Adventures of Superman: Season 1, Episode 1

Superman on Earth (19 Sep. 1952)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Crime
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 100 users  
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Jor-El, Krypton's leading scientist, sends his infant son to Earth in a rocket just as the planet explodes. The rocket is found by Eben and Sarah Kent and Eben gets the infant out before ... See full summary »

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(as Tommy Carr)

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Title: Superman on Earth (19 Sep 1952)

Superman on Earth (19 Sep 1952) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Episode complete credited cast:
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Phyllis Coates ...
...
John Hamilton ...
Ross Elliott ...
(scenes deleted)
Herbert Rawlinson ...
Stuart Randall ...
Aline Towne ...
Frances Morris ...
Danni Sue Nolan ...
Miss Bachrach (as Dani Nolan)
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Storyline

Jor-El, Krypton's leading scientist, sends his infant son to Earth in a rocket just as the planet explodes. The rocket is found by Eben and Sarah Kent and Eben gets the infant out before the craft explodes. They raise the child as their own. Years later, after Eben's death and now aware of his super powers, Clark Kent moves to Metropolis. Sarah has made a costume for him, and she tells him that he must use his powers for good. Superman makes his debut saving a man falling from a blimp. As Clark, he hustles the man to the Daily Planet, which scores a scoop. This convinces editor Perry White to hire Clark. Written by Bill Koenig

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19 September 1952 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound System)

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1.33 : 1
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Sarah and Eben Kent found Clark on April 10, 1927. See more »

Quotes

[Jimmy, Lois, and a photographer drive to a location where a man is hanging on a blimp, his life being in danger]
Lois Lane: Step on it, Jim.
Jimmy Olsen: The speed limit's 35, Miss Lane. I don't wanna get a ticket.
[pause]
Lois Lane: You're right.
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An Outstanding Start to the Six Year "Superman" TV Show
29 June 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The premiere episode of the "Superman" television series with George Reeves as the Last Son of Krypton recounts the saga of the Man of Steel's journey to Earth. This efficient, 28-minute epic covers Superman's life from the time his father stuffed him into a rocket ship to Earth, the Kents rescued him, and eventually he landed his job as a newspaper reporter for the Daily Planet. Richard Donner's blockbuster "Superman the Movie" (1978) spun the same basic yarn, right down to Clark's Earth-bound father dying from a heart attack. "Rawhide" director Thomas Carr keeps the story moving like a bullet. He delivers everything from the Krypton high council meeting to Superman's rescue of a airship ground crewman with celerity and clarity. George Reeves plays it straight as Clark Kent/Superman. The only time he displays a sense of humor occurs when he delivers the last line of dialogue. Amusing, exciting, and laconic, "Superman on Earth" launched the series off to a good start after the superficial "Superman and the Mole Men."

The narrator (Jack Narz) opens this episode with this prologue: "Come with us now on this far journey. A journey that takes us millions of miles from the Earth where many years ago, the planet Krypton burned like a green star in the endless heavens. Here, civilization was far advanced. It had brought forth a race of superman. Men and women like ourselves but advanced to the absolute peak of human perfection." The crack about "human perfection" strikes an ironic note. The action unfolds in the magnificent Temple of Wisdom with its marble columns and burning torches. Superman's father, Jor-El (Robert Rockwell of "The Red Menace"), warns his distinguished peers that all is not well. "I have come to the conclusion that Krypton is about to be destroyed. The sun is gradually drawing Krypton closer to it." They refuse to believe that Krypton will drawn into the orbit of the sun and blow-up like "a giant bubble." They refuse to endorse his method of leading an exodus from Krypton. When they refuse to help him with his evacuation, Jor-El packs his son into a small spaceship and shoots him into space. The Kents rescue the infant superman from his burning rocket. He grows up with his mystical powers, but he doesn't understand why he is different until his Earth parents tell him about his past.

After Eben's heart attack, Clark leaves his mother and ventures into Metropolis. The narration provides many of the answers to the questions involving Clark's decision to go to the big city. "And so Clark Kent, strange visitor from another planet takes the first step toward dedicating his amazing powers to the cause of justice. He has resolved to keep secret his Superman identity and to adopt a pose of mild-mannered timidity as Kent in order to safeguard the masquerade. And in order to be at a place where he can learn immediately of any emergency that might require his help he seeks a job as reporter on a great metropolitan newspaper." During this narration, actor George Reeves is obviously walking in place with luggage in both hands while a montage of urban cityscape footage is projected onto the shot of Kent. After he arrives at the skyscraper housing The Daily Planet newspaper, Clark tries to secure an interview with the editor, Perry White (John Hamilton), but White is in a furious lather and refuses to interview him. Instead, White summons ace reporter Lois Lane (Phyllis Coates of "Girls in Prison"), while Kent enters the stockroom, steps through the window and strolls onto the balcony. Afterward, he enters White's office, and the Daily Planet editor is predictably upset at his appearance. Initially, White threatens to take action against his receptionist for permitting Kent to enter his office, but Kent comes to her defense and explains that he did it of his own volition. "That window' is 28 stories above the ground and the side of the building's flat as this desk except for a narrow ledge," clamors White.

No sooner has he utters this than Jimmy Olsen (Jack Larson) bursts into his office. Jimmy tells White about "a dirigible over the airport with a guy hanging from a rope." Lois snatches the paper from Jimmy and reads it aloud: "A blimp attempting to land at Metropolis Airfield in a high wind pulled eleven men aloft, clinging to the ropes. Ten dropped off safely, but one is still hanging on while the blimp cruises 1000 feet above the field." White dispatches Lois and Jimmy to cover the story. Clark asks a preoccupied White if he obtained an interview with the man dangling from the rope, would he give him a job. White assures Kent he will give him the job under those circumstances. Wasting no time, Kent scrambles to the stock room again. This time, however, he lunges out the window dressed in his familiar Superman outfit. This occurs about 22 minutes into this 28 minute episode. Superman rescues the worker (Dabbs Greer of "The Green Miles") after the poor employee plunges from the airship. Naturally, Perry White finds this yarn incredible. The crewman retorts, "I know it, Mr. White, but it happened." Lois contributes her two cents to the conversation. "As we got to the airport, we saw something streak across the sky and catch this man." Jimmy is just as baffled. "We thought we were crazy, too." Anyway, the rescued man explains Superman carried him to a hanger where he fainted and woke up at The Daily Planet. Clark gets his name on the byline of the front page story, and White hires him. Mind you, Lois is suspicious. She doesn't understand how Clark beat them to the airport. Clark grins coyly, "Maybe I'm a superman, Miss Lane." This is precisely the point at which the episode "Superman On Earth" neatly wraps up.

"Superman on Earth" qualifies as a good way to get the series airborne.


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