<-- Previous EpisodeNext Episode -->

There’s trouble for The Daily Planet, when publisher Preston Carpenter purchases and reinvigorates a competing newspaper, The Metropolis Star. And it gets worse for Lois – the Star has employed an old rival, Linda King! The Star has improved circulation and threatens the Planet. Perry must cut expense accounts, and perhaps trim staff! Somehow the Star manages to scoop the Planet on every story of any significance. It looks like the end for the Planet until Clark discovers a piece of elevator cable with a smooth end. Someone cut it, but there is no clear motive for creating a tragedy until Clark digs further and discover a deeply sinister plan...

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x18
Production Number: 455316
Airdate: Sunday February 27th, 1994

Special Guest Stars
Dean StockwellDean Stockwell
As Preston Carpenter

Guest Stars
Nancy EverhardNancy Everhard
As Linda King
Bo JacksonBo Jackson
As Himself

Co-Guest Stars
Kevin CooneyKevin Cooney
As Secretary Wallace
Michael SabatinoMichael Sabatino
As J. Harvey Stark
Dana CheletteDana Chelette
As Fire Chief

Tonja KahlensTonja Kahlens
As Reporter
Main Cast
Dean CainDean Cain
As Clark Kent/Superman
Episode Notes
Although credited, Tracy Scoggins does not appear in this episode.

Although credited, John Shea does not appear in this episode.

Episode Quotes
Bo Jackson: Bo knows free throws.

Linda King: Haven’t you heard? I’m working for the Metropolis Star. And I believe you’ve just been... scooped!

Clark: So you got scooped. It happens. Now you just have to focus on the next story.
Lois: Spare me the Smallville pep talk. I wasn’t just scooped. A hideous part of my past just reared its ugly head!

Preston Carpenter: Linda! You look so beautiful I’m at a loss for words to describe you!
Lois: (snidely) I can help you there.

Linda King: Nothing goes on at The Star without Carpenter’s say-so. He’s the most hands-on publisher I’ve ever worked for.

Linda King: I only nailed that fire story because I happened to be at the hotel covering a fashion show when it broke out.

Stark: The afternoon edition. (He hands Preston Carpenter a newspaper.)
Preston Carpenter: Well done, Stark! Don’t you just love the news business?
Stark: This wasn’t easy.
Preston Carpenter: It’s not supposed to be easy. I wouldn’t need your services if it was easy, would I?
Stark: Yeah, well... how many more?
Preston Carpenter: As many as it takes to kill the Daily Planet. Because then, Stark, I will control over eighty percent of what the American people read. And when you control what they read, you control what they think! And when you control what they think, then you can really begin to make it happen!

Perry White: People, I assure you... if we don’t come up with some solid page one stories soon, the only writing you’re going to be doing is writing your resumes.

Clark: Is that what this is about? You’re jealous because you think I’m infatuated with Linda King?
Lois: I wouldn’t care if you were infatuated with Don King. What I care about is the quality of reporting at the Planet.

Clark: This is elevator cable. I found it in the shaft after the accident. Check out the end.
Lois: Don’t feel happy, but I am closing in on bored.
Clark: It’s not frayed, Lois, it’s smooth – like it’s been cut.

Preston Carpenter: Do you remember Charles Foster Kane? My idol, even though he was only a movie character. I’ve devoted my time to becoming the genuine article.
Linda King: Aren’t you already?
Preston Carpenter: Not quite. You see, Kane not only reported the news, he made it. He set out an agenda for the entire country and then he had his papers promote that agenda. And the country went along. And soon, I will have that kind of power. Does that excite you as much as it excites me?

Lois: Linda and I were best friends. We were very competitive. I know you may not believe this, but there was a time when I had to be the best at everything. Anyway... I was dating this guy, Paul. He was an editor, he was a senior and I had a real big crush on him. Things were happening and I got this story about these football players at our school that weren’t taking their own exams. I thought, “This is it! This is the story that’s going to make him feel about me the way that I feel about him!”
Clark: Did it?
Lois: No. It didn’t. Because somehow Linda stole my story and wrote it under her name. And of course Paul fell for her and dumped me, and she continued to please him in ways I won’t go into...

Clark: These accidents? Aren’t accidents. The arson first that Linda just happened to be at, the elevator cable that snapped during lunch... There was even supposed to be a heist of the Orani jewels.

Preston Carpenter: My next goal is to convince the governments of the world that we need and international federation – a United Nations with real teeth. A government to govern all governments...

Preston Carpenter: (addressing captives Lois Lane and Linda King) I have to tell you I’m truly sorry things turned out this way. But on the other hand, the two of you are going to make a fantastic forty-eight point headline!

Linda King: I just optioned the film rights to my inside story to Preston Carpenter’s fall from grace. It’s obscene how much money these Hollywood producers can throw at you!

Episode Goofs
When Linda King introduces Clark to her date Preston Carpenter, he compliments her on her beauty. If he was really her date, he would have seen her when he collected her from her homer, and already complimented her. (In fact, this particular compliment was probably in the script as a springboard from which Lois could launch a snide rejoinder.)

Superman mashes a large number of bullets into a shapeless lead ball. In doing so, he completely destroys any forensic evidence these projectiles bore, and very possibly fatally sabotages the prosecution’s case against the assassins.

Cultural References
Bo Jackson appears only during the opening "teaser" scene of the episode. 1994 was the final year of Bo's career (a bone disorder, consequence of a dislocated hip, had robbed him of much of his blazing speed) and the tail end of a famous Nike ad campaign, "Bo Knows" which Bo's appearance here spoofs.

The musical bed playing while Clark demonstrates ineptitude with a basketball is “Sweet Georgia Brown.” This tune is almost a trademark of the Harlem Globetrotters, a team of basketball showmen who serve as unofficial ambassadors for the game (but whose skills and antics are designed for showmanship rather than actual gamplay. On occasion, the Globetrotters have challenged professional basketball teams and have usually lost.

When Clark suggests Lois is jealous and suspects he is infatuated with reporter Linda King, Lois counters by saying she wouldn’t care if he was infatuated with Don King. Don King is a legendary boxing promoter who has managed many of the most well-known names in the fight business. King is also famous for his strange looking white hair, and for his ability to mishandle English syntax.

Preston Carpenter compares himself to Charles Foster Kane. Kane was the subject of Orson Welles’s film Citizen Kane. The film documents Kane’s rise to the top of the publishing empire, and how this changed him from an idealistic man to a man who sought power for the sake of power. There were sufficient similarities to publishing giant William Randolph Hearst to irritate that mogul and cause him to forbid mention of the film in any of his own publications; nevertheless, Citizen Kane remains to this day one of the most impressive and landmark films ever made. Later, the reporters discover that Carpenter's password is "rosebud." The meaning of "rosebud" is a plot element of Citizen Kane that is only revealed at the very end of the film.

Preston Carpenter uses a man connected to him, and who knows his real identity, to attempt the assassination of a high government official. When someone attempts such an assassination the government spares no expense and no effort to uncover the perpetrator. Anyone wishing to carry off a scheme like the one Carpenter had engineered must perforce do so anonymously. In light of that, he should not have used anyone who knew who he was for this particular task, unless he had in place a contingency designed to ensure they wouldn't or couldn't reveal what they knew.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorJerry Siegel  |  Joe Shuster
DeveloperDeborah Joy LeVine
Missing Information
Click here to add Music
Click here to add Episode References