Adventures of Superman

Season 2 Episode 12

Panic in the Sky

Aired Friday 3:30 PM Dec 05, 1953 on
out of 10
User Rating
29 votes

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Episode Summary

A runaway asteroid gives Superman amnesia. The asteroid also causes floods and earthquakes.

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  • An asteroid threatens Metropolis and Earth. Risking his life Superman collides with the asteroid and falls back to earth, his memory of who and what he is gone. This is the classic Superman story of all. A must see.moreless

    If you never see any other episode from this show, this is the one to see. This is what Superman is all about. An asteroid is heading toward earth. After being warned by an astronomer not to attempt it, Superman collides with the asteroid to destroy it. But the asteroid contains kryptonite and the impact with the asteroid almost kills him. Falling back to earth Superman's memory is gone. After putting his Clark Kent clothes back on he hitches a ride into Metropolis and enters his apartment from a set a keys he found in his pocket. Jimmy Olsen is inside waiting, the landlsdy having let him in. Upon taking a shower while Jimmy goes for sandwiches, Clark Slps and falls through the shower glass door. Jimmy finds him unconscious and suffering from amnesia. Jimmy calls Lois Lane and Perry White for help and Lois explains to Clark that he is a reporter for The Daily Planet and he is the only one who can contact Superman. Earth is still in danger from the asteroid and Clark must find Superman. Probelm is he doesn't know he is Superman.moreless
  • This is the best episode of the whole series. Wonderfully portrayed by George Reeves as Superman. A concept that was so well done, that is was done two more times in other Superman/Superboy series.moreless

    A meteor that measures five and a half miles is headed for Metropolis. Professor Roberts is at an observatory and he is monitoring the meteor through a telescope. He tells Superman that it is falling towards Metropolis. Superman takes off to destroy it but when he smashes into it, he only stopped it from falling. The meteor is now floating in space as a second moon and Superman lands back on Earth.

    When Superman lands, he is disoriented. He changes into Clark Kent and a woman driving a truck gives him a ride. Clark manages to get to his apartment where Jimmy is waiting for him. This scene is a little humorous in the fact that while there is dialogue between Clark and Jimmy, Clark has his back turned towards Jimmy and he is taking off his tie and shirt, exposing his costume and Jimmy suggests Clark take a shower while he gets some food. Jimmy never sees Clark's Superman shirt during this scene.

    Clark steps into his closet and discovers a hidden panel that contains his spare costumes in it. He has this look on his face, questioning why does he have these. Clark is in the shower when Jimmy comes back with coffee and sandwiches, Clark passes out, falls through the shower glass door and Jimmy helps him to bed. Jimmy calls Lois and Perry for help. When they arrive to see Clark, he does not know who they are and he does not know who he is. Superman has amnesia.

    The professor at the observatory is still concerned. The Earth is still in danger of the meteor. Meanwhile, Lois and Jimmy take Clark back to The Daily Planet, in hope that something familiar would make him remember. Perry approaches Clark to see if he can reach Superman. The meteor is causing damage to the Earth and Clark is the only one who could ever reach Superman, unfortunately Clark does not know he is Superman.

    Clark goes back to his apartment, looks at his costume and Jimmy visits him to see if he is alright. Clark asks Jimmy if the costume gave Superman his powers, but Jimmy answers no. "Only Superman can do Super things." The costume has no effect on anyone else. Clark asks Jimmy to leave and he puts on the costume. Clark looks at himself in the mirror, sits down, in frustration puts his fist on an end table and smashes it. Clark now realizes he is Superman and he has his memory back.

    Superman remembers Professor Roberts at the observatory and flies over there to see him. When Superman gets there, the Professor gives him an explosive box and Superman uses it to finally destroy the meteor. Superman flies back down to Metropolis and as Clark Kent, in The Daily Planet office, he is writing the story.

    Lois is surprised that he remembers all these things, Clark tells her that he has his memory back and that he knows who Superman is but she will have to hit him on the head to find out.

    This episode is science fiction at its best. To think that Superman could have amnesia is mind boggling and the way it was portrayed and acted was very well done. This episode is another example on how they did not need crooks or violence to make a good show. In fact, this was done so well that this same story line was done two more times.

    Read Superboy Lost from The Adventures of Superboy and also All Shook Up from Lois and Clark, to see how years later, this same story line never gets old or boring.moreless
  • Great Episode

    This episode was basically Superman makes a asteroid drift off and not destroy. Only problem is he loses memory in process. Now he must regain his memory and destroy it this time. My fav line was when he thinks the astreroid is the moon. Very clever line as funny and like time to get memory back. I liked how he thought if he put the suit on he get powers. He does and gets mad and breaks a table. Which triggers his memory back. He then gets a device to blow the asteroid up. He does and saves the day and has his full memory back. This was a good epsiode cause of the plot. It was different also. I liked how Clark acted strange and like what he has to do. This season is defintely good and blows away season one. Better plots and better villians,it is has just more interesting epsiodes. Still season one was good but this epsiode proves how its better.moreless
  • One of the best stories of the series.

    Superman battles an asteroid's trajectory and comes off the worse for wear.

