“ Genre: Television / Theatrical Release: 1993 / Parental Guidance / Director: Robert Butler / Actors: Dean Cain, Teri Hatcher, Michael Landes, Tracy Scoggins, John Shea ... / DVD released 2006-02-06 at Warner Home Video / Features of the DVD: Box set, PAL, Widescreen, Subtitled, Dolby „
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Now, before I start , I have to qualify this review by saying I am a huge fan of Superman, and of comics in general, so I will try and be objective as possible...although I do like Teri Hatcher quite a bit...objective, objective...er, where was I?
Lois & Clark Season 1 first appeared in 1993, and its title gives you the clue as to the angle the show's makers were going for. Not sure quite how to pitch a show just focusing on a superhero, even Superman, they decided to make the on/off, will they/ won't they relationship of Clark and Lois the central focus of the show; kind of a watered down Moonlighting. It was definitely a case of diminishing returns, as this first season was actually very good, but later seasons not so much - it was light-hearted, fun, at time almost 40's screwball comedy. The special effects were pretty poor, so Dean Cain's time as Superman was always quite limited, Dean Cain's time as Superman actually doing something as Superman even more so.
The chemistry between the two leads in this first season made the show a hit; Dean Cain was excellent casting as Clark Kent, although looked more Superboy than Superman. Teri Hatcher (pre-Desperate Housewives) was sexy and sassy as Lois Lane, and a publicity shot of her wearing nothing but Superman's cape was the most-downloaded online photo of 1994! The supporting cast were all good choices too, especially Lane Smith as an excellent Perry White and John Shea as a fine Lex Luthor. The light-hearted tone of the show in some ways made it almost a 90's version of the 60's Batman, and stars queued up to get a cameo or star as that weeks guest-villain. Season 1 guest-stars included James Earl Jones, Morgan Fairchild, Dean Stockwell among many others.
So, how does the DVD release stack up? pretty good, actually. You ca't mistake what show it is, from Dean Cain's smug pose on the front of the cover, and all the dvd discs feature pictures of Clark, Lois, and Clark/Lois. All 21 episodes from Season 1 are on the set, quality being pretty good on my widescreen tv (though mine does upscale), and that includes the feature-length pilot with the legendary Superman mullet.
Extras are actually very good, it wasn't one of those sets that are released bare-bones at high cost. We get a commentary on the Pilot from Dean Cain, director Robert Butler, and show creator/ producer Deborah Joy LeVine. Its excellent commentary, with great anecdotes and stories behind the scenes on production issues, casting, and what everyone got up to. It sounded fun to work on!
The special effects documentary, 'Taking Flight: The Visual Effects' is moderately interesting, but all I took away was they put in a heck of a lot of work for a moderate on-screen result; effects were never the shows strong point.
The real jewel in the extras crown is the 'From Rivals to Romance' Documentary, which is a fantastic retrospective of that first season and reunites nearly everyone, cast and crew, to talk about the show. Its great to hear from so many who worked on the show, their memories, fun stories, even not so happy tales (John Shea left as a regular cast member because he fell out with the producers over his commuting schedule)
Its a really well put together set by Warners, show and extras, and you know what, the show still stands up today. Its light, frothy fun, over the top, and a bit silly but from my point of view, the perfect show to get my children interested in Superman.