When Jonathan and Martha Kent (John Schneider and Annette O’Toole) discover a boy in a wrecked spaceship after the meteor shower that destroyed Smallville, they take him in and raise him as their own. Now a teenager, Clark Kent (Tom Welling) finds he has growing abilities that he never had. Be it X-Ray vision or bulletproof skin, Clark learns the only thing stranger than his abilities is growing up in Smallville where the meteor shower is continuously creating new abilities in people. With his friend Pete Ross (Sam Jones III), school reporter Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) and Clark’s ultimate crush Lana Lang (Kristen Kreuk), Clark is about to find his life changed again…when he has a dramatic run-in with rich bad-boy Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum).
Smallville—Season 1 aired from October 16, 2001 to May 21, 2002 on the WB. The series adapts the Superman mythos from DC Comics. The series was relatively well received and gained a cult following. The season was nominated for Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series (“Pilot”) and Outstanding Visual Effects for a Series (“Pilot”).
As a comic book reader, Smallville definitely was on the radar when it was announced. The series took the format of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with “smart” kids and clever mysteries and creatures of the week. Though the series changed over the years, it is fun to revisit the early episodes.
The series at this point is setting up a lot of stuff and isn’t very focused on the “big picture” storylines. The episodes are almost all “creature of the week” (something that Buffy suffered with early in the series), and that isn’t bad, but it also doesn’t push the series enough. This season doesn’t have the fun “DC superheroes” stopping by and Lex, Clark, the Kents, and Pete Ross are about the extent of the comics’ ties to the series. It is a bit disappointing in that sense if you watched later seasons and are expecting a lot of superheroes.
The cast is also starting to solidify. You have the rather typical “kid” actors in Tom Welling, Kristen Kreuk, Eric Johnson, Allison Mack, Kristin Kreuk, and Sam Jones III, but Michael Rosenbaum’s Lex Luthor gives more layers to the series. There are a few references of John Schneider’s Dukes of Hazzard days, and Annette O’Toole (who played Lana Lang in Superman III) is a nice addition to the cast. Shawn Ashmore shows up in the season and his twin Aaron Ashmore later plays Jimmy Olsen in the series. The series also features some appearances by rising stars like Jesse Metcalfe, Adam Brody, and Amy Adams.
Visually the series does a decent job for what it is probably working with. You have to figure that despite having DC and Warner Bros’ budget behind it, that a WB series didn’t have the largest budget. Despite this, there is some fun effects (ok, maybe an overuse of the slow-mo factor).
Smallville—Season 1 shows the seeds of a potentially fun series. The melodrama and teen angst is always a fun combination and adding a high concept idea (like Superman) to the story makes for an interesting twist. Smallville has a lot of potential with more powers to explore and new directions to go, but I still look forward to more superhero action. Smallville is just starting…stick around for the ride!
Smallville—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:
1.1 Pilot Airdate: 10/16/01
A meteor storm strikes Smallville leaving death and destruction. When Jonathan and Martha Kent (John Schneider and Annette O’Toole) discover a boy among the wreckage of a spaceship, they decide to raise him as their own. Clark Kent (Tom Welling) finds life difficult with his powers and hiding his abilities. A chance accident on a bridge brings Clark in contact with Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) who starts to question Clark’s resilience…and leads Clark to learn about his true origin from his parents. Now as Clark tries to come to grips with who are what he is as he moons for Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk), the return of a student who has been in a coma since the meteor shower could mean trouble for Smallville and even more questions for Clark.
1.2 Metamorphosis Airdate: 10/23/01
Lana has an admirer in a bug obsessed collector named Greg Arkin (Chad Donella), but when Greg is bitten by bugs exposed to meteor rocks, Greg starts to go through some changes. Lex’s discovery of Lana’s necklace reveals a secret to Clark about why he has a strange reaction to it, and Clark must decide if he can return it to her as Clark begins to wonder if the Wall of Weird assembled by Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) could have legitimacy.
