If you are a Smallville fan and only watch the TV show, you are getting only half the story. This 160-page authorized companion tells you the other half.
The book opens with a foreword by scriptwriters Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. This is followed by Genesis, an eight-page account of the creation of the series. It reveals how the idea of Smallville first came about and describes in detail the long journey of the cast and crew to getting the show on to our TV screens.
The next section is the meat of the book. Four pages are dedicated to every episode of Season One (except for the sensational season finale, Tempest, which warrants a more in-depth look over 10 pages). You'll find not only summaries but also behind-the-scenes look at every episode with interviews with those involved. And there's more: for every episode there are quotes, Did You Know? snippets, a soundtrack listing, excerpts from the Smallville Ledger and/or Smallville Torch, and the writers, directors, and guest stars are fully acknowledged. Add a generous helping of photos and you get absolutely everything to satisfy any fan's curiousity.
Next are the character profiles. All the show's mainstays are analyzed, with revealing insights from the actors that play them. Then we are introduced to the people behind the cameras, the crew, and last but not least there is a chapter called The Phenomenon offering explanations why Smallville, considered as a "calculated fluke" when conceptualized, has become and continues to be such a global hit.
The centre pages provide glossy and full colour photographs. Unfortunately, the rest of the book is in black and white but this is a minor blemish in an otherwise perfect publication. This is a book that all fans of the show should have alongside their Smallville DVD boxsets. Put simply, what is not covered here is not worth knowing.
Review by Antonio Pineda