks of Gerard Christopher playing the next Superman - BUT - they were only talks. Ilya put emphasis on the fact that their first and foremost choice had always been Christopher Reeve, and this was for "Superman V" which was also dubbed "Superman: The New Movie".

So what you will read below is nothing but high hopes for Viacom and speculation based on published articles and the letter I received from Viacom. It is just a good fun read. Nothing more, nothing less.

The Teaser below was written by a young fan named Doug Randolph. But the full article is written by the webmaster. I am still placing it in this website (as I had it up on the old site called The Boy of Steel TV website) for the reading pleasure of anyone who wishes to speculate and read the fun fan stuff. Regardless, everything about the legal problems in the article is more or less true. The Death of Superboy TV movies are speculation, and Viacom's high hopes to the fans. Viacom never got to make their telemovies. But wouldn't it have been COOL.....

TEASER:

WHO KILLED SUPERBOY?

(The reality behind the demise of hit TV series)

Did you know that, near the end of the 3rd season of TV's 'Superboy' and with ratings at an all-time high, the Salkinds planned to exercise options for a 5th and 6th season of the hit series?

Did you know that, only months later, during the summer hiatus between the 3rd and 4th seasons, 'Superboy' suddenly and inexplicably had a legal lein against it?

Did you know there is a connection between 'Lois & Clark' and 'Superboy', a connection that would ensure 'Superboy' never to appear in syndication again?

Did you know that the Salkinds, blocked from renewing 'Superboy' for 2 more seasons, planned on doing an epic Superboy series finale titled 'The Death of Superboy'?

Did you know that Luthor would kill off Superboy in that series finale?

Did you know that the Salkinds planned to resolve Superboy's murder in 'The Death of Superboy', a TV mini-series of Superboy movies?

Did you know he would come back to life?

Did you know that the development on the 'The Death of Superboy' TV movies was suddenly abandoned just like the series was suddenly abandoned?

Did you know 'The Death of Superboy' was planned out a year and more before the epic ‘The Death of Superman’ comic book?

Did you know that before Nicolas Cage was slated to don the famous tights and cape in 'Superman Lives', Gerard Christopher was slated to don the tights and cape in 'Superman V'?

So, whatever happened to The Boy of Tomorrow?

Who killed Superboy? The answer may (or may not) surprise you....

END OF TEASER.



THE DEATH OF SUPERBOY

The final episode of the 'Superboy'TV Series was meant to be the death of Superboy. Luthor would finally get his wish--he would kill The Boy of Steel! The story would be resolved in the first of a string of Superboy TV movies, mirroring the 'Death of Superman' DC comic book story-line that appeared on the racks only a year after. This was reported as early as 09/91 in the now defunct Comics Buyer's Guide. It was, as such, planned even earlier. USA Today reported in early 92 that the Superboy series would end with the hero's death which would pave the way for several TV movies over which the death would be "resolved". But within days of filming the final Superboy episode in early 1992 (at that time it was "Obituary For A Superhero"), Warner Brothers filed a lien against the series. WB effectively blocked 'Superboy' from being rerun in North America, and from any further plans for occassional TV movies.

The lien, which applied mostly to Northern America, has been resolved to date and you can purchase the first season of the Superboy series at a retail store. Before it was resolved, some fans saw 'Superboy' reruns in Europe, Isreal and in Australia on their local channels during the middle/late 90s. Though it was reported that not all 100 episodes were rerun. In 1999, for example, only a few season 4 episodes were shown in Australia, and a few years back one season 2 episode was shown after the airing of the 'Superman: The Move' extended cut (and another season 2 episode after the airing of 'Superman II'). There were also reports of The Sci-Fi Channel showing interest in picking up the series, but merely declined because it didn't fit the criteria of their programing (a good excuse to stay clear of the legal issues). If and when it ever appears in syndication again, most fans see this as a bleak dream, taking into account the many, many legal issues surrounding the series and their producers, Alexander and Ilya Salkind. Of course, things are changing now that DVD collections are coming to light. For the most part, 'Superboy The TV series' was legally banned from future fans and viewers around the world which is why it has never been seen in syndication since. It cost the Salkinds a franchise, and the Superboy stars Gerard Christopher (Superboy) and Stacey Haiduk (Lana Lang) millions in royalties. Yet, despite this, the series is very much alive on the internet today and has spurned a loyal underground cult following.

