Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot (1)

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Sep 12, 1993 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
138 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Clark Kent is a super guy who has travelled the world, but his biggest dream is to someday write for the Daily Planet, one of the greatest newspapers in the world. To do this, Clark travels to Metropolis, and, even though he was rejected at first, lands a job at the Daily Planet. There he meets a sexy but feisty reporter named Lois Lane. "Don't fall for me, farmboy," she says to Clark, but, alas, he already has. Clark's first job as Superman is to save a space station from destruction ordered by Lex Luthor, Metropolis' most powerful businessman.moreless

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  • Irresistible and charismatic leads, inspiring and entertaining story, delightful fan service and immersive production (Bonus : versus Smallville) (Spoiler-free)

    While following Smallville I noticed some references to Lois & Clark but more important I couldn't help comparing both shows. When you're a teenage boy resisting to a weekly dose of Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane is an impossible mission. It's specially true considering how excellent Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher were in their respective roles. I have tremendous respect for Tom Welling and Erica Durance but this very pilot proves that Cain and Hatcher's chemistry eclipsed theirs. The man couldn't be stronger and the woman is both smart and gorgeous. To sum things up, they're just irresistible as Clark and Lois !

    Beside the timeless duo as its title implies the series is also a lot about Superman. It's the key difference with Smallville as even in its finale we don't really see Welling suited up as the Man of Steel. It leads us to his nemesis, Lex Luthor, played by John Shea. He's actually 17 years older than Cain and it's definitely a quality as his maturity makes his character far much more believable. A worthy villain ? Absolutely ! That's probably why I compared his performance to John Glover, Lionel Luthor in Smallville, and not Michael Rosenbaum's one. But their respective stories are entirely different as in this case Clark and Lex are everything but friends. The cliffhanger clearly states what the first season is about.

    Flying with Superman is one thing but in my heart I have always been more into the romance between Lois and Clark. In Smallville their relationship is slowly developed when here the pace is way faster. I understand that the writers intention was to seduce the audience but I wish things had been a bit more subtle. Still even if the working girl and new guy in town are clichs I instantly related to them and developing an empathic connection with these two is natural. Clark finds a job way too easily in my opinion but in Smallville it's the contrary. However I prefer struggling characters, inspiring and realistic ones. Otherwise this Kent is not a teen, it's a fully grown up man who's ready to embrace his destiny. Don't get me wrong it's obvious he doesn't know yet where he belongs, as Hercules (1997) almighty protagonist, but he definitely has what it takes to become Superman. And during his journey he can count on his parents, Jonathan and Martha. The performers are so nice and complementary that you can't help smiling when they're on the phone with their son. I don't know how their work compares to the comics but it's slightly sitcomesque, so miles away from John Schneider and Annette O'Toole in Smallville. However in both cases Jonathan incarnates the father figure a superhero needs, with strong moral values and a stimulating wife.

    In order to support the talented cast and entertaining story the show is enriched by many other elements. The first of them would be Lane Smith. His performance as Perry White is both energetic and hilarious. He also demonstrates how superior an intergenerational cast is compared to the "all young and pretty" people hired in the last seasons of Smallville. Phil Morris appearances as Martian Manhunter weren't numerous enough and with Schneider and Glover gone the show failed to fully educate its younger audience. An other thing I enjoyed was the production quality. Don't expect an episode aired in 1993 to blow your mind but most sets are well designed and the visual effects are decent in general if you're not too demanding. All in all it's immersive and it's all what matters. Moreover it's not everyday that you can see Superman on TV ! It leads us to Clark Kent's transformation because it's what the pilot is mostly about. I found it awkward and not just because I'm a huge fan of Smallville. I mean how is it possible to forget installments like Identity ? As for the Pretty Woman (1990) sequence it was entertaining but not respectful of the seriousness surrounding the myth. Even the way CK dealt with his glasses was quick and dirty. Why didn't they decide to make them fall as he was taking off for instance ? Something like that. At the opposite I really enjoyed the way the beginning and ending mirrored. Indeed Lois first appearance can only wow if you haven't already seen the pilot. All along the episode there're breadcrumbs to help Clark shape his new identity. Let's also not forget the cult dialogs and scenes. Most of the ones between Lois & Clark are funny, like at his apartment, when the parts involving Lex are darker and smarter. The scene featuring a cobra is quite intense and reveals him as a fearless predator. The diner was in the same vein and served as a pivotal character developer.

    To sum things up this pilot has aged well and not just because the two lead performers are exquisite. Cain fueled his character with strength, wit and wisdom. As for Hatcher focusing on her gorgeous body, from head to toe, would be a fatal mistake as her Lois is feminist, cunning and curious. Add humor to these qualities and you get two of the best role models on TV !

    Note : This review was first posted on Kritikenstein, my weblog.moreless
  • Lois & Clark

    I loved this show when it fist aired and I am re-watching the series and I still love this show!
  • Clark Kent comes to Metropolis looking for a job at the Daily Planet. He consults his mother, Martha Kent, and the two comes up with the Superman costume.

    Clark Kent comes to Metropolis looking for a job at the Daily Planet. Perry White first dismisses him as he has no experience. He later goes out to get a story about a theater being torn down which convinces White to accept him because he has initiatives. At the Daily Planet, Lois Lane is intent on uncovering a possible conspiracy behind a space ship launch, which might blow-up. White teams Lois up with the rookie Clark against her better judgment. Meanwhile, Clark is frustrated that he cannot use his powers to help others without exposing himself and jeopardizing his chance at leading a normal life. He consults his mother, Martha Kent, and the two comes up with the Superman costume.moreless
  • Clark Kent arrives in Metropolis in search of a career at the Daily Planet. In this pilot episode, the viewer gets an interesting new take on the birth of Superman.

