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Season four of Smallville takes off with a few new characters—plus an exception to an infamous rule

From the Smallville interviews archives- this interview with the former producers of Smallville Millar and Gough about introducing Erica Durance as Lois Lane to the series in Season 4.

Source: SCIFI Weekly

By Cindy White

Before Smallville went on the air, the producers made the oft-quoted vow that the show would have “no flights, no tights.” But in the season-four premiere, which aired Wednesday on The WB at 8 p.m. ET/PT, one of those promises was broken. Hint: No one was wearing tights.

With the departure of Clark’s best friend, Pete (Sam Jones III), who left at the end of last season to live with his mother in Wichita, and the uncertain fate of the dangerously curious Chloe (Allison Mack), the population of Smallville seems to be falling like winter temperatures in Kansas. But the season opener will introduce two new faces to the town, one with a very familiar name.

For the first time on the show, Clark Kent (Tom Welling) will meet his future love interest, Lois Lane (right). Lois, played by Erica Durance, comes to town to investigate Chloe’s death (the two are cousins), but she doesn’t exactly hit it off with Clark as expected. Jensen Ackles (Dark Angel) also joins the show as Jason Teague, a potential new love interest for Lana (Kristin Kreuk), who has bonded with her over the summer in Paris. Meanwhile, the struggle between Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) and Lionel Luthor (John Glover) continues, with Lionel in jail and Lex recovering from his ruthless father’s attempt to poison him.

Co-creator Miles Millar and stars Rosenbaum and Glover (Lionel Luthor) took a moment at The WB’s summer press preview to speak with Science Fiction Weekly about what’s coming in season four.

Miles Millar, can you talk about the cast changes you’ve made this year?

Millar: We’re really excited. This season we really wanted to mix things up and get some new faces into the show and mix up the triangles. And I think we really lucked out with the actors we’ve cast. I mean, Erica is stunningly beautiful. She’s clearly a different vibe to Lana. She’s very sophisticated and very funny and sassy, energetic and urban. Clark and Erica together, they shot their first scene today and it’s just awesome, the chemistry. So it’s going to be really exciting to see that relationship.

And then Jensen also brings a whole new element to the show. He’s pretty sexy, and I think when Lana comes back from Paris she’s a really changed person. She’s come back with a new look and a new attitude, and she’s put the past behind her and she’s very confident.

Was it a conscious effort to bring in new love interests for Clark and Lana?

Millar: We were getting tired of the Clark/Lana relationship. We sort of like strip-mined that relationship. So we wanted to bring in some new faces and re-energize the romance in the show and get some new triangles going.

What kind of storylines are you planning this year?

Millar: It’s the kids looking forward to the last year in high school. It’s going to be a lot more fun, a lot more seen. We’re going to be doing things like sex. Can Clark Kent have sex? And drinking and drugs. Leading towards graduation at the end of this season, and what college they’re going to go to, and doing exams. All of the big teen issues that happen the last year of school.

Is there an overarching theme to the season?

Millar: It’s graduation. Clark Kent at the end of this year will really graduate. And we’re introducing a whole new mythology as well that will involve Lana, Lex and Clark. And at the end of the season we pay off something that is huge in the Superman mythology. It all leads towards something. Die-hard fans of the mythology will realize what it is pretty quickly; others won’t.

You’ve announced that Clark will be flying in the season premiere.

Millar: Absolutely.

Isn’t that breaking one of your cardinal rules?

Millar: He doesn’t fly as Clark, he flies as Kal-El. The first episode’s all about visualizing the internal fight between Clark and Kal-El. Clark Kent represents his earthbound persona, the kid who was brought up by the Kents. And Kal-El represents the person that Jor-El wants him to be.

You’ve also said that he’s getting a new power. Were you referring to flight or something else?

Millar: It’s not flight. The “no flights, no tights” holds true.

For Superman fans, it’s pretty obvious what that might be, then.

Millar: It might be. There aren’t many powers left.

What else is in store for Clark?

Millar: We’re going to see him become the quarterback of the football team and really see him as a popular kid this year. So it’s like Clark Kent, a stud.

One of the great things about the show is that it works on two levels, for both fans of the comic book and those who have never read it.

Millar: That’s what we want. It should work on two levels. This year is more fun. It’s Clark Kent enjoying himself. It’s a quest as well, a mythological quest that involves Lana, Lex and Clark.

How do you keep the show fresh each season?

Millar: I think it’s great whenever you can mix up a show and keep changing it so it doesn’t become stale. The challenge of doing a show for four years is keeping it fresh, and we’re not out of ideas. Whenever they’re in new situations it’s great.

Michael Rosenbaum, where do you see your character going this season?

Rosenbaum: Oh, Lex is going to hell [laughs]. Inevitably, he’s going to go to the dark side. He’s going to become his father. We know that’s going to happen. Lex is doing everything in his power to stay on track, to be the good guy, to fight the powers of evil. But you know what? Sometimes it’s just inevitable. There’s nothing you can do about it, right? And we don’t know when that’s going to happen.

But he gets closer every year, doesn’t he?

Rosenbaum: We just go deeper and deeper as the years go on. We go deeper into his past, we find out more.

Where would you like to see your character go?

Rosenbaum: I hope they let Lex make out with Lana. I doubt that’s going to happen, but you never know. Because you know what? I think Lex is a good kisser, and I think Lana needs to learn.

Are there any secrets you can reveal?

Rosenbaum: Sure. I think that John Glover made the finale because it was his choice to shave his head. That’s a secret. He made that decision. No one asked him. He said, “I have an idea,” and they went with it. So there you go.

John Glover, Michael said you made the decision to shave your head on this. Why was that?

Glover: [It’s] about survival in prison. A survival tactic. I think I have to be somebody different now. Lionel has to survive.

Are you worried about the infamous “Felicity effect”? When she cut her hair, the ratings went down.

Glover: No. Change is the only constant.

Are you looking forward to another year of Smallville?

Glover: So excited. I want to see what’s going to happen to Lionel this year.

So you don’t know?

Glover: I just do what I’m told. … I don’t know what’s going to happen yet. I’ll be in prison for a while. I know I’m going to get out. I think I’m going to get out.

You’re playing a really ruthless villain. How do you keep the character from being over the top?

Glover: Michael’s one of the reasons. Just the way we play together. And I’m just interested in creating a human being. But it’s written that way. That’s the way they write it, too. They write both sides of what could be just a villain as a person. … I’m very lucky to have this role.

Sounds like you have a very interesting year ahead of you.

Glover: Very interesting. We’ll see what happens.

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