Smallville

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

38
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Oct 16, 2001 on The CW
9.5
out of 10
User Rating
1,356 votes
101

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
The first episode tells the story of the meteor shower that hit Smallville and changed life in the Kansas town forever. Clark Kent meets Lex Luthor for the first time and encounters the first in a long line of humans mutated by the strange green meteor rocks that accompanied him on his journey to Earth.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Fantastic pilot, probably one of the best ever!

    10
    I've never actually seen 'Smallville' before, so I'm really excited since Superman is one of my favorite characters. The way that this episode beautifully tells the story of Kal-El's land on Earth was fantastic and how loyal it was to the RD films was great. The level of passion and respect given by the directors actually astounds me.



    The story focuses around Kal-El's land on Earth and his attempt to get along with humans whilst he lives a struggling life. During this time, a kid named Jeremy (I believe he was from Superman III, the little kid) begins to cause havoc. Clark Kent displays an interest in Lana Lang.



    Overall, the acting isn't anything special but the story and the way it was told and how realistic it felt surely makes it a truly entertaining and enjoyable one! Excited to see more SMALLVILLE!moreless
  • Where it l started

    9.0
    Im starting to rewatch all the episodes of Smallville now as the show is finally over and give my final thoughts to you guys.



    I thought that the Pilot was very good, even after watching the Finale.Clark not wating super-powers is what makes him not like us because I think anybody would do anything to be special. When I first started watching this show Lana was my favorite female charcter and in the first season I could see why Clark would be in love with her. Lex was handled great in this episode because you never thought of him and Superman being friends, But if you think of the finale you relize it goes all to crap. Pete and Chloe were indrotuced in this episode pretty good even though they dident have much scenes they were shown as Clarks loyal friends at the time. Martha and Johnathan were shown as the loving parents as they still are today and I thought, even though it was the first episode, Jeremy was made for this episode with the Scarecrow storyline.



    So if your new to Smallville, you will enjoy it. If youre going back for a rewatch,you will enjoy it. A great start to a fantastic series.



    So overall I give this episode a:9/10moreless
  • Every superhero has to start somewhere, and for Superman, it's Smallville.

    10
    As big of a nerd as I am, I don't really read comic books, but thankfully, the pilot episode was easy for a non-comic person such as myself to get into and enjoy, while also keeping the comic book fans entertained. I loved the subtle Superman references peppered throughout (red blanket, anyone?), and I also loved that storylines from later seasons were subtly (and most likely inadvertantly) introduced here. The effects were pretty decent, the pacing was good, and the story itself was decent. As for the acting, everyone was excellent, never mind it was the pilot and the cast was still trying to get a feel for their characters. And speaking of acting, kudos to Tom Welling, as well as to the hair, makeup, and wardrobe departments, for making me actually believe he was a teenager. I only have a couple of nitpicks about the episode overall, and even then, they weren't enough to ruin my enjoyment of it. All in all, "Pilot" is an excellent blending of sci-fi and realism that deserves 10 kryptonite necklaces out of 10.



    Highlights include: 3-year-old Clark finding Martha and Jonathan, teenage Clark missing the bus and superspeeding to school, Chloe revealing her Wall of Weird, Clark half-naked in a field (lemme alone, the character may have been a teenager, but Tom Welling sure wasn't), and Clark 'thanking' Lana for the dance.moreless
  • Pilot

    10
    Very good pilot surely one of the best episodes of Smallville, and also because it is where it all began, the episodes as I always say pilots have to be Great and a Great addition to the History Home The Characters Show Success and interest in who Watching being, and the pilot of Smallville can do this with success, the special effects of Meteor were excellent and really Impressive special effects and also the guy who controls the electricity also are sensational, and since the start of the series Clark (Superboy ) had their cases supernatural in the Pilot Episode Clark faces this kid who has this Skill Type drop rays and you just reminded me of the Episode (DPO) of the third season of the X-Files, and the pilot episode has already created the main meetings Clark and lex , and it shows how Clark is a great friend of Pete and Chloe and Clark tries as the approaches that Lana Lang is the girl he loves, besides all the loose ends that already serves to be developed in Future Episodes, and I also have this DVD in my collection that is a Smallville Movie Called home to the first two episodes of Smallville Series (one of my favorite series) edited like a movie I love to watch and I always watch whenever XviD, the good Ending the pilot of Smallville is this new Home and Improved Interpretation of Classical history of Superman starting from its roots and the pilot of a series is always the most important episode of all because it is what makes history is as follow and also followed the Brand all seasons, a Classic Episode.moreless
  • An amazing start.