    This review is for the pilot as a whole, not for Part I only. One of my favorite things about this version of the Superman tale is that the writers took the time to show us details that we have (to my knowledge) never seen before. For instance, Clark decides he needs an alter ego so we get to watch as Martha sews one spandex costume after another until she finally gets it right with the red, yellow, and blue. But despite all of the attention paid here, the pilot drags on and on. The special effects on this show are terrible, and the scene in which Clark paces UP the walls in his dingy apartment was LAME-O. My biggest complaint with this series in general is that the writers do not seem to make use of their one hour time-slot. In fact, if the episodes were edited down to thirty minutes, the show would be a lot better and I wouldn't feel like I was wasting my time. I know this show has a healthy number of die hard fans (and I consider myself among them), but I think that what we love about this show is the ongoing love triangle between Lois, Clark, and Superman; not the cheesey plots of each individual episode. But I digress, I am supposed to be reviewing the pilot and not the series as a whole. This episode has some good moments, but I recommend keeping the remote nearby with one finger on fast-forward. But don't worry, the show gets better eventually.moreless
  • Clark Kent arrives in Metropolis in search of a job at the Daily Planet.

    I think it was a good start. Considering the day and age it was made the quality was very good. I was a bit surprised at first to see that Clark hadn't yet become Superman and had yet to find his costume. It sort of goes against mythology. If I recall correctly he already is Superman when he joins the Daily Planet. But this wasn't too much of a bad thing. It involved the viewers in his journey of becoming Superman and that was sheer genius because we get to see him becoming Superman right before our eyes.

    I did wonder why he was wearing glasses, though. I know Clark Kent wears glasses.. but that was to hide his identity as Superman. If he wasn't already Superman and didn't have an idea of the costume or dual identity then would he wear glasses? It seems like a plot hole to me, albeit a very small one.

    Dean Cain looks good on screen and makes for a very charasmatic Clark Kent. Teri Hatcher makes for a great Lois Lane.. I like her sass and her bossiness.. but I was a bit thrown by the tears at first.moreless
Kim Johnston Ulrich

Kim Johnston Ulrich

Dr. Toni Baines

Guest Star

Kenneth Tigar

Kenneth Tigar

Dr. Platt

Guest Star

Gloria LeRoy

Gloria LeRoy


Guest Star

Shaun Toub

Shaun Toub


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • When Clark listens to the actress from outside the theater, the words she is heard saying are from the end of the paragraph she starts when Clark is entering.

    • Goof: When Clark goes to the theatre, the side entrance is shown, but it is spelled wrong. It is spelled as "enterance".

    • Goof: When Clark flies home to the farm, when he lands his shirt is one colour, when he goes inside it's another colour.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Superman: Oh, one more thing. If you ever need to find me, all you have to do is look up.

    • Cat: (whistles at Clark) Who's the new tight end?
      Lois: Why don't you throw your usual forward pass and find out.

    • Person 1 in Crowd: What the hell is that?
      Person 2 in Crowd: Is it a bird?
      Person 3 in Crowd: Is it a plane?
      Person 4 in Crowd: (with binoculars) No, just a guy in a pair of tights and a cape!

    • Perry: Jimmy, never underestimate the need for a good obituary.

    • Lois: (regarding Cat Grant) What do men see in her, anyway? Don't they realize she's just looking for another notch on her garter belt?
      Jimmy: Pathetic. (a beat) Have you actually seen this garter belt?

    • Cat: Poor Lois... all work and no personality.

    • Lois: Kent is a hack from Smallville. I couldn't make that name up.

    • Lois: And let's get something straight. I did not work my buns off to become an investigative reporter for the Daily Planet just to babysit some hack from nowheresville. And one other thing. You're not working with me, you're working for me. I call the shots, I ask the questions. You are low man, I am top banana, and that's the way I like it. Comprende?
      Clark: You like to be on top. Got it.

    • Lois: I live by three rules. I never get involved with my stories, I never let anybody else get there first and I never sleep with anyone I work with.

  • NOTES (9)

    • During the hiring process for Ma Kent, all the the actresses wore simple farm dresses. K Callan attracted the attention of the crew by wearing a pink track suit for a more "modern" Martha.

    • Dean Cain was the first actor seen for the role of Clark/Superman. Deborah Joy Levine rejected him because she thought he looked too young.

    • Deborah Joy Levine's original script for "The Pilot" started with Clark in New Guinea participating in a fire ceremony while Lois was working on a story in Utah.

    • This was Persis Khambatta's final acting role before her death on August 18, 1998.

    • Two versions of this episode aired. The first, the two-hour premiere, aired in September 1993; and the second was the two-part version which aired that December. The two-part version has several scenes that were not in the original version aired in September. Finally, the version aired in the U.K. and now available on Columbia House video features scenes not seen in any version originally aired on ABC.

    • In the DVD release, it lists that Season 1 had 21 episodes, counting both parts of the Pilot as one episode.

    • Gerard Christopher, who played Clark Kent/Superboy in Superboy reportedly tried out for Superman, but the producers wanted an unknown in the role instead. Kevin Sorbo originally tried out for the part of Clark Kent/Superman. He was also in the top five choices along with Dean Cain.

    • Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman was released on:
      August 25th, 1994 in Germany
      November 27th, 1994 in Sweden
      December 28th, 1996 in Croatia
      January 7th, 1998 in Finland
      December 2nd, 1998 in Romania

    • In this episode, Elizabeth Barondes was credited as regular, but from the next episode on, she is credited only as a guest. (She was in only two more episodes of Season 1 and in one episode of Season 2), actress Roxana Zal replaced her.


    • Jimmy: (to Lois Lane) Still going where no reporter has gone before.

      An allusion from the tagline of Star Trek's opening monologue: "To boldly go where no man has gone before".