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1961: The Adventures of Superboy

 
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    After production ceased on the Adventures of Superman television series, Whitney Ellsworth, who had co-produced the original show, hoped to continue his success with a new follow-up series.  The problem was deciding just what that new series would be.

    The Adventures of Superboy attempted to extend the Superman series with the same spin-off that had worked so well in the comic books.

    To that end, the show was closely patterned after the comic book.  Clark Kent was a high school student who lived with his parents and was friends with a suspicious Lana Lang.  Such later comic book staples as Police Chief Parker, the blinking lamp in the Kent's living room (which alerted Clark Kent that Chief Parker was attempting to contact Superboy via radio transmission), and Superboy's secret laboratory, were all faithfully incorporated into (or possibly introduced by) the series.  One episode, The Box From Krypton, featured Superboy discovering a box, from the destroyed planet Krypton, which contained miscellaneous Kryptonian devices.  One of the devices was a projector that transported him to "Dimension X", an obvious precursor to the Phantom Zone.

    Whitney Ellsworth produced and co-wrote the half-hour pilot episode, which is a heart-warming tale of Superboy foiling some jewel thieves who have targeted Smallville, and restoring a son's faith in his father at the same time.  It stars John Rockwell in the dual role of Superboy and Clark Kent, and the keen-eyed viewer will note that Rockwell wears a uniform very similar to the one worn by George Reeves in the earlier Superman series.

    Ellsworth prepared 12 additional Superboy scripts which remain unfilmed.  Mort Weisinger served as the story editor for all thirteen episodes.  Extensive behind-the-scenes production details and complete plot synopses of all the episodes are available in this book.


John Rockwell as Superboy

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