The reasons for the lien are many. Some of these reasons, to be honest, are quite confusing...and some are not an easy pill to swallow, especially for the actors and everyone else associated with the series (not to mention the fans). It should be noted, however, that the 'Superboy' series was never cancelled because of low ratings. In fact, the series had been doing very well and the Salkinds were in the mist of successfully excising a renewal for a 5th and 6th season. What amazes critics to this day is that the show only got better and better with every new season. The writing, for one, was surperb and strikingly faithful to the pre-crisis Superboy era. After the initial run of the first 13 episodes (the Salkinds weren't exactly sure at that point if the 'Superboy' show was going to fly or not...pardon the pun), the writing staff predominately became top DC comic book writers like Cary Bates and Mike Carlin. That same writing staff eventually developed "Roads Not Taken" Part 1 and 2, easily the greatest Superman story ever told on television. Because of the show's inherent use of film noir (a dark and gothic filmmaking style) the feel of the last two season were similar to the movie 'Batman' or 'The Crow'. The FX were also quite impressive during the 3rd and 4th season, and soon they rivaled the earlier Christopher Reeve Superman movies. Even Gerard Christopher's Superboy costume has often been praised as being the best, and I mean, THE BEST version of the Superman costume to date (Gerard's "S" was smother and vertically longer and his cape was the John Byrne design). To add to all this, 'Superboy' had remained in the top ten mark of syndication up until the lien. Just before the show could become even more impressive, WB took the Salkinds to court and succuessfully blocked the 'Superboy' series from further development. The Boy of Steel would literally die on television, but not by Lex Luthor's hands.

The main problem could have been forseen from the beginning. WB was not affiliated with 'Superboy' and overall, they owned the rights to the Superman character though you could purchase an option/screen rights to produce Superman for film and television. The 'Superboy' series was distributed by Viacom, totally independent of WB. And WB owned DC. Alexander Salkind acquired the screen rights from DC to Superman in 1973 while making his "Three Musketeers" movies. The license also included the screen rights to 'Supergirl', 'Superboy' and 'Superpup'. Apparently, after the disappointing 'Superman III' and the box-office failure 'Supergirl', the Salkind's "sold" their screen rights to Cannon Films (Golan and Globus) which made Superman IV and had an option to make Superman V. According to Ilya Salkind, Cannon had to pick up their on-going option on Superman; Cannon did not own the screen rights to the series outright. The Salkinds retained rights to Supergirl as well as to Superboy and his share of DC Comics' Superman mythos created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (and expanded upon by many others). But it was in the grey whether or not holding the screen rights to Superman also included the rights to produce the other "super" characters, like Supergirl, Superboy, or Superpup. The Salkinds honestly believed, contractually speaking, that they still retained the rights to Supergirl as well as to Superboy and his share of DC Comics' Superman mythos created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The 'Superboy' TV series, in retrospect, could only be based on that specific Superboy portion of the mythos. In this sense, the 'Superboy' series would have it's own continuity, yet still be primarily based on the pre-crisis DC Superboy character/magazine. It would not follow the current Superman DC storyline.

The main question was...just who owned what? Should a line between the characters be drawn? This lack of resolution has kept 'Superboy' out of the public eye for many years. The rights issue didn't seem to bother anybody at first. WB had owned DC before the Salkinds even thought of purchasing the screen rights to Superman. They could have done a Superboy TV show at any time. Superman (or Superboy) on television just didn't appear lucrative. WB was content, in my honest opinion, with the Salkind's plans for 'Superboy' during the first season, enough to agree with the go-ahead to finish it's original contract with Viacom, which was for 100 episodes of 'Superboy' (and maybe on occasion a possible 'Superboy' TV movie. NOTE: This was before the development of 'The Death Of Superboy' TV mini-series by Viacom). Of course, it would have to be limited to only the Superboy portion of the mythos. 'Superboy' The TV Series would indeed continue and give WB the option to work with the Salkind's in the future. The Salkind's had plans to do 'Superman: The New Movie' (based on a screenplay written by Cary Bates and it would star Gerard Christopher) and WB would, of course, be the Distributor. And as mentioned earlier, according to Ilya Salkind, Cannon had to pick up their on-going option on Superman ('Superman V' was Cannon's project, not the Salkinds); Cannon did not own the rights to the series outright.

