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Lois & Clark - The New Adventures of Superman - The Complete First Season


TITLE: LOIS & CLARK - THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: June 7, 2005 (Warner Bros. Home Video)
Color/1993-94
MSRP: $59.98
Number of Discs: 6
Number of Episodes: 21 (22, counting 2-part pilot)
Running Time: 1074 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 53 minutes (NOT including commentary or the bonus DVD)
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; Closed Captioned
Special Features:
• Commentary on “Pilot” by Dean Cain, Exec Prod Deborah Joy Levine, and Director Robert Butler
• Original Pilot Presentation to Network, Introduced by Deborah Joy Levine
• Retrospective Documentary: From Rivals to Romance ­ The Making of Lois & Clark
• Behind-the-Scenes Featurette: Taking Flight ­ The Visual Effects of Lois & Clark
• Warner Bros. 50th Anniversary Commemorative DVD: Volume 7 ­ Smallville: “Crusade”


Introduction:

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman on DVD! The fun loving romantic comedy-drama Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman is finally on DVD via Warner Bros. Home Video. The show is a modern day look on Superman and has had a huge following ever since its premiere in September 1993 on ABC.

The show stars Dean Cain as the mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent and the visitor from another planet & super-hero, Superman. Teri Hatcher also stars as Lois Lane, the news hungry reporter who loves Superman ever since she sees him. Rounding out the excellent cast is Lane Smith as Perry White the chief of the Daily Planet where Lois & Clark are reporters for, Michael Landes as Jimmy Olson the paper boy of the office, Tracy Scoggins as Cat Grant the sexy bombshell of the office, K Callan as Martha Kent who is Clark’s mother on Earth, Eddie Jones as Jonathan Kent who is Clark’s dad on Earth, and John Shea as Lex Luthor the rich man after Lois’ love and Superman’s demise.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The series’ first season was so mesmerizing that all the episodes were memorable. I will choose some that I think are for sure must sees. “Pilot” where all the fun starts, as Clark moves from Smallville to Metropolis. “Strange Visitor” is where we learn more about Superman and his roots from the planet Krypton. “I’ve Got a Crush on You” where Lois goes undercover at a nightclub to stoop arsonists. “The Green, Green Glow of Home” where Lois & Clark go to Smallville and Kryptonite is found. “The Man of Steel Bars” is where there is a huge heat wave and Superman’s powers are blamed. “Pheromone, My Lovely” is where a potion makes everyone in love, including Lois with Clark, will Clark take advantage? See for yourself! “Honeymoon in Metropolis” is where Lois & Clark go undercover in a honeymoon suite. Will it lead to more than that? “Vatman” where Lex creates a Superman clone. “Fly Hard” is where terrorists take over the Daily Planet and the gang and even Lex are being held hostage. Does Lex have anything to do with this? “Barbarians at the Planet” is part one of the season finale where Lex buys the Daily Planet and Lois agrees to marry him. “The House of Luthor” is the second part of the finale and will the gang stop Lois in time after finding the evidence on Lex?

Notable guest stars include: Leslie Jordan (“I’m Looking Through You”), Sonny Bono (“The Man of Steel Bars”), Morgan Fairchild (“Pheromone, My Lovely”), Eve Plumb (“Illusions of Grandeur”), Robert Costanzo & Richard Belzer (“Foundling”), Michael McKean (“Vatman”), Macon McCalman (“Fly Hard”), James Earl Jones (“The House of Luthor”), Phyllis Coates the original Lois Lane from the ‘50s series playing Lois’ mom in “The House of Luthor” and a special cameo by Bo Jackson (“The Rival”).


Packaging:

The packaging is quite neat. It is a nice digipak box set. The box’s front cover has a photo of Clark/Superman and Lois with the Daily Planet logo in the background. The show’s logo and The Complete First Season are also present. A nice blue/red color scheme is there. The back of the box has three different screenshots from the first season: Clark with Martha, Lois & Clark, and Lex & Lois. The back also has a brief synopsis of the show. A special red box is shown with Superman’s picture, of the Special Features found on this set. The back of the box is more dark blue than the front.

The case’s front cover is the same as the box cover. The Daily Planet logo isn’t in hologram though. The back of the case has a shot of the entire first season cast. It takes about ¼ of the back. Clark is on a recliner. Lois is on a another recliner, while Cat, Perry and Jimmy are standing around them. The famous Superman S in blue is also on the back of the case along with the credits for season one. When we open the case once, we get to the disc one breakdown on the left and a disc two breakdown on the right. The disc breakdowns have episode numbers, episode titles, writer, director, original air date, and a brief synopsis. And special features, if any. There are nice photos in the background on each breakdown as well along with a snapshot of a character on the bottom left. For disc one’s breakdown there is a nice and sexy photo in the background of Lois & Clark in T-shirts and a snapshot of Superman on the bottom left. Disc two’s breakdown also has another shot of Lois & Clark in T-shirts holding each other with a shot of Perry on the bottom left. When we open the case a second time, we get to 4 sides. There is a disc three breakdown on the left with a nice photo of Lois in the background and a snapshot of Superman posing for a police photo. Then skipping all the way to the right, there is a disc four breakdown with a photo of Clark in a T-shirt in the background and a snapshot of Lex on the bottom left. In between the disc 3 and breakdowns the discs one & two side is shown and also the discs three & four side. When we open the case a third time we see two more sides. On the left there are discs 5 & 6 and on the right there is a breakdown of discs 5 & 6 with another shot of Lois & Clark in T-shirts.

