Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Adventures of Superman: the early radio years

The last month or so, I have gone back and started re-listening to the Adventures of Superman.

There is a dark, stark difference in the first couple of years of the series and the other years.  The beginning of the series is very serious.  The two obvious things that are different is the music and the commercials.  That blasted organ and the sugar-hyped commercial spokesman in the later years are at times completely non-existent and what we are left with is a somber and serious play about Clark Kent.

Although, after having said that, Superman seems to be more cartoonish than the later years and not near as strong.  Sometimes it seems as though he cannot see through walls (maybe that came along later in the comics?)   He had a tough time breaking a padlock in an early episode I heard yesterday.  Come on Superman, it's a padlock!

Lois Lane is not the more aggressive figure of the later years, in fact she seems frail at times.  I heard an episode yesterday where she told Clark, "I'm afraid."  That's not the Lois of later years for sure.  (And that's not Joan Alexander playing Lois either in the early days - not sure who it is.)

Julian Noa, who plays Perry White, is very serious.  The hyper reactions to Jimmy Olson are not there.  He is serious and somber -the world is about to end -Perry White.

And to me, this makes the first couple of years of the series as good as anything on radio.  Not that the other years are terrible - they aren't, but there is a major difference in the tone of the series.

©Jimbo 2010/2011

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