Money started to roll in for the Salkinds after the airing of the first initial 13 episodes in 1988. Likewise, the quality of the production started to slowly climb (this could be seen in the FX work alone on the later half of the 1st season). By the second season, there were some major cast changes. 22-year-old John Haymes Newton was replaced by Gerard Christopher, who was 8 years older than Newton and virtually, another unknown actor (for those of you who are old enough to remember, Gerard Christopher co-starred in the movie 'Tomboy' which was a theatrical release in 1984). It is interesting to note that Gerard was 30 years old when he was casted to play Superboy, who is a younger version of Superman. Yet, Christopher Reeve was much younger, only 24 when he was casted to play Superman! But--the average person watching the show didn't know that. Another young actor was replaced with an older one. Scott Wells, the young Lex Luthor, was replaced with 43 year-old Sherman Howard (formerly "Howard Sherman"; he had intensionally reversed his name). And Jim Calvert (T.J. White, Perry White's son) was replaced with a different character all together, Andy McAllister. He was Clark's roomate and was played by IIan Mitchell-Smith (the star of the 1985 movie hit "Weird Science"). Stacy Haiduk (Lana Lang) would remain on the series as the series veteran for all four seasons.

These changes were for the better. Hiring older actors certainly brought more experience to the set. When I met Ilya Salkind at the Wizard Con 2010 he confirmed that he believed Gerard had a bit more experience than Haymes at that time. Gerard Christopher had previously obtained a B.A. degree in Business from UCLA, so he added a certain kind of professionalism to the show and eventually became an executive producer and writer during the 3rd and 4th season. John Haymes Newton moved forward and began a career in major motion pictures like ('Alive' and 'Cool As Ice'), and this was a good career move for him. Newton also continued doing guest spots in television ('Tru Calling') as did Gerard Christopher (after the 4th season of Superboy). Gerard had a boyish kind of enthusiasm for the role, which made 'Superboy' a little more exciting to watch. At times, he was also rather cocky in role but brought it out with humor. In turn, along with the increased production value and Gerard's performance, a larger audience was pulled in. WB was in for an eye-openner, the ratings hit the top ten mark of syndication and 'Superboy' became an official hit. The executive offices at WB, of course, realized the potential for Superman on television. Not that this hadn't already been accomplished 30 years before by the George Reeves' series ('The Adventures of Superman'). But that had aired to a previous generation and to an audience not as fickle as the current "Generation X" who had the luxury of Cable TV and Nintendo. The question was...could Superman on television work today? Would "Generation X", the primary target audience at that time, buy into it? The success of 'Superboy' insured a potential cash cow for WB. Superman on modern day television, a market much more competitive than the previous generations, would work. Thus, WB actively began to pursue their own idea for a Superman series. The Salkinds were taken to court for a settlement on the rights issue. WB was able to legally convince that Superman also included "Superboy", "Supergirl" and "Superpup". A lien was placed against the competitive 'Superboy', which posed as unfair competition to WB's Superman chatacter. This lien put a permanent stop to future production, TV movies, and future syndication (re-runs). 'Superboy' was totally eradicated from the viewer's market as WB spurned Superman into development.

With 'Superboy' out of the way, WB embarked on a marketing plan to develop their own Superman series for television...'Lois and Clark'. Some believe that if 'Superboy' had not of been a success then there would have been little chance that 'Lois and Clark' could have aired when it did. Of course, one could argue that there was no blame on WB's part for eradicating a perfectly good TV show like 'Superboy'. They had "all" the legal rights to Superman, including "Supergirl", "Superboy" and "Superpup", and rather than work out a deal with the Salkinds and continue on where 'Superboy' left off (where Superboy later becomes Superman), they decided to pursue an entirely new idea, a Superman show that would focus on the Clark Kent character, rather than Superman. The Producers of 'Lois and Clark' would say this concept was fitting due to the fact that the John Byrne's Revamp occured before the production of the 'Superboy' series, and this revamp was the up-to-date version of Superman history; Clark Kent would be promoted to a higher status. No longer would he be in second place next to Superman, the one ignored by Lois Lane. No, Clark would be the one that Lois truely loved, eventhough she had an obvious infatuation with Superman. John Byrne erased the Superboy character entirely from Superman history in 'The Man of Steel' #1, setting it in stone that Superboy never existed. In this regard, 'Lois and Clark' would be faithful to the current DC storyline, rather than follow a continuity that was introduced in the 'Superboy' series.

