TV Notes'Smallville' Showrunners Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders Weigh In on the Series Finale
By Laura Prudom, AOL.com
's 'TV Squad' - May 13th, 2011
It's the end of an era. A decade-long journey reaches its conclusion tonight, and as one door closes on Clark Kent, farm boy, high schooler, "The Blur," another opens to reveal a much larger destiny: The birth of Superman.
To say that expectations are high would be an understatement, and executive producers Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders seem well aware that they have a lot of fans to please with the 'Smallville' series finale.
While it's impossible to satisfy everyone, it's clear that no one involved in the creative process of producing 'Smallville' takes this ending lightly, and as emotional as tonight's episode may be, I believe it will also be a fitting climax for one of TV's most enduring genre shows.
AOL TV caught up with Souders and Peterson this week to discuss the challenges of writing such an eagerly anticipated finale, and what fans can expect from tonight's episode. Because I know that some fans are trying to avoid spoilers and others are desperate for clues, I've split the interview into two parts: spoiler-free at the top, and spoilers at the bottom -- so feel free to join us after the jump to preview the finale!Spoiler-FreeWhat are your plans for Friday night? Are you doing anything special to mark the occasion?
Probably a pretty mellow evening. I think we're just going to watch it together. I think we are kind of partied out -- kind of a mellow night because we know it's going to be kind of an emotional one too.How did you decide on the final scene of the series? Did you always know what you wanted to end on?
We pretty much knew a handful of shots that we wanted in this finale; it was just a matter of which one to end on. Pretty quickly into breaking [the story], we decided we wanted to end the way we did.At the end of the day, do you feel like you made the finale you wanted to make?
Yeah, I'd say so. I think, considering you're putting on such a massive production with a TV schedule -- which is not exactly like you have months to shoot it -- we're really happy with how it turned out. In fact, everybody on the crew and cast, and all of the effects houses we work with, all of our editors, everybody gave 150 percent, and I'd say it surpassed our expectations.Now for the million dollar question: After all these years, what does 'Smallville' mean to you personally?
[pauses] That's a really good question. I think what we've been saying, which is very true, is [that it embodies] the ability to believe in the best in people. We've been writing for years about this amazing character that always believes in people, a character we can believe in, and so I think that, to me, is personally what 'Smallville' means.KS:
I think the same thing. I think that we didn't really come to the show thinking that was going to happen, you know, we were just so excited to be here. I think, over the course of the 10 years, we realized how lucky we are to have spent a decade writing about the world's greatest hero.'Smallville' has always been great about including references to the Superman legacy as Easter eggs for the fans: Did you specifically draw from any of the movies, shows or comics that came before 'Smallville' for the finale?
Throughout the series, we really tried to pay homage to a lot of the visuals, and a lot of the ideas, and all of the materials whether it's a movie or a comic book, but we do definitely have a few things that go back to those in the finale.When you knew that Michael Rosenbaum would be returning as Lex, but that his availability would be limited due to his commitment to his other show [the sadly cancelled 'Breaking In'], how did you go about deciding which scenes to include and which to cut? You must've had so much you wanted to tie up and address after all his time away.
Honestly, he had been so integral to the show, and the scenes fell into place very quickly and very organically. It really only took a couple of hours, maybe, to figure out how it would work with what we already had planned.There's a lot of expectation about Clark finally fulfilling his destiny and what that might look like. Can you talk about the process of writing this particular episode and the beats that you were determined to hit? Did it require a lot of rewrites or was it perfectly formed in your minds already?
Actually no, of all the scripts, other than some of the typical budget issues, this one really stayed pretty much intact from the beginning. I think we knew for so long how we wanted some of those final moments to play out, and who we wanted them to play out with, and it very much fell into place quickly.Since you were on set for portions of the finale, I wondered if you could talk a little about Tom Welling's performance in the final episode, and the energy or charisma that he brought?
Well, all we can say is he is fantastic! I mean, for somebody who has been working pretty much every day for 10 years, long hours, and needing to have the energy of a leader on set, I would imagine he would be collapsing at that point, but instead, he kind of brought it with him to the show. He is phenomenal.What sort of legacy do you think -- or hope -- 'Smallville' will leave behind?
Obviously, we hope people will remember it and watch it over and over again, and maybe people grow up and share it with their kids or friends. Hopefully, it is certainly a timeless show; there's a reason why Superman has been around for many, many decades, and I certainly hope 'Smallville' is as well.Spoilers
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The 'Smallville' two-hour series finale airs tonight, Fri., May 13 at 8PM ET on The CW.http://www.tvsquad.com/2011/05/13/sm...ale-interview/
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Can you reveal anything new about Chloe's involvement in the finale and what her role is?
BP: Well, she plays a very important part in the show because we give her one of the biggest moments, I think, in the show, and she has a very quintessential "Chloe moment" of being the ultimate sidekick and saving Clark.
Can you elaborate on the "special thing" that she got that no one else got, as you described it to reporters earlier. Is that related to what you just said?
KS: It's just a big moment, you know, sort of a big Superman moment, and it was just something that we kind of wanted. She has been so integral in the show, but her future, obviously, no one quite knows in the same way that people know what eventually happens to Clark Kent, and Lois Lane, and Green Arrow [from the comics canon], so we wanted to be sure that her place in our mythology was solidified.
We know that Martha and Jonathan will be back, and when I last spoke to you, Kelly, you mentioned how important it was for you guys to pay off that part of Clark's history, but can you tell us anything else about their involvement, or whether we'll see them together?
BP: You see them together briefly in a couple moments of the show, yeah. I don't want to give it away!
What's ahead for the Daily Planet staff: Will there be a mention of the original, deceased Jimmy, and will the way be paved for a new one?
KS: Again, we don't want to give much away, but I think you will see the essence of the Daily Planet that everybody knows and loves. There is a long history of Superman. There are just some fun moments that were important for us to try and crowbar in.