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Superboy - The Complete First Season


TITLE: SUPERBOY - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: June 20, 2006 (Warner Bros. Home Video)
Color/1988-89
MSRP: $39.98
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: 558 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 70 minutes (including commentaries and trailers)
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles: French & Spanish; Closed Captioned
Special Features:
• Look, Up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman -- ­ excerpts from the new documentary produced by Bryan Singer & Kevin Burns (Disc 3)
• Superman: Brainiac Attacks ­ original movie trailer
• Superboy: Getting Off the Ground --­ making-of featurette with the cast and creators
• John Haymes Newton Screen Test
• Audio Commentary on “Revenge of the Alien, Part 2” and “Meet Mr. Mxyzptlk” by John Haymes Newton and Ilya Salkind


Introduction:

He’s no longer a child and not yet a man. He’s a boy, a college boy in fact, who is studying journalism at Shuster University. Clark Kent is his name and if shy, often bumbling Clark were to tell anyone who he really is, the story would supply the Daily Planet with a year’s worth of headlines. So, sit back and get ready to be amazed by the first-run syndicated series Superboy now available for the first time on DVD from Warner Home Video!

The show stars John Haymes Newton as Superboy/Clark Kent, Stacy Haiduk as Lana Lang, James Calvert as TJ White, and Sherman Howard as Lex Luthor.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The series was a half-hour weekly series that aired in first-run syndication. I remember watching it on Saturday afternoons on WWOR locally, and I just loved it. I have not seen this series in such a long time so most of it seems so new to me. Some memorable episodes include: “The Jewel of Techacal” in which Lex is after a rare Mayan relic, “Countdown to Nowhere” in which we find out where Superboy fist made himself known, “The Beast and Beauty” is the one where there is a crooked Superboy on the loose posing as Superboy and causing crimes, “Kryptonite Kills” is where we first find Kryptonite, “Meet Mr. Mxyzpltk” the magical Mxyzpltk comes as Clark to woo Lana romantically, “Hollywood” is the one with the time machine that takes them to 1939, and the season finale “Luthor Unleashed” is the one where Luthor turns bald!

Some famous names to fly with Superboy this season include: Abd Vigoda of Barney Miller in “Back to Oblivion,” Bonanza’s Michael Landon, Jr. in “The Fixer,” Baywatch’s Pamela Bach in “Kryptonite Kills,” movie star Joaquin Phoenix in “Little Hercules,” and American Dreams star Gail O’Grady in “Hollywood.”


Packaging:

The packaging feels like a Superman type release. The cover is styled like a comic book--a nice shot of Superboy in the middle with the Superboy logo on top and a light blue comic book style background. The back of the box has another shot of Superboy on the left, with synopsis of the series and set. A red box details the special features. About four photos from the episodes are below that. Whoom! Kaboom! Credits are also listed.

Inside the box are two slim cases! This is something nice. WHV usually uses digipak packaging. Slim case style is a nice change and much lighter. Both slim cases have a red background, with episode titles, writers, director, original air date, and synopsis for each episode. Each side of the slim case details a disc—slim case one has details on discs one and two and slim case two has details on discs three and four. On the side for disc one on the slim case has a photo of Superboy, side two has Lana. For the second slim case, for disc three’s side has a photo of TJ and the disc four side has a photo of Clark.

The discs themselves have a blue color scheme, with Superboy on disc one, Lana on disc two, TJ on disc three and Clark on disc four. Disc one holds episodes 1-8, disc two holds episodes 9-16, disc three holds episodes 17-24; and disc four holds episodes 25-26 & the special features.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menu screen is also like a comic book. Disc one has automatic previews at start for all the Superman series and the Superman Returns movie. The main menu has the catchy theme playing in the background and a nice photo of Superboy. A light blue comic book background is the setting. Options are: Play All, Episodes, Features, Languages. Play all is…well you know. Episodes list the episodes on each disc…pretty simple and easy to use. Features is listed on each disc but is only available on discs two and four. And languages has the option to put subtitles in French or Spanish.

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.


Video and Audio Quality:

This series has become so rare to find. In2TV just put five episodes of the show up online for free. But I had this DVD way before that, so the DVD is actually the first place I’ve seen the show since probably the early 90s. The video is decent, but not spectacular. The audio is crisp and not too low. Each episode runs just under 22 minutes, with most clocking in around 21:50. The episodes are unedited because this series was aired in first-run syndication, so no need to worry about edits here I think. Less than 22 minutes is not a problem here. As I mentioned, chapter stops are available thankfully.


Special Features:

The extras are pretty decent and surprising. There are two trailers on disc four. One of them is a must watch, though. It is a sneak peek of the new documentary “Look, Up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman,” by Bryan Singer (director of Superman Returns, which opens June 30 theaters nationwide) and Kevin Burns. It runs 6:29 and is basically a preview of the special that will debut on A&E and also air online on AOL’s In2TV. Interviewed are: Bryan Singer, Jack Larson, Noel Neill, Margot Kidder, Richard Donner, Dean Cain, Annette O’Toole, and Brandon Routh. The other trailer is for an original animated Superman movie called “Superman: Brainac Attacks.” That runs 47 seconds.

The real extras are two audio commentaries on “Revenge of the Alien, Part 2” and “Meet Mr. Mxyzptlk” by John Haymes Newton and Ilya Salkind. It is nice to hear Newton after all these years. He was Superboy just for this season and was replaced by Gerard Christopher for seasons 2-4, so I personally found it odd that Newton would do extras for this set. The best extra on this set is Superboy: Getting Off the Ground ­ making-of featurette with the cast and creators as they revisit the first year of the series. It is quite interesting and fun to watch. TJ White’s last name came from Perry White—no relation though! And Newton couldn’t get that one bang that Clark/Superboy had. I’m not a hair stylist, but that is the best I can describe it. The feature runs 11:10 and has interviews with John Newton, James Calvert, Stacy Haidak, Ilya Salkind (executive producer) and David Nutter (director). Finally, there is a nice 6:54 screen test that John Newton originally did to get the part. Very interesting to watch and see!


Final Comments:

Rare stuff! I’m so glad WHV decided to release this series at all. I thought I’d never see it again. It was fun to watch. I had remembered an episode where Clark by mistake (or on purpose?) used his X-ray vision to see a woman naked? I couldn’t find it on this season, but maybe I missed it or it is on a future season. They did the set as best as they could I think. Having any extras for a show like this is a bonus. Let’s hope the set sells well and we get season two by the end of the year at least. If you have never seen the show, I suggest you watch it on AOL.com/In2TV (it is only available through July 2006) and if you like what you see (I’m sure you will) then head over to your local video store, or better yet click on the buy link below, to buy this fun series!


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

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 3.5/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 06/14/06

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000EU1Q2M/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about these sets? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=175053


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