The final season of Smallville has just taken flight on E4, and after a decade on the small screen those remaining fans will no doubt already be licking their lips in anticipation. But if you've yet to switch on to Superman's early years what are you missing out on?
What's it all about?
Before he could leap tall buildings in a single bound, Superman had to survive his teenage years. More My So Called Life than Man Of Steel, Smallville tells the story of those formative years as Clark Kent goes from wide-eyed rural farm boy to iconic superhero over the course of ten generally entertaining seasons.
There are no primary coloured pants over trousers to be seen here. Sure there are super-powered shenanigans, but part of Smallville's appeal is that it has consistently pushed the boundaries of what the character has to offer, going beyond mere fanboy tribute to remain relevant to a mainstream audience. For more information, click here.
Why it's so popular...
Joined by the likes of childhood sweetheart Lana Lang, and best friends Chloe and Pete alongside a host of familiar characters from Lois Lane to Lex Luthor; the early seasons had more than a little bit of Buffy The Vampire Slayer about them. They mixed everyday high school drama with kryptonite-infused 'freak of the week' storylines. But as Clark grew so did the show, consistently reinventing itself to stay relevant to its audience and exploring more grown-up themes like politics and personal choices.
Why you might not have watched it yet...
You may think you've grown out of a show which tells the story of Superman's early years, but you'd be wrong. Smallville has consistently shown that a sci-fi fantasy show could and should be fun. If you want to, you can catch up with the earlier episodes of this season on 4OD.
Who's in it?
Tom Welling is the undoubted star of the show, he consistently stands out from the crowd as the soon-to-be superhero. But the cast in general are simply superb. Welling alongside the likes of Allison Mack (Chloe) have been in or around the show from the very beginning, and it shows as the chemistry between the characters positively leaps off screen.
Comic book fans will no doubt point to the avalanche of quick-witted references that are dotted throughout the series, as well as full blown superhero takeovers from the later episodes. Others may look to the 'will they won't they?' relationship between Clark and Lana which occupies much of the emotional drama of the first three seasons, or the similar Lois and Clark tryst of more recent outings. But for my money you need look no further than Smallville's rogue's gallery of villains; particularly the Luthor clan in the form of Michael Rosenbaum as Lex and John Glover as his father Lionel, who don't so much steal the scenes they're in as bung them in a sack marked 'swag' and head for the nearest border.
Just like any series that has been around for ten years, Smallville has had some dud episodes. Most of which seem to come around the fifth series which had its fair share of growing pains as the show transitioned from teen tales to adult drama. Nevertheless, when Smallville hits its mark, it's as good as anything else the schedules have to offer.
So, that's what we think. Tell us your Smallville thoughts below!