Superman on Television

Superboy: Episode Reviews

Season 2 - Episode 4: "Young Dracula"

Reviewed by: Jim Bennett (lastson78)

"Now I'm in control bloodsucker"


Two men are waiting outside a store preparing to rob it. Lana comes out of the store, and comes across a mysterious young man who's going inside. While he's inside the store, the men attempt to rob it. The store's owner is assaulted. The man of mystery walks over, and using mind control, forces them both to injure themselves. While the store owner phones the police, the mystery man erases his memory. He then leaves, the store mirror showing a nonexistent reflection.

In town, Clark and Andy are walking down the street, when a steel beam being lifted by a crane snaps loose. Clark pushes Andy out of the way and takes the hit. Clark is rushed to the hospital. In the exam room, Andy thanks him for saving his life. Then, the man of mystery, Dr. Byron Shelley, walks in to run a test on Clark. To prevent Byron from finding anything peculiar during the test, Clark uses his heat vision to fry a cable on the machine.

As they all leave the hospital, Lana is clearly taken by Byron. Later, as Byron is leaving for the night, Clark sneaks back into the exam room to mend the cable on the machine. Meanwhile, Lana is in the hospital parking lot looking for Byron. A voice calls to her, and she follows it, only to discover that it's not Byron, but an older vampire. Lana screams when he gets ready to bite her, and Clark changes to Superboy when his super hearing picks it up.

Byron tries to run the vampire down in his car, but he gets back up and flips the car over. Superboy arrives as they fight, and then the older vampire disappears. Superboy throws Byron against his car after he lunges at him, and then takes him to his apartment. There, Byron explains what he is and why he went into medicine. He's developed a serum to quench his thirst for blood. His work can relieve a number of vampires of their curse.

Meanwhile, the older vampire sneaks into the apartment building. He enters Byron's apartment and bites him, putting him out, but not before warning Superboy to "use pain." Through mind control, the senior vampire plans to use Superboy's heat vision to destroy any evidence of Byron's work. Remembering Byron's warnings to "use pain," Superboy uses his heat vision to burn himself, breaking the vampire's spell. They begin to fight, and then Superboy defeats him by flying the vampire into outer space to expose him to the sun.

The next day, Superboy escorts Byron to the edge of town and bids him farewell. As Byron thumbs a ride, a passing car stops. While the driver adjusts her rearview mirror, she nicks herself. With a smirk on his face, Byron notices her bleeding finger. As they drive away, whether or not Byron can resist his craving for blood is left to the imagination.

3Rating - 3 (out of 5): Well, this episode was an interesting one, it had a few inconsistencies but also had a couple of classic Superman moments.

So they decided to add Vampires to the mix in this episode, it's a good super villain of sorts being magical they actually have an edge over Superman. Kevin Bernhardt plays Byron and has very classic 80's good looks and very much has the feel of a Vampire. They add some classic Vampire-esque themes like mind control, no reflection but in the first scene Byron is walking round in the sun... what? How can that be? Surely he should just go *poof* in a cloud of smoke, but that's where this episode gives a new twist to things.

Byron has made a serum that stops his blood craving and helps him go out in the sunlight, he's being hunted by an old Vampire (Lloyd Bochner) whose wardrobe (if I'm honest) is out of date even for the 80's. It all felt quite familiar to the comic and film of Blade.

There were some nice Superboy bits like breaking the x-ray machine to protect his identity but then going back later to fix it, amazing. Not sure if I bought the whole Clark getting hit on the head by a falling iron girder but being fine straight away and no-one raises an eyebrow? That's a pretty big stretch.

The only thing that really bothered me about this episode was right at the end. To save everyone he flies the old Vampire to space where his exposure to the sun destroys him. Now that's not really Superman for me. Killing isn't his thing. Why is it different for a Vampire? They try and get round it at the end by saying that he wasn't alive anyway, but still I'm not convinced.

That's all for now, tune in for the next episode "Nightmare Island".

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