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I worship at the television altar
Smallville: Tom Welling directs Booster tonight!

Tonight is the very last episode of Smallville that will be directed by Tom Welling. It's called Booster, and in this post I've gathered everything you ever wanted to know about the episode and more, including links to interviews with guest star Eric Martsolf, who loves to say nice things about Tom. :)

Let's start with the Official Description, from cwtv.com:

After everything that happened with the VRA, Lois tells Clark it's best to make "Clark Kent" forgettable and awkward so people don't suspect he's The Blur. However, the two are stunned when a fame-hungry superhero from the future, Booster Gold (guest star Eric Martsolf, "Days of Our Lives"), sweeps into town and begins making saves and posing for press ops, completely winning over the city of Metropolis. Booster begins his campaign to take The Blur's place as the "World's Greatest Superhero" and tries to charm Lois into writing a story about him, but she's not having his antics and begins her own campaign for The Blur. During one of Booster's saves, an alien weapon in the form of a scarab falls from a truck and fuses itself to a boy named Jaime Reyes, turning him into the Blue Beetle. Unfortunately, Jaime is unable to control the suit and Blue Beetle starts attacking Metropolis. Tom Welling directed the episode written by Geoff Johns.

Clickable thumbnails of my favorite stills from the episode:

Eric Martsolf did a bunch of interviews to promote Booster, and he had nothing but praise for Tom in every last one of them:

"I was hanging 20 feet in the air by a harness with Blue Beetle's hand around my neck... and I was up there for hours," the actor laughed. "This was integral to the scene, so it had to be done. And we took a ten or 15-minute break, but I had to stay up in the harness because it took about a half an hour to get me down. The first guy to come up to me and offer me pizza was Tom. It wasn't the stage manager or the catering company. It was this guys wearing three or four hats at the time who was wondering whether I wanted pepperoni or cheese. That shows you how Tom is the guy who cares. He's able to take on these multiple responsibilities and multitask. I can't sing his praises enough."

Read more from Kiel Phegley for Comic Book Resources HERE.

He handled it like a pro. It's not easy cracking the whip and being a player as well and he did it really wonderfully. He has a very soft temperament, but at the same time, he has a very persistent attitude about what he wants to do and what he wants to accomplish. We were shooting until 4 in the morning some nights and he was ready to do another ten takes when we were ready to hit the sheets. So I have a lot of admiration for him. The fact that Smallville is wrapping up didn't deter him at all from working into the night and you've got to admire the work ethic of someone like that.

Read more from Eric Goldman for IGN HERE.

I had never met Tom before and with five minutes of shaking his hand I felt like I grew up with the guy. We both have family roots in Michigan, so we talked about that. We had some really good chemistry and we met eye to eye on who the character was and what he should be, that he's misunderstood. It was a great collaboration. Tom is tireless. He would stay up 'til all hours of the night to get the shot that he wanted.

Read more from Rich Sands for TV Guide HERE.

Whatever he directs, I’d be happy to be a part of.

And this quote, where Eric Martsolf speaks for Clark fans everywhere:

I was really bewildered as to why the Booster Gold character had anything to do with the final episodes of Smallville — I mean, you’re wrapping up this series, shouldn’t it be all about Clark Kent?

The script put his concerns to rest, and I'm feeling very optimistic about what we'll see on our TV screens tonight. Read more from Megan Masters for TVLine HERE.

Days of Our Lives actor Eric Martsolf knew he wasn’t in Salem any more when he first arrived on the set of Smallville. “It was rainy. It was cloudy. I got out of the car and the first thing I see is this 6-foot-5 guy with black hair, and it was Tom [Welling]. He just has this giant smile on his face and goes, ‘Boooooster.’ And I go, ‘Claaaark.’ It was like we instantly had this understanding about how these guys should get along,” Martsolf says. “It was like two kids in a candy store.”

Read more from Sandra Gonzalez for EW's Inside TV HERE.

Tom is a really good director and he really put time to the point where it was four in the morning and I’d say ‘Tom, we gotta go to bed’ and he’d say ‘No, no, no, let’s do this shot about six more times!’ He really took the time to get it right and as I said we had plenty of discussion about the episode and the characters but he didn’t let anything get by him, that’s for sure.

Read more from Jim Halterman HERE.