    9.5
    There are so many things that make this episode amazing but for me the thing that made the episode amazing was the relationship between Clark and Lex and they showed us that best friends can be mortalenemysin the future but i loved the friendship between them and can't wait to see more from this series. The chemistry between the cast is undeniable and i want to see how the relationship between Clark and Lana ends in the series also i want to see if Chloe and Clark will be more than friends or not cuz i have a feeling that they will be great together if they take their relationship to the next level that onlycharacterididn'tlike was Pete i feel that he is not meant for this part. My only regret was that ididn'tbegin watching this series until it ended because if it was still on air it would be great to watch it.moreless
Tom Welling

Tom Welling

Clark Kent/Kal-El of Krypton

Kristin Kreuk

Kristin Kreuk

Lana Lang

Michael Rosenbaum

Michael Rosenbaum

Alexander ('Lex') Joseph Luthor

Allison Mack

Allison Mack

Chloe Sullivan

Sam Jones III

Sam Jones III

'Pete' Ross

Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson

Whitney Fordman

Malkolm Alburquenque

Malkolm Alburquenque

Young Clark

Guest Star

Miranda Cosgrove

Miranda Cosgrove

5-Year-Old Lana

Guest Star

Adrian McMorran

Adrian McMorran

Jeremy Creek

Guest Star

John Glover

John Glover

Lionel Luthor

Recurring Role

Sarah-Jane Redmond

Sarah-Jane Redmond

Aunt Nell

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (25)

    • When Lex's car is shown falling into the river, there is no damage on the front from hitting Clark or the guard rail.

    • The location of the Torch is different in the pilot from the rest of the whole show. Also the Wall of Weird changes its location from a closet to out in the open.

    • Trivia: The car that Lex drove off the bridge is a Porsche 911 SC.

    • Trivia: Lionel refers to his company as "LexCorp." In subsequent episodes it is called "LuthorCorp."

    • When Whitney punches Clark down before putting him in the truck, you can see an elastic band on Clark's forearm, It is probably the strap of an elbow pad Tom Welling used so he wouldn't scrape his elbows when he fell down.

    • How did Chloe get to be editor of the high school paper as a freshman?

    • Trivia: When Clark leaves for school at the beginning of the episode, he has a skateboard attached to his backpack. Clark never rides it and the skateboard was never seen again after this episode.

    • When Jonathan Kent shows Clark the spaceship, it appears that the ship has a very rough-lined surface. When Clark speeds away, we can see it is smoother.

    • When Lana went to the cemetery to her parents' grave, she rode her horse there but Clark walks her home. How did the horse get back?

    • Trivia: The name of the super-speeding kid Clark looks at on the computer is "Scott Hoggs," which doesn't seem to be the name of any character in the DC universe.

    • Trivia: We see from the permission slip that the Kent's address is "Hickory Lane" (no street # given).

    • Trivia: Smallville's population is established as 45,001 as of "Today". It was 25,001 when the meteors hit.

    • When the meteors were hitting Kansas, they were coming in from all different directions. All meteors came from the same place of origin, Krypton. Why would one meteor come in from east to west and another from southeast to northwest and so on and so on? They should've all landed along the same path. Miles apart, yes, but all along the same north to south (or whatever) path.

    • School bus routes are generally planned so as to pick up people from farther away from the school, then people closer and closer. Since Chloe lives in town and Clark lives out in farmland, why is Chloe on the bus before it gets to Clark's stop?

    • How could Clark have reached age 15 before finding out about the spaceship? As a child on a farm, he'd have explored every bit of it, including the storm cellar. What's the chance while snooping around down there that he never looked under the tarp?

    • Just before Lex hits Clark with his car, you can see Clark is standing with his face toward the car, then you see Clark is standing with his back to the car, then suddenly, he is standing with his face toward the car again, hands streched forward.

    • Why (in Tom Welling's first scene in Smallville), does he suddenly decide to comb his hair when he is rushing off to school? In the kitchen, his bangs are apparent; when he is rushing to catch the bus, his hair is parted neatly.

