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Want to know what's coming up on Smallville this season? Me too, so I rang up Darren Swimmer, one of the series' four new exec producers, to inquire about just that. Click in to find out the good stuff he spilled on Clark's (Tom Welling) intergalactic booty call, the developing appeal of being a superhero and just when Kristin Kreuk's Lana will be walking back into Clark's life...
Nice Kid From Krypton Makes Good: This is the season of Clark's Superization. According to Swimmer, "He's going to be seeking out the trouble, as opposed to reacting to trouble when it happens. One of his main motivations for going to the Daily Planet was to be somewhere where the information comes in." Consider D.P. to be his own personal police band radio. "He's going to be much more on patrol than he was ever in his life—and he's really stepping up in a big way to his destiny." And since his destiny and the Daily Planet are over in the big city, "The feel of the show is going to be a lot more Metropolis this year." Don't worry, though, Clark still lives in Smallville as of season eight, and there will be plenty of scenes back in the old home town.
The Old Switcheroo: If you were so inclined, you could probably blame Jimmy Olsen (Aaron Ashmore) for the cape, tights and giant S thing. According to Swimmer, "There's an episode where Jimmy will think he sees something and starts connecting it to Clark, and Clark has to dig himself out of it. That starts Clark thinking that maybe it would be wise to have a secret identity. He starts embracing the idea that there's someone out there saving people. He's not denying that completely anymore, he's just not ready to tell anyone it's him. And that makes this year very exciting for us." No telling yet if there's actually going to be a costume, but the Superman brand is definitely in development...
Clark's Love Life, Lois Edition: According to Swimmer, "Erica Durance and Tom have such a great chemistry on camera together as Lois and Clark. I just love seeing the dailies. They're going to be butting heads a lot, as usual. They'll be teaming up on stories and getting into the typical hijinks together." However, even though Clark reportedly offers Lois her old room at Kent farm, Swimmer tells me they will not be living together—for now.
Clark's Love Life, Lana Edition: Kristin Kreuk will be back, for five episodes total, right in the middle of the season, at what Swimmer calls "at a fairly inopportune time." Like at a moment when Lois and Clark just happen to be making out in a closet? "It won't be that drastic, but you're not that far off." Still, when it comes to the legendary drama that is "Clana," Swimmer said, "Clark is getting past it. He's not mulling over it too much, he's learned his lessons, and it's time for him to move forward, but of course, when Lana shows up in person, that makes things a lot more complicated for him." Women! Can't live with 'em, can't chuck 'em up into the ionosphere. Jeesh.
Clark's Love Life, Intergalactic Booty Call Edition: Lest you fear our boy Clark may be living a monastic existence this season, know that Maxima is on her way. As Swimmer explained it: "Maxima is the intergalactic goddess who needs to mate, and humans just don't fill the bill. The way that we portray her, one of her powers is skill at making herself irresistible to the men who come upon her—and Clark will not be immune to that. There's going to be one episode, but we're hoping to do more than one. Charlotte Sullivan is the actress we cast, and she did a really great job, she's really interesting."
Villains and Troublemakers:
- First off, no Michael Rosenbaum at all this season. I know that's truly awful, but to make it up to you, they are introducing Samuel Witwer as Davis Bloome/Doomsday. Said Swimmer, "Sam is fantastic, he's doing a really great job playing a guy who's sort of the tortured supervillian." (Swimmer also told me there's ongoing discussion about introducing Darksied as well, so hang in there for developments on that.)
- The other antagonist this season is Tess (Cassidy Freeman), a Luthercorp apparatchik. Or should I say apparat-chick? Because as Swimmer explains, late in the season Tess becomes a new contestant in the Clark love derby: "Tess is definitely interested in him—and who wouldn't be?" Swimmer declared himself a big fan of Cassidy herself: "Cassidy Freeman is also doing an incredible job. Nobody could fill Michael Rosenbaum's shoes completely, but she's carrying the mantle as best as I can imagine anybody doing it."
Cousins, Allies and Superfiends:
- As for Clark's allies, Supergirl (Laura Vandervoort) will be back for either episode eight or nine. I asked why she wasn't back full time and Swimmer told me, "Her appearance was great, but the story that we told with her seemed to come to a natural ending point for the time being."
- Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Justin Hartley) will also get the spotlight in an upcoming episode where he is poisoned, and that also gives Clark and Chloe some reason to spend quality time together: "That's an episode that we will find out a lot about Oliver and his past, and Clark and Chloe will work together to save him."
- Last but not least, Swimmer confirmed an appearance by the Legion of Superheroes (not to be confused with the Justice League, although Swimmer also said they would love to have a storyline for Justice Leaguer Wonder Woman on the show). Regarding the Legion: "It's three superheroes, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy and Lightning Lad—although we might not use those names—who come back from the future on a mission from Superman in the future, who sends them back to help make things right."
So...what do you think? Can you do without Rosenbaum? Any feelings about Lana's return? Do you have the perfect plan to finally get Chloe and Clark together? Post in the comments!
—Additional reporting by Jennifer Godwin