I was amazed at how persistent he was with the dialogue and wanted to make sure that the character of Booster Gold was portrayed in a positive light-- that he wasn’t just portrayed as an egomanic and an ass. You can very see the character has these qualities, but he really wanted me to get it right.

Read more from Danielle Turchiano for LA TV Insider Examiner HERE.

He is a good guy. He is a good guy through and through. And I had a wonderful time. He is a damn good director, too.

Read more from Jennifer Arrow for E!Online's Watch With Kristin HERE.

“When you do guest-starring work, sometimes you feel like the detached cousins watching Thanksgiving dinner,” Martsolf said of the close-knit crew. “But Tom, in particular, met me outside in the rain by my trailer and he went, ‘Hey. Booster.’ And I looked right at him and said, ‘How ya doing, Clark?’ We were in character from the first minute. We got along very well.”

Read more from Jevon Phillips for The Los Angeles Times Hero Complex HERE.

Tom Welling actually put a lot of thought into the episode, and that was very clear the minute I walked on set.

Read more from R.J. Carter for The Trades HERE.

Series star Tom Welling (Clark) directed the episode. "He did a terrific job," notes Martsolf. "He wasn't afraid to work until 4 o'clock in the morning, if he didn't feel the shot was perfect. It was hard for me to adjust to those kinds of hours, but [Welling] was truly relentless and seriously gave a damn about the character and why [Booster] is the way he is. [Welling] really brought it to life."

Read more from Robert Waldron for Soap Opera Digest HERE.

Tom was absolutely terrific.

Read more from Craig Byrne for Kryptonsite HERE.

I was so impressed by how meticulous he was. Even if it was four in the morning, and we all wanted to go home, he wanted to get his shot. He definitely didn't work through the episode like a guy who was ready to say goodbye to his series. He's still putting his heart into it, and when somebody works that hard, you want to work that hard with him.

Tom and Erica [Durance] would have conversations about specific phrasing and attitudes about how they wanted to have the scene go. I was pretty amazed at the microscope that these guys brought out as far as wanting to get everything perfect for their fans.

Read more from Carina MacKenzie for Zap2it HERE.

"Honestly, Tom is was running a round like a 12-year-old. He's saying, "Okay, so first you're gonna be doing this, then you're going to swing your arm out and laser blast him 100 feet, and then we'll do this and this." He was really A LOT of fun to work with."

I always thought Tom Welling was a little more serious and closed off?

"Oh God, no (he laughs). Tom is a big kid. He really loves these characters and loves what he does."

Read more from Comic Book Movie HERE.

Eric also did a podcast interview with Dayplayer Dish:

What a cool dude. I'll tell you, my first day, Vancouver is typically very cloudy, and the sun hardly ever comes out, at least around the time I was there, in February, and we drove to this very remote location, and I got out of the car, and the first person I see is Tom. He's got his umbrella, and his raincoat, he comes up, you know, "What's up, dude?! How you doin', man?!" He just couldn't have been more friendly. We started cracking up and making fun of Justin in the makeup trailer, having some good laughs at his expense.

We clicked, we totally clicked. He's a very good guy, and a talented director, too. He actually directed the episode that I was in. So he really cared about this one. He was like, "This one's gonna be great, dude. I'm just letting you know in advance, it's gonna be awesome."

Read more transcribed quotes in my previous post HERE, or listen to the entire podcast at Blog Talk Radio HERE. You can also download it free from iTunes HERE.

I don't usually read advance reviews for episodes because they tend to be way too spoilery, but Matt Mitovich from TVLine wrote one that made me even more excited to see Booster without giving too much away (it IS spoilery, though). Check out 8 Reasons Why This Week's Smallville is Golden.

If you don't read comic books and aren't familiar with Booster Gold, consider checking out one of the best episodes of the Justice League Unlimited animated series, The Greatest Story Never Told, before watching Smallville tonight. You can find it in three parts on YouTube [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] or download it from iTunes HERE.

Smallville - Booster Preview:

Smallville - Booster Episode Preview

If you enjoy tonight's episode and want to read more of Booster Gold's story, I recommend two books by Geoff Johns, 52 Pick-Up and Blue and Gold.

And finally, this has nothing to do with Booster, but Matt Mitovich gave us a sneak peek of Lex's return to Smallville today. I can't wait to see Clark and Lex together again! Watch the video at TVLine HERE.

