The Official Companion
Season 4

Author: Craig Byrne
Pocket Books
RRP: 12.99, US $14.95, Cdn $19.85
ISBN-13: 978 1 8402 3957 7
ISBN-10: 1 84023 957 3
Available 27 July 2007

Smallville, the hit TV series which follows the adventures of a young Clark Kent and his friends - including Lana Lang, Lex Luthor and new arrival Lois Lane - is one of the hottest shows on TV. This volume of the authorised companion series unlocks the secrets behind the making of Season Four, and is crammed with cast and crew interviews, new images, behind-the-scenes stories and a comprehensive episode guide. Also included are excerpts from the Smallville Ledger and the Smallville Torch, and a special in-depth look at the making of the spectacular season premiere Crusade, plus a 16-page colour photo gallery...

If you've bought any of the previous volumes in this collection then you'll pretty much know that the Smallville releases from Titan are an almost guaranteed indication of quality. Author of the previous three volumes, Paul Simpson, has bowed out (for reasons unknown) and handed the baton to Craig Byrne.

These are big shoes to fill, as Simpson put so much care and consideration into the gathering of additional information, that I was a little apprehensive about how Byrne would match up. Thankfully he has sensibly followed the exact same format that Simpson introduced - well, if it aint broke don't fix it, as my grandmother always said. So we get all the same sections and bits and pieces that made the previous three collections indispensable guide books for fans.

There are some slight complaints though. As usual, nothing to do with the author's hard work in compiling the content. The paper stock is not really the best for showcasing the numerous black and white photos. And, because of this, most of the images look way too dark and some look out of focus. Then there's the 16-pages of colour photographs, While these are a much welcome inclusion, yet again it's just a dry collection of publicity shots with individual actors - although, once again there is a page devoted to a series of stills from a scene in Season Four.

Those slight grumbles aside, this is still one of the better Official Companions on the market and will certainly take pride of place in any Smallville fan's collection.

Steve Mikando

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