In the second year of the series, Clark finds more and more of his powers manifestingthemselves, most notably heat vision, and a move closer and closer to flight. An archaelogical digreveals more secrets of his origin, and there’s a really big revelation when he encounters areclusive scientist/billionaire played by Christopher Reeve.
One of the more impressive aspects of the series is a real sense awe associated with theSuperman myth. “Myth” doesn’t seem too strong … word to use, either, given how thoroughlyingrained into our popular consciousness the story is. That the show can actually make the veryfamiliar tale feel new and fresh is another major feather in its cap. The combination of highschool soap opera, superheroics and X-Files creepiness continues to be a potent, headybrew.
The audio is 2.0, and one would be surprised to encounter anything else with a TV package.The sound is very active, especially when it comes to the music and its related effects. Saidmusic is very effective in creating the sense of mythic, epic scale in the series, and it is suitablypowerful here. (There is even an echo of the main theme from the Superman movies during theencounter with Reeve.) The surround effects are solid too (crowd scenes in the high school, forexample).
Unlike most TV discs, the aspect ratio is not fullscreen, but 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen.The picture quality is much stronger too, and looks much more like a theatrical release than thefrequent softness and grain associated with so many TV packages. Here the image is sharp, fineblacks, flesh tones and contrasts. the colours are warm and bright. There is only very minorghosting and grain.
The bonus features are much the same as with the first season package. There are twoepisodes with commentaries (“Red” and “Rosetta”, the latter being the Reeve episode). Thetracks with creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (joined by writer Jeph Loeb on “Red”) arestronger and more thoughtful (not to mention self-critical) than the cast commentaries, which arepadded by far too much goofing around.
The featurettes range from 10 to 15 minutes in length. Two are the usual making-of thing,focusing on Reeve or on the FX. “The Chloe Chronicles” has Allison Mack as her ChloeSullivan character take us with her on a video investigation of strange events in Smallville. Thereis one brief deleted scene (without commentary), a gag reel, and DVD-ROM features. All of theextras (except the commentaries) are on Disc 6. The menu’s main screen and intro are animatedand socred.
A strong television series, and the second season package is very much on par with the firstseason, neither stronger nor weaker when it comes to the extras.
Special Features List
- Cast Commentaries for 2 Episodes
- Creator Commentaries for 2 Episodes
- “Christopher Reeve: Man of Steel” Featurette
- “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Visual FX of Smallville” Featurette
- “The Chole Chronicles”
- Deleted Scene
- Gag Reel
- DVD-ROM Features