With ten seasons under its belt, Smallville is the longest-running comic book-based show on television (and the longest-running sci-fi show in North America) -- due primarily to its fan base, one of the most devout in all of pop culture.
Fortunately for those fans, Smallville: The Complete Series – a massive box set of the entire show with 192 hours of footage – will be released November 29, 2011 on DVD with a wide range of special features, including: the 1961 Superboy pilot, the 2010 final SDCC Comic-Con panel, and most importantly, a 90-minute in-depth retrospective of the entire series. At NYCC 2011, we were fortunate enough to watch the retrospective ourselves.
Basically, the retrospective (in essence, a documentary) covers every single beat of every single season of the show. Every major creator, producer, director, and actor from the series makes an appearance in some form or another – including Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Jeph Loeb, Tom Welling, Allison Mack, John Schneider, John Glover, Annette O'Toole, and many more.
Check out some of the most interesting details from the retrospective below:
- Miller and Gough initially pitched a show to WB about Lois Lane in college because they assumed they wouldn’t be able to get Superman; WB came back with Superman
- Tom Welling’s very placid style of portraying Clark Kent developed from his complete and utter terror as an acting novice
- John Glover – who played Lionel Luthor, Lex’s father – was originally only hired for a small part, but he did so well they expanded his role
- John Schneider – who played Jonathon Kent, Clark’s adoptive father – based his relationship with Clark on his relationship with his son, who has Asperger’s; in fact, he likened parenting “Superman” to parenting a special needs child
- The numerous identity switching episodes were utilized not only because they were a fun way of exploring the characters, but they were also very cheap and made room for bigger, more action-packed episodes later on
- When Smallville was moved to a very competitive timeslot on Thursdays in season 5, everybody believed that would be the end of the show – but then it pulled better ratings than ever before
- For the series finale, Allison Mack begged the producers not to kill Chloe – because she’d been killed so many times before
- There are numerous behind-the-scenes clips where Michael Rosenbaum just goofs off and messes with the crew
All in all, the retrospective was really fun and informative – even for non-fans - but for dyed in the wool fans of the show, this is a must watch documentary. You may not learn anything new (that is, if you already know every single piece of Smallville trivia ever), but you're bound to enjoy yourselves regardless.
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Smallville: The Complete Series -- which includes the retrospective -- will be released on DVD on November 11, 2011.