Superman TV Series

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by William F, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. William F

    William F Auditioning

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    I remember seeing all of these when I was a kid. Later when they were renewed,and color tv's were around,I never realized they shot the later episodes in color. Watching the dvd sets, I wonder why they shot the later episodes in color if everyone had black&white sets? As a kid in the early fifty's there were b&w tv's. Just seems odd they were shot in color.
     
  2. Bryan Krantz

    Bryan Krantz Stunt Coordinator

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    I suspect that it has something to do with trying to sell the American public on the expensive new color television technology. Some shows continued in black and white for years after color television was introduced. If you built your color tv and there was no programming would anyone buy it?
     
  3. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    I suspect that "The Adventures of Superman" also made the switch to color as a way to extend its life in syndication after the initial run. Filming television series in color actually dates back to 1950 when ZIV Television produced the series "The Cisco Kid" entirely in color. Ziv's gamble paid off as "the Cisco Kid" was rerun on local stations well into the 1960s.
     
  4. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Bob Hug is absolutely correct in his analysis. In fact, one of the featurettes of the S3/S4 DVD makes this very point. (I would just add that Cisco went into the 70s as well as that's when I remember watching them. MPI has released over half of this series.)

    It's amazing that 51 years later the colors on these Superman episodes look so vibrant and powerful. I'd gotten used to those faded syndication prints that it's really a revelation to see the clarity offered by these episodes.
     
  5. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Actually, make that the '80s, as I remember seeing promos for The Cisco Kid on the CBN cable channel in the mid-'80s.
     
  6. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    A question for those who've picked up the S3-4 release: just how much of a drop off in quality are we witnessing here when comparisons are drawn between the more taut/serious plot lines seen in S1 (especially) and S2? On Amazon a reviewer or two expressed some surprise that the show had not de-evolved so readily into kiddie entertainment as he was led to believe. I realize that AOS S3 is no match for S1 in terms of grittiness but is the "lightness" of the show really so readily apparant? Sam's has this set for $22.00 so I'm now on the fence on this release.
     
  7. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Michael, I haven't yet picked up seasons 3/4 so I can't comment . . . I just picked up season 2 recently and am making my way through it (slowly, I have about a half dozen different sets currently in the rotation these days).

    A side note for the bargain hunters out there . . . Wal-Mart brick & mortar stores currently have season 1 for under $15.00.
     
  8. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    I belive it was the last 2 or 3 years that were color? Why isnt it on tv somewhere?
     
  9. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    Yes, I'm getting a bit bogged down with about a half dozen or so sets in rotation as well: NC sets 2 and 3, TT vol. 2, BV S1, Rifleman set 5 and OL-63 S2--not complaining though!
     
  10. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    Ben Affleck plays 50's ill-fated sumperman star George Reeves. Man,if they play up the BS that he killed himself because of wanting to be SM or because he wasnt playing it anymore i'll protest.
     
  11. seanOhara

    seanOhara Supporting Actor

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    Based on the one trailer I've seen, it looks like they're going with the idea that he was murdered and set up to look like a suicide.
     
  12. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    FYI, one could easily tell even with only a black-and-white display which seasons were shot in color: Look at Superman's costume. On the black-and-white episodes, his costume looks distinct with the shorts/boots/cape clearly darker and the tights much lighter. In the color episodes, it tends to muddy up. Reason being: The costume Reeves wore in the black-and-white episodes was itself black and white. This was so the costume would photograph well (same with Kirk Allen's Superman costume in the fifteen-chapter serial of 1948).
     
  13. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    Actually the original suit was 'chocolate' brown and gray.
     
  14. John*D

    John*D Second Unit

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    That "Look up in the sky..." doc said the reason it was shot in colar in the later seasons was because they had a bigger budget, if I remember correctly.
     
  15. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    In my opinion (and I've watched the entire S3/S4) set the episodes are still very enjoyable. Yes, the violence is toned down and the show became geared more for younger audiences, but the actors seem to be having a good time through it all and the "fun quotient" of these episodes is still very high.

    Plus, these episodes look great which adds to the pleasure.
     
    Gary16 likes this.
  16. William F

    William F Auditioning

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    How about The Immortal,with Christopher George? That was a great show.
    Thanks for the feedback why it was shot in color.
     
  17. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    I don't think the series is that much different in the color episodes. There are still some suspenseful episodes...... I liked Great Caesar's Ghost. And one of the best episodes of the entire series, The Wedding of Superman, is on this set. The color is very lush, almost Technicolor like.
     
  18. Seymour Uranowitz

    Seymour Uranowitz Stunt Coordinator

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    The color episodes vary greatly in their "kiddie-entertainment" quotient. Episodes like Blackmail, The Talking Clue and Clark Kent, Outlaw are definitely for adults. But episodes like Topsy Turvy, Joey, The Bully of Dry Gulch, and The Stolen Elephant are definitely geared toward the after-school crowd.
     
  19. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    I think the general slide in quality was gradual, so the bulk of the "bad" episodes are probably going to be in the season 5-6 box.


    No, I think the real reason was to extend its life in syndication, as the producers knew color TV was coming. If the budget were bigger, then I can't see why they'd have chopped the number of episodes in half. More likely, the budget was either the same (or less) and to bring the show in under budget, they had to cut the number of episodes in half.

    When Doctor Who switched to color, part of the reason the seasons were reduced to 25 shows a year was the increased cost of color production.
     
  20. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    Thanks to all who responded about the quality of S3/4. I purchased the set and am very pleased with the transfer, special features and the episodes themselves. Another great packaging job by Warners as well!
     

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