Ironically, 'Lois and Clark' only faired critical acclaim for the Pilot episode and the 1st season run. After the Pilot episode, for the most part, the flying FX had been relegated to Superman merely flapping his cape in front of the camera, an inferior technique compared to the many spectacular wire shots done on the 'Superboy' series. 'Cape-Out' had been termed by the FX supervisor on 'Lois and Clark'. Budget restraints seemed to be the apparent reason for 'Cape-Out'. Yet this doesn't explain why the flying shots were more advanced (especially the landings and take-offs) on the 'Superboy' series which had a smaller budget and was produced years earlier. Dean Cain's performance in general was questioned. He performed a fairly likeable Clark kent, but some feel his Superman was weak. A matter of opinion. Granted, Dean Cain did have high expectations to live up to (Christopher Reeve). So to be fair, perhaps it would be just too hard to expect him to fill Reeve's shoes. The primary focus would be the development of the love-story between Lois and Clark. Most people will agree that Cain was a good Clark Kent, so without being too hard on the guy, perhaps the goals and intentions of the show were accomplished...via, Lois and Clark.

In an odd twist of fate, Gerard Christopher read for the role of Superman/Clark Kent during the casting sessions of 'Lois and Clark' and was originally cast (which is mentioned in an interview with him on his website. You can read it here )! The discovery of Gerard Christopher's past career as Superboy talent led to an abrupt dismiss. Gerard Christopher would not appear in 'Lois and Clark', nor would 'Lois and Clark' be affiliated with 'Superboy' or its' continuity. The producer's wanted a fresh start. 'Superboy' would remain a show that matched the richness and fullness of the pre-crisis history.

'Lois and Clark' dropped in ratings during it's 4th season and eventually was cancelled (as was it's plans for a 5th season renewal). Did the romance kill the show? Unlike the 'Superboy' series which opted to retain the sexual tension between Superboy/Clark and Lana (for the sole purpose of keeping that romantic interest firmly in place) it is possible 'Lois and Clark' gave up the pursuit too early in the game. However, it should be pointed out that despite the tremendous criticisms against this competitive adversary, 'Lois and Clark' did in fact gain a fan following. The 'Lois and Clark' cheering section can be found at this link . Who is the better Superman is a debate better left behind, but most critics will always hold Christopher Reeve in high regard.

It must be kept in mind that before the lien there were plans for a 5th and 6th season of 'Superboy', and the Salkinds had made arrangements to ensure this would happen. There were also plans for 'occasional' Superboy TV movies. The 'Superboy' TV movies was first hinted by John Haymes Newton in his earlier interview about a 'Young Superman' (but NOT a Superman movie). The idea didn't go any further than rumor until John Haymes Newton was replaced with Gerard Christopher. The Salkinds were sure to buy back their license to Superman from Cannon films (which in fact, they later did) then they began churning ideas for a new Superman movie which would follow the continuity of the 'Superboy' series. It was titled 'Superman: The New Movie'. Both Viacom and the Salkinds never really intended the series to finish with such an abrupt, solid end. Gerard Christopher and Stacy Haiduk had often been quoted as saying "the 'Superboy' series would continue forever." In an interview with Stacy Haiduk near the end of the 4th season (Spectacular Magazine, 1992), it is clear that all believed, with good reason, the series would continue. The article states as such: [Technically, at the end of their fourth year, Lana and Clark should receive their diplomas from Shuster University. Clark should then head to Metropolis for a job with the Daily Planet, and Superboy would have to start acting his age and consider changing his name. But if the show continues to be popular, the starlet (Stacy Haiduk) is well aware of what could eventually happen; her business being what it is. "Can you see us on television with our little canes and grey hair in rocking chairs?" Stacy Haiduk laughs, even as a chill runs up her spine. "Ohh, nnooo!"]

