As the lights go out at The Bridge Studios in Vancouver, that other venerable production in the city is also saying goodbye. Smallville will air its series finale this Friday (8/9c on The CW in the U.S.), in which (spoilers!) Clark Kent becomes a real superhero. We won’t tell you which one.
The show has run for 10 seasons, matching Stargate SG-1 for the number of years in production — a record for a science fiction / fantasy show produced in North America. (Yes, Doctor Who fans, we see you there.) But on its way out the door, Smallville is snatching the Guiness World Record off of SG-1‘s shelf.
Last month Smallville surpassed SG-1 with the most number of episodes, airing its 215th hour. Stargate SG-1 aired 214 episodes — five years on Showtime, five on Syfy Channel. When Smallville bows this Friday, the new North American record will stand at 218.
Why the difference? As a cost-saving measure Syfy reduced its standard episode order from 22 to 20 per year, beginning with the eighth season of SG-1. The CW, meanwhile, has continued the more industry-standard practice of 22 episodes each year — except for Smallville‘s seventh season, when the WGA strike shortened it to 20.
Like the Stargate franchise, Smallville is a veritable Who’s Who of the Vancouver film community. Rarely does an episode go by without the familiar face of an actor who have appeared in Stargate over the years. Only one of the show’s regulars ever crossed over, though: before she was Lois Lane, actress Erica Durance was Teal’c’s next-door neighbor, Krista.
Smallville did have a go at a spin-off series. Creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar wrote and produced an Aquaman pilot for The WB in 2006. It was a bit rough around the edges, and the network decided not to pick it up in the midst of its merger with UPN. The lead actor — Justin Hartley — was then recast as Green Arrow and would go on to become a Smallville regular.
Congratulations to Smallville for its world record, and for 10 years of a solid and consistently entertaining show!