The New Adventures of Superman – tape 2199

Let’s quickly skip over the end of Big Break, marking that dark period when BBC1 decided that Jim Davidson was a suitable talent for Saturday Evening entertainment.

There’s a trailer for Sunday Night programmes, then we get an episode of The New Adventures of Superman. Although I used to enjoy this show at the time, it all feels a bit soapy and lightweight today. TV Effects weren’t quite good enough to really portray the Man of Steel well enough on a weekly basis, so there’s much less of Superman, and a lot more Clark Kent.

The first episode here is Just Say Noah. Married couples are vanishing, so Lois and Clark pose as a happy couple to investigate.

Lois and Superman

Did it bother anyone else that this version of Superman never had the iconic kiss-curl? I felt that Dean Cain’s slicked-back hair was a bit too Gordon Gecko for my taste.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 16 March 1996 18.15

Following more B*g B***k, and a trailer for Dalziel and Pascoe, the next episode opens whimsically with Dean Cain dressed as Desi Arnaz in a scene filmed like an I Love Lucy episode.

Ricky Ri-Kal-el

And Lois gets in on the act.

Lois as Superwoman

This episode is called Don’t Tug on Superman’s Cape. It features a guest appearance from Commander Riker himself, Jonathan Frakes.

Jonathan Frakes

He even gets a chance to don the tights.

Frakes in tights


BBC Genome: BBC One London, 23 March 1996 18.15

Before the next episode, there’s a trailer for a new series of Confessions with Simon Mayo, and a trailer for programmes on Sunday.

Then we have the episode Ultra Woman. Guest star this week is Cheers’ Shelley Long, who zaps Superman with a ray generated by Red Kryptonite. In fact, Shelley Long’s so important she’s no mere Guest Star – she rates a ‘Special Appearance’ credit.

Superman finds his powers gone, but then realises they’ve been transferred to Lois, who later gets her own costume.

Ultra Woman

But Long’s plan is not complete, and later on she manages to get the powers transferred to her.

Shelley Long gets super powers

At the end of this episode, there’s a big moment, as Clark proposes to Lois.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 30 March 1996 18.15

Before the next episode, trailer for Sunday Programmes, and for the new series of Simon Mayo’s Confessions.

then there’s the episode Chip Off the Old Clark which starts with a tabloid news programme running a story in which a woman announces ‘I Had Superman’s Love Child.’

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 6 April 1996 18.25

After this episode, there’s a trailer for The Clothes Show: Bride of the Year. Plus a trailer for The Vicar of Dibley.

Then, there’s the start of the new series of Simon Mayo’s Confessions. I honestly have no recollection of this programme even existing, despite it being slap bang in the middle of the Saturday schedules, between Superman and Bugs. It’s a charming enough programme – most of the confessions here are harmless enough, and everyone in the studio audience seems to be having a great time.

This episode features an appearance by the great Shaw Taylor, who sadly passed away recently.

Shaw Taylor

Recording stops during this show.



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