The discs are on top of each other. For example, disc one is on top of disc two; disc three on top of four; and disc 5 on top of six. I hate that! It is hard to take out and easily can be scratched, which is what exactly happened to me with disc two ­ so be careful! Discs one and two are in red and it has a photo of Clark/Superman. Discs three and four are in blue and it has a photo of Lois & Clark. Discs 5 and 6 are in yellow and it has a photo of Lois. There are nice photos on the case when you take out each two disc page.

Disc one holds episodes 1-2 and some special features, disc two holds episodes 3-6, disc three holds episodes 7-10; disc four holds episodes 11-14; disc five holds episodes 15-18 and disc six holds episodes 19-21 & the rest of the special features.

A special $50 back by mail rebate form is also attached inside the case.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menu screen is awesome! The menu screen starts off with different front page shots of the Daily Planet newspaper, and then the theme is playing in the background with different clips from the show playing. The options are: Play All, Episodes, Special Features, & Languages. Play All is self-explanatory. Episodes takes you to the episode list for the given disc and you can choose which episode you want to view. Special Features are only for discs one and six, but the option is present on each disc. The Languages option tells us that the only spoken language on this set in English, but you can have English subtitles, or French or Spanish as well.

There is no scene selection screen but there are chapters present on each episode, which you can access through your remote. The navigation on each sub-menu and the main menu is very easy. The design is also quite nice and creative. Good job Warner Bros.!


Video and Audio Quality:

The video looks better than ever. I was surprised though they didn’t include widescreen for at least the pilot. That would have been cool to see. Nevertheless, the video was still good, but not perfect, but much better than anything we would have seen in reruns in the past on TNT/TBS. The audio is fine. A nice stereo quality sound and is not low at all. Each episode runs about 45-47 minutes, give or take a few seconds. The pilot runs over 1 hour and 32 minutes and is in its original form and has the original opening credits, where there were no scenes showed in the credits. Scenes are easy to find, using chapter stops.


Special Features:

Warner Bros. has done a good job with this set regarding bonus material. There is a lot of added value on this set. First, let’s start off with the episode commentary. The commentary is for “Pilot” with Dean Cain, exec prod Deborah Joy Levine and director Robert Bulter. It is very interesting what they have to say. They are very informative. Things mentioned are the original opening credits used for this episode and the snake scene with Lex. I wish they had more than one commentary, I would have liked to see Dean and Teri do one together, for an episode like “Pheromone, My Lovely” or “Honeymoon in Metropolis” as both episodes show the romantic fire between the two. Like mentioned earlier, “Pilot” runs over 1 hour 32 minutes.

Next up is the “original pilot presentation” that Deborah Joy Levine used to show the network. Levine introduces this and gives us some information on it. She talks for about 3 minutes and the rest of the time is the original piece that they showed the network to try to get the show on the air. This runs just under 20 minutes. I’m very glad they dug this up and gave this to us on DVD.

The other extras are on disc 6, while the previous two were on disc one. A nice featurette running just under 26 minutes is next, titled: “From Rivals to Romance: The Making of Lois & Clark.” They got nearly the entire main cast to do interviews, except for Lane Smith and Michael Landes. Interviewed are: Deborah Joy Levine, Teri Hatcher, Director Randall Zisk, Dean Cain, John Shea, Mike Carlin of DC Comics, Geraldine Leder & Ellie Kannen the casting directors, Director Robert Butler, Exec Prod Robert Singer, K Callan & Eddie Jones, and Cat herself—Tracy Scoggins.

The next extra is also very interesting. It runs over 6:30 and is titled: “”Taking Flight: The Visual Effects of Lois & Clark.” This shows us how Superman flied and other neat special effects. Original footage of the actual scene without effects is shown. This is a must see. Interviewed are: Singer, Cain, Zisk, Bulter, Hatcher, Levine, and Shea.

There was said to have been some easter eggs on this set, according to the press release. The box has no mentions on this nor did I find any, so looks like it was scrapped.

This set also comes with a Commemorative DVD for a limited time. Titled Volume 7, an episode of Smallville labeled “Crusade” is on this. It runs 43:43 in widescreen and has chapter stops. There is no menu screen, so the episode plays automatically.


Final Comments:

This set is excellent, just like the show itself. I think Warner Bros. has done a good job on this set. Other than the disc layout, I’m very pleased. They have given us good quality episodes, unedited episodes and delicious special features. I would have liked to see an option where we can have the “Pilot” in widescreen or normal, but I’m not complaining, since it aired originally in the normal version.

For season two, I hope we get the same thing: commentary, featurettes, etc. I’d like to see Cain & Hatcher do an episode commentary. I hope we get more interviews, especially from Lane Smith. By season two, there will be a new Jimmy Olsen, played by Justin Whalin. The fans for some reason thought Landes looked like Cain, so they replaced Landes with Whalin. I don’t have a preference; I like both Landes and Whalin. Hopefully they get an interview with Whalin for season two. Let’s just hope Warner Bros. releases the series at a respectable pace. I hope we get season two by the end of the year and hopefully we will be done with the series by the end of 2006. But for now, buy this set! You will love it! See Teri Hatcher before she was in Desperate Housewives.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 4/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 05/31/05.

To order the DVD click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00080ZG2O/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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