    After season 1's decidedly film noir approach to the Superman mythos -- and the exit of Phyllis Coates -- the "Superman" series took on a much lighter approach, more comedy, more things for kids. "Panic in the Sky" is one of the most notable of these newer installments -- and a pretty exciting story as well. Undoubtedly one of the more expensive episodes to make, with scenes in outer space, it also features a real problem for Clark/Superman as he must deal with amnesia after his first collision with the "menace from the cosmos." This sets up a nice examination of the character and gives some insight into what a "duel life" might be like. There are some stretches in the story, and its a little odd that Clark is able to avoid detection without his glasses in one scene and is able to struggle into the Daily Planet and work in another scene. Still the conclusion is clever and shows George Reeves unique take on the Clark Kent character, strong-willed and with a with a command of irony.

    Classic installment.moreless
  • This one's got to be on everybody's top ten list. How do you not give yourself away, when you don't even know you're Superman?

    For many this is the penultimate Adventures of Superman episode. While it was certainly the most expensive episode filmed, it is not the new flying scenes or "special effects" (such as they were) that make this entry a classic.

    It's the dance. Here we have Superman, a victim of amnesia, so close to inadvertantly revealing his secret. He falls through the full length, glass door of Clark's shower and doesn't get a scratch on him.

    Jimmy: He must be the luckiest guy alive.

    For once even Lois is genuinely concerned about poor Clark. It is the most Casper Milquetoast performance George Reeves ever hands in as the mild-mannered reporter, but the ever snippy Miss Lane seems to have developed a mother complex. She is ever so patient, trying to nurse him back to his former self.

    I always wondered why Clark wasn't accidentally crushing people's hands or knocking down skyscrapers, unaware of his super strength. Evidently, viewers were to assume that, just as amnesiacs don't forget how to talk, the gentle treatment Clark regularly dishes out in his day to day life is ingrained. Still I always get an amusing mental image when Lois tells Clark that he'll be more himself once he starts "pounding his old typewriter."

    In All Shook Up, the Lois and Clark retelling of this story, our hero has his parents to remind him that he is in reality Superman. He has to work it out for himself here: puzzling over whether or not the strange costumes in his closet will give him powers that can save the world. Still unsure, he leaps out the window (I think I would have tried bending the fire place poker first.) and, one way or the other, leaves all hope for a normal life behind.

    It's a bit of a departure for a Superman who usually seemed to have all of the answers, but I suppose that's why it's still so appealling after all of these years.moreless
Jonathan Hale

Jonathan Hale

Prosfessor Roberts

Guest Star

Jane Frazee

Jane Frazee


Guest Star

Clark Howat

Clark Howat

Robert's Assistant

Guest Star

Noel Neill

Noel Neill

Lois Lane

Recurring Role

Jack Larson

Jack Larson

Jimmy Olsen

Recurring Role

John Hamilton

John Hamilton

Perry White

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Regarded as Jerry Seinfeld's favorite episode. During the commercial shoot for American Express which showed Jerry and his pal, a cartoon Superman, walking the streets of New York and helping people with their credit. Jack Larson also made a cameo appearance. After the shoot was completed, Jerry made Jack watch this episode in its entirety in his trailer.

    • While suffering from amnesia, not only does Clark almost show his Superman suit to Jimmy Olsen, he also risks revealing his secret identity by being seen by Jimmy, Lois Lane, and Perry White without his glasses.

    • Goof: When the citizenry assembles in front of Dick's Meat Market to marvel at Superman's first attempt temporarily stopping the asteroid, the drumlike sounds of their footsteps betray the plywood construction of the raised "sidewalk."

    • The asteroid is far too small to cause the effects attributed to it. At only five miles in diameter, it can't occlude the Sun, cause seismic disturbances, "upset the Earth's rotation" or "disturb the balance of the entire solar system."

    • Goof: When Clark opens the secret compartment in his closet, two Superman tops, in addition to the one he's presumably wearing, are visible. This contradicts previous episodes, including first season's "The Stolen Costume," where his only costume was stolen.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • (Reading the story that Clark just wrote.)
      Lois: "Superman, who was slightly injured by his first collision in space, seemed to be completely recovered when he returned to earth. Probably, it was the second blow that"... Wait a minute. How do you know all that?
      Clark: Oh, didn't I tell you? I have my memory back again now.
      Lois: Really, Clark. Just because you got hit on the head is no sign that's what happened to Superman.
      Clark: Why Not? I think we have something in common. As a matter of fact, I know we do. You see, I know who he is now too.
      Lois: Oh, you do? Well, come on, who?
      Clark: Oh, just knock me on the head sometime, you'll find out.

  • NOTES (2)

    • This episode marked the only appearance from Clark Howat.

      This episode marked the only appearance from Jane Frazee.

      This episode marked the only appearance from Thomas Moore.

      This episode marked the second of two unrelated appearances from Jonathan Hale.


    • This episode was adapted into the comics story "The Menace from the Stars!", World's Finest No. 68, January-February 1954. Many of the episode's plot elements derive from the earlier comics story "When Stars Collide!", Action No. 63, August 1943.