Season 1 of Superman’s (Tim Daly) adventures comes to a close this week with Two’s a Crowd which sees the return of Rudy aka Parasite (Brion James). This episode aired 15 February, 1997, and sees Brian Cox joining the already stellar cast, that sees Joanna Cassidy returning as Maggie Sawyer.
When a criminal mastermind, Dr. Earl Garver (Cox) is left comatose, the powers that be decide to use Parasite to assimilate Garver’s memories and learn when the doctor-gone-bad has hidden a weapon of mass destruction.
Things definitely don’t go as well as planned, and Superman has to face off against the villain, and find the bomb before it’s too late.
Garver’s own ego is so powerful that it overwhelms Parasite’s and the two come up with a plan for the Parasite to keep the powers he steals, and they effect an escape that will cause Superman all manner of problems. Once they find the bomb.
Will Superman be able to convince Rudy to fight Garver for control of his Parasite form, and save the day, or will Garver become an even bigger threat to Superman than the original Parasite was?
This one I liked, it’s fast-paced, there’s a time factor involved, and by continuing to use the most amazing voice casts, the story has a real kick to it.
Season 2 got underway on 8 September, 1997 with Blasts From the Past: Part I, Part II aired the following day on the 9th. It also introduces some familiar concepts that weren’t touched on in the first season, the Phantom Zone.
Supes finds a Phantom Zone projector aboard his ship, and through it communicates with a prisoner, Mala (Leslie Easterbrook) who’s sentence is up, and she is due for release.
They learn how the machine works rather by accident, when Professor Hamilton (Victor Brandt) lets one of the imprisoned beings, free.
He travels to his Fortress of Solitude, now filled with the animals of The Preserver’s ship, to learn about Mala, consulting Braniac’s (Corey Burton) data banks to learn about her, and her general, Jax-Ur (Ron Pearlman). He sees their attempt at a coup on the planet Krypton, only to be foiled by Jor-El’s handiwork and sent to the Phantom Zone.
Supes frees Mala, but she remains loyal to Jax-Ur, and when she begins to gain her powers, she dreams of conquering this new world, a world that she believes Superman rules.
When Mala almost kills Lois (Dana Delaney) Superman begins to realise how dangerous and power-hungry the Kryptonian is. She distracts Superman with some mass destruction and while he’s cleaning up, she releases Jax-Ur.
Superman has to face off against not one fellow super-powered Kryptonian, but two!
While Jax-Ur and Mala wander Earth, surveying their new, would-be, kingdom, Superman and Hamilton try to construct a Phantom Zone projector to send them back to the inter-dimensional prison.
There are some familiar moments as the duo take on the caped hero but there’s a bit of surprise when Superman is actually transported to the Phantom Zone.
Happily, Hamilton has a plan to save Superman, and the good guys may save the day (after some final fisticuffs)!
And as a very cool aside, Ron Glass lends his voice to a newscaster in this episode.
More next time as we travel up, up and away!