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After seeing that the only comment on "Superboy" was extremely negative, I had to comment on it. I can only remember a handful of episodes since I was pretty young and not into Superman enough at the time to watch it regularly. But what I remember was alot of fun. Unlike "Lois & Clark", which was made to attract people to Superman, "Superboy" was made for Super-fans. It was focused alot more on science fiction and fantasy than "L&C," and therefore dealt more with Kal-El himself. The major flaw of "L&C," and I guess what attracted alot of people to it as well, was that it made Lois Lane at least as important, if not more than, Superman himself. While Superboy did have Lois' equivalent in Lana Lang, they only used her in a story when they had a good reason. If you like romantic comedies, then "Lois & Clark" was for you. But if you enjoy the Superman mythos, fascinating sci-fi concepts, and good television in general, then "Superboy" is the better choice.
I think the overall criticism of this show is too harsh. It didn't have
the budget of _Lois & Clark_ or _Smallville_, but it was a lot of fun
and, overall, well-done.
I actually prefer John Haymes Newton in the first season. Gerard Christopher was probably the better actor, but Newton brought a little cocky attitude--and a unique sexiness--to the role, never seen before or since in any interpretation of Superman. It added a new dimension to the character. A good example is the Newton episode where a bad guy drew a gun on Superboy and said "Freeze!" Superboy smirked and deadpanned "Good idea!" and then encased him in a block of ice with his super-breath. I think he may have come across to some people as too much of a "bad boy" for the role, but it really did work.
The Christopher episodes were fun, but they lacked something.
Overall, the show really deserves better treatment than it has received. I hope it resurfaces somewhere soon.
I grew up reading Superboy comics and this TV series really delivered. It was a work in progress in it's first season, but it's heart was definitely in the right place. Season 2 was an impressive improvement and seasons 3 & 4 were GREAT! Superboy didn't shy away from using ideas and characters straight from the comic books. It was great to see Bizarro, Mr.Mxyzptlk, Metallo, The Yellow Peri, and Lex Luthor as played by Sherman Howard. The series also featured stories by comic book writers such as the legendary Denny O'Neil and the sensational Carey Bates. I can't wait for the day when the entire Superboy series will finally be made available on DVD. Give us Superboy on DVD!
It seems that sometimes very few people even remember that "Superboy" existed. But it did. And I have felt for a long time that this is the best ever (so far anyway) television adaptation of the Superman mythos. This show really stayed true to its comic book roots. This series marked the first live-action appearances of Mr. Mxyzptlk, Bizarro, & Metallo. It also featured some really inventive storylines such as those featured in "Roads Not Taken" and "The Road to Hell", two 2-part episodes dealing with the Superboys of alternate universes, and "To Be Human" which featured Bizarro being transformed into a normal human only to have to give up his humanity to save Superboy's life. I don't care what anyone says, this series surpassed any other Superman television series in quality of stories and truth to its comic book roots.
I think of this show sort of the way I think of Tim Burton's Batman.
Burtons' Batman focused a lot more on visuals and preferred to explain
the story through actions rather than words. Nevertheless, people dug
it and flocked to see the film(s). Superboy was much the same. The
acting is nothing to write home about, the dialogue is 50/50 at best
and the stories are awfully stereotyped comic book stories.
Nevertheless, something about it just kicks ass. Maybe it's the fact
that it's the only Superman experience ever that features a bang-on
100% accurate version of the costume. Maybe it's the fact that even
though the plots are awfully stereotyped and clichéd, it really is the
only show that has those plots anyway. I don't know, maybe it's just
because it's fun and it doesn't make you depressed with all of the pain
and anguish and darkness of the modern day Superman shows like
For anyone who is unfamiliar with Superboy, originally he was just a spin-off of the Superman comic, showing Clark's adventures as a fully powered teenager. Well in the 80's, they got rid of that character and had the teenage Clark more along the lines of the character you watch in Smallville (which is getting steadily crappier). Now, when those crazy Salkind guys bought the rights to Superman, they also bought the rights to Supergirl, Superboy and (sigh) Superpup. Well, to make a long story short, the Salkinds sold the rights to Superman to those fools who made Superman IV. But they still had those rights to Girl, Boy and Pup. In 1984, Supergirl tanked, so that was no-show. They'd have to be pretty thick to make a live-action show about a dog with super powers, so they also gave that one a miss. But what about a boy? Better yet, a teenager, or better still, a college student with super powers? That could work...
And so, a show was born.
The first season saw John Haymes Newton as the boy of steel. Many claim that Newton was a bit too one-dimensional in terms of acting despite the fact that he looked like he had just walked off the face of a comic book. The stories in the first season generally revolved around social issues, largely because there wasn't much of a budget for fancy special effects (I'll get to that in a sec'). A lot of these episodes were also based upon events that happened in the comics or even in the movies. For example, just like in the comics, Lex loses his hair in a chemical accident and just like in the movies, Kryptonite is discovered in Addis Ababa. Another thing I liked about the first season was the fact that it was really 'Generation X' in the sense that it really tried to appeal to teenagers as well as the traditional Superman audience of kids and adults. If you listen to the first season Superboy theme tune, there's a really cool guitar solo in there. It also really reflects the style and tone of the late eighties which is kind of cool. The other seasons were more timeless and didn't have that eighties feel.
