Lois Lane, who has no memory of her previous encounter with Tempus, is kidnapped by him to a parallel universe. There, she meets an older H.G. Wells who helps her remember their last ... See full summary »

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("Superman" created by), ("Superman" created by) | 2 more credits »
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Martha Kent (credit only)
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Jonathan Kent (credit only)
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Major Domo
Eric Morgan Stuart ...
Rookie Cop (as Eric Stuart)
Chuck Butto ...
Spy
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Bank Guard
Elizabeth Maynard ...
Woman

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Storyline

Lois Lane, who has no memory of her previous encounter with Tempus, is kidnapped by him to a parallel universe. There, she meets an older H.G. Wells who helps her remember their last encounter. Metropolis in this universe is a very different place filled with guns and violence. To her dismay, Lois discovers that there is no Superman. She decides to teach the Clark Kent of this universe how to become the hero he's meant to be while also trying to return to her Clark Kent. Written by Ploy P.

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21 January 1996 (USA)  »

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4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Second of four appearances of the time-traveling science fiction author H.G. Wells. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the episode, at Perry's election rally on the steps of the Daily Planet, the lower right of four American flags has only 48 stars. See more »

Quotes

Tempus: [to H.G. Wells] Herb, if I wanted to kill her, I'd beat her to death with a frozen lamb chop and then eat it with a nice merlot.
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Great core of a story, but not well-developed enough to meet its full potential
5 March 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of the few Lois & Clark episodes were I actually knew the basic storyline long before watching, thanks to reading Lana Lang's Wikipedia page, I believe. At any rate, this episode is a follow-up to the beloved Tempus Fugitive from Season 2, probably one of my favorite episodes, and it makes use of the ever-intriguing trope of alternate dimensions. At its core, the story being told here is a really compelling one: one of an alternate Clark Kent whose life turned out differently and who didn't become Superman as a result, and of how the time- (and dimension)-hopping villain Tempus gets himself - and "our" Lois Lane and H. G. Wells - involved in this whole situation, which includes a very interesting twist as to why.

Overall, this episode is definitely enjoyable and had plenty of interesting concepts. It's hard not to be intrigued by wondering how much could change if Clark's life had turned out differently - and how much could stay the same. Still, on the whole, I wasn't quite as satisfied with it as I might've hoped. Reflecting on it afterward, the first thing I realized is that perhaps I found the alternate Clark less compelling for the same reason I actually didn't find the Superman of the Christopher Reeve films to be a compelling character: it feels too much like their motivation for doing the whole "Superman" thing derives directly from being "told" to by someone else they barely even knew before. I mean, it is cool to see Lois using her knowledge of Clark in her home dimension to make a difference in an alternate one, but from the perspective of alternate-Clark being an interesting character, "being encouraged by a lady from an alternate dimension I never met before in any way" isn't compelling enough of a motivation for me.

Another issue is that ultimately, the concept was great, but how that concept was developed wasn't quite good enough. Lana Lang, a.k.a. a major part of the reason why alternate-Clark hasn't become Superman, is given only the most basic and simplistic character and motivations possible. She's treated as nothing more than an obstacle in the way, and isn't made sympathetic enough for us to understand why she means so much to Clark.

I also feel that a problem I have with this show rears its head, in that it doesn't really take Superman seriously enough. When alternate-Clark stopped bullets with his hands in front of people's very eyes, one man fainted, but the other one was way too unperturbed. Ditto for Clark's co-workers learning that their friend was an alien from outer space. It just didn't feel real to me. The way alt-Clark himself treats Superman feels silly and trivial as well - he's so worried about "looking silly" because of his outfit or whatever, which is especially unfitting because it's not like the outfit is what it's about anyway (heck, if he wanted to, he could design another one - it's not like he HAS to be like "our" Superman). I know that very many pieces of Superman media have this problem to some degree, but I still feel it's not too much to ask to have just a BIT more of a sense of awe and a focus on the actually important elements of Superman.

Overall, it was a pretty good episode, but that feeling of being too basic was hard for me to ignore, personally. Ultimately, I'm not sure it really had enough time to develop an alternate dimension and an alternate version of the main character in a compelling enough way. If you think about it, the pilot episode took twice as long developing the original version of Clark and his own transformation into Superman; it may be too much to ask to ask for this story to essentially be retold in half that time, and with less familiar details at that. Maybe it would've been overkill to make this a two-part episode, but I wouldn't be surprised if the end result was a lot more satisfying, honestly. At any rate, it's certainly worth watching, but I could've done with a bit more "meat" on the skeleton of a captivating tale that was there.


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