Cannon had currently held the option for Superman during the development of 'Superman V', until the Salkind's bought back the rights. During the filmming of the second season of 'Superboy', the Salkind's announced Gerard Christopher would be the one to take over the cape as the next Superman. In early 1989, Newton had problems with the Producers. He felt he wasn't being paid enough for the role and announced this in public (read it in his interview on this website). He refused to do a "geeky" Clark like the Salkinds wanted (that was Christopher Reeve's gig, he felt). And he wanted to be different, and likewise refused to act him as such. Rather, he protrayed Clark as a vunerable youth which many have praised him for. Yet, as rumor is a rumor, Newton was walking on thin ice when he accumulated several traffic tickets on the streets of Florida. So some will say that these circumstances paved the road for Newton being fired and replaced by Gerard Christopher for the second season. Christopher's performance was well received. Geeky Clark they wanted, eh? Well, Gerard gave it to them. Full on!! Gerard decided from the start that he wouldn't make the same mistakes as Newton did--he would do everything very "correctly" (which involved long and hot hours in the Florida sun, with his face against the steaming black pavement at 200 degree temperature). Was Gerard determined to succeed in the role? With undying devotion. And it shows on the screen and it very entertaining. The Salkinds immediately proposed that he star in the next Superman movie ('Superman: The New Movie') which, overall, became their primarly focus.

Originally, 'Superman: The New Movie' would have followed the continuity from the second season of 'Superboy'. This concoction of the Salkinds appeared to drag more feet than Luthor had Kryptonite, so Viacom and it's creative team began work on an entirely new concept...kill off Superboy entirely!!! In a way, it seemed that John Byrne's revamp of eradicating the character of Superboy was going to come around the corner for a second time...but not in the way that one would expect. Just put a mental picture in your mind: remember 'The Death of Superman' comic book (Superman #75) which was released in 1993? Well, years before the development of this best-selling comic book of all time, there was going to be a Viacom distributed TV mini-series that would be resolved in a string of TV movies called 'The Death of Superboy'. This was reported as early as 09/91 in the now defunct Comics Buyer's Guide, though the idea had been planned even earlier (at least two years before the release of the 'The Death of Superman' comic book). Here's a small blurb published from the 09/13/91 Comic Buyer's Guide in Darren McNeil's Animation News column:

"[Spoiler Warning: This item gives away something about the episode you may not wish to know]. The last episode (#100) of the syndicated Adventures of Superboy finished filming recently. How does the series end? Oh, Lex Luthor just kills Superboy, that's all. Its called "Obituary For A Superhero" and its meant to be a cliffhanger series ending. Unlike Alf though, this will be resolved in the first of a series of Superboy two-hour TV movies (a la Perry Mason) that'll be made for 92-93."

USA Today also reported in early 92 that the Superboy series would end with the hero's death which would pave the way for several TV movies over which the death would be "resolved". As mentioned earlier, the final episode (after the 5th and 6th season had been blocked by WB) of the initial 100 episodes of the 'Superboy' TV series was meant to be the death of Superboy ("Obituary for a Superhero"). The series, because it had been blocked from a 5th and 6th season, would officially end with his death. It would be the TV movies that would officially bring him back. Not much is really known about the story or the plot of the planned TV movies, or if there was even a screenplay for these films. All we really do know is that Superboy would surely die by the hands of Luthor, leaving Luthor more or less free to begin his conquest of the world. There would be a funeral. Lana would vow revenge against Luthor (hinted in the intial final episode 'Obituary For A Superhero' when Lana said, "If it takes my every last breathe"...). Superboy would indeed come back to life, however, mirroring 'The Death of Superman' best-selling comic book (which was written and plotted-out by several of 'Superboy' TV series writers, like Mike Carlin). It gained a lot of heated criticism in fandom, again mirroring the reaction of 'The Death Superman' comic book only a few years later. Though, maybe not on such a large scale. But the word did get around that the Salkinds merely planned to kill off The Boy of Steel! A hoax? Well, it would have been a good one because the average viewer clearly didn't realize that Superboy wasn't really going to die. There would be a resolution in several TV movies. But for all intents and purposes, season 4 of the 'Superboy' series would end with Superboy's death, as it was reported above.

It has to be mentioned, to give due respect to the Superboy writing team, that DC had remained involved in the development of every story during all four seasons, including Mike Carlin, who, as we know, was the Editor at DC (and a focal instrument of the development of 'The Death of Superman' comic-book storyline). It is interesting to note, though there in no way is any concrete evidence, that DC could have gotten the idea, if many (and several plot elements) to kill off Superman from the earlier planned 'The Death of Superboy' TV mini-series. The coincidence is uncanny, when you think about it! WB in their wisdom had blocked the TV movies as they had months earlier blocked a renewal of the series for a 5th and 6th season. All to make way for 'Lois & Clark'. It is true that DC had talked, or even did imaginary "death" stories in the past. The official reason of course, was that it was done to delay the wedding in the comics which now had to be timed with the 'Lois & Clark' TV series wedding. Of course, DC could have gone with any number of in-between story arcs.

