List Of Adventures Of Superman Episodes
This is a list of Adventures of Superman episodes. Much of the Superman "formula", in all forms of its media presentations, involves Superman rescuing someone, either one of his colleagues or another person or persons. In those cases, success is largely a matter of Superman simply "getting there on time" to save the day. Some of the strongest episodes in the series tend to be the ones where Superman himself is in peril, either due to exposure to the presence of kryptonite, external forces, or from some other daunting challenge.
Several episodes raise the threat of exposing Superman's secret identity as Clark Kent. The only humans to know for sure, other than Clark's adoptive mother, are a few villains in some episodes, whose discovery leads them to their deaths before they can tell anyone else. Two animals, a dog named Corky and a burro named Carmelita, also know Kent and Superman are one and the same. The only other entity to know, apparently, is a computer.
Beginning with season three the series began to take on the lighthearted, whimsical tone of the Superman comic books of the 1950s. The villains were often caricatured, Runyonesque gangsters, played with tongue in cheek. Violence on the show was toned down further. The only gunfire that occurred was aimed at Superman, and of course the bullets bounced off. Superman was less likely to engage in fisticuffs with the villains. On occasions when Superman did use physical force, he would take crooks out in a single karate-style chop or, if he happened to have two criminals in hand, banging their heads together. More often than not, the villains were likely to knock themselves out fleeing Superman. Now very popular to viewers, Jimmy Olsen was now being played as the show's comic foil to Superman. Many of the plots featured him and Lois Lane being captured, only to be rescued at the last minute by Superman.
Scripts for the last season did not hit the campy lows of the previous two years and reestablished a bit of the seriousness of the show, often with science fiction elements like a Kryptonite-powered robot (a left-over prop from "The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters"), atomic explosions, and impregnable metal cubes. In one of the last episodes, "The Perils of Superman" (a takeoff on The Perils of Pauline), there was indeed deadly peril straight out of the movie serials: Lois gagged and tied to a set of railroad tracks with a speeding train bearing down on her, Perry White nearly sawed in half while tied to a log, Jimmy in a runaway car headed for a cliff, and Clark Kent immersed in a vat of acid. This was one of three episodes directed by George Reeves himself, in an attempt to inject some new life into the series. Noel Neill's hair was dyed a bright red for this season, though the color change was not apparent in the initial black-and-white broadcasts. Although Reeves's efforts did not save the series from cancellation. "Perils of Superman" is regarded as one of the best episodes.
The numbering scheme in the following list is derived from the purely consecutive numbering used in Superman: Serial to Cereal.
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“My list of things I never pictured myself saying when I pictured myself as a parent has grown over the years.”
—Polly Berrien Berends (20th century)
“Twenty or thirty years ago, in the army, we had a lot of obscure adventures, and years later we tell them at parties, and suddenly we realize that those two very difficult years of our lives have become lumped together into a few episodes that have lodged in our memory in a standardized form, and are always told in a standardized way, in the same words. But in fact that lump of memories has nothing whatsoever to do with our experience of those two years in the army and what it has made of us.”
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“The superman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the superman is to be the meaning of the earth! I beseech you, my brothers, be true to the earth, and do not believe those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes! They are poisoners, whether they know it or not.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900)
“I have a vast deal to say, and shall give all this morning to my pen. As to my plan of writing every evening the adventures of the day, I find it impracticable; for the diversions here are so very late, that if I begin my letters after them, I could not go to bed at all.”
—Frances Burney (17521840)
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—Daniel J. Boorstin (b. 1914)