Thursday, January 19, 2017

THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN: Superman On Earth

Starring George Reeves, Phyllis Coates, Jack Larson, John Hamilton
Guest Stars:  Herbert Rawlinson, Stuart Randall, Aline Towne, Frances Morris, Danni Sue Nolan
Directed by Tommy Carr
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

As the planet Krypton faces its destruction, the scientist Jor-El sends his infant son in a rocket to Earth, where he grows up to become the super-powered protector of Metropolis.  

This pilot episode for the series doesn't have a particularly high budget, mixing in plenty of stock footage, but still it's a fitting introduction to the Man of Steel, with guest star Robert Rockwell making a fine impression as Superman's father Jor-El.  Most of the Kryptonian council's costumes look like they were recycled from past productions, and one of them exactly resembles the costume from the 1941 serial Adventures Of Captain Marvel, whose character was a rival of the publishers of Superman's comic book adventures at the time.  According to Michael J. Bifulco's book, Superman On Television, this was actually the last episode of the season filmed, but it's a good kickoff to the series, demonstrating its hero's noble upbringing through the selfless sacrifice of his Kryptonian parents, and his tender adoption by the kindly couple who takes him in when he crashes on Earth, accompanied by a soft and gentle melody.

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