Interestingly enough, according to the small blurb above which was published from the 09/13/91 Comic Buyer's Guide in Darren McNeil's Animation News column, it sounds as if they actually filmed the originally planned death of Superboy episode before being forced to quash the movies! This makes perfect sense as the intended final episode "Obituary for a Superhero" is pretty cobbled together, weak and made up 60% of flashback scenes to previous episodes. Yet, the footage that would pave the road for the telemovies was indeed shot. Just where this footage is, that's the question. More than likely, it was destroyed as it was no longer necessary. In the end (as it was with "The Death of Superman" trilogy), we do know that Superboy would die but surely come back to life. The road for the next step in Superboy's life would be paved--to become Superman. Then hopefully, this would have led us into the previous planned 'Superman: The New Movie'. It is not hard to imagine just how such a TV mini-series would have flaired. If you go by the historical succes of the ground-breaking sales of "The death of Superman" comic-book, one can only predict such a series on TV could have been HUGE. If not, the longest running TV mini-series in television history. And now we see that WB is rigidly attached to the 'Death' storyline of Superman. I guess the reasoning can only be...there is always a bigger fish.

So, in retrospect, who knows how much bigger the 'Superboy' series could have been if all the supposed plans had gone through? On a humorous note, it would have been interesting to see Stacy and Gerard with "walking canes" as Stacy once joked. I do believe there is still a potential cash cow awaiting for anyone, or any network that attempts to get 'Superboy' back into syndication. 100 episodes of Superman history has been collecting dust for over 10 years! But you can always see John Haymes Newton wearing the cape in the season 1 DVD of 'Superboy', which is officially for sale in any retail store. And be sure to listen to the commentaries. Newton has a sense of humor too.

Now there is ... 'Smallville'. 'Smallville' is a whole new surging interest for the Boy of Steel. The 'Superboy' series started something on televion, that's for sure. Tom Welling has brought strength to the young Clark Kent role. A talented and charming actor, like most television, the first season had it's critical faults, mostly because of the "freaks" of Smallville. You got to love the wall of weird. Allison Mack, you can see her typing away down in the basement of the Daily Planet. And Lois Lane is young Clark's friend? Well, we get to see all of our favorite characters, some new ones and Annette O'toole (Lana Lang from 'Superman III'). Great set design, like the Luthor mansion. Great episodes, story-lines and arcs, 'Smallville' is a terrific TV show.

Brandon Routh is the new Superman. Cast as Superman in 'Superman Returns', in some respects, Routh reminds many fans of the late Christopher Reeve. Bryan Singer, the new Director holding the burning flame for the myth of Superman has done a sincere job at returning (pardon the pun) Superman to the big Screen. 'Superman Returns', a very expensive movie to make (about $200 million), proves once again that a character in tights will last longer than anyone had ever suspected. Though some will argue that SR is nothing more than a "nod" and remake of Richard Donner's 'Superman: The Movie', you can always argue that there are nods to the first appearance of Superman in Action Comics; an unncanny pose of Routh holding a leaning car, with it's front touching the ground...the classic pose of the first classic front cover...we can hope for a sequel with even more debate. One last mirror regarding the Death of Superboy, in SR, we get a touch of The Death of Superman. And yet, like the DC comic, he's back....

Superboy the TV Series and The X-Files: What's the connection?

Article by Rennie Cowan



Article by Rennie Cowan

This is a fun article that appeared on the old site The Boy of Steel TV. Often, when one watches the 'Superboy' TV show, one might actually realize that Superboy was ahead of its' time. Looking at say the Sci-Fi channel today, or movies like 'The Matrix' it is hard to argue against this notion. Ever notice that the whole Bureau for Extra-Normal Matters plot that occured in season 3 and 4 of "The Adventures of Superboy" (TV series) resembles 'The X-Files' TV show? Or, ever notice the string of plots from 'Superboy's' most cherished "Roads Not Taken" part 1 and 2, where Superboy travels into alternate Earths (meeting different versions of himself where history is totally different)? It is very similar to the later popular mid-90's show 'Sliders'.

