Superman on Television

Lois & Clark: Episode Reviews

Lois & Clark

Season 4 - Episode 17: "Faster Than a Speeding Vixen"

Reviewed by: Nathan MacKenzie

Originally Aired: April 12, 1997
Directed by Neil Ahern Jr.
Written by Brad Kern

Guest Cast:
Patrick Cassidy as Leslie Luckaby
Keith Brunsmann as Troll/Mr Smith
Peter Vogt as Bank Chairman
Lori Fetrick as Vixen
Michael Stone as Hitman
Michael Holden as Detective
Barry Wiggins as Cop
Ben McCain as Announcer


A new villain is in town and he is taking down some of the highly regarded CEOs of Metropolis, formally part of the Lex Luthor empire. When the Daily Planet receives a new CEO of their own, will he be safe from the clutches of this new villain? Also, a new super powered being has come to town, is she friend or foe?

3Review Rating - 3 (out of 5): This episode is the start of a series of episodes introducing a new villain to the series. This episode introduces a new character to the series, Patrick Cassidy who plays Leslie Luckaby, the new CEO of the Daily Planet. Now all I will say is look at the initials of his name and I will leave it at that. This episode also introduces a new super powered being to the series known as Vixen. Now, she is not the Vixen we all know from the comic books, the creators of the series have used her name but that's about it.

As I said previously this episode is the start to a three part story arc with the villain called at this point Troll or Mr Smith played by Keith Brunsmann, we will learn his true identity in later episodes. This story arc is the build-up of some minor continuity, the mention of Lex Luthor, the mentioning of Ultra Woman when Vixen is first seen in the episode. There is also pretty much the same superhero speech given from Superman to Vixen as to the way that a superhero behaves and how they go about their duties of being a superhero. Unfortunately, we learn that may just not be the case for Vixen.

I like story arcs in a series, even though I prefer that arc to last at least the season or for at least half of the season. Season One was really good at providing us with an amazing story arc but I think that started to fade as the series went on. The show did show glimpses here and there, but there were too many episodes which really made no sense to the season or the series in between the story arcs. I like how this episode started this new story arc. We are introduced to a new villain, a new character and a new superhero and right at the end of the episode we learn that they all come together in some way. I also like how the series started to deal with Lois and Clark having children, but there was one scene in this episode that they could have just left out altogether. That scene was Lois' dream sequence scene into the future of being a mother of the Man of Steel's children and still being a busy and professional journalist with her trying to interview the Queen and the Pope. The scene showcased all of the children that Lois and Clark have, with their names being Lois, Clark, Perry, Jimmy, Martha, Jonathan, Ellen, Sam, Lana and Lucy and all of the babies were baby dolls. Now I thought it was funny how this scene was showcased but it showed that in some parts that this show was on a small budget.

That leads me into my next rant, flying scenes. I was not a real fan of the cape that was used early in Season One; I didn't like how it sat on Dean Cain's shoulders. Why did I bring this up you ask, there is a scene in this episode where they use footage from Season One, then edit it to another shot which shows wire holding onto Dean Cain in this flying sequence. I love how they shot these scenes back in the 90s considering there was little to no CGI, but I would have thought a lot more effort would have gone into the editing.

I liked the introduction of Patrick Cassidy to this episode. I feel he played that part of Leslie Luckaby really well except one key factor. They had him portray an Australian and I must say, I didn't like how this was an aspect of the character. As a fellow Australian myself, you can normally spot the accent a mile away but in this case, none. I like how he tried to throw in a mate here and there but it still wasn't very good. He even asked Lois, 'Wondering where my accent is from hey?' In Australia, we don't use that word. Additionally, later in the episode he mentions to Lois about having Mexican food for dinner cause there isn't much of it in Australia, let me tell you, it's everywhere. Sorry, not Patrick's fault but I just had to say something. Keith Brunsmann played his part really well, I like how the character is portrayed and I also like where the character goes in later episodes. As to Lori Fetrick playing Vixen, she is very monotone in here role but there is a big reason for that (as we learn later in the episode) so because of that, her performance was also good.

Next week, the arc continues with "Shadow of a Doubt".

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