The Official Companion
Season 2

Author: Paul Simpson
Titan Books
RRP 12.99, US $14.95
ISBN 1 84023 947 6
Available 25 March 2005

This authorised companion to the second season of
Smallville reveals everything you could possibly need to know about the show's second year. It is packed with exclusive interviews, unseen photos, behind-the-scenes secrets and a complete episode guide. And if that wasn't enough, there are insights into the world of Smallville, with excerpts from the town and high school newspapers, The Smallville Ledger and The Smallville Torch...

It will come as no surprise to anyone who bought Smallville: The Official Companion - Season One to learn that the Season Two companion is just as well researched and compiled.

Once again the guide's author, Paul Simpson, has been granted complete access to the set. And, instead of trawling Internet sites and "borrowing" interview quotes from other sources (believe me you'd be surprised how many author's to guide books do that), the man has got down and dirty to ensure that even the most picky of fans will love this.

The format is the same (obviously) and includes a thorough plot synopsis for each episode. These also contain information like the titles and bands for all of the songs played in that episode; a "Did You Know?" section that reveals interesting snippets of trivia that even the biggest fan probably won't know (examples include: In the episode Rosetta, the cloud footage used for the opening effects sequence of Clark flying in his dreams was actually shot many years earlier for a Warner Bros film); and noteworthy quotes.

Again, like with the Season Once companion, I actually read this book cover to cover unlike most companion books where I might dip in and out. The combinations of a busy layout, enticing photography and loads of interesting information just kept me turning those pages.

At the back of this collection there are pages devoted to the main characters (not the actors) of the show. This looks at how each character has grown since Season One, and includes quotes from the actors on their feelings on their character's role in Season Two.

There is also a brief look at the effects for Season Two; the promotional "webisodes" that featured Chloe; and a peek into the phenomena that is Smallville - which, among other issues, looks at Smallville merchandise.

There are 16 pages of glossy, full colour photography in the centre of this collection - all head and shoulder shots of the principal actors - as well as a whole heap (at least one on every two page spread) of interesting black and white images.

Yet again Titan prove that companion books don't have to be dry affairs. Simpson sets the standard for others to follow. If only all guide books were as wonderfully put together as this.

Steve Mikando

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