by Chris Carabott
The announcement of Doomsday as a villain in Season 8 was met with much skepticism. How would a show that sustains itself on such a tight budget be able to recreate the monstrous creature from Krypton that would go on to eventually kill Superman? Soon after it was announced that Sam Witwer (Battlestar Galactica) would be playing the beast and suddenly everything became quite clear. Witwer's Davis Bloome would become the human face for the creature, which allowed Doomsday to appear on screen without straining the budget, and it also gave the writers an opportunity to create a slightly altered origin story for the infamous monster. In hindsight, the decision to give Doomsday this alter ego proves to be the right choice as Davis Bloome far out-shadows anything that 'the beast' had to offer this season.
Davis Bloome is the very antithesis of Clark Kent. Both characters are given a birthright they didn't ask for that eventually fuels their intertwined destiny on Earth. Sam Witwer, who does a great job being thrown into the daunting role of being Doomsday's other half, portrays Bloome's struggle with the uncontrollable monster inside very well. The parallels with Clark are obvious as Bloome must also protect his Kryptonian secret in order to protect himself and those around him. Unlike Clark, Bloome can't control his powers for good, and when he tries to play vigilante, he still needs to kill in order to quench his blood thirst. With Bloome, Smallville has created a fascinating new character which may not technically fit into the canon of the DC Universe but certainly brings a lot more to the character than the hulking Doomsday would have done on its own.
Not only is Davis' destiny intertwined with Clark but also with Chloe Sullivan. Chloe has been underutilized as of late, with her career in journalism long forgotten she had stagnated as a character and needed a refreshing new story. In season eight, Chloe is pivotal to the story line as she acts as Davis Bloome's love interest and is also given an exciting new secret of her own. The love triangle between Bloome, Sullivan and Jimmy Olson is a little clichÃÂ©d but serves a very important purpose in the latter half of the season.
With Bloome receiving such a sizeable amount of screen time, the monster Doomsday is reserved to only a few appearances over the course of the season. The actual Doomsday suit is adequate for a television broadcast, when kept in shadow and shot from the right angles. Its first full appearance in "Bride" lives up to expectations for a tease of Doomsday but there really isn't much to the creature beyond what we see in that episode. It appears infrequently throughout the year and Doomsday's final showdown with Clark leaves a lot to be desired. The truth is, the story of Davis Bloome far out-shadows anything that Doomsday has to offer. We spend the entire season getting to know Davis Bloome and we see him develop relationships with other characters. He's the true villain of the season and it is Davis' story that you eventually care about the most Ã¢â¬â not the hulking Doomsday. All that Doomsday is left to do is be physical match for Clark and in that respect he is underutilized and a complete disappointment.