Superman on Television
Superboy: Episode Reviews
Season 2 - Episode 5: "Nightmare Island"Reviewed by: Sam J. Rizzo (SBFAN45)
"Now I have enough power to leave this planet, and take you with me!"
Guest Star: Phil Fondacaro as the Alien/Creature.
Andy, Lana, and Clark are washed up on a deserted island after taking Andy's friend's little boat out for the day. What they don't know is that something is watching them from a distance on this deserted island. Clark says to Lana and Andy that hopefully the coast guard received the emergency message he sent them before he dropped the radio in the water. Clark suggests he is going to go look around and see what he can find out. Superboy then flies in to save Andy and Lana, to take them back to the mainland. In the midst of the rescue, Superboy is about to take off with Lana, when suddenly a beam of strange light hits Superboy. The boy of steel stumbles for a moment and then decides to go after whatever that was hiding in the tree line. Superboy begins to take flight in pursuit of the creature, when he suddenly falls to the ground. Lana and Andy help Superboy to his feet, Superboy says to the two in a puzzling manner "I can't fly?" The creature then throws a rock hitting Superboy squarely in the back of the head causing Superboy to bleed. He grabs the back of his neck showing Andy and Lana his blood.
After being drained of his power, Superboy goes on the search for this creature in the hopes of getting his powers back. Andy tags along with Superboy in the search too. The creature sets up traps in the hope of killing both Andy and Superboy. Superboy and Andy are walking in a clearing when Superboy trips a wire that is linked to a bow and arrow that hits Superboy in the hand. Superboy and Andy chase after the thing but to no avail. The two head back to where they left Lana and find out that she has been taken by the creature.
The creature kidnaps Lana and takes her back to his lair. The creature tells Lana that he is an alien that was marooned on this deserted island for over two hundred years and that his mate had died. The alien plans to take Lana back to his home planet now that he has enough power from draining the suited one's (Superboy) powers.
Superboy and Andy manage to find the creature's lair as they are searching the wilderness for Lana. The door to the creature's lair has an electric charge and Superboy unfortunately gets slightly electrocuted. Andy and Superboy manage to get the door open by tying rope to the door and pulling it open. Once inside, the creature has set traps again but Superboy and Andy manage to avoid them. Superboy and Andy make it to the holding wher Lana's cell is. Once the two get inside, the alien starts to fight Superboy in hand to hand combat, while Andy frees Lana from her cell. Superboy picks up the alien and throws him into the prison cell that Lana was previously occupying.
The alien tells the three, that it is customary on his planet that if a soldier loses a battle that he should take his own life. Superboy says, "I don't believe in taking life, but I'll make you a deal if you give me back my full powers. You must leave this planet." The alien is reluctant at first but Superboy assures the creature that once he has his full powers he will be able to get him home. The alien returns Superboy's powers through the laser gun weapon that was used to take his powers in the first place. Superboy, Lana, and Andy stand on the sandy beach with the alien as they are saying their goodbyes. Superboy then picks up the little ships and hurls off into the sky. Giving the alien the much needed push to get back to his home planet.
Andy and Lana question Superboy about the whereabouts of Clark. Superboy says, "He is on the other side of those trees and the Coast Guard too." Clark meets up with Lana and Andy telling him of the adventure he had. But really Clark just makes up some story about almost stepping on a jelly fish and collecting a bunch of sea shells that he shows Lana and Andy in his shoe. Clark asks Lana "So how did you guys make out today?" Lana and Andy look at Clark jokingly with Lana replying, "Not as exciting as your adventures." Andy and Lana walk off towards the coast guard team as they are approaching. Clark dumps out the sea shells from his shoe and runs to catch up with both Andy and Lana.
Rating - 2 (out of 5): This episode was very interesting in that Superboy had to rely on not having his powers in order to survive and rescue Andy and Lana. Very action based episode.
The Alien I thought was played really well by Phil Fondacaro who would go on to appear with other shows of this genre like Sliders and Quantum Leap. Phil's voice as the alien still creeps me out to this day. I also thought it would have been nice to give the alien a name.
In the international cuts of this episode, the scene where Superboy gets the arrow in the hand is edited out.
If you look closely in this episode, Superboy's tunic changes twice in the episode. After Superboy loses his powers, they switch the tunic with John Newton's Superboy suit tunic. At the end of the episode with Superboy regaining his powers they switch back to Gerard's Superboy suit tunic. Just goes to show you how tight the budget was on the series.
I thought the ending of the episode about Superboy addressing his stance on preserving life was a great Superman moment. The issue is addressed in this episode after what happened in the previous show, "Young Dracula," where Superboy flies the old vampire into space, killing him with the Sun's rays. I'm glad the writers went back to this issue and rectified it. Because no matter whom the villain is - a human, alien, or vampire - in these episodes; Superboy is about preserving life at all costs, no matter what.
Next time on Superboy...
"Bizarro...The Thing of Steel".
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