Created by: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
Cast: Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Kristin Kreuk, Allison Mack, John Glover, Annette O’Toole, John Schneider, Erica Durance, James Marsters
Synopsis: Starting with a bang, this season starts with both the creation of the Fortress of Solitude, and visiting Kryptonians determined to free one General Zod from the Phantom Zone. After seeing their ship land, Lana becomes obsessed with astronomy and this alien craft, and obsession which draws her closer to Lex. Chloe is now a junior reporter with the Daily Planet, and often plays sidekick to Clark in his various adventures. Once again Lionel’s agenda is a complete mystery, with many acts of good potentially hiding from the world his end game. Early in this season w are also introduced to Milton Fine, whom literally melts into being from the Kryptonian craft.
Smallville remains a consistently strong series from season to season. It rarely deviates from a certain formula, with a large focus on character driven stories. This is what can be both the best and the worse elements of the show. The series really peaks for me at any stage it references the wider Superman story. However, there are certain elements that get a bit repetitive, and as such frustrating. Top of that list is the role that Lana has to play in the show.
Once again, the writers seem to struggle with what to do with the Lana character. Being a character driven show, romance is of course a very valid story-telling device. Yet there is a restriction here in that eventually Lois must be Clark’s partner. It is smart they did not immediately jump on this romance as soon as Erica Durance joined the cast. Her antithesis of Clark does provide some of the wittiest moments. To let the romance blossom early would be unrealistic and beyond credible. Yet it just seems that the formula is for Clark to do something in every episode to hurt Lana’s feelings. It is drawn out it is repetitive, and overall it is not very entertaining. The same “drama” was what made me stop watching Friends, so sick of watching the latest Ross/Rachel debacle. The storyline is redeemed somewhat towards series end, with Lana becoming closer with Lex, but that is another relationship I find less than convincing.
Apart from this though, the season is very strong. James Marsters is awesome as the mysterious Milton Fine, otherwise known as Braniac, a Kryptonian machine determine to see the return of Zod. Being a storyline intimately connected with the familiar stories of the DC Universe, both in comics and the Christopher Reeve movies, this stuff is a lot of fun. An episode also introducing Aquaman is also fun for all the knowing winks that are peppered throughout the story. Most significantly however, this season features the explosive 100th episode of Smallville, the end of which sees a main character meet their demise. This particular story is signposted from early in the season, and it is a significant part of the Superman mythology. As such, the 100th episode is both powerful and emotionally charged. Really, quite brilliant.
So if there is one thing I can say about this season is that it is certainly consistent with the seasons that have preceded it. The elements that have always been frustrating remain consistently frustrating, but more importantly all the elements that have made Smallville so strong and so entertaining also remain firmly in place. Unfortunately for me, this brings me to the end of the season I was able to pick up on sale recently, though rest assured I will find the cash somewhere to keep my collection growing!!
4 stars out of 5
Smallville Season 5 opening credits