Smallville: Season 1, Episode 1

Pilot (16 Oct. 2001)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Romance
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 871 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

Baby Clark (Kal-El) arrives on Earth. Teen Clark starts high school, saves Lex's life after a car accident, and finds out about his past and birth parents.



(character created by: Superman), (character created by: Superman), 7 more credits »
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Title: Pilot (16 Oct 2001)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Nell Potter (as Sarah Jane Redmond)
Adrian Glynn McMorran ...
Jeremy Creek (as Adrian McMorran)
Jade Unterman ...
Malkolm Alburquenque ...
Matthew Munn ...
Dee Jay Jackson ...


On October 7, 1989, a meteor shower falls in the town of Smallville, Kansas, killing numerous dwellers and destroying properties and plantations. Farmer Jonathan Kent and his wife Martha Kent are found by a baby boy in a destroyed cornfield after crashing their car. They find his spacecraft, and they adopt him. 12 years later, while in high school, the shy teenager Clark Kent has a crush on his neighbor Lana Lang, the cheerleader girlfriend of football player Whitney Fordman. Clark has two great friends, Chloe Sullivan and Pete Ross. He meets and saves Lex Luthor from a car accident, in which the future super-hero and future super-villain become fast friends. Lex runs a fertilizer company under the guidance of his ruthless, megalomaniac, billionaire father, Lionel, who resides in the nearby city of Metropolis. Later, Jonathan tells Clark his origins from the outer space, and Clark finds his weakness with close exposure to meteor rocks (kryptonite), especially when Lana wears a ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

16 October 2001 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director David Nutter was given 16 days to make the pilot - twice the usual amount of time it takes to shoot an episode. Despite this, he still came perilously close to overrunning. See more »


When Lex pulls up to the Luthor plant in his car, he opens the door and is getting out, but the windshield wipers are still in motion. See more »


Lionel Luthor: This has got to stop. Open your eyes, Lex.
Young Lex Luthor: I can't...
Lionel Luthor: Luthors are not afraid. We don't have that luxury. We're leaders. You have a destiny, Lex. You're never gonna get anywhere with your eyes closed.
See more »


Performed by Embrace
See more »

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User Reviews

Top notch visual effects, empathic characters and convincing performers, inspiring and captivating odyssey, cult and nostalgic moments
19 June 2010 | by (France) – See all my reviews

Smallville's cult pilot was nearly first aired a decade ago. But seven years have actually passed since last time I watched it. Season nine was so great that I wanted to compare it with the first one. My decision was probably driven by nostalgia but there's nothing wrong with that as long as it doesn't prevent you from moving forward, to the future, and fully living the present. However let's go back to the past and enjoy the first steps of Clark Kent in the super adventure we all know.

The first thing that really astonished me were the top notch visual effects. I better understand now why they often exceeded the budget during season one. But for a pilot it's logical as you have to convince the audience. So from the meteor shower to the special abilities I can't see how you could be disappointed. But the real gem for the long time fans are the characters. Little Big Chloe and her wall of weird, fast slim Clark, Lana and her hate at first sight boyfriend, and of course Clark's parents. The first two have grown so much on us in the last past years that it was both funny and touching to see how they used to be. Chloe was less serious and Allison Mack's acting was already irresistible. I can't believe she'll only be a guest in the upcoming season ! As for Tom Welling he looked almost skinny compared to his actual upgraded version and I can't imagine how much he worked out to become as strong as he is. But his relative apparent weakness was part of his character and I suppose that's why he was cast. In a way I like to think that it could have been anyone because thanks to episodes like Idol, Charade and Hostage we learned that we can all become heroes. It's just a matter of harvesting our inner resources and believing in ourselves. But of course having great friends help and that's why Clark's odyssey is so inspiring to follow !

The relationships are also very important, like in real life, because our baby superhero would be nothing without Chloe or his parents. But the most important character in his life, at least in the pilot, was probably his father. John Schneider was excellent as Jonathan and instantly appeared as the dream father. Their scenes were so diverse and well scripted that you should feel all kind of emotions, from joy to frustration. Indeed it would be too easy if we could do everything we wants and that gold rule also applies to Clark. That's why it's so easy to relate to him, because he's like most teenagers in the end. He wants to make a difference and become who he is. And achieving such goals would be pointless without obstacles and this episode was also the occasion to meet the first freak of the week, a recipe applied to the further episodes in the first seasons. But of course it was nothing compared to his first encounter with Lex Luthor. I never thought Michael Rosenbaum first screen time would have such a high impact on me. He had so much charisma and confidence ! His few interactions with Clark were also mesmerizing considering the intense scenes they were featured in. Even the fence fight was surprising and instantly made their new friendship controversial.

Of course it's impossible to be objective with so many cult elements. But it didn't prevent me from being slightly disappointed by a few of them. For example Annette O'Toole minor role reminded me how much I think Martha Kent could have played a more important part in her son's education. However no parents are perfect and their relationship is always on the verge of turning left or right. So as often it's a question of equilibrium and in the pilot it's obvious who is in charge. But later on the writers will balance their respective roles so it wasn't that an issue after all. Moreover it can't shadow the fact that the story should even appeal to new comers. How can't you not fall in love with Lana Lang ? Kristin Kreuk was so cute and your immersion should be so total that there's no way you can't appreciate the creepy cemetery scene or the last dance one.

But in the end the best part is that waking up from that surreal dream is not harsh at all because Clark and his friends should definitely inspire you. If you pay attention it could even make you a better person. They have issues but aren't afraid to solve them. They have weaknesses but know it shouldn't prevent them from living. But you better keep your feet on the ground and carefully look at the stars because the meteors shower is coming in your direction and there's no way you can escape its tremendous power. So be a shortcut freak and watch Smallville now !

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