1.3 Hothead Airdate: 10/30/01
Smallville’s football team is a winning team under the steel fist of Coach Walt Arnold (Dan Lauria). When Arnold discovers that he has pyrotechnic powers from meteor rocks in his sauna, he finds he can use the power to manipulate the fire from his rage. When Clark is recruited to the football team, Clark finds that hiding his powers is more difficult than he believed when he discovers Coach Arnold’s powers and Chloe is in danger of exposing him. Lana finds her break-up from Whitney Fordman (Eric Johnson) could mean newfound freedom for her as she takes a job at the Smallville Beanery. Luthor is charged with eliminating a chunk of his workforce by the orders of his father Lionel (John Glover).
1.4 X-Ray Airdate: 11/06/01
A girl named Tina Greer (Lizzy Caplan) has a unique meteor power in that she can mimic other people by shapeshifting. When she robs a bank (as Lex) and accidentally kills her mother (Beverley Breuer), Tina tries to take over Lana’s life. Roger Nixon (Tom O’Brien) comes to Smallville to investigate Lex, but Lex has a counter-offer that Nixon can’t refuse. Lana learns her mother’s view of Smallville might not be as rosy as her Aunt Nell Potter (Sarah-Jane Redmond) indicates and recruits Chloe to help her find out the truth. As Tina tries to adjust to her situation, Clark finds he’s developing a new power of his own: x-ray vision.
1.5 Cool Airdate: 11/13/01
Sean Kelvin (Michael Coristine) has an accident on an icy meteorite filled lake and finds that he cannot find enough heat. Lex convinces Clark to hit Lana up for a date…even if it is just as friends. When Sean targets Chloe, Chloe could be in danger.
1.6 Hourglass Airdate: 11/20/01
In an attempt to get close to Lana, Clark and Pete (Sam Jones III) volunteer at a local assisted living community. Clark meets Cassandra Carver (Jackie Burroughs) who claims she can predict the future…and warns Clark that someone near him will die! Lana Lang tends to a man named Harry Bollston (George Murdock) who is de-aged when he comes in contact with meteor rocks. Young again, Harry (Eric Christian Olsen) is out to get revenge on the people he believes wronged him. Cassandra meets Lex and has a strange vision of his future.
1.7 Craving Airdate: 11/27/01
Jodi Melville (Amy Adams) is a little overweight and dreams of being thin. When she begins a diet regimin including smoothies vegatables grown in meteor-rich soil, she starts to loose weight…and cannot stop the hunger. Lex learns that there are ties between meteor rocks and superhumans…leading him to Dr. Steven Hamilton (Joe Morton). Nell plans a birthday blowout bash for Lana and Pete could become Jodi’s next meal.
1.8 Jitters Airdate: 12/11/01
Earl Jenkins (Tony Todd) suffers massive seizures causing him to shake at superhuman speed. Returning to Smallville, Earl believes he was experimented on at LexCorp in their secret “Level 3” and wanted Jonathan’s help in finding it. When Earl takes Clark and his class hostage, Clark must determine if Level 3 really exists.
1.9 Rogue Airdate: 01/15/02
Detective Sam Phelan (Cameron Dye) sees Clark use his abilities on a fieldtrip to Metropolis. With plans to blackmail Clark, Jonathan could pay the price if Clark doesn’t comply…and Lex’s involvement could expose Clark’s secret.
1.10 Shimmer Airdate: 01/29/02
Amy Palmer (Azua Skye) loves her mother’s boss Lex Luthor even if he doesn’t see it. When Lex’s girlfriend/co-conspirator Victoria Hardwick (Kelly Brook) seems to become the target of invisible attacks, Clark questions if Amy is responsible. Clark tries to get out of Lana’s blood drive but learns that something is wrong with Whitney.
