It’s hard to believe that it has been 20 years since ‘Smallville’ first swooped into the hearts of fans around the globe. To celebrate this amazing milestone, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has released the beloved series to Blu-ray for the first time ever on October 19, 2021. ‘Smallville: The Complete Series 20th Anniversary Editon’ is the ultimate collection for die-hard fans or for those eager to explore this captivating universe.
As a die-hard fan of the show, I remember the first time Remy Zero’s now-iconic opening theme, “Save Me,” poured through the living room speakers like it was yesterday. ‘Smallville’ was a truly groundbreaking series and one of the first to successfully blend teen-drama with super heroics. It’s epic 10-season, Emmy-winning run would not only keep fans on glued to the edge of their seats, but help lay the groundwork for the comic book cinematic universes that now reign over the box office. Without the creative forces behind ‘Smallville’ leading the charge, there is little chance we would have ever seen the birth of the ‘Arrowverse,’ or the dimension-spanning adventures we see in the ‘The Flash.’
Some of the secrets to the show’s success was the high-caliber character development, engaging storytelling, and unique takes and spins on the Superman mythology. Its impact on pop culture is undeniable. ‘Smallville’ lead the way with a platoon of strong female leads, spell-binding special effects, and a knack for keeping superheroes more grounded in reality. A rarity at the time on television, this winning formula has ultimately become the industry standard. The mythology of Superman is a tapestry that has been handcrafted over the past seven decades since the character’s inception. ‘Smallville’ both celebrates that legacy and expands it, while introducing a new generation of fans to the beloved source material.
The story begins simply enough. The stage is set when the picturesque midwestern town of Smallville, Kansas, is showered (for better or worse, depending on your favorite character’s point-of-view) with the extraterrestrial remains of the ill-fated planet of Krypton. Among the debris that wreaks havoc on the unsuspecting one-light town is an alien craft carrying the baby Kal-El. The lil’ fella is promptly rescued by Jonathan and Martha Kent (John Schneider and Annette O’Toole) who begin to raise the child as their son. ‘Smallville’ explores the milestone events in the life of Clark Kent while he inches ever closer to tossing on the suit and becoming the legendary Man of Steel as he struggles to find his place in the world. Along the way, the series utilizes some of the most notable names in Smallville as they explore love, loss, and self-discovery as they suffer the slings and arrows of whatever the cosmos might throw their way.
AN ICONIC CAST…
One of Smallville’s greatest strengths is its eclectic cast. The core includes Tom Welling as “Clark Kent,” Allison Mack as “Chloe Sullivan,” Kristin Kreuk as “Lana Lang,” Michael Rosenbaum as “Lex Luthor,” John Glover as “Lionel Luthor,” Erica Durance as “Lois Lane,” Annette O’Toole as “Martha Kent,” and John Schneider as “Jonathan Kent.” The additional talent rounding out some of DC Comic’s familiar roster includes Justin Hartley as “Oliver Queen,” Sam Jones III as “Pete Ross,” Cassidy Freeman as “Tess Mercer,” Aaron Ashmore as “Jimmy Olsen,” Eric Johnson as “Whitney Fordman,” Laura Vandervoort as “Kara,” Callum Blue as “Zod,” Jensen Ackles as “Jason Teague” and Sam Witwer as “Davis Bloome.” During it’s run, the main cast was supported by a cavalcade of noteworthy guest stars including Terence Stamp, James Marsters, Michael McKean, Ian Somerhalder, Jane Seymour, Brian Austin Green, Pam Grier, Helen Slater, Michael Ironside, Julian Sands, Tori Spelling, Rutger Hauer, and Christopher Reeve.
Yes, ‘Smallville’ is the ultimate telling of Superman’s (or Clark Kent’s) origin story. However, that would be short-changing to the spellbinding, 10-season exploration of Michael Rosenbaum’s Lex Luthor character, who is one of the best villains ever put to film.
THE STANDOUT EPISODES…
While you can’t go wrong with the series’ always entertaining “Freak of the Week” story lines, there are a plethora of standout episodes from this series that leap from the screen. If you’re exploring this world for the first time, I strongly suggest checking out the Season One Pilot episode. Once you’ve laid the groundwork, feel free to explore “Rosetta” (S2, featuring Christopher Reeve), “Exile” (S3) “Transference” and “Crusade” (S4) “Lexmas” (S5), “Justice” (S6), “Arctic” (S7) and “Homecoming” (S10).
WHAT’S IN THE BOX…
The box set, which tips the scales at almost four pounds, features Tom Welling’s face alongside the signature logo associated with the series. The side panels of the box art are absolutely gorgeous, and feature Superman’s legendary suit behind the icy walls of the Fortress of Solitude. The weight of the set comes from the 40 Blu-ray Discs with all 218 episodes (clocking in at over 154 hours) in 1080p high-definition video and lossless 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. This is an upgrade over the previously released DVDs sets. Additionally included in the set are two bonus discs (DVDs) featuring previously released archival material.
‘Smallville: The Complete Series 20th Anniversary Edition’ — BONUS FEATURES GALORE!
- The Adventures of Superboy – The original 1961 pilot starring John Rockwell.
- A Retrospective Look at the Series’ 10-Year Journey – An in-depth, season-by-season look at the creation of this landmark television series. Highlights include interviews with Tom Welling, Eric Durance, Michael Rosenbaum, Phil Morris, John Schneider and many more, as well as rare behind-the-scenes footage.
- A Decade of Comic-Con Featurette
- Paley Festival Featurette
- Smallville’s 100th Episode: Making of a Milestone – An extended version of the original featurette included in the Season 5 set.
- Secret Origin: The American Story of DC Comics – A feature length documentary chronicling DC’s 75 years of challenges, creativity, and triumph.
- Audio Commentaries, Deleted and Extended Scenes, Gag Reels, Behind-the-scenes featurettes and much more from all 10 seasons!
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