With Lionel Luthor six feet under and Lex buried within the Fortress of Solitude, it was obvious Smallville was going to need some dastardly new villains in season 8. A couple months ago it was announced that famous Superman baddie Doomsday would be wreaking havoc on the series, as well as a sexy, evil seductress named Tess. While the latter seemed easy enough to cast, I wondered what the producers had planned for the massive, Hulk-like Doomsday character. Would they cast a giant American Gladiators reject, or simply rewrite Doomsday's origin and fill the role with a dreamy twentysomething actor?
Today I have an answer to my question, as scoop-master Michael Ausiello recently got word on who's been cast in these two roles. If you were hoping that the producers of Smallville would stick to the comic books, prepare to be outraged.
In the comics, Doomsday is a gargantuan alien beast who is known for being the only character in history to kill Superman. On Smallville, the character, renamed Davis Bloome, is going to be a Metropolis bartender with smoldering good looks, a self-effacing wit, and a down to earth soulfulness. When he begins to delve into the mysteries of his past, he discovers a history of grisly serial murders and terrible destruction. Ausiello announced that actor Sam Witwer, who is best known for his stint as Alex "Crashdown" Quartararo on Battlestar Galactica, will embody the role.
Tess is described as being a determined, sexy, vengeful 28-year-old with super strength. She watches over Lex's estate while he's away, and her obsessive devotion to him causes her to act out his wishes in the most devious ways imaginable. Even Clark Kent isn't immune to her seductive ways, which means she'll cause plenty of trouble. Relative newcomer Cassidy Freeman, who recently starred alongside Justin Hartley (Green Arrow) in the unaired Austin Golden Hour pilot, will play the evil bombshell.
As a fan of the Superman mythology, I find the reworking of Doomsday offensive and the inclusion of Tess rather interesting. The latter character is most likely a revamp of Miss Teschmacher from the first two Superman movies. While she certainly wasn't a sexy seductress with super strength, she was fanatically devoted to Lex Luthor. Considering that she was such a minor player in Superman lore, changing up her origins for Smallville doesn't seem like a bad idea.
On the other hand, Doomsday seems so radically different from his comic book namesake that I have no idea why they're pretending he's the same character. Doomsday is not meant to be soulful, witty, or good looking. He's not meant to sling whiskey sours at a swanky nightclub in Metropolis. Doomsday is interested in nothing but destroying things and killing people. I'm aware that such a shallow character wouldn't be very interesting on a television show, but if the producers have to rework him so extensively why include him at all? They could have just invented a new character and not had to worry about incurring the wrath of comic book fans.
Will these new villains prove to be memorable and terrifying, or simply annoying and underwhelming? We'll find out when Smallville's eighth season premieres in the fall.