Interview With Smallville Executive Producer Alfred Gough
Sept. 10, 2004 - Interview conducted by Craig Byrne (PlanetKrypton@aol.com)
The name Alfred Gough should be quite familiar to fans of Smallville
and those who visit the website. Gough is the Executive Producer
and creator, with Miles Millar, of Smallville, which
is soon to enter its fourth season.
have been fortunate enough to have a chance to interview Mr.
Gough to promote the new season, which premieres on Wednesday,
September 22nd, on the WB. Be warned, of course, that we may
be entering spoiler territory...
Now that Pete has left the series, is there any chance that
someone new may learn the secret, so Clark has a new confidant?
GOUGH: Potentially. Not at the moment. At the moment we
have Lois Lane, and then we've also introduced Jason Teague,
Lana's new boyfriend who is played by Jensen Ackles. Those two
characters are keeping us very busy and really helping to reinvigorate
the show and the storylines with some new dynamics and new triangles.
With Lois coming on, what is the plan for Chloe to keep her
I think what you'll see - Well, you know what, we don't
know if she's alive, so I won't answer that question. (We
remind Al that Allison/Chloe is seen alive and well in the WB
Insider special. He laughs.)
If the Flash episode ("Run") is a success, is there
any chance there could be a spin-off series?
That's completely up to the network. It certainly wasn't done
with that in mind, but the episode looks terrific, and we plan
to bring the Flash back later this season.
Was bringing Lois Lane on to the show always part of the
Yes. The question was always with the movie division of
whether or not we could do that. We initially wanted to bring
her on for a full 22 episodes, and they said, well, you can
have her for 13. Which was fine, so we worked out an arc for
Lois for the season. But the plan was to introduce Lois into
the series at some point. And we'd really talked about it last
year, and really couldn't make it work, again, with getting
all the components of Time-Warner that need to sign off on these
things to sign off, and so we really kept plugging away at it,
especially during the hiatus. Then the feature division graciously
said yes, and so we were able to introduce Lois this season.
Which at that point, I think we needed to introduce a new character
into Clark's life, and it's interesting since this is the woman
he will ultimately end up with, who at this point, when he meets
her, doesn't like her at all. So it's great because it gives
you a completely fresh dynamic to have this character who Clark
doesn't really like, and she doesn't really like Clark. Everybody
else on the show pretty much likes Clark, so there's this one
person out there who doesn't, who will call him on things, and
it's an interesting side of Clark to see, and I think it really
plays into Tom Welling's romantic comedy chops. And he's good.
And they're really good together.
At what point did you realize that the Clark and Lana relationship
was not working anymore?
I would say about halfway through last season, and the initial
attempt was to introduce the Ian Somerhalder character, Adam
Knight, and once we saw them together, we were like, well, you're
not really going to buy this as a romance, and so we sort of
turned the story to make it a little darker, which was a turn
we were always going to do in this arc of episodes, but we ended
up doing it a little earlier than we planned. I think what we
wanted to do this year with Lana was give her an entirely new
relationship that wasn't Whitney, that wasn't Clark, that was
sort of a grown-up, realized, full relationship. With a normal
person, not a Krypto-freak or anything like that. And I think
Jensen is doing a fantastic job, and I think they have a real
chemistry and a rapport that again, is totally different from
Clark and Lana. You know, the Lois-Clark relationship and the
Jason-Lana relationship are completely different relationships
than Clark and Lana have had before.
Will Clark and Lana work on rebuilding their friendship this
That's obviously a key thing for them to do, and also, we will
see that Lana is tied into the bigger mythology of the season.
So, whether or not they're romantically involved, Clark and
Lana are always sort of inextricably linked.
Are there any plans for DC Comics characters beyond Mxyzptlk?
We're going to see Perry White later on in the season, once
Michael McKean's schedule clears up. He's doing a play in New
York. Again, these are always the things we have to get permission
from 15 different divisions of this company to introduce these
characters, so we're always open to it, and there may be a couple
more down the line. We'd love to see Jimmy Olsen as well.
Why was Bart Allen the Flash chosen to appear on Smallville?
The short answer is, that's what DC Comics approved. But we
make reference to the other aliases that the Flash has had.
Are there any plans to bring back Pete at some point this
If schedule allows and we come up with a story where Pete
will be in more than one scene, yes. We would love to bring
Sam back, because I think he could bring an interesting story
in the door.
Is it true that there is more of an attempt at fun and humor
in the show this year?
Definitely. Yes. I think last year, as good as I think the season
was, I think it just got very dark and a little too adult. Lionel
became a huge presence in the show, which is fantastic 'cause
John's a terrific actor and Lionel's a fantastic character,
but we got a little too sci-fi and it kind of lost the core
idea of Clark Kent before he's Superman in high school dealing
with his issues, and this year we try to get back to that. Clark
joins the football team, because he now believes he can control
his powers, and quite frankly he's looking for potential scholarship
money for college, because the Kent Farm's been decimated more
times than a Florida city in September. So I think it'll be
fun. And also again, playing more with the Superman mythology.
Introducing Lois Lane. Introducing the Flash. Mxyzptlk. And
bringing back Perry White. And I think you'll see the big storyline
arc for the season plays much more with Superman mythology than
science fiction ideas that we have brought to the show.
Will General Lane be an ongoing presence this season?
He will be around. I wouldn't say he's an ongoing presence;
he will be around and guest star when needed.
Can you tease anything else that we might see on the show
I think you will see at some point, a very different Lionel
Luthor coming out of prison. You will see Lex get darker. You
will see what the tattoo on Lana's back means, and how does
she tie to the greater mythology. You will see Clark really
struggling, dealing with Lana with another guy. You will see
Lex struggling, seeing Lana with another guy. That's another
dynamic that was sort of hinted at that you'll start to see
as the season progresses.
to Alfred Gough for taking the time to do this interview and
to the folks in Smallville publicity for allowing this to happen!
To read Gough's comments about Margot Kidder's guest appearance
on the show, click here.
to KryptonSite - Read
conducted by Craig Byrne