Thursday, September 27, 2007

"Smallville" Season 7 Secrets

Before I forget, Smallville returns to Channel 10 this Saturday evening, after the AFL Grand Final! A pity that I won't get to watch it or tape it though, since my recorder would have been running for about eight hours straight, taping the Grand Final coverage, and it's pretty unlikely that we'll be at home since we're most likely going to be back in Geelong to watch the GF.

The last time they showed Smallville on TV before just taking it off air without warning, we had just been introduced to Oliver Queen. I heard that he was going to start up some sort of League in the series and I can't wait until he tries recruiting Clark and see what other potential Leaguers are going to appear in the show.

Anyway, the series is still going strong in America, with Season 7 about to start. We've already been given a sneak peek at the uber sexy Supergirl. Still no sign of when Bruce Wayne makes his appearance in the series though.

Executive producer Alfred Gough talks about Supergirl’s arrival, Lana’s fate and whether we’ll see the Justice League again

By Karl Cramer

Posted September 26, 2007 3:45 PM

The Season 6 finale of “Smallville” saw Clark facing down his twisted twin in the form of Bizarro and Lana seemingly dead, apparently at the hands of estranged husband Lex Luthor. Ahead of tomorrow’s premiere episode of Season 7, which sees the arrival of Clark’s Kryptonian cousin Supergirl (Laura Vandervoort), we caught up with “Smallville” co-creator and executive producer Alfred Gough, who talked about the possible return of the Justice League and revealed why “Smallville” should end with Season 8.

WIZARD: Congratulations on reaching Season 7. It’s hard to believe it’s been on for over six years.

GOUGH: It is hard to believe. [Laughs]

There were multiple cliffhangers in the Season 6 finale, so it’s hard to know where to start. The final scene was Clark Bizarro. Will he be just in the season premiere or will he be a recurring character?

GOUGH: He will not be a one-time villain. He will be a recurring menace on the show. He’ll appear to be vanquished in the season opener, but he’s not out of the picture.

The other big cliffhanger was Lana’s car exploding. But moments before a car crossed her path. Did someone snatch her?

GOUGH: I can’t give you any hint at all on that one. For all we know, she could’ve been blown up and that was all a ruse.

Fans loved the “Justice” episode. Will we see the team again?

GOUGH: You’ll most likely see certain members of the Justice League. I doubt we’ll get them all together again. The plan would also be to try to introduce one or two new characters as well at some point in the season.

Wow. Can you say who?

GOUGH: I can’t. We’re still negotiating with DC.

I had to try.

GOUGH: [Laughs]

Before I abandon the topic of cliffhangers, is Cloe dead? It looked like her power was to exchange her life for Lois’.

GOUGH: [Laughs] That’s another one I can’t really reveal or it will ruin the fun.

Is Lex’s super-soldier program going to be the big storyline for Season 7?

GOUGH: That actually won’t be. It got blown up with the dam. All that got revealed to people he didn’t want it revealed to. Lex is in a lot of hot water when we see him in the beginning of the season. He’s suspect no. 1 in Lana’s death. And then also the super-soldier program, now that it’s been exposed, he’s got a lot to answer for. This season I think he took a real big step towards the dark side—if he didn’t already cross that line. [Laughs]

Is this Michael Rosenbaum’s final season?

GOUGH: It’s his last season contractually. Our hope is that the show will go to an eighth season—which, by the way, would be the last for the series. The plan would also be to have Michael back, if not for all, then part of those episodes. These are early days in terms of those discussions. The plan is to go to eight seasons and the plan would be to have Michael.

You have a definite ending in sight for “Smallville”?

GOUGH: That would be Season 8. I think we got two seasons’ worth. Look, if we premiere and the numbers aren’t great and the network calls in December and says you have to wrap this up, we could. It wouldn’t be ideal, but we could. The plan would be to go to eight seasons.

If that happens, any chance of a “Smallville” movie in the future?

GOUGH: You know, we’re always open to that. I don’t know if that’s something that Warners would want to pursue given that they have the Superman movies now—at least one, and talk of a sequel. That’s something that we’re always open to.

Could you tell us about Supergirl?

