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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Complete Seventh Season


Starring: Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Kristin Kreuk, Allison Mack, Erica Durance, Aaron Ashmore, Laura Vandervoort, and John Glover
Warner Home Video
RRP: £49.99
Certificate: 15
Available 13 October 2008

The town of Smallville is mostly inhabited by ordinary folk looking to live a peaceful life. But among their number is Clark Kent, the future Superman who faces a daily struggle to control his special powers and keep his true identity a secret. This seventh season of Smallville offers plenty of surprises for the young Man of Steel, plumbing the depths of Superman mythology to introduce two characters from the comic books: Clark's cousin Kara, also known as Supergirl; and Bizarro, an evil Clark Kent look-alike. Meanwhile, as Lex Luthor becomes infatuated with Kara, Clark comes ever closer to the truth about his parents and his home planet Krypton...

Season Seven of Smallville contains 20 episodes and sees the introduction of Clark’s biological cousin from the Planet Krypton, Kara, who he tries to help blend in with society on Earth. This unwittingly lays him open to manipulation by Kara’s evil father, Zor-El, who secretly harbours plans to take control of the sacred Fortress of Solitude - Clark’s only contact with home and his own father Jor El.

Meanwhile the young Lex Luthor continues in his criminal activities, taking particular interest in Kara and making some fascinating discoveries about the mysterious Project 33.1, whilst Clark’s love interest, Lana Lang even adopts some secret powers of her own... with devastating effects.

This season also sees guest appearances from Superman franchise legends; Dean Cain (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) and Helen Slater (Supergirl). Other notable guest stars include Star Trek: Voyager's Robert Picardo; Gina Holden (Blood Ties, Flash Gordon); James Marsters (Buffy/Angel); and Marc McClure (Jimmy Olsen in the Christopher Reeve Superman movies).

The writers also delve a little deeper into Lex's childhood to show that he was once a good soul and that part of that small, good natured boy is still alive and fighting for Lex's soul.

Green Arrow comes back for an episode (Siren) which also introduces DC Comics's The Black Canary, as does Pete Ross (in the episode Hero) who has managed to acquire superhero powers of his own.

The seventh season of Smallville was, like a lot of other US shows, caught in the middle of the writers strike. With that in mind it's a total surprise to see that this season is just as strong, if not stronger, that the rest of the show's history.

Extras include deleted scenes on the majority of episodes; audio commentaries for two episodes; Supergirl: The Last Daughter of Krypton (17 min, 50 sec look at the history of Supergirl from comic strip to the Supergirl movie to Smallville; Jimmy on Jimmy (23 min 16 sec group interview in which four past Jimmy Olsen's meet and chat. The four Jimmy's include Jack Larson ('50s TV series), Marc McClure ('70s/'80s Superman movies), Sam Huntington (2006's Superman Returns) and Aaron Ashmore (Smallville); Smallville Legends: Kara and the Chronicles of Krypton (21 min, 27 sec look at six Supergirl animated shorts); and Smallville Visions comic strip.

One annoying aspect about this box set is the fact that the episodes are simply referred to by numbers on the DVD menus. It would have been handy to have those to hand as they are not listed on the episodes either.

Two other things really stuck out too for me this season. Firstly, having introduced Kara this season, the writers spend a good deal of time getting rid of her so that she's not in every episode. So, we get her arguing with Clark and vanishing for a while; losing her memory and disappearing for several episodes; and then disappearing off into space when she is practically kidnapped by a villain. The second element that stuck out was the fact that this year's costume department obviously managed to bag a truckload of satin material on the cheap. Just about every episode has Chloe or Lois wearing a new bright satin top.

With a proposal of marriage and a death of one of the show's regular characters, this season will have you on the edge of your seat. And as Lex starts to remember things about his childhood, he realises that his father has been protecting an alien traveller for decades - well before the meteor shower. As he digs deeper he gets ever closer to discovering an artefact that will help him control the traveller... whoever that might be.

An explosive, action packed season from start to finish.


Pete Boomer

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