I always ask people this: How do you pronounce Mxyzptlik?
According to Wikipedia, like this: miks-yez-PIT-el-ik.
I think he's only got that one tone. He was on a few things back in the day (including "Miri," on Star Trek) and I never liked him. He's probably a nice enough guy in real life, but something about him always rubbed me the wrong way.
That's what I thought. I know I've seen him in other stuff but I can't recall what.
Mxy doesn't need any motivation other than being an imp.
True, but since this episode goes out of its way to give him motivation I wish they had made it better.
Superboy – War of the Species
This was another well done episode though I wish it had been longer because it introduces some interesting ideas at the end of the episode that never get fully explored.
The previous episode focused on Lana and this episode gives TJ the spotlight. TJ questions whether he has what it takes to be a photojournalist after he learns that he didn’t win a prestigious journalism award that he thought he had in the bag. Then he lets his film get confiscated by the military because he forgot to keep a dummy role with him for purposes such as that. This makes him do a very dumb thing and gets him in trouble that only Superboy can save him from.
The trouble in question is an android built by Dr. Stuart as part of a military project. As the episode begins the android kills another scientist that was helping Stuart. Clark, TJ, and Lana go to the lab to interview Stuart. TJ and Lana decide to do some exploring on their own and run into the homicidal android and are only saved by Superboy’s intervention. Obviously the three heroes want to turn the android over to the police but a military man steps in and says that everything is classified and that they should forget what they have seen.
TJ eventually goes back to get more pictures of the android but is caught by Dr. Stuart. He decides to use TJ as bait to lure Superboy into another fight with the android to test its battle capabilities. Obviously Superboy wins and defeats the android.
Here is where things get interesting. It is revealed that Dr. Stuart is an android himself from another planet. There the androids gained sentience and demanded their freedom. However their organic masters refused. Since the androids are programmed for non-violence there wasn’t much they could accomplish. Stuart fled the planet and came to Earth so he could create an army of androids that were designed to do nothing but cause violence so he could free his people.
Look, AIs turning against their masters is nothing new in sci-fi but this wrinkle provided a nice back story to Dr. Stuart and kept him from being another mad scientist. I wish this had been a two-parter because it would have been nice to learn more about Stuart and his fight for freedom.
This might be one of TJ’s best episodes. It gives him a lot to do and shows that he does have the making of a great photojournalist. I also love episodes where we see Clark and TJ do investigative work because I feel that is a part of Superman’s identity that gets overlooked a lot.
It seems they replaced the actress who originally played Dean Lockhart which is a good thing. This new actress is much better.
There was a nice callback to the homeless camp from the episode “The Invisible People” as well as some mentions of TJ’s desire to also be a stand-up comedian.
Lana’s role as a crusading liberal continues here as she accompanies Clark and TJ to the lab so she can write a paper over the military-industrial complex and the harm it does.
The android is okay. It looks as good as it can considering the budget. My only gripe is that they left the actor’s face uncovered so he really just looks like a man wearing a battle suit. I wish he had a helmet or something to give him more of an intimidating android look. Once the twist concerning Dr. Stuart is revealed it makes sense as to why the android has a humanoid face.
All in all, another pretty good Superboy episode.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman