The Daily Smallville 01:01 Pilot


Welcome to an experiment here at The Daily Rios!

My new “Daily” focus for 2021 will be to revisit one of the best (and at times most frustrating) superhero tv shows…. SMALLVILLE!

Smallville had its debut in October of 2001. Leading up to the show’s 20th Anniversary this October, I’ll tackle all ten seasons – one season a month – loosely blogging about each episode with updated notes compiled the last time I did a rewatch ten years ago.

These won’t be deep dives (there are plenty of Smallville fan sites/podcasts out there) instead these will be quick thoughts as I watch similar to the format used for recapping the Titans TV show. What follows will be observations, connections, and larger themes with maybe a few new ideas here and there. Who knows? And no doubt the blog format will evolve over time based on how I want to present the information.

For those that prefer podcasts, I’ll cover each season in four parts every month most likely releasing those episodes on the weekends. They won’t be as detailed as the notes that follow, but I’ll cover the major talking points for anyone watching along.

The “Daily” part of The Daily Rios was always meant to be a mixture of podcasts, blog posts, photo content, etc. and there will be plenty of other familiar podcasts to drop throughout the New Year. In a way, this experiment is going back to the beginning of what I originally envisioned. I just thought this could be a fun project to invest some energy into as well as to share especially with the Smallville 20th Anniversary arriving later this year.



01:01 PILOT

– aired oct.16 2001

– directed by David Nutter who would direct the pilots for Arrow and the Flash, directed many episodes of the Superboy tv show and worked on the infamous Red Wedding episode for Game of Thrones

– opening takes place October 1989. Or 12 years before the show begins. 

– shot of Lionel Luthor with a newspaper that reads “Queen Industries CEO Missing” – interesting considering both the CW Arrowverse but also that Oliver Queen shows up in later seasons.

– Daily Planet established 1887.

– Lionel Luthor speaks the first dialogue of the entire show

– Young Lex is afraid to fly. Notable since his eventual arch enemy is all about flying.

– Lionel: “you have a destiny lex. You’re never gonna get anywhere with your eyes closed.”

– Martha is wishing for a baby. Careful what you wish for.

– Smallville Crows. Odd mascot choice?

– Lana’s aunt clearly has a thing for Jonathan. Is this ever followed up on?

– Lex hearing “Help Me” in the corn field. Foreshadowing of Clark

– the meteor storm is still an awesome sequence all these years later. Spread the kryptonite all over Smallville, adds weight to the arrival of Clark on Earth. Hides his arrival as well. Sets up all three youths: Clark, Lex and Lana as orphans or showing their relationships with surviving parents.

– Lex loses his hair. Just like the comics, you can say a super boy is responsible.

– John Glover’s acting at finding a bald Lex is so good.

– would be interesting to see which origin of Superman is most prominent in the comics at the time of Smallville’s debut. I’m thinking Byrne but Loeb did mess around with the origin a bit as well.

– Martha: “He found us.” So in Smallville, it’s well known that Clark is adopted? Makes me wonder about the comics – for anyone that doesn’t know Clark is an alien, do they still think he’s Ma and Pa Kent’s natural son? Byrne used the Manhunter snow storm to cover the fact that Martha had a child but this version of Kal-El is older when he arrives (like the original movie).

– the camera panning up as the Kents look up in the sky reminds me of the scene later in season four when a very Kryptonian Clark pushes Ma out of the way and flies.

– Clark already investigating “unexplained phenomenon”. Online article about a teen, Scott Higgs, becoming “fastest man alive”. Also, 6 year old Korean boy lifting a car with a photo similar to young Kal lifting Pa’s truck in the first movie

– looks like Clark is reading quickly with his eyes.

– wants to play football. And not go thru high school being a loser. Like a mix of the movie and Byrne’s Superman.

– new Smallville, Kansas sign. Now the Meteor Capital of the World instead of Cream Corn Capital. Also, the population has gone from 25001 in 1989 to 45001.

– At the time of this filming, Tom Welling is 24 playing a teen. Kristin Kreuk is 18. Allison Mack is 19. Sam Jones is 18. Michael Rosenbaum is 29. Wow. 

