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No other show, except 'I Love Lucy', has had a longer shelf life than 'The Adventures of Superman'. Debuting in the Fall of 1952, the show has been a syndication and cable hit ever since. Pretty good investment for a cost of $15,000 an episode!
The first episode of the syndicated Superman TV series "Superman On Earth" is truly exciting sci-fi TV, with props, costumes and music left over from the movie serials of the forties. The origin of Superman is told (lifted directly from the comic books) with the action beginning on the doomed planet Krypton.
There, scientist Jor-el (wearing Flash Gordon's old costume), warns the Science Council that their people are doomed unless rocket ships can be built to transport Krypton's population to Earth. The Council laughs, but the walls come tumbling down as Jor-el and his wife Lara bundle their baby into a rocket prototype and blast him off to Earth - just as quakes disintegrate the planet.
For the producers of 'The Adventures of Superman', it was clear from the start that the Clark Kent character was as important as his Man of Steel alter-ego. Superman himself only appears in the first episode in the last few minutes.
Rather than offering the 'Adventures of Superman' series chonologically, Columbia House mixes up episodes in the collection for greater effect. The first tape release packs a super punch - the afformentioned 'Superman on Earth', 'Panic In The Sky', a suspenseful episode from the second season, and a whimsical color episode from year four, The Wedding of Superman.
'The Adventures of Superman' was one of the first television series ever shot in color (beginning with the third season).
There was a rumor in the Sixties (because local stations were showing worn out syndication prints) that the show wasn't shot in color at all, but used a dye process that similated color. Watching these videos from Columbia House, reproduced from the original masters, there is no doubt - the colors are rich and vivid.
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