Another unsold DC pilot to look at, the 1961 pilot for The Adventures Of Superboy:
The Adventures of Superboy is a proposed TV series that was put into production in 1961. It was meant to capitalize on the success of Adventures of Superman, which went out of production in 1957. Only a pilot episode (“Rajah’s Ransom”) was produced, although 12 additional scripts were prepared, should the series be picked up.
It featured the first non-comic book portrayals ever of Superboy and Lana Lang and stands as a forerunner of later series Superboy, which lasted four seasons and Smallville, which lasted ten seasons.
Jimmy, Clark Kent and Lana Lang’s friend, is ashamed that his father works as a doorman at the Smallville theater. His opinion changes when Superboy is able to thwart a robbery with Jimmy’s father’s help.
This was one of the first attempts to continue the Superman TV franchise after the death of George Reeves in 1959 and to be perfectly honest, it’s actually not that bad, it’s actually pretty decent for the most part.
Superboy is played in this series by Johnny Rockwell and for the most part, he does a really solid job of brining this character of Superboy to life on the small screen, he’s very charismatic, he’s got a lot of the tropes you’d expect from a young Clark Kent and you really buy his chemistry with Lana Lang and his mother, Martha Kent.
It really is a shame that this never really took off as a series but it wasn’t really the show’s fault, it was more on the production of the show itself, they couldn’t get the budget to sustain a full 13 episode first season because of the changing rules for first-run syndication which would’ve meant this show costing a lot more money to produce and that was really why the show was never picked up.
And it’s a shame because honestly, I think this would’ve been a really solid show to fill the hole left by Adventures Of Superman, The Adventures Of Superboy pilot is one of the few DC pilots I’ve watched so far that actually had a lot of potential to work off on, does a show like Smallville fill the void? Yeah, but it still would’ve been interesting to see what a 60s style Smallville show would be like and this one definitely fits that bill nicely.
Certainly was a lot better than the other Superman pilot made around this time…and what better way to end DC-Ember next than with something that’s just…wow, is it a bad one…what is it? Tomorrow, folks, that’s when you’ll find out…