“Lois & Clark:The New Adventures Of Superman” Review by Kevin Butler
Show: “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman”
ABC TV Network: Sunday nights 9/12/1993-1997
Saturday Nights:1997 to June 13,1997
Cast: “Clark Kent” / “Superman”: Dean Cain
“Lois Lane “: Teri Hatcher
“Perry White” : Lane Smith
“Jimmy Olsen” : Michael Landes (1993-1994) Justin Whalen
“Cat Grant” :Tracy Scoggins (1993-1994)
“Martha Kent” : K.Callan
“Jonathan Kent” : Eddie Jones
“Dr.Sam Lane” : Dennis Arndt (1994)
Harv Presenell (1996-1997)
“Mrs.Ellen Lane” : Phyliss Coates (1994) Beverly Garland (1996-1996)
“Lex Luthor” : John Shea
“Asabi” : Shaun Toub
“Nigel St.John” : Tony Jay
“Jimmy Olsen” :Michael Landes (1993-1994) Justin Whalen (1994-1997)
In the fall of 1993..Superman’ returned to the tv airwaves as a live action character. TV producer Deborah Joy Levine decided to create and produce a new series that would focus more on the personal relationships between “Clark & Lois” rather on their fight against crime.
The series also changed the mythos of “Superman”by making “The Man Of Steel” the secret identity of the crime fighter from “Krypton” and not his human like alter ego.
The series still had drama and thrills..but it also had an undercurrent of comedy..which made it family friendly entertainment.
For the cast..Ms.Levine and her staff hired dancer/singer and actress..Teri Hatcher to play the girl reporter,character actor Lane Smith as”Perry White”, K.Callan and Eddie Jones to play “Clark Kent’s”Earth bound foster parents and a newcomer to tv..former football player turned actor Dean Cain.
“Lois & Clark”debuted on ABC TV on Sunday Night September 12, 1993..40 years after the debut of “The Adventures Of Superman”in syndication.
The series’ first episodes dealt with the two reporters trying to deal with their difficult relationship and their handling stories..where they try to “Lex Luthor” (played by actor John Shea) and his evil schemes to force the world to give him total control. Aided and abetted by his henchmen”Asabi” a hindu gentleman possessed of strange powers and “Nigel St.John”a former British secret agent turned dangerous killer..who posed as “Luthor’s”butler.
The early episodes also dealt with “Clark Kent”trying to find out about his past and why he was sent to Earth..he finally learns about his origin from a strange glowing orb..which is able to show him the history of his home planet:”Krypton” and why his real father”Jor-El”(played in one episode:”The Founder”by actor : David Warner) had to send his son”Kal-El”/”Clark”to Earth before their world was destroyed.
The early episodes also introduced tv viewers to “Lois Lane’s’ parents:”Dr.Sam Lane”..an angry and vindictive scientist..who turns injured prize fighters into cyborgs for an unknown backer and “Mrs.Ellen Lane” ..who is upset that her daughter is going to marry Luthor”..which didn’t happen after “Superman”,”Perry White”,”Jimmy Olsen” (played during the first season by actor Michael Landes) and a former juvenile thief turned “Daily Planet”Copyboy named “Jack Miner” (played by Chris Demetral) found out about the insane and greedy business exec’s plans to marry “Lois” and to use her journalistic skills for the purpose of manipulating the world into accepting his dangerous schemes.(“Luthor”was killed off at the end of the first season’s two part episode..but he would make guest appearances in some later episodes.)
During the second season..our two crusading reporters went up against mad scientists and also marked the first appearances of three super villains from the “Superman”comic books “Metallo” (played by Scott Valentine),”The Toyman” (played by Sherman Hemsely) and “The Prankster” (played by Bronson Pinchot).
The second season also featured an episode..where”Lois & Clark”
travel back in time to “Smallville”in the late 1960’s with author,world historian
and scientist:H.G.Wells(played by Terry Kiser)to prevent a crazed demagogue
“Tempus” (played by Lane Davies) from killing off baby “Kal-El” and preventing
him from becoming “Superman”..so that in future society will turn into a violent
battleground.(H.G. Wells would appear on more episodes played by Hamilton
Camp and again by Terry Kiser)
By the time that the series third season began..”Lois Lane” finally discovers “Clark’s”secret identity..as he tries to propose marriage.
More difficulties and obstacles plagued the pair..most of them caused by more super villains..but by the fourth and last season..”Clark & Lois” are finally wed by a strange little man named “Mike”(played by Comic/character actor:David Doyle)..an angel..who prevents “The Wedding Destroyer”/”Myrtle Beach”(played by former “Designing omen”regular:Delta Burke)and demented marriage counselor:”Dr.Voyle Grumman”(played by Charlie Fleischer..the voice of cartoon character”Roger Rabbit” and best remembered by fans of “Welcome Back Kotter” as school bully”Killer Cavalli”) from killing “Lois”.
Michael Landes left the series following the end of the first season..he was replaced by Justin Whalen..who would play the role of “Jimmy Olsen”for the remainder of the program’s run..former musical comedy star turned character actor Harv Presenell(Best remembered for his role of “Johnny Brown” in MGM’s movie version of”The Unsinkable Molly Brown”)replaced Dennis Arndt as”Dr.Sam Lane” and former “My Three Sons” regular:Beverly Garland took on the role of”Mrs.Ellen Lane”.
The series moved to a Saturday night timeslot during the 1997 season..the series began to lose it’s viewers..but there was talk of”Lois & Clark” being picked up for a fifth season.
Sadly..this was not to be..ABC TV was bought by The Walt Disney Company and they had no intention of allowing the series to continue.
Following the airing of”The Family Hour”episode. on Saturday June 13,1997..where our two reporter foil the evil deeds of another demented scientist:”Dr.Fat Head Mensa”(played by comic actor and comedy magician: Harry Anderson) and the pair finally adopt a baby son..”Lois & Clark’s” new tv adventures finally came to an end.