    • What kind of a clamp does Lana's necklace have? When Whitney stops Clark (to make him the scarecrow), and he is holding Clark by the collar of his shirt, he literally rips Lana's necklace off of his neck to put it on Clark. Wouldn't it break? And how about when Lex rescues him from being the scarecrow? When Clark falls, the necklace just comes off when he lands on his hands. Yet, in "Visage," Lana seems to have to unclamp her necklace to give it to "Whitney".

    • When Jonathan shows Clark the ship, Clark speeds away from the storm cellar and the blur starts before Clark moves.

    • Lex's customized license plate simply says "USA" without a state identification. Even customized license plates give the state.

    • For the first of many times, Clark doesn't react to kryptonite (in this case, Lana's necklace on Whitney) until after he pulls open Whitney's jacket and sees it. Maybe Clark should just close his eyes and kryptonite won't affect him?

    • Clark steps out of the ship as a baby and approaches the Kents, smiling. However, we see several meteors hit the ground (and presumably shatter) around the Kents as they are driving near the ship. Why doesn't young Clark get some green meteor exposure then and there?

    • In the 70-minute premiere version, how does Clark stack three trucks up on top of each other if he doesn't have flight? He isn't tall enough to put the third truck on top of the second and if he tossed it up and on top you'd think there'd be a lot of damage. (Note this goof is deleted from the 60-minute airing and only appears in the pilot showing.)

    • Despite the fact the opening caption before the meteor shower says "1989", the vast majority of the cars in Smallville (including the one the Langs are at when they get squished) appear to be vintage 1970's or earlier.

    • Look at the Langs' tombstone. For Mr. Lang it reads 1957-1959 and for Mrs. Lang it reads 1959-1959, but when the camera cuts back a few minutes later the 1959 date of deaths are (correctly) changed to 1989s.

  • QUOTES (25)

    • Jonathan: I know this has gotta be really hard for you. But you gotta just hang in there like we promised.
      Clark: I'm sick of "hanging in there." All I want to do is go through high school without being a total loser.

    • Pete: Statistical fact: If Clark moved any slower he'd be extinct.

    • Lana: (to Clark) Sometimes I dream I'm at school, waiting for Nell to pick me up. But she doesn't come, so my parents drive up. They're not dead, they're just really late. Then I get in their car and we drive back to my real life in Metropolis. That's usually when I wake up. But for a minute, I'm totally happy, until I realize I'm still alone.

    • Clark: Hey, this is a great place.
      Lex: Yeah, if you're dead and in the market for something to haunt.
      Clark: Well, I meant it's roomy.
      Lex: It's the Luthor ancestral home, or so my father claims. He had it shipped over from Scotland stone by stone.
      Clark: Yeah, I remember. The trucks rolled through town for weeks but no one ever moved in.
      Lex: My father had no intention of living here. He's never even stepped through the front door.
      Clark: Then why'd he ship it over?
      Lex: Because he could.

    • Clark: I'd give anything to be normal.

    • Jonathan: Sweetheart, we can't keep him. What are we going to tell people - we found him out in a field?
      Martha: We didn't find him. He found us.

    • Jonathan: Kids don't just fall out of the sky, Martha.
      Martha: Well, where did he come from?
      Jonathan: I don't know. But he must have parents.
      Martha: Well, if he does, they're definitely not from Kansas.

    • Young Lana: Do you want to make a wish?
      Martha: I would love to make a wish.
      Young Lana: Okay. Abracadabra.

    • Chloe: Statistical fact: Clark Kent can't get within five feet of Lana Lang without turning into a total freak show.

    • Chloe: I call it the Wall of Weird. It's every strange, bizarre, and unexplained event that's happened in Smallville since the meteor shower. That's when it all began - when the town went schitzo.

    • Lana: If you want someone to put in a good word, ask Clark. He saved Lex's life today.
      Whitney: You're kidding.
      Lana: Sometimes people can surprise you. I think it's kind of cool.

    • Chloe: Pete, do you want to take a commercial break from the soap opera in your head? I've told you a hundred times, I'm not interested in Clark.

    • Lionel: (to Lex) Luthors are not afraid. We don't have that luxury. We're leaders. You have a destiny, Lex. You're never going to get anywhere with your eyes closed.

