Adventures of Superman: The Complete Fifth & Sixth Seasons
Review by Zach Demeter "Bird Boy"

Announce Date: 8/16/06
Street Date: 11/14/06
Closed Captioning: Yes
MSRP: $39.98
Packaging Type: Digi-Pack
Subformat: Multi Disc
Media Quantity: 4
Disc Configuration: 1) 9-Dual Layer 2) 9-Dual Layer 3) 9-Dual Layer 4) 9-Dual Layer 5) 9-Dual Layer
Soundtrack Language: English
Run Time: 677
Subtitles: Francais, Espanol
Aspect Ratio: Original Aspect Ratio - 1.33, Standard [4:3 Transfer]
Sound Quality: English: Mono 1.0

Special Features
Superman's Pal: Jimmy Olsen - Jack Larson celebrates his series charactera long with co-star Noel Neill and author/historians Jim Beaver, Gary Grossman, Michael J. Hayde and Jan Hnderson.

Review
Releasing alongside the final season of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman is also the final fifth and sixth seasons of the George Reeveís Adventures of Superman show on a five disc, twenty-six episode collection. In this full color season, Superman deals with bizarre cults, a close cutting barber, Jimmy and Lois being bank robbers and even getting married to a blonde bombshell of a policewoman.

This set is chock full of more classic Reeve's Superman tales, as well as two that are directed by him (ďBrainy BurroĒ and ďThe Perils of SupermanĒ). Thereís a lot of fun to be had in these discs, though donít attempt to take the show too seriously, as there are quite a few goofy plots to be found. Like the Adam West Batman series, George Reeveís Superman has plenty of camp to go around, though itís easier to swallow when it comes from Superman.

Itís hard to deny that any of the casting in Adventures of Superman was awry, as the actors fit their counterparts so perfectly. Noel Neill continues her excellent portrayal of Lois (which carries over from the Kirk Alyn serials, releasing on DVD November 28th), John Hamilton as Perry White and perhaps the most delightful part of the series, Jack Larson as Jimmy Olsen. When considering how popular Jack Larsonís portrayal of Jimmy Olsen was, itís no wonder he gets a lot of screen time in this series, rivaling that of Superman at times.

Between the gold producing scientist in the final episode the series and his jewel smuggling adventure in the first, this set packs plenty of enjoyment in this quintet set.

The DVD
Presented in a slip case, this set packs the five discs on the trays with two dual layer trays and a single layer for the final disc. Packaging is bright and attractive to look at and the menu is easy to navigate.

Video on this set is beautifulóitís the first time Iíve seen a show of this age look so clean and clear. Thereís a bit of compression and soft areas in the video, but aside from that there is hardly anything to complain about on this set in terms of video. Audio is clear and loud for a mono track, though Iím surprised they didnít at least up it to a stereo track, although I guess it isnít entirely needed.

The sole special feature on this release is a retrospective of Jimmy Olsenís character and his progression throughout the series. As I mentioned, heís a prominent fixture in this show and this featurette gives us a good feel about just how popular Jack Larsonís Olsen was. Spawning a comic from his portrayal alone, Larson describes how in just weeks after the show debuted on TV how he was unable to take the bus and subway to work, his want to push away press and spotlight and how happy he was he took the job of Jimmy Olsen. Film historians chime in on this featurette as well as Noel Neill who round out the commentary on Larsonís pinnacle portrayal of the photographer at the Daily Planet.

Overall this set is a bit sparse on special features for a final season, but it is five discs strong and chock full of episodes for everyone to enjoy and in the end, the preservation of the shows themselves is what itís all about.