Reeve Gets Rave Review for Smallville

Even in his immobilized state, Christopher Reeve delivers the strongest performance in tonight's episode of Smallville.

The former star of the Superman movies first appears about 30 minutes into the one-hour show, in the role of a reclusive genius who imparts vital information to the young Clark Kent about his extraterrestrial origins -- a clever bit of stunt-casting for the final Tuesday of the February sweeps.

Angst-ridden teen Clark (played by Tom Welling) is having trouble coming to grips with the fact that he's, well, different from all of his peers.

He knows he fell into the cornfields of Smallville, USA, in a tiny spaceship when he was a baby.

But he apparently didn't know that he came from a planet called Krypton that was evidently destroyed -- making him the only surviving member of his race.

The entire episode is designed to lead up to the moment when Dr. Swann (Reeve) translates a message from Clark's father that was placed in the baby's spaceship.

What Clark plans to do with his newfound knowledge is known only to the writers of Smallville.

Hopefully, he'll learn to apply his superpowers a lot more cautiously than he does tonight, when his teen-aged curiosity puts a famed archaeologist into the coma ward.

As for Christopher Reeve, tonight's guest appearance looks like a one-shot, but if the producers could get him back for more episodes, that would be super.