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21 comments or Leave a comment
jeannev From: jeannev Date: April 22nd, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much for creating a "best of" Eric Martsolf's quotes on Tom. I read them all, but still, its great to see them all in one place. I think Tom is just a very, very easy guy to work with. It should serve him well with his career in the future *fingers crossed*

I had to chuckle at the 6'5" thing. I love how Tom just seems to get taller and taller. LOL

And also thinks for the very pretty pictures.

And CLEX!! Together again.

Edited at 2011-04-22 08:51 pm (UTC)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 22nd, 2011 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eric was very generous in his praise for Tom. It sounds like they had a blast working together. I love how Tom collaborates with his actors when he directs. We heard similar stories from AR about Patriot, and I have to think it's rare to have a director who cares that much about helping the actors to understand his vision.

The height thing made me laugh, too. It reminded me of Sam Witwer. Obviously Tom makes a BIG impression! :)

That clip made me nervous as well as excited, with all the clone imagery, but I know Michael and Tom will be AMAZING together, and that's all that really matters to me.
serenography From: serenography Date: April 22nd, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
You are a goddess for accumulating and sharing all these on one handy-dandy post. Do you mind if I post a link to this entry on JTW?

I haven't actually tried to read or watch most of the spoilery stuff about what's left of SV. Totally odd for me, but I thought I'd try and see things unspoiled. Of course, I'm caving after seeing all these nice Tom quotes.

I mentioned you're a goddess, right?
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 22nd, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
After I read the third or fourth interview with a gushing Tom quote, I said to myself, I HAVE to collect these! :) I was working on an entry for JTW (which I'm sure you've seen by now) when you posted this comment. I only posted the list of links, but I did include a link back here if people wanted to read the collection of quotes.

I've been avoiding spoilers, too. I want to be surprised! In these interviews I skipped any question that looked like it was going to delve too deeply into the action of the episode, but I still ended up reading a couple of spoilers I wish I hadn't. I hope as little as possible gets spilled about the finale in advance!

You're way too nice to me, but I love you for it. *hugs*
svgurl From: svgurl Date: April 22nd, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had no idea that Tom was directing this episode! And aww, I love hearing all the nice things that Eric (or anyone) has to say about him. Tom always comes off as a down to earth guy with no airs and it's constantly proven by the stories everyone has to tell. :D

I had to LOL at the two of them making fun of Justin. They probably mentioned how his shirt was off all the time in Passions and still is now. XD

Thanks so much for sharing all of this! :)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 24th, 2011 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
The thing that impresses me is that people who work with Tom don't just say nice things about him, they go out of their way to gush. Everybody loves him.

Did any of the guys on Passions ever wear shirts? ;) Eric said in one interview that his castmates on DOOL call him Eric Shirtsoff because his character never seems to wear one.

After what Tom put Justin through in Patriot, I think the least he could have done in return is give us lots of shirtless Tom in Dominion. Oh, well, I guess I can settle for black leather and those glorious biceps.
ladygawain From: ladygawain Date: April 22nd, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, thank you so much for compiling these!

Oh Tom - he's so gifted and brilliant. Can't wait for tonight!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 24th, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're so welcome! Thanks for commenting. :)

I thought Tom did a fabulous job with Booster. What a fun episode, and it was meaningful, too. I fell in love with Clark all over again.
tjw_jaypat From: tjw_jaypat Date: April 22nd, 2011 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much for this great compilation! :)

I always love when people say nice things about Tom. I´ve never seen this Eric guy, but only a nice guy can be appreciative of another nice guy.

So let me summarize: the most beautiful man on this planet is at the same time a talented actor, director and producer. He´s been together with the same woman for about 13 years now. He´s sweet-natured, persistent, and caring. So much so that he´s the first to offer pizza to a guest start dangling in a harness from the ceiling, even though he´s really busy with directing and acting in this episode. He has an exemplary sense of duty, an impeccable work ethics. Oh, yes, and he´s funny. He is known to have only one quirk (being very shy and reclusive when it comes to fans and the general public). Sounds like a Greek god walking among men to me... *sigh*

For quite selfish reasons I really enjoy reading this stuff: it assures me that my long-time devotion to this man has not been in vain and never will be. It has been worthwhile all the time and will be in the future. He´s just really, really incredible... *three times 'sigh' again*

carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: April 23rd, 2011 12:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Hear Hear!!!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 24th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. I think your summary is better than all these quotes put together. ♥ For me, it's everything about Tom that makes me love him, not just what we see onscreen. In general I avoid talk shows because I so often become disillusioned about the actors I fangirl, but in Tom's rare appearances he's only charmed me more. He's an amazing man.
audrey229 From: audrey229 Date: April 22nd, 2011 10:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for compiling all of these quotes into one place. It's almost overwhelming reading them one after another.

