KryptonSite Interview With Smallville Executive Producer Alfred Gough
Sept. 10, 2004 - Interview conducted by Craig Byrne (

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.

We 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...

KRYPTONSITE: Now that Pete has left the series, is there any chance that someone new may learn the secret, so Clark has a new confidant?

AL 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.

K-SITE: With Lois coming on, what is the plan for Chloe to keep her unique?

GOUGH: 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.)

K-SITE: If the Flash episode ("Run") is a success, is there any chance there could be a spin-off series?

GOUGH: 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.

K-SITE: Was bringing Lois Lane on to the show always part of the plan?

GOUGH: 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.

K-SITE: At what point did you realize that the Clark and Lana relationship was not working anymore?

GOUGH: 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.

K-SITE: Will Clark and Lana work on rebuilding their friendship this season?

GOUGH: 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.

K-SITE: Are there any plans for DC Comics characters beyond Mxyzptlk?

GOUGH: 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.

K-SITE: Why was Bart Allen the Flash chosen to appear on Smallville?

GOUGH: The short answer is, that's what DC Comics approved. But we make reference to the other aliases that the Flash has had.

K-SITE: Are there any plans to bring back Pete at some point this season?

GOUGH: 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.

K-SITE: Is it true that there is more of an attempt at fun and humor in the show this year?

GOUGH: 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.

K-SITE: Will General Lane be an ongoing presence this season?

GOUGH: He will be around. I wouldn't say he's an ongoing presence; he will be around and guest star when needed.

K-SITE: Can you tease anything else that we might see on the show this year?

GOUGH: 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.

Thanks 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.

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Interview conducted by Craig Byrne

Smallville and its characters are copyright ©2004 Warner Bros. & DC Comics. This is a fan site and not authorized by the WB or DC. The term "Kryptonite" is a trademark of DC Comics. Page copyright ©2004 KryptonSite, unless the material is noted as coming from someplace else or being by an individual author. Smallville stars Tom Welling, Kristin Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum, John Glover, John Schneider, Annette O'Toole, Erica Durance, Jensen Ackles, and Allison Mack.