– Chloe already pushing the notion that Smallville is weird. A little Sunnydale nod?

– they are all freshmen 

– Lana and her kryptonite necklace. Which means Clark can’t get near her. Turning him into the bumbling Clark Kent version for this show.

– Lana: “I didn’t realize you had a dark side Clark.” / “so what are you man or Superman?” She asks. About his Nietzsche book 

– Whitney Fordman. Booooo.

– LuthorCorp as a name makes more sense than LexCorp.

– Clark and Lex “meet cute”. The car crash off the bridge is still a great stunt sequence. Stunt double Steven McMichael said it was painful to do.

– Clark (and Lex) wrapped in a red towel. First Superman imagery?

– already an animosity between Pa and lex. 

– the Smallville Barn! And Clark creeping on Lana with a telescope. Between this and Superman Returns, Clark is a bit of a voyeur.

 – Kryptonite Monster of the Week: Jeremy can wield lightning. Seems like all the villains could be traced back to a Legion of Super-Hero or Villain. Lightning Lad/Lord. DC Animated Livewire dates back to 1997.

– Lex gives Clark a new truck. “Always in your debt”. Mhmmmm. Notice the purple notecard.

– Clark: “I’d give anything to be normal” / Pa: “It’s time son. For the truth” / shows him a metal fragment with Kryptonian symbols. Clark’s an alien – and he doesn’t handle it well.

– Okay so Clark does know that he’s adopted. Talking about his real parents with Pa doesn’t phase Clark at all. Again, is that different from the comics? The movie Clark knows he’s adopted. In the comics, do the various versions of Clark think the Kents are his real parents until they tell him the truth? Or does he know he’s adopted but they just don’t tell him the origins until it’s time. Byrne’s Clark discovers that he’s both adopted and an alien at the same time. Wonder how the other versions are played out?

– Clark standing in front of an angel with wings at a cemetery in front of Lana. Savior. Angel. Fallen angel. Sent from above – the stars. 

– Lana was three when her folks died. So she’s 15 / Lana: “their death isn’t Clark’s fault.” Except that it is in a roundabout way.

– This is the scene where it hits that both are orphans 

– Lana kisses Clark’s cheek. Their first kiss. 

– the Luthor mansion. Used for the X Mansion in the Generation X tv film, X2 and the Last Stand and Deadpool movies. Interior used in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. Queen mansion in Arrow.

– Lex was 9 when he lost his hair at the time of the meteor shower putting him at 21. 

– Lex asks: “do you believe a man can fly”. His heart stopped and he saw Smallville from above. Giving him a new beginning. “We have a future Clark. And I don’t want anything to stand in the way of our friendship”. Interesting way the show plays with the eventual Lex destiny. At this point, he’s doing everything more or less “right”. Or at least, he’s trying to escape his father and what Lionel wants from him. His friendship with Clark could be a good thing for him. But obviously we know how that plays out.

– Lex: “Everybody has secrets Clark”. Yup.

– the Wall of Weird. Which puts the pieces together for Clark about his arrival and that he caused the death of Lana’s parents. 

– Clark is the new scarecrow but the necklace weakens him. Fairly quickly too as he tries to throw a punch at Whitney. 

– Clark meets Jeremy. And then Lex does too. Lex again hears “Help me”. Just like when he was a kid. Lex finds the necklace after it falls. Kryptonite in his hands which probably makes him curious.

– Clark vs Jeremy. Clark’s first act as a secret savior. Buffy had the same role.

– Jeremy: “all the others like us”. He means the bullied, but obviously there are other connections he doesn’t know about.

– Clark believes what happened to Jeremy is his fault – again tying back to the meteor shower.

– Jeremy: “I have a gift. A purpose. And a destiny”. Clark says: “So do I.” ooooooooo.

– Jeremy gets amnesia after his battle with Clark. Gotta keep that secret going – that’ll be a thing to watch.

– ending is typical tv angst. But it worked. I like how it seems like Lana hears Clark.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.