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SAN DIEGO -- The Continuum concludes a series of roundtable interviews with the Smallville cast and producers from Comic-Con International with executive producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson.

Question: What can the fans look forward to most in Season 9?

Peterson: The Lois/Clark/Blur love triangle, I think that's one. Jor-El and the training that Clark is going to start toward being Superman. No spandex, but we're definitely one step closer.

Question: There has been some concern from some of the Chloe fans online that she is very rarely offered happy moments anymore. Will she see any happiness this year?

Peterson: Oh yes.

Souders: Yeah. This season, she has a real goal and she's really dedicated toward that goal. For her, it's a season of a lot of self-satisfaction, and we'll see the Chloe that was at the Torch with the computers, where that has taken her over these years and how incredibly powerful she becomes.

Peterson: It's her maturation, I think, into the DC Universe.

Question: Was this something that was always planned, for her to evolve into this role as Watchtower?

Peterson: We keep going back to the pilot for the seeds of where we go. We always go back to the roots. I don't know that it's where they envisioned, but it seems a natural progression of who she is.

Question: The juxtaposition of the physically strong males with the mentally strong females, how do you balance that?

Souders: I think in the writer's room we don't look at it quite that way. I think the women on the show have their moments where they really kick ass and we love that, but I do think that it's really fun to write for these very driven women, who can handle people dying left and right, monsters coming after them, and they just get back up on the horse. I think the guys on the show are developing emotionally to balance out their physical strength.

Question: How long will it be before we see some more characters from the DC Universe, after Metallo?

Peterson: In Episode 4, you see the return of a DC villain. Episode 5 has two that we can't announce right now because they're not cast yet. Episode 6 has Roulette from the DC Universe, so we're bringing in a bunch.

Question: Are you concerned with the splitting of the Thursday Smallville/Supernatural block? What was that decision like?

Souders: It wasn't our decision, but you know what? We're actually really excited about it. We loved our block with Supernatural. Eric Kripke and the whole gang over there are fantastic, and we're actually in the same building. But our move to Friday, I think it's a challenge, and everybody's up for it and excited. Friday used to be a night that a lot of people thought was a show being put out to pasture, but Dollhouse is on Friday nights,and Ghost Whisperer . It's not the same as it used to be, and I think we can launch a Friday night for The CW.

Question: Now that Tom Welling is a producer, will he ever be writing for the series?

Souders: I don't know when he has time to breathe, to be honest.

Peterson: His joining is really organic. He's helped kind of shape his character from the very start, and the last couple of years he's gotten a lot more involved with directing. So there's not a huge shift. He's just getting the credit that he's actually earned in the last couple of years.

Souders: He's a really great link between the writing staff, the producers and the set, and he's been keeping an eye on things also, since he's had so much experience directing. He's really a valuable source, along with being the lead of the show.

Question: What was it that allowed you to have Tom and Allison go beyond the camera?

Peterson: We actually encouraged it. What we found is not only does it help them grow, it brings more back into the show because the more people who see how other roles work, it helps people have a tighter bond on the set and becom more collaborative.

Question: Are there any guest stars that you're looking forward?

Souders: Well, Brian Austin Green. We've been watching all of his dailies coming in, and I think fans are going to be very thrilled with them. He makes an amazing Metallo.

Peterson: And Callum (Blue) as Zod, although we have him for a big chunk of the season. Just in the dailies we've seen already, he's fantastic. We really see how he becomes Terence Stamp.

Souders: And he brings a lot of depth. Just like every other hero and villain on the show, Smallville is really interested in the origin stories of characters, so to explore why he's going to become a villain, how much of nurture vs. nature and all of those aspects. it's a lot of fun to watch.

Question: Is there any chance Lana will be returing?

Peterson: We love Kristin (Kreuk). I would never say never, but it is not in the plan right now.  

Question: Will we see Martha Kent? She kind of disappeared.

Souders: We talk about her all the time, because Annette (O'Toole) is just fantastic, and brought so much to the show. It's always just about timing, the time of the season, and what's going on with the characters.

Peterson: And with both Kristin and Annette, we really try to bring characters into the show that are integral into Clark's development. They both played massive roles in his high school, but their role in his trajectory is kind of over at this point. We've love to bring them in, but I think he's got new lessons that he's learning.

Souders: It's kind of lining up more with the comics. We take that as our lead.

Question: What inspired you to put Clark in a costume of some sort in this season?

Peterson: It came out of the character and the story that we had in the finale. For the first time really, there was a big question about whether Clark did the right thing or not, and that has propelled him in one direction, and giving up being Clark Kent, