John Williams

8 Episodes of Smallville…

I just recently finished watching the entire Smallville series for the very first time. I did not have The WB in my dorm room during the first two years of college, and this was back in the old days before Netflix, so it was much harder to catch up between seasons. These were also my pre-TV-nerd days, and I was just getting into Buffy, which was my first sci-fi show, so Smallville was not high on my list of priorities at the time. However, I have since wanted to watch it but could not find it streaming anywhere. I eventually had to suck it up and pay for the individual seasons. It took me about four months to get through all ten, and these are my favorite episodes in chronological order.

1. Pilot
The series begins with the meteor shower in Smallville, Kansas that brings Kal-El to Earth, and into the lives of Martha and Jonathan Kent. Then it jumps forward to Clark Kent in high school. He is dealing with his superpowers and learning, for the first time, that he is from another planet. I love this episode because it introduces all of the main characters, explains their relationships to each other, and sets the tone of the show. As someone who knows the Superman-basics, but has never read the comics, I could easily navigate this world.

2. Red
After putting on his class ring, Clark’s attitude begins to change. He starts talking back to teachers and his parents, he openly uses his powers, and declares his love for Lana. Chloe discovers that their rings are made from red kryptonite, and Pete figures out that it must be what is affecting Clark’s behavior. Pete, Martha and Jonathan must figure out a way to destroy the ring before Clark reveals his secret to the world. I do enjoy bumbling, goofy Clark, but confident Clark is much sexier…even though he sometimes gets himself into trouble.

3. Mortal
Jor-El has stripped Clark of his powers. He and Lana are dating, and he is enjoying his “human” life. However, when Martha and Jonathan are taken hostage in their own home, Clark must figure out how to save them. Even though you know he is eventually going to get his powers back, it is nice to see Clark and Lana happy for once.

4. Reckoning
In the 100th episode of the series, Clark finally takes Lana to the Fortress of Solitude and tells her his secret before proposing to her. Hours later, she gets into a car accident and dies. Desperate to undo it, Clark asks Jor-El for help. Clark gets to relive the entire day, but Jor-El warns him that there could be consequences and soon finds out what those consequences are. I would not actually say that this is one of my *favorite* episodes to watch, because it made me cry a lot, but it is one of the series’ best.


8 Composers…

Television scores set the tone of a show. They should be unobtrusive while also enhancing each scene. Many of these guys are actually more well-known for their movie soundtracks, but they have also composed some of my favorite music for television.

1. Bear McCreary
Battlestar Gallactica, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Eureka, DaVinci’s Demons, Defiance, Constantine, Black Sails, The Walking Dead, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Outlander
This clip explains how he created a very cool piece of music for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in season two that syncs with the actor’s performance:

2. W.G. Snuffy Walden
Thirtysomething, The Wonder Years, My So-Called Life, Roseanne, Sports Night, Once and Again, Felicity, The West Wing, Men of a Certain Age, Friday Night Lights, Nashville, Aquarius
This list does not come close to all the shows he has worked on, but I tried to pick out the titles that were most well-known. This is the opening theme to Friday Night Lights:

3. Christophe Beck
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, The Practice
A selection from season two of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

4. Michael Kamen
From the Earth to the Moon, Band of Brothers
The opening theme to From the Earth to the Moon (which gives me chills every time):