    • Lex: Clark...do you believe a man can fly?
      Clark: Sure. In a plane.
      Lex: No, I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about soaring through the clouds, with nothing but air beneath you.
      Clark: People can't fly, Lex.
      Lex: I did. After the accident, when my heart stopped. It was the most exhilarating two minutes of my life. I flew over Smallville, and for the first time, I didn't see a dead end. I saw a new beginning. Thanks to you, I have a second chance. We have a future, Clark, and I don't want anything to stand in the way of our friendship.

    • Jonathan: Who was the maniac who was driving that car?
      Lex: That would be me - Lex Luthor.

    • Martha: Where'd you learn your manners?
      Clark: On a farm?

    • Chloe: Wait a minute, you two are trying out for the football team? What is this, some sort of teen suicide pact?

    • Lex: You have quite an extraordinary boy there, Mr. Kent, if there's any way I can repay you.
      Jonathan: Drive slower.

    • Clark: (reading) Dear Clark, drive safely, always in your debt, Maniac in the Porsche.

    • Lana: Are you okay?
      Clark: I'm hanging out in a graveyard--does that strike you as okay behavior?
      Lana: Hey I'm here too.

    • Lana: Can you keep a secret?
      Clark: I'm the Fort Knox of secrets.

    • Jonathan: Are you okay?
      Clark: Can I answer that in about five years?
      Jonathan: Yeah.
      Clark: Dad I'm glad you and mom are the ones that found me.
      Jonathan: We didn't find you, Clark, you found us.

    • Lana: Didn't realize you had a dark side, Clark.
      Clark: Doesn't everybody?
      Lana: Yeah, I guess so. So what are you? Man or superman?
      Clark: I haven't figured it out yet.

    • Clark: I took a shortcut.
      Chloe: Through what, a black hole?

    • Clark: What are you trying to tell me, Dad? That I'm from another planet?!? And I suppose you stashed my spaceship in the attic?
      Jonathan: Actually, it's in the storm cellar.

  • NOTES (23)

    • Milo Ventimiglia and Jensen Ackles originally auditioned for the role of Clark Kent.

    • In-joke: The school jackets the students are wearing have a Superman style shield logo on them with an "S" in the middle. It is only seen in "Pilot," and in the very next episode the jackets only have an "S" on them with the shield removed.

    • Originally Clark was to have developed his heat vision in a sex ed class (similar to "Heat"). It was dismissed for the time as the creative team thought it was too soon, and wanted to develop better visuals for it.

    • Aside from Principal Kwan's intro, the following scenes never made it onto the 70 minute airing:

      - An extension of Young Lex's jump from the helicopter which is followed up by Pete's father and uncle debating on Lionel's intention for buying the factory from them.
      - Earlier in the day, Pete and Chloe watch as Whitney and the rest of the jocks park their trucks (the same ones that Clark piles up at the end of the episode).
      - Lex meets Gabe Sullivan and assures him that he isn't going to fire any employees at the fertilizer plant.
      - Pete and Chloe are waiting for Clark to show up at the dance. They decide to dance together, but only as friends.

    • An adaptation of the episode was print in the first Young Adult Smallville novel (titled Arrival).

    • Injoke: When Jonathan and Clark are walking away from Lex, Clark's red towel is hanging down much like a cape. The towel is also a bright red, much like the Superman cape.

    • In-joke: The "S" that is written on the chests of those chosen to be the scarecrow is imagery foreshadowing Clark's future.

    • The Smallville Pilot won an 2002 Emmy Award for Sound Editing; it had also been nominated for Visual Effects but lost to UPN's Star Trek: Enterprise. The special effects team won a 2002 Leo Award for Best Visual Effects in a Dramatic Series. The casting directors were nominated for a 2002 Artios Award for their work on this episode. This episode received a 2002 Golden Reel nomination for Best Sound Editing in Television - Music, Episodic Live Action and for Best Sound Editing in Television - Effects & Foley, Episodic.

    • Lex Luthor says to Clark, "Do you believe a man can fly" refers to the tagline from Superman (1978), "you'll believe a man can fly."

    • Principal Kwan, as played by Hiro Kanagawa, is introduced in "Hothead" but appears in a deleted scene where he sees Jeremy Creek break into the trophy case. The scene can be viewed on the Smallville Season 1 DVD.

    • Music: Lifehouse (Everything), Bruce Hornsby (The Way It Is), Eagle-Eye Cherry (Long Way Around), Stereoblis (Eight Half Letters), Stereophonics (Maybe), The Calling (Unstoppable), Jude (Everything I Own), Fear the Clown (Inside the Memories), Capitol Eye (Let's Go), and Embrace (Wonder).

