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Episode 101: Pilot

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Lois & Clark:
The New Adventures of Superman
Season 1, Episode 1 & 2
101-pilot
Air date September 12, 1993
Written by Deborah Joy LeVine
Directed by Robert Butler
Episode Guide
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Strange Visitor
(From Another Planet)

Clark Kent arrives in Metropolis and lands a job at the Daily Planet. He meets Lois Lane, a fellow reporter at the Daily Planet. His parents help him create an alter-ego, Superman, as a disguise when he fights crime. As Superman, he stops Lex Luthor from destroying the space station, Prometheus.

Summary

Part One

The episode opens after Clark Kent has traveled to Metropolis to fulfill his dream of writing for the Daily Planet. An out of control bus charges down the main street with no brakes, but as the coach nears, Clark runs in front of it, holds out his hands and brings it to a stop. Mindful of keeping his powers secret, he quickly slips out of the area before any one else sees, leaving an indented handprint in the metal of the coach's bumper

Clark arrives at the Daily Planet and goes to see Perry White looking for a job. While in the office he meets Lois Lane. Perry tells her to do a story about a theater that will soon be torn down. She refuses, saying that it's not her style and she wants a bigger story to work on. After she leaves his office, Perry looks at Clark's CV. While he notes that Clark has traveled around the world and worked on various newspapers from Borneo to Kashmir, he isn't impressed enough to hire him. Clark graciously accepts the rejection and shakes hands with Perry before leaving. Perry is left holding his hand in pain after Clark's inadvertently strong grasp.

Clark wanders around Metropolis aimlessly and comes across another situation where people are in trouble; this time, workers in the underground sewage system. Clark being Clark, he has to help, and is nearly exposed again. He then comes across a demonstration outside a theater that is about to be torn down; the same theater Perry wanted Lois to do a story on. As the bulldozers start up, Clark uses his X-ray vision to look inside the building, and sees that someone is still inside. He then uses his heat vision to melt the engine of the bulldozer, stopping it in his tracks.

Clark enters the old building where a woman is on stage performing in front of an empty audience. He recognizes her as a well-known stage actress in the distant past, and they talk. Later, at his new and very rundown flat, Clark types up a story on his computer at super fast speeds, causing the keyboard to smoke. Lying down on his bed he tries to get some sleep, but is disturbed by a flickering light. It is at this point he demonstrates his flying abilities by rising up and fixing the light bulb on the ceiling.

The next day Clark returns to the Daily Planet and shows Perry his story. Perry is very impressed and offers him the job. Clark goes to shake his hand but Perry gets out of it, fearing another hand crushing. At this point Lois comes in again demanding to have someone to help her on her latest story. No experienced reporters are available, so Perry suggests Clark. Lois immediately refuses but Perry says it's Clark or no one. She reluctantly accepts, and on their way out of the building she says to Clark, "Don't fall for me, farmboy", but alas, he already has.

Later, after completing their story, Clark leaves the Daily Planet and goes into a side alley he thinks is empty. Just as he rises off the ground, a homeless man asks him for a dollar, and is shocked not only that Clark is flying, but also that he gives the man some money before shooting off into the stars, returning to Smallville, his hometown. In Smallville, he stays with his parents and they share a meal before Clark tells them of his adventures so far in Metropolis. They are pleased and happy for him, but also worried that his secret may come out as there are so many more people there than in Smallville. His mother begins to think of possible ways that Clark could use his powers and remain anonymous. After talking with his parents, Clark leaves back to Metropolis.

The next day Clark arrives at the Daily Planet ready for his next story. After watching the destruction of a space rocket destined to build a new space station for Star Labs on a TV, Lois seems to ask Clark if he wants to attend a high-profile press conference hosted by Lex Luthor, but doesn't fully. Clark knows she is a very independent woman and thinks she does not really want him to come. He declines, saying "I think I'll go to bed early tonight." Lois is shocked he is turning down such an event to go to bed early and pressures him to go. They attend the press conference, hosted by Lex Luthor, and he tells of his plans to build his own space station to replace the one lost with the destruction of the rocket. Everyone hails him a hero for saving the day and the dreams of so many to find cures for all diseases in a zero-gravity environment. Clark immediately takes a dislike to Lex, not only because he thinks he's up to something, but also that Lois seems mesmerized by him. The episode ends on a cliffhanger, with Lex apparently being the subject of a snake attack in his home, but then revealing that it is a hobby of Lex's to have himself challenged now and then, to test his reactions. He laughs and blows smoke from a cigar into the view of the camera, and the episode ends.