GOUGH: Kara is her name. She’s 19. And she’s Clark’s cousin from Krypton. She arrived at the same time as Clark did but her ship was stuck under the Smallville reservoir. When the dam burst at the end of the season it sort of brought it up. She’s been in suspended animation. She thinks she’s looking for a baby—baby Kal-El. Then realizes her cousin is 21 and older than her, so she sort of has to adjust to that. Then Clark, in sort of a reversal, has to sort of mentor her in the ways of the world and how things work and keeping her powers hidden. She’s a 19-year-old girl on information overload and isn’t the sort of beautiful child that Clark was. [Laughs] For Clark, he has some real flesh-and-blood family that he never had to contend with. This puts him in the position of being a mentor rather then the child being taught by the parents, the Kents.

And she’s an alien, brought up in a completely different culture.

GOUGH: She’s completely new. But what she brings to Clark is that since she was a teenager on Krypton, she brings a history, a sort of family history, that he has never known. So she can tell him about a planet that he never saw. It’ll be a really rich character storyline for both Kara and Clark.

He’ll have to teach her about the powers too. Does she have the same powers?

GOUGH: Yeah. She’s actually a little more advanced. She can fly—which obviously adds to Clark’s problems since he can’t. [Laughs] She can fly because girls mature faster than boys. She has all of Clark’s other powers, some of which she doesn’t know she has. Clark will have to teach her what they are, the super-hearing and all those things.

And Martha Kent’s gone to Washington to be a senator, right?

GOUGH: Yeah. Now it’s basically just him and Kara on the farm. Martha’s off in Washington now. Season 6 was the last of Annette’s contract. She may pop every now and again. But it’s really about Clark as a young man on his own and now he has to deal with this cousin.

Who does he lean on for that guidance now that his parents are gone?

GOUGH: He still has Jor-El in a certain form. Especially with Kara. He has John Jones. And still Lionel to a degree as well.

In classic DC continuity, Clark met heroes from the future, the Legion of Super-Heroes. And in modern continuity, Supergirl went to the future with them. Any chance the Legion will go back in time for an appearance?

GOUGH: I don’t know. She may have some interaction with the Justice League people, but I don’t know if we’ll bring some people back from the future. We don’t have any plans at the moment. I never say never. At this point, I don’t we’ve figured out a way to make that concept fly in our universe.

Pun intended?

GOUGH: Yes, exactly.

Fans loved your take on Green Arrow. Will Ollie come back?

GOUGH: He will show up, probably at some point in the middle of the season.

To cause jealousy with Clark? Will he and Lois ever start admitting they like each other?

GOUGH: Probably not. They care about each other in their own way. If you think about it still at the end of the series, there’s an amount of time he goes off for his training and comes back. You can’t really push that relationship too far.

Why should viewers tune in this season?

GOUGH: It’s still the story of Clark Kent in the years before he became Superman. This year offers a lot of reversals both for Clark and the other characters. New characters, in form of Supergirl, who is going to come and sort of like a hand grenade and blow things apart. Kind of mix everything up. I think that Clark’s journey is still very intriguing. As we get closer and closer to the actual DC mythology, I think longtime fans will definitely be rewarded as more of those comic influences come into the show.

And Kara makes a good jumping-on point for new viewers since things can be explained to them as they’re explained to her.

GOUGH: Exactly. New fans can definitely jump on with her. She’ll sort of be our new window into the series. We’ve got to explain all of that to her. She doesn’t know what kryptonite is. Kryptonite’s something because the planet blew up. People on Krypton didn’t know what kryptonite is because it didn’t exist. [Laughs] All those various things need to be explained. What I find interesting is when people come to me and say they watched the show, a lot of them have gotten hooked on the DVDs and sort of caught up with them and then start watching the show on network, which is interesting. Because a lot of times all of that stuff is so fresh, they know a lot more of the mythology than you think.

And for you that was years ago.

GOUGH: Yeah, because they’ll come up and ask questions and I’ll say, “What season was that?” I think that’s fascinating. For long-running series that have serialized elements, like ours does, we’ve gotten more serialized the longer we’re on. That’s the nature of it. That’s been the blessing of DVD—that fans can catch up and not be lost, then tune in and enjoy the new episodes.

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