TITLE: THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON
DVD Release Date: January 17, 2005 (Warner Bros. Home Video)
Number of Discs: 5
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: 683 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 24:09 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: Subtitles in
English, French and Spanish (episodes *only*); Closed
Captioned is available.
Special Features: "The First Lady of Metropolis"
documentary; Commentary on two key episodes by Noel
Neill and Jack Larson; "Stamp Day for Superman"
Up in the sky! It's a bird!? It's a plane?! It's
SUPERMAN! Faster than a speeding bullet--more powerful
than a locomotive. Those words introduced us each
season to the Man of Steel. "The Adventures of
Superman" was an incredibly popular syndicated series
that ran for 104 episodes over a course of 6 years
(1952-1958) and 6 seasons. The first two seasons were
broadcast in black and white. The first season had a
total of 26 episodes, while this set, the second
season, had a total of 26 as well. All future seasons
would have just 13 episodes. Accomplished actor George
Reeves stars as mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, who
transforms himself from small-town boy into big city
crime fighter Superman. It was also this season that
Noel Neill joins the cast as "Lois Lane," the Daily
Planet reporter. Jack Larson stars as Jimmy Olsen. The
late, great John Hamilton co-stars as gruff Daily
Planet editor Perry White while Robert Shayne recurs
as Detective Henderson and Willard "Bill" Kennedy
serves as the announcer of the series.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
The second season produced another set of stellar
episodes. Such stellar episodes include: "Five Minutes
to Doom" in which the race is on to stop an innocent
Death Row inmate’s death with the electric chair.
"Shot In The Dark" in which a photographer snaps some
incriminating photos, one of which suggests Clark is
you-know-who! "My Friend Superman" in which a diner
owner boasts of being pals with Superman. "The Clown
Who Cried" in which an imposter clown robs a kids'
charity telethon. "The Boy Who Hated Superman" in
which Clark is temporary guardian of a crime-connected
youth who secretly plots revenge against the reporter.
"Semi-Private Eye" is the one which Jimmy Olsen takes
center stage when he poses as a trench-coated private
eye to stalk kidnappers. Also, "Panic in the Sky"
which Superman saves Metropolis from a plummeting
asteroid - and loses his memory in the process. And
finally, "Around the World with Superman" in which his
x-ray vision helps a surgeon restore a girl’s sight
then he flies her on a world tour.
Some guests include: Dabbs Greer, Hugh Beaumont (Ward
of "Leave it to Beaver"), Hayden Rorke (Dr. Bellows of
"I Dream of Jeannie"), Doris Singleton (Caroline
Appleby of "I Love Lucy"), among others.
The cover art is in color. It has George Reeves as
Superman, with the logo. Metropolis can be seen behind
him. It's a simple, but effective design. The case is
flip-fold and you open it up to reveal all of the
episode descriptions and the discs they are on, plus
the discs themselves. The overall theme of the design
is made out to look similar to a comic book. Each disc
is designed the same way (the logo, the episodes on
that disc and a black and white picture of a cast
member). Disc 1 features George Reeves as Superman.
Disc 2 features George Reeves as Clark Kent. Disc 3
features Noel Neill as Lois Lane. Disc 4 features Jack
Larson and Jimmy Olsen and Disc 5 features John
Hamilton as Perry White. Disc 1 contains Episodes 1-6;
Disc 2 contains Episodes 7-12; Disc 3 contains
Episodes 13-18; Disc 4 contains Episodes 19-24; and
Disc 5 contains Episodes 25-26 and the bonus features
for this set.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menu is a very cool one. It starts off like
the opening credits do (you see the planets and the
sky) but then it turns into an almost live comic book,
so to speak. The selections you are given are "Play",
"Episodes," "Special Features," and "Languages." And
to clarify the "live comic book aspect" each of those
selections has a couple of seconds video that plays
and it loops. It's a little hard to explain but it's a
really awesome design. The "Play" option lets you play
the entire selection of episodes. "Episodes" takes you
to another "page" (like a comic book) that lists the
episodes. The "Special Features" selection also takes
you to another "page" that either gives you a list of
what's available, or tells you to go to another disc
to find them. And finally, "Languages" lets you choose
between English as the Spoken Language, or English,
French and Spanish Subtitles. And to add, there is a
"more" option after the list of languages that takes
you to another page to reveal the disclaimer. Heh.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video is overall, very good. At times you get a
little fuzziness (such as on "Stamp Day for
Superman"), but for the most part, it's a really good
picture. The audio itself was a tad low, but not bad,
as in some older show releases. The episodes all run
for about 26-27 minutes in length, so they are
definitely unedited! There don't seem to be any
chapter skips, though. Of course, there is on the Play
For the episode "Panic in the Sky" (Disc 2) and the
episode "Semi-Private Eye" (Disc 3), series stars Noel
Neill and Jack Larson have recorded commentary tracks.
I can't tell you how awesome that was to have those
tracks. They are definitely a must "see" in this set.
* Documentary "The First Lady of Metropolis" (approx.
runtime: 6:56 minutes)
This is located on Disc 5, these special documentary
profiles Noel Neill, who starred as Lois Lane from
Seasons 2 through 6. It features interviews by Neill,
of course, as well as Jack Larson, Leonard Maltin and
others. It's a really nice feature that does Neill as
well as Lois justice. I highly suggest watching it!
* Stamp Day for Superman (approx. runtime: 17:53
Located on Disc 5, this is an actual episode that
aired back in 1954. From what I can tell, it's not
regularly aired in syndication reruns. But before the
episode begins, there is an introduction by Jack
Larson. And to add, throughout the episode, the
picture is good, but there is clear fuzziness, which
is probably a result of the episode sitting so long on
the shelves and never being restored for syndication.
Of course, that's just my assumption. Nevertheless,
fuzzy or not, it's a thrill to finally be able to see
the "lost" episode. The episode itself was used to
promote savings bonds back in the 1950s.
Wow! My first review for The Adventures of Superman
(Season 1 wasn't available to us). I was so impressed
by the design of the box as well as by the design of
the menu. It's simple, effective and appealing. The
inclusion of the "lost" episode "Stamp Day for
Superman" was a huge plus, I think, for fans. The
commentary is wonderful. I'm a big fan of that,
especially for older series, and not to sound bad or
anything, but because the cast won't always be around
and it's fun to hear their take on things and hear
little stories and anecdotes, etc. Overall, I really
have to give Warner Brothers credit for an amazing
release. They always do such a knock out job with
their sets! Here's looking forward to the next 4
seasons! Up, up and away!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 on 01/12/06.
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