Part Two

After seeing the destruction of a space rocket destined to build a new space station for Star Labs on the TV, Lois, Clark and Jimmy, reporters for the Daily Planet, investigate. They uncover a conspiracy to sabotage the entire space program, but are caught by the scientist who is working on the project. She is being paid by Lex Luthor to deliberately destroy any chances of the space shuttles departure, so that he can launch his own space station and have full control.

Lois and Clark have been tied up and left in a warehouse, and a series of dangerous chemicals are about to ignite, causing a massive explosion. Lois, thinking they are about to die, confesses to Clark some deep and heartfelt things about her past. Clark breaks the ropes and at the same moment Jimmy gets to them. They run as they only have seconds left to escape the explosion. As they leave the warehouse, the chemicals ignite and a massive blast rips through the building. Clark, holding onto Lois and Jimmy, flies them quickly out of the explosion's reach and lands in some mud. Lois asks what happened, and he tells them the blast must have blown them into the air.

Clark returns to Smallville to see his parents, and Lois, ever wanting to get the story, decides to infiltrate the second space shuttle and become the first reporter in space. Little does she know that Lex Luthor has planted another bomb on this shuttle to make sure he and he alone has complete control of space.

In Smallvile, worried that Clark's secret may come out, his mother has been thinking of possible ways that Clark could use his powers and remain anonymous. Remembering that he had previously mused "I need some kind of outfit," she has come up with the idea of a costume to wear, so that he could create a secret identity to help people with while still keeping his normal life and job. Clark isn't too sure about the idea. A clever and artistic seamstress, Martha comes up with some unique outfits before they decide on the one he will use. Clark seems to like the new costume, but feels that something is missing from it. At this point Martha gets a piece of cloth that arrived on Earth when Clark was found: the "S" emblem, making the costume complete.

On the shuttle, just minutes before launch, Lois discovers the bomb. She tries to call for help, but no one can hear her, so she cuts some wires in the shuttle to get attention. Mission Control notices her and the news that a bomb is on the shuttle reaches the press. Back in Smallville, Clark and his parents are watching the launch on TV when the news of the bomb breaks, and Lois appears on screen pointing to it on the shuttle.

Clark speeds off to the launch pad, breaks through the concrete walls and into the shuttle with only seconds left on the bombs timer. Lois is stunned to see this man, dressed in tight blue tights and a red cape, and thinks he is some kind of joke. He grabs the bomb, and left with no other option, swallows it. Lois is shocked as the bomb explodes inside him but only a slight burping noise is heard, to which Clark says, "Pardon me." As Lois and this super-powered man leave the shuttle, they are greeted by the astronauts who are thankful to Clark for saving their lives but at the same time sad because the shuttle's engines are damaged and will no longer be able to take off. Their dreams of finding new medical cures in space are postponed. But the man in tights has other ideas, and tell them to prepare for takeoff.

At Mission Control, technicians are recording the data of the failed launch and explained to the press that the shuttle will not be able to launch because of engine damage, and that all hopes for the space station are gone. At that moment a dismayed technician says, "We have lift-off", and they all turn to the screen where the shuttle is rising up from the ground with no smoke or flames.

At the Daily Planet there is chaos as people are running around talking about this man in blue tights who can fly. Perry doesn't believe it for a second saying he hasn't seen a full scale hoax like this for ages. But just as he says this, the windows open and in flies Lois in the arms of the man. He sets her down in the office among the astonished people. As he begins to leave, Lois calls after him, "Where do I find you?", to which he replies, "I'll be around", and leaves through the window. Perry tells everyone to get on and write the story. Sexy gossip columnist Cat Grant asks Lois if she found out what the "S" symbol meant. She says "Super" in a dreamy voice, before coining the name "Superman". Immediately after this, Superman confronts Lex Luthor in his penthouse by telling him he knows the criminal mastermind behind the charming face. Lex initially denies this, but then replies with, "As they say, 'let the games begin,'", signaling the birth of their rivalry.

Cast

Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest starring

Production details

  • K Callan distinguished herself from the other actress audition to play Martha Kent by wearing a pink track suit.
  • Dean Cain was the first person to audition for the role of Clark Kent. He was rejected at first because Deborah Joy LeVine thought he looked too young.
  • There are two versions of the pilot: the two hour version first aired on ABC in 1996 and a two-part version aired later in the year.

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