Chris Carter, the creator of the 'The X-Files' may have never seen 'Superboy', but it is fun to compare more recent televsion shows, and recent films we see in the theaters, taking into account that 'Superboy' aired prior to 'The X-Files', 'Sliders', and the theatrical release of 'The Matrix' (NOTE: watch the episodes "Know Thine Enemy" Part 1 and 2 for a comparison of 'The Matrix').

Taking a look at 'The X-Files' we see a pairing of two government investigators (or Agents). In 'Superboy', Clark and Lana are field agents (interning as a field agent, actually) and in 'The X-Files' we have Mulder and Scully who are FBI Agents. Both pairs are continually assigned to check out and investigate unexplained occurances during each episode(s). Clark and Lana act as partners to unravel recent or sometimes ancient mysteries. Much the same as what Mulder and Scully did...investigate the paranoia and unexplained occurances. Both plots appear to focus on the super-natural for story-telling; each plot would entail that the two pairs come across dangers during their investagations. This led to unexpected adventures and discoveries and usually by the end of each episode they would solve their case. The main difference is that in 'Superboy' the solving would be done mostly by Superboy's help and super powers.

So, could Chris Carter, the creator of the reknowned 'X-Files' series been inspired by 'Superboy's' 3rd or 4th seasons? Probably not. But some food for thought here--if you take away Superboy and make Clark and Lana regular FBI agents...then the 3rd and 4th seasons of 'Superboy' would be very similar, if not identical to 'The X-Files'. This is just an interesting theory of mine, and the same could be said for 'Sliders' and 'The Matrix'. But of course, most of the ideas in 'Superboy' have been floating around in comic-bookdom for years. However, I just like to think that 'Superboy' took that extra step into the future...a step many were not willing to take on film until years later....

Jim Calvert played TJ White on Superboy, the TV Series.

Article by Rennie Cowan

Ever wonder if there was a connection between the Daily Planet and Superboy, the TV Series? There was, and his name was TJ White. TJ was Perry White's young son on Superboy, the TV Series. TJ was, coincidently, a photographer. This may have been an attempt to fill the boots of Jimmy Olsen, and it worked well. Both TJ and Clark worked for the college paper which was called The Shuster Herald. TJ's full name was Terrence Jenkins White III (the third). The actor who portrayed TJ actually invented the name of his own character. Years later he told the webmaster, "I didn['t realize it back then, but now I see that being TJ the third would have been impossible because his Father's name was Perry!" He didn't realize it, and nobody else did either. The actor who played TJ White was an unknown named Jim Calvert and now he is forever immortalized in Superman history. TJ also appeared in the short run Superboy the TV Series comic book.

Below, watch a clip of Jim Calvert with a Spanish Superboy comic book at the 2012 Los Angeles Science Fiction and Comic Book convention (Calvert's first convention appearance):



Below are photos of Jim Calvert from the 2012 Los Angeles Science Fiction and Comic Book Convention. The bottom photo (starting from the left) is John Haymes Newton, Ilya Salkind and Jim Calvert:

To be inserted very soon....

Jor-El and Lara in Superboy the TV Series.

Article by Rennie Cowan

Superboy didn't know his Kryptonian heritage during each four seasons of the Superboy TV Series. Except for the snippet of information that Clark received in the episodes "Rites of Passage" part 1 and 2 (he was informed he was from another planet) the show ended with only that information given and Superboy knew nothing about what planet he was from, who his parents were or who he was exactly. However, he did actually find out (and very briefly) that he was from Krypton and who his real parents were in a two-part, second season episode(s) titled "Abandon Earth" and "Escape to Earth". But because time was changed, Superboy lost that information in time itself.

It must be noted that these two episodes are one of the best storylines of the series. We also see some very good performances from Gerard and Stacy, as Lana and Superboy have some very critical moments. Superboy is led astray in the episode "Abandon Earth" and it appears that all of his questions about his heritage were about to be answed and by his real parents: father Jor-El and mother Lara.