The second season brought in Gerard Christopher as Superboy because John Haymes Newton had portrayed Superboy as too much of a 'badboy' (which I kind of liked, but anyway) and he had also been getting in a bit of trouble with the law off screen. Gerard Christopher played Superboy as the Superman stereotype. He was cool, calm and collected and only ever got angry around villains. His Clark was a clumsy goofball, much the way he was in the movies, only more so. A new, older Lex Luthor was brought in as well, to tie in with a really silly story about Lex making himself look a famous inventor so that he could steal the inventor's weapon and (you guessed it folks) kill Superboy. Because the first season had brought in a bit of dough, the second season had more of a special effects budget and here's where things get really interesting. We got to see villains like Metallo and Bizarro for the first time ever off the pages of a comic. Sadly, we also got a load of silly villains like Dracula (?) and Microboy (a rival superhero in a big yellow foam suit), which made the second season look like a cross between the old Batman show and Power Rangers.
The third season became really dark and sophisticated, despite the fact that it was a show about a cheerful hero. This tone was probably to do with the release and success of Burton's Batman movie. It worked quite well, because it made Superboy look sort of out place (which is sort of cool, because Superman is out of place in today's modern, vice-filled society of sex, drugs, rock and roll and computers). The fourth season was probably the only season which didn't bring anything new to the show. The episodes were in the same dark tone as the third season, but if it counts for anything, they were written better and the overall acting was improving. But then, Warner Bros. came along and got rid of the show, because they didn't own it and it was starting to make some serious money. They took it off the airways for good and it is quite likely that it will never be seen on television ever again. But there is talk of bringing it out on DVD, so don't despair.
Overall, this show is quite good and it is worth noting that this is the last show that focused solely on a character that has been appearing in comics for over sixty years. Lois and Clark and Smallville are both attempts at updating this timeless character. It is definitely worth a watch if you can find some episodes of it.
I liked this show when it was on. It captured some of the magic from the
first 2 Superman movies. True it's not as fancy as Lois & Clark, or as 'hip'
as Smallville. But still not a bad show.
I think that some people didn't realize the potential this show could have. Considering it was BEFORE L&C and Smallville...
It was the first step since the 1950's to bring The man of Steel back to the small screen...
This is certainly one one of the best of the Superman TV shows or movies ever done. Unfortunately it was not well supported by the owners, Viacom. Although the #10 show in syndication at the time, it never received the kudos that it deserved! Top rate show, top rate performances and scripts.
I (being an old Superman fan) started watching Superboy from the very beginning and toughed it out during the first season. I'm sorry to say that the first season was pretty bad, mostly because of John Haymes Newton's horrendous acting. When Gerard Christopher took over the lead role starting the second season the show definitely took a turn for the better, both in stories and acting. One of my favorite episodes was when he met his "older" self in a time trip that found himself in a utopian society. Of course I think that the show would have been much better if the writers and producers stuck to the original format of Superboy like the comics used to portray him, rather than have him run off to his college years, but I guess they figured they had to bend with the times. All in all the show turned out to be pretty good as it went on but unfortunately it wasn't fast enough to please the viewers and was cancelled. On another note for you trivia fans, Gerard Cristopher auditioned and won the part of Superman in the series "Lois and Clark". After the WB executive producer read his acting resume and discovered that he had previously starred in The Adventures of Superboy he said to Gerard, "you've done this already, I want someone who hasn't acted before!". Too bad because it would have been a good choice. Of course Dean Cain did the part excellent, but it would have been a good tie-in from Superboy. Hopefully the WB will think of this when "Smallville" runs its course!
This show was one of the best live action super hero shows. It could
even survive todays competition of CGI and cable crap we have to deal
with. Special effects were much better than on Lois and Clark with less
than half the budget to film with. They were 30 minute episodes, so
within 5 mins, a solid storyline had been developed and you were
already in the action. In some superb cases, a few 2 part episodes were
written and are known as the cream of the show with some of the best
science fiction ever written for film.
The show has finally been green lighted for a DVD release for seaon 1 being released June 20th, 2006. Warners is basing future season releases on the sales of Season 1. All superman fans aware of this release will be waiting in line on the 20th to get this set. Searching this show on the net, you will see that the show got better with each season, another rarity in television, so buying all successive seasons will only deliver better material as the rest of the seasons are released and purchased.
I was about 3 years old when this show first aired This was absolutely the best show on television back then.The Superboy TV Series had many great Episodes such as Bizarro:The Thing of Steel,With This Ring I thee Kill,and Abandon Earth.The TV Series had some well done and great episodes and very good storyline of Clark Kent's early Days.Let's hope this show re-airs on television.
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