1.11 Hug Airdate: 02/05/02
Bob Rickman (Rick Peters) has his eyes set on opening a plant in Smallville despite a track record of polluting the land his companies sit on. Bob needs the Kents’ property and his power to influence people’s minds could mean he could get it, but a Smallville outsider named Kyle Tippet (Gregory Sporleder) could hold the key to Rickman’s past.
1.12 Leech Airdate: 02/12/02
Eric Summers (Shawn Ashmore) and Clark are hit by lightning while on a geology fieldtrip…with Eric’s meteor rocks stealing Clark’s powers. Now, Eric has Clark’s powers, and Clark must find a way to regain his powers. Victoria’s plans for Lex come to fruition, but Lex has plans for Victoria.
1.13 Kinetic Airdate: 02/26/02
Robbers juiced up on meteor rocks tattoo ink hit Lex’s home and injure Chloe in the process. When they realize Lex is secretly plotting against his father, they plan to blackmail him…and recruiting Whitney to their team could help them.
1.14 Zero Airdate: 03/12/02
A shooting in Lex’s past at a nightclub called Club Zero resurfaces with Jude Royce (Corin Nemec)…a man that should be dead! Clark finds Chloe is digging into his past for a school project and threatens to uncover his shady adoption.
1.15 Nicodemus Airdate: 03/19/02
Dr. Hamilton’s experiment on an extinct plant called Nicodemus has been unleashed when it is stolen by one of Lex’s employees. With the plant’s pollen causing people to lose their inhibition before death, the plant’s exposure to Jonathan, Lana, and Pete could be deadly.
1.16 Stray Airdate: 04/16/02
When the Kents hit a boy named Ryan James (Ryan Kelley), he claims to have no memory. Lionel offers Lex a big new job in Metropolis, and Lex must decide if he’s going to leave Smallville. Ryan has the ability to read people and his former stepfather (Jim Shield) and his new girlfriend (Brandy Ledford) want him back…and only Clark can protect him.
1.17 Reaper Airdate: 04/23/02
Tyler Randall (Reynaldo Rosales) attempts to kill his mother at her request but then falls to his death. Impaled on a meteor rock, Tyler is revived and finds he’s gained a death touch. Tyler seeks to end other suffering in Smallville, and Clark must stop him before he goes for Whitney’s father. Jonathan learns about Lex’s investigation into Clark.
1.18 Drone Airdate: 04/30/02
Paul Chan (Simon Wong), Felice Chandler (Chelan Simmons), and Sasha Woodman (Shonda Farr) are running for class president. When Chan is knocked out of the election because of an attack of bees, Pete puts Clark’s name in the ring…and Clark learns one of his competitors is willing to kill to be president. Lana finds challenges in keeping the Torch profitable while Lex works on a headline story with reporter Carrie Castle (Marguerite Moreau).
1.19 Crush Airdate: 05/07/02
Justin Gaines (Adam Brody) had dreams of being artist until suffering nerve damage in his hands after a hit-and-run accident. Lex finds the return of his former nanny Pamela Jenkins (Donna Bullock) and learns that his father might have lied about her dismissal. Returning to Smallville, Justin seeks out the person who caused the accident, and with his crush Chloe, he could find out…but Justin has new powers that could help him get his vengeance. Whitney suffers a crushing blow.
1.20 Obscura Airdate: 05/14/02
Caught in an explosion, Lana is bathed in meteor rocks and begins to see visions of Chloe being kidnapped. Lex gets new evidence that something else came down during the meteor shower. As Clark and Lana try to find Chloe, Chloe finds herself in a fight for her life and tries to find a way to escape.
1.21 Tempest Airdate: 05/21/02
Lex finds his father is trying to sabotage his work in Smallville by shutting down the plant. With the jobs leaving Smallville, Chloe learns that she might be moving back to Metropolis. Lex’s agent Roger Nixon gets evidence of Clark’s power and threatens to expose him. Whitney makes a big decision about his future and forces Lana to make a decision. As the dance approaches, Clark and Chloe make their first big date, but a storm is brewing in Kansas.