Superboy, Jor-El (Vorok) and Lara (Mir) stop a bank robbery (left photo); Superboy is reunited with his parents who are really imposters (Rigth photo)

This two-part storyline in the episodes "Abandon Earth"/"Escape to Earth" has been criticized as being the best - and oddly, the worst of the Superboy series. Perhaps this is because Jor-El and Lara were not exactly who they claimed to be, but were imposters of Superboy's parents. The fans on message boards appear to be divided on it; they either love it, or they hate it. I, on the other hand, loved it! Indeed, this tale had many strong points. For one, we get to see Jor-El and Lara.



Vorok and Mir pretend to be Superboy's parents in "Abandon Earth".

For two, Lana discovers Clark's secret identity. She is angry at Clark at first and says, "We've known each other all our lives...and you didn't trust me." This was a great dramatic revelation...Lana's revelation.

We also see Superboy's cave, his iconic hideway that we find in the old DC comic books of the Superboy titles (underneath the Kent farm).

In these two episdes we discover that Superboy had molded a secret cavern (a cave) to store away memorable artifacts attained through previous episodes, like the large crucifix used to defeat Byron in "Run Dracula Run". In the pre-crisis Superboy comic books, Superboy had a hideaway underneath the farm house and this is where he stored many things from many of his earlier adventures. The Superboy TV Series was truly paying homage to the Superboy DC comic books when it utilized the historical setting of the pre-crisis Superboy cave.

This dual episode storyline was also very original and had an unexpected out-come. Apparently, these two people were not his real parents, but grotesque aliens in true form; but they can emulate any species they choose. They pretended to be Superboy's parents and convince Superboy with a lie to go to Krypton with them so that they could lock him up in their inter-planetary space zoo.

Superboy eventually learns the truth. Andy dies. And Superboy learns that his real parents died when Krypton exploded. Last but not least, the fourth strong point is an obvious one-- Lana Lang and Superboy profess their love for one another and embrace in a passionate kiss before they fade away from time. This was undeniably one of the most poignant and heart-felt moments of the series.

The weak points are George Lazenby (who played Jor-El; in real life he was the one-time James Bond in 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service') and Britt Ekland (who played Lara and coincidently was a former Bond Girl, Mary Goodnight). Their performances were sterile and cold, not to mention over-the-top at times (maybe even corny). However, if we compare them to the John Bryne's version of Jor-El and Lara who were intially written as cold on the surface, then it makes sense. And they do have a good excuse; they weren't exactly the real Jor-El and Lara of Krypton. They were imposters posing as Superboy's parents. They ran a space zoo, and they wanted to collect Superboy as their specimen.

Their real names were Vorok and Mir, not Jor-El and Lara. They had taken the identities of Jor-El and Lara from Superboy's infant memories. Lana explained it in a nut-shell during the episode "Escape to Earth" when she said, "You two are really sick!" Jor-El and Lara arrived on Earth in a Doctor-Who-ish vehicle than began to destory landmarks and property to get Superboy's attention. Once they got his undivided attention, they told Superboy that he is from a planet called Krypton, the planet of his birth. They wanted Superboy to go back home with them, where he truly belonged.

Later of course, Superboy learns about Vorok and Mir's lie ...and that his real parents were really dead. Krypton had been destroyed, along with his parents. Earlier on in "Abandon Earth", Vorok had killed Andy McAllister (Clark's roomate) and Lana finds out Clark's true identity. The plot had thickened, but Superboy made the choice to turn back time and erase all the damage Vorok and Mir had done. Sadly, this meant that he couldn't keep the new knowledge he had acquired about Krypton (nor could Lana keep her revelation about Clark being Superboy). But in the long run, it was the right thing to do.

Time was changed--Andy never died and Vorok and Mir never started their space zoo. Lana and Superboy declared a deep love for one another just before they disappeared in time. Everything went back to normal but both Lana and Clark felt that something had happened at the end, but couldn't quite put their finger on it. "Escape to Earth" ended on nice touch.

"Abandon Earth"/"Escape to Earth" are one of the best episodes of the series, and clearly demonstrates how having a lack of heritage about Krypton brought sympathy to the Superboy character.

NOTE: In the third season episode called "Mindscape" we actually do see (rather vaguely) and hear the voice of Jor-El when Superboy has a near-death experience. Superboy fights off an alien who is sucking his life-force and Jor-El tells Superboy that it is not yet his time to die. Superboy doesn't learn anything about his heritage, but he does discover he has a purpose.