If you were born before 1980 in England, then you would have grown up with the one person you’d be able to recognise on TV straight away.
Any person from then would be able to say what Doctor they grew up with, be it Tom Baker facing the Zygons, John Pertwee facing The Master, or Peter Davidson against the Cybermen.
But when it got cancelled in 1989, the year I landed on this Earth, there wasn’t a Doctor that I could call my own. To be honest, I wasn’t familiar with Doctor Who until the early 2000’s.
But in 1993, there was a Superman who I’d identify straight away, and would accept him as the real Superman no matter what movie or TV show followed after.
When you mention Superman to someone, straight away, they will imagine, usually Christopher Reeve, or the cartoon version, or even one of the many looks from the comics. Or if you only discovered him lately, then maybe Brandon Routh.
But when someone says to me, ‘Do you know what they’re doing with Superman in the new movie?’
Instantly I imagine Dean Cain in the suit against General Zod.
It’s been 20 years to the day since the show aired and I discovered it on BBC One at 6:15 on every Saturday evening.
The music was epic in all aspects.
Lex Luthor’s presence in the first season was awe-inspiring. The actor who played him, John Shea, said that he tried to play it like Richard III, and it shows.
With the Pilot, it was 90 mins of Clark arriving in Metropolis for the first time, and going through to getting the job at the Daily Planet, then realizing he needs to create an alter ego, with it ending as Superman meets Lex Luthor and Lois Lane.
If there was one scene I could choose as my favourite, it would be when Clark was trying every kind of costume his mum was making him.
Then once he found the one, Martha realised the ‘S’ would be perfect, then finishing with Clark taking off his glasses to finish off the transformation. Superman arrived.
It’s a touching scene, especially with the music, you can’t help but smile when he takes the glasses off, and with Martha staring in awe, you know it’s going to be an incredible time to come.
Throughout the series, especially in the first two seasons, it had a great amount of scenes that felt heartfelt, that gave you the impression that this was a man who felt totally out of place, and from what he was doing, he was making a difference.
When Superman and Luthor meet for the first time in the Pilot, it’s a great scene. The music, the bouncing off one another, and the fly away at the end, with Luthor in shock that this is a man who can fly.
John Shea couldn’t do the trip from his hometown to Los Angeles to film the series after the first season, so it was reduced to only minor appearances. In the third season, he did come back for an arc that was very controversial, but the ultimate villain that the series was sorely missing for 2 years was back, albeit for a short time, and the banter was back as shown here.
Granted, by the time the fourth season arrived, the great scenes of humour and heart that was ever so present in Season 1 and mostly for 2 and then some in 3, had gone, and unfortunately Lois had gone from a no nonsense reporter, to looking like she was going to have a panic attack and break down more so than Tony Stark in Iron Man 3.
If it was up to me, they shouldn’t have gotten married. The comics lasted without it for a good 70 years, hell, even Smallville limped through with Chloe and the lacklustre stories for 10 seasons until the big day almost happened in the series finale. But this was the 90’s, way before the Superhero genre was to be taken seriously. If it was to be made today, I do think it’d have been better treated, and the quality wouldn’t have suffered after only a couple of seasons, and we’d have gotten the proper end it deserved, rather than the terrible season 4 finale, ‘The Family Hour’.
Overall looking back, this is what my childhood hero was. Not The Doctor, not Flash Gordon, it was Superman in 1993, and no matter what films or TV Shows will come, I will always see Superman and Lois Lane as Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher, with the ‘Great Shades of Elvis’ line greatly played by the late Lane Smith.
Some episodes to watch if you’ve only heard of Lois and Clark:
Strange Visitor (From Another Planet)
Honeymoon in Metropolis
House of Luthor
Unfortunately it’s not on Netflix UK or USA, but it is on iTunes, so if you have a couple of pounds to spare, it would be well spent on one of these episodes.
It’s unrealistic to see that there could be a proper end to Lois and Clark 16 years since it was abruptly cancelled, but if there was a way, be it in comic-form or a way of a Kickstarter campaign, I’d be fully behind it.
So sit back, and watch a great series of Superman and Lois Lane.