I never watched Days of Our Lives but my goodness....Eric is a sweetheart! He is so excited and enthusiastic that I just can't help but root for him tonight to knock it out of the park.

It sounds like Tom had such a good time working on this episode and it just makes me so happy that the press has embraced the episode so far. He deserved to have a fun episode that he could feel GREAT about to direct before the series was over. I'm so happy for him. It's just so cool to watch tonight and know that Tom felt so great about it. It enhances everything so much for me to know that I'm getting HIS vision as well.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 24th, 2011 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had never heard of Eric before he was cast in Booster, but I'm kind of in love with him now. :) He reminds me a lot of Justin.

I'm so glad Tom had another opportunity to direct this season, and especially this episode. It was a lot of fun, we heard Clark's POV on what it means to be a hero and why he thinks now is the time for him to go public, we saw him inspire Booster to be a better man, and Lois took an important step toward her destiny as well.

In Patriot (which I rewatched for the first time last night), Tom was saddled with clunky dialogue and wooden actors. I think he made the best of it (the scene between Lois and Slade is one of my favorite Lois scenes of the entire series, and I love the Watchtower scene at the end), but Booster is a much more fitting finish to his run as a director on the show.
tasabian From: tasabian Date: April 22nd, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Amazing post! So many nice mentions of Tom - especially love his concern that EM get his pizza: Aw!

Nervous about the writing of Lex's return but yay for TW/MR, reunited!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 24th, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
That pizza story was my favorite. What other star, director, or executive producer would be that thoughtful and attentive? And Tom was all three for this episode. How is he even real?

I had mixed feelings about that promo. I'm bummed about the obvious clone imagery, but beyond thrilled to see Lex again, especially in the same frame as Clark. Our boys are going to be EPIC together!!
el_elle_8 From: el_elle_8 Date: April 22nd, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I want to draw hearts around this lj post! Thank you for gathering all of the great Tom quotes.

It sounds like Tom made quite the impression on Eric!

I almost didn't watch the Lex promo but gave in and I am glad I did. I can't wait to see Michael and Tom back on screen together!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 24th, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awww, you know I'm happy to do it. :)

I think Eric had never met anyone like Tom before, because there is no one else like him. I will be forever grateful for all those wonderful quotes. Maybe Tom didn't let them take any pics of him directing, but at least now we can imagine what he was like behind the cameras.

I'm trying to stay relatively spoiler-free for the finale, but I couldn't resist that Lex clip. As brief as they may be, I'm sure his scenes with Clark will be amazing!
carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: April 23rd, 2011 12:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for putting so much info into this post! I didn't have the time to read every interview so it's great to just read what really interests me: the quotes about Tom (and Clark).

I'm glad Booster is not Clark-light. With so little SV time left, that would be a waste and a shame!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 24th, 2011 10:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Carol, you know the first thing I look for in any Smallville interview or article is what, if anything, they say about Tom and/or Clark. I'm always happy to spare you the tedium of finding the gold among the dross. I can't even tell you how many podcasts I've listened to in vain, hoping for some mention of Tom.

Clark needs to be front and center in every episode we have left. What I loved about Booster was how he commanded the screen every time he appeared. Clark's strength and heroism in his scenes with Booster made my heart soar, and Tom even made me like bumbling, awkward Clark because he portrayed him with such humor and charm. He has the exact opposite of a short-timer's attitude; with each new episode he embodies Clark Kent, and Superman, more fully.
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: April 24th, 2011 03:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really liked the performances in this episode. Tom did a great job. And I loved Eric's performance of Booster. He kept him from being massively annoying.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 24th, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought the episode was a lot of fun and very entertaining, while still serving an important purpose in furthering Clark's journey. Eric was perfect as Booster, and Tom made me fall in love with Clark all over again. I also liked Lois. I vastly prefer the spirited reporter to the emo girlfriend.

One of my favorite parts of all, however, was the promo for next week's episode. Yowza.
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