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Author Topic: What If?  (Read 6177 times)
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llozymandias
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« on: July 07, 2005, 11:50:35 PM »

As i understand it, the series' main weakness was the super-low budget.  That & the fact that the stories were too mundane.  Imagine what the series could have been if they had have had a big (or just good) budget.  Better special effects.   Super-villains like Luthor, instead of street level thugs.
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John Martin, citizen of the omniverse.
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2005, 03:15:52 AM »

I don't think so, the old Superman series was always fun had it had a shoestring budget with no comic book villains that I can remember. The show just needed better writers.
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Klar Ken T5477
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2005, 04:54:42 AM »

Well Beppo, the show had Mort Wesinger as story editor, Whitney Ellsworth in charge and even Perry Mason scribe Jackson Gillis - so good writers they had,  Even Bob Maxwell who had done the radio show for years did the first inital Phyllis Coatesd era years.

They were hamstrung by their sponsor Kellogs who skewered toward more of a kiddie show where the baddies would inveitabley knock themselves out by their own ineptitude.  Also thhose very years the show premiered were those that had the comics industry under the gun thanks to a McCarthy-esque crackpot named Frederic Wertham.

Wonder what Wertham would think o f today's comics? :roll:
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nightwing
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2005, 07:54:31 PM »

I don't think money's the cure to everything.  Some of the best moments in film and television came from people trying to find creative solutions to a lack of funds.  The old Star Trek show, for me, is a good example...after the initial (huge) investment in a bridge set, costumes and some opticals, the budget kept getting smaller and smaller, but in the end some of the best episodes of the series took place on those stock sets, with stock opticals and only one or two guest stars (if any!).  

I think "AOS" was similar in many ways...the cast had a terrific rapport and were genuinely likable.  They did a lot with a little.  And don't forget we're talking about the 50s here...it's doubtful any special effects from those days would hold up by today's standards...even "The Twilight Zone" works now because of the scripts much more than the effects (some of which were, at the time, fantastic).

I don't know that we'd have seen a lot of super-villains even if they'd had the money.  The show was aimed at kids (at least after the first year), and like most television it was designed to be simple and easy to follow.  Loading up the series with elements from Superman's complex comic book world might have put people off.  

Could the show have been better?  Sure, but so could any show ever made.  In the end, AOS stands as one of only TWO series from its era that's remained on the air almost without interruption since its first run (the other being I Love Lucy).  The Lone Ranger pops up now and then...if you find the right specialty channel you might see Jack Benny or Burns and Allen...but it's Lucy and Superman who have hung around continuously and become pop culture icons.  I'd say that's a sign they did something right!
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2005, 09:21:36 PM »

Quote from: "Klar Ken T5477"
Well Beppo, the show had Mort Wesinger as story editor, Whitney Ellsworth in charge and even Perry Mason scribe Jackson Gillis - so good writers they had,  Even Bob Maxwell who had done the radio show for years did the first inital Phyllis Coatesd era years.

They were hamstrung by their sponsor Kellogs who skewered toward more of a kiddie show where the baddies would inveitabley knock themselves out by their own ineptitude.  Also thhose very years the show premiered were those that had the comics industry under the gun thanks to a McCarthy-esque crackpot named Frederic Wertham.

Wonder what Wertham would think o f today's comics? :roll:


OOPS, well as you can see my post makes no sense, since somehow I got confuse and thought this thread was about Lois and Clark, LOL. Now go back and read my post again, and now it makes sense Wink

I going to go eat a banana now in shame.
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llozymandias
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2005, 02:57:38 AM »

The effects could have been a lot better.   Consider the Captain Marvel movie serial from the 40s.   From what i read the reason Luthor was not used in AOS was, because it was considered a waste of his character to just have him robbing banks.  Superman was already a pop culture icon since the late-30s/early-40s.  It's just that it would been nice for Superman to have had a series that was worthy of him.
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John Martin, citizen of the omniverse.
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2005, 12:42:06 PM »

Even in the Superman/Action comic books for much of the 1950s (for the first half or so, anyway) super-villains tended to be few and far between, as far as I can make out, with even Luthor only making comparatively rare appearances, at least until late in the period, so I don't think we can blame the producers/writers of The Adventures of Superman too much for their absence.

Most of the villains in the relevant comics of this period were gangsters, as in the TV show, while the few super-villains tended to be either other survivors of Krypton, or mere mortals temporarily freakishly endowed with superpowers - but who were never seen again.
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Klar Ken T5477
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2005, 01:45:59 PM »

Quote from: "llozymandias"
The effects could have been a lot better.   Consider the Captain Marvel movie serial from the 40s.   From what i read the reason Luthor was not used in AOS was, because it was considered a waste of his character to just have him robbing banks.  Superman was already a pop culture icon since the late-30s/early-40s.  It's just that it would been nice for Superman to have had a series that was worthy of him.


I found the Captain Marvel serial SFX by the Lydeckers to be the least effective of their flying effects.  Cap floats reather than flies..for nop notch flying see KING OF THE ROCKETMEN with Tris Coffin(everyone's fave AOS villian) as Larry King, Rocketman. This Republic serial was a big influence on Dave Stevens' Rocketeer.  

They even used "Flying Lydecker" SFX is several sequences in Superman:The Movie esp in the Saving the World sequences.

And the SFX in Lois & Clark are pretty decent anyway - alittle cheesy but more reality oriented than some of the CGI gumby bears flying around these days. Wink
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