I have always seen myself as a huge Smallville fan and I get the bulk of my information from the web and from the Official Companion books. You would be amazed at the information sandwiched between the pages of it. There are in depth analysis of each episode, character development and looks at behind the scenes and those that help make the show what it is: great. By having these things to show us what the show is like, we see the people as being real people who enjoy their jobs.
The very beginning of the book we have an introduction by Laura Vandervoort who we know played Kara, Clark’s cousin. She talks about how Tom helped her with her scenes and loved when they were learning about Kara’s powers and they threw watermelon pulp all over Tom and Laura had to stifle a laugh. I thought it was sweet that they wrapped up Kara’s bracelet and gave it to Laura to take with her. Even though we know it will not be her last episodes, Laura will take her experience with her always.
There are pages upon pages of detailed information about each and every episode. You get to see why they came up with each one, what they were thinking and my favorite, what song was in each episode. They have comments from the writers, the directors, designers and the cast. You get a sense of what Lana was thinking when she left Clark the good bye video, Lionel’s feelings on his transformation, and Lex’s confrontation with Clark. One of the best parts in the section is how they commented on Michael Rosenbaum’s last day of filming. They say he bought everyone sushi and it was like he looked at the camera on his last shot and sad “Goodbye, Smallville” and then he and Tom hugged. It was a sad moment for everyone but beautiful as well.
The companion is not complete unless you have the character analysis. These show how each character has grown and changed over the course of the season. But they also let us see into some of the guest stars like Helen Slater and Michael Cassidy just to name a few. The same thing that rings true in all of the guest stars comments are how it seems like family and that everyone who has been on the show for years is always willing to help you and make you feel like you have been a part of the show from day one. The extra added touch to John Glover’s, Michael Rosenbaum’s, and Kristin Kreuk’s section about their departure was nice. I enjoyed reading how Kristin’s good bye to Clark was filmed by James Marshall’s assistant. He actually went to Thailand to film her and it came off beautifully. It is nice to hear these people talks so wonderful about each other after all these years.
I like that they give a section to the crew. It was cool to learn that Kara’s bracelet was not something that they planned on from the start. But something Aleya Naiman, the property manager, had to design along with fake newspaper, comics, and jewelry for the Veritas keys. The costume designers enjoyed being able to do some new things with Kara’s clothes and Grant’s suits along with Bizarro Clark’s clothes which went away from the traditional red and blue to black and purple. And of course, we had the switch of the executive producers from Al Gough and Miles Millar to Brian Peterson, Kelly Souders, Todd Slavkin, and Darren Swimmer. They felt like they had been taught well and could take up the reigns where their teachers had left off.
The end wraps up with a section on the Smallville phenomenon and how it keeps growing by leaps and bounds. Michael Cassidy got to experience this by being at the comic-con in San Diego this year. Then we had a farewell from the creators, Al and Miles, saying that they thanked everyone for all their hard work and they really appreciated all the fans. Nothing made Al realize the impact of Smallville more than hearing 3000 French fans singing “Save Me.” They had done all they set out to do and now leave it up to the new writers. The companion would not be done unless it ended with some last minute thoughts from Chloe. It was lessons that she had learned. Really it was a recap of the last season.
I can’t do a review without being critical. Although there are pictures in here it is not any that we have not seen before. It would have been nice to get some nice behind the scene shots rather than the usual screen caps and press photos. In their defense, they may not have been made available to them. Also in the character analysis, every actor or actress speak for themselves except Tom and Kristin. Kristin actually only contributes something on one occasion. Tom never adds anything, other than what people say about him, which is always nice. It would have been nice to hear what he had to say. And they made an error. That said that Lois did not react to the Grant being murdered thing because she did not know. Yes she did. It was in the Daily Planet and on the news. Unless, Lois does not read the paper or watch TV, she knew.
On the whole, this is a must have for a Smallville fan. It is chocked full of all sorts of information. There is tons of trivia, lots of little insights, and a good look at each character. If you love Smallville, you need to buy this book. And if you don’t have Season 1 through 6, you need those too. How else will you become the ultimate Smallville fan, like me!
As a guide to being a true fan: 100%