December 11, 2006

DVD Review: Adventures of Superman - The Complete Fifth & Sixth Seasons

Here it is, the final episodes of Adventures of Superman. This set comprises the final two seasons and 26 episodes of the original televised incarnation of the Big Blue Boyscout. I reviewed the season 3 and 4 set earlier this year, and at the time, they were the only episodes I had seen of the George Reeves series. Now I have had the opportunity to see a few more. I have to say that the series is a lot of fun.

There is no denying that Adventures of Superman is an old show. There is also no denying that it has its share of aging issues. If you watch it and expect to see something similar to what you watch today, you are sure to be sorely disappointed. But, if you look to see some plain entertaining television with a certain child like innocence, this is definitely a show that you should look into.

It doesn't matter if you begin with one of the first seasons, or these later sets, you will instantly be caught in the grasp of the magic that is Superman. From the nefarious bad guys, to crazy schemes, to sidekicks in peril, all of the old superhero standbys are here. Sure, it may be aimed towards the younger set, but that isn't a good enough reason to stay away.

George Reeves does a great job of embodying the ideals upon which Superman was created. He gives Superman a certain regality, a nobility, always doing the right thing, while at the same time delivering a smart Clark Kent. Joining him is my favorite character of the series, Jimmy Olsen, played by the fantastic Jack Larson. He was a character that anyone can relate to, offering up plenty of laughs and an easy likability. Rounding out the main cast is Noel Neill, ably delivering Lois Lane as a self assured reporter who who was not afraid to go that extra step for a story.

Audio. The sound is presented in Dolnby Digital Mono, it sounds pretty good. It definitely shows its age, but is very listenable.

Video. The image preserves its original full frame ratio. It is OK at best, I did not expect perfection from a 50 year television. There are many noticeable scratches and marks, mostly during the opening and closings, but there are also numerous color dropouts where the density drops off and becomes awfully faded.

Extras. A little thin....
  • Superman's Pal: Jimmy Olsen. This is the lone extra on the set, it runs about 8 minutes. This takes a look at Jack Larson and how he came to be Jimmy and how popular he came to be. It includes interviews with Larson, Noel Neill, and a few historians. It isn't terribly in depth, but it is definitely a good watch.

Bottomline. Well that about does it. All of the seasons are now represented on DVD, and are all worth giving a spin. Whether you are a fan of Big Blue, or like old television, this is worthy addition to any collection.



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