    • The name of the Smallville High paper, The Torch, was also the name of the school paper where Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman's creators, worked in High School.

    • When this episode originally aired and subsequently, there are no "opening credits" per se, but the regular actors are listed followed by a "Special Guest Star" listing for John Glover.

    • Lionel can be seen reading a newspaper with a headline referring to "Queen Industries." In the DC comics lore, Queen Industries is (or was) owned by Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow. Oliver (and the Green Arrow) subsequently appeared in Smallville's sixth season.

    • Not every scene with actress Cynthia Ettinger, the original Martha Kent, was reshot. In a scene with Clark and Jonathan in the barn and Martha outside in the background, you can tell that it's not Annette O'Toole.

    • A DVD of the "Pilot/Metamorphosis" movie was released in Canada, but instead of removing scenes from the pilot, some of the scenes were extended slightly. The most significant occurs shortly after Clark rescues Lex after driving off the bridge. When Lex comments that he thought he hit Clark, Clark says "If you had, I'd be dead", and looks over his shoulder at the damaged guard rail on the bridge. The TV version fades to commercial at that point, but in the DVD version, Clark looks weak, and Lex asks, "Kid, are you feeling alright?" Clark says "Yeah, I'm fine", then faints, falling flat on his face.

    • Director David Nutter is a veteran director of The X-Files and also directed the pilot episode of the similarly themed sci-fi series Roswell. Nutter also directed the film Disturbing Behavior which starred fellow WB star Katie Holmes as well as Chad E. Donella, who guest stars as the villain in the next episode.

    • Injoke: The bridge that Lex goes off is the "Loeb Bridge" - a deliberate in-joke reference to Jeph Loeb, a major current-day writer for the comic book series (who also works on the show in the second season).

    • Injoke: When Clark first visits Lex at the Luthor Mansion, Lex is just concluding a fencing match with his coach, a gal named "Heike." An inside joke to Heike Brandstatter, who does casting for the series.

    • When meeting Lana in the graveyard, Clark stands in front of an angel in such a way that the wings appear to be moving from his shoulders. This can be foreshadowing him being able to fly, or emphasising his whole Christ-like role as savior later on in his life, or the fact that he is a "heavenly" visitor.

    • When this episode first aired in the U.S., the WB ran it in a "special" 70 minute format. This caused some consternation among fans in the U.S. who were unaware of this and only set their VCRs to tape until the end of the hour. In subsequent reairings and when it was compiled into a full-length movie (see other entry), several scenes are deleted to bring it back down to 60 minutes. One such scene is Clark stacking the trucks up to get back at Whitney for the hazing incident. Another is more conversation between Pete and Chloe on the bus after we see Clark run through the cornfield. Both of these scenes contained probable goofs so they may deliberately have been chosen for removal.

    • This episode and 'Metamorphosis' are sometimes shown as a feature-length movie. The Thanksgiving '01 airing in the U.S. presented them in this manner. When the series was first shown in the UK (on 31/12/2001), the two episodes were shown in such format as well.

    • Annette O'Toole, who plays Martha Kent in this version of events, previously played (adult) Lana Lang in Superman III (1983).

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Lana: What are you, man or superman?
      Apart from a reference to Clark's future, it also refers to "ubermensch," a state depicted as a sign of greatness by Nietzsche. Nietzsche's Superman was someone who could surpass his own nature and decide for himself what was good or bad without being influence by "pity, suffering, tolerance of the weak, the power of the soul over the body, the belief in an afterlife, the corruption of modern values." This is very paradoxical in the context of the show since Superman saves exactly those he should not, in Nietzsche's mind.

    • Pete Ross: We'd love to join you and Scooby in the Mystery Machine for another zany adventure, but we have to turn our permission slips in before homeroom.
      This is a reference to the 1969 Saturday morning cartoon Scooby Doo, Where Are You? which aired on CBS. The show dealt with a group of four high school students, Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and their dog Scooby Doo, a loveable but cowardly Great Dane, who formed Mystery, Inc. The group was interested in the mysterious and supernatural and traveled around the area in a bright green van called the Mystery Machine. Over the decades the cartoon has had additional episodes and even hour long movies produced; finally culminating in the film Scooby Doo (2002) and a sequel Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004) which starred Freddy Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar.

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