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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Complete Ninth Season


Starring: Tom Welling, Allison Mack, Erica Durance, Cassidy Freeman, Callum Blue and Justin Hartley
Warner Home Video UK
RRP: £49.99
Certificate: 15
Available 04 October 2010

Ever since the meteor shower burst from the heavens, causing death and destruction in its wake, life has never been the same for the sleepy town of Smallville and its unsuspecting citizens. Out of the ashes of tragedy, Clark Kent attempts to decipher the meaning of his life and make sense of his clouded past. This series explores how a certain new romance is blossoming and how Watchtower discovers heroes of old. As Metropolis’ clock tower tolls our characters’ darkest hour, we see Clark Kent finally making his first attempts to embrace his calling as a superhero...

Season nine of Smallville contains the usual mix of ongoing story arc and the occasional monster/problem of the week. There's also a good balance between drama and comedy. This season centres around the romantic relationship between Lois and Clark; sees the appearance of Kaldorian Zod and his army; and introduces the JSA and Checkmate.

Sadly this collection doesn't include the original titles for each episode, they're simply referred to as episodes 1 - 21. Episode 11 is a feature length episode which introduces us to the JSA.

Highlights include:

Episode 5, in which Oliver Queen plays a deadly game against a secret opponent.

Episode 7, which explores Zod's origin and his relationship with Zor-el.

Episode 11, which explores the history of the JSA.

Episode 15, while not a very good episode (it's your typical lame monster of the week), this noteworthy as there are some great uncomfortable comical moments between Green Arrow and Clark.

To be fair there isn't a bad episode here, and as there are a number of ongoing story arcs the season neatly comes together to create a product much greater than the sum of its parts.

The only problem I had was that I though Callum Blue was badly cast as Zod. While he was great as the cheeky, rather arrogant Mason in Dead Like Me, he just doesn't seem to have the ability to pull of a serious role like Zod. Obviously the producers decided to transform the character into an almost Shakespearian villain, but more often than not Blue's acting makes it come across as pantomime. This is in contract to Michael Shank's rather impressive Hawkman - a role that shouldn't work for him (the gruff voice alone could have failed miserably) but somehow does.

Extras include audio commentaries for two episodes; deleted scenes for eight episodes; Kneel Before Zod (15 min, 11 sec look at the introduction and history of Zod); and Absolute Justice: From Script to Screen (29 min, 29 sec look at the introduction of the JSA).

So, yet another season that Smallville fans will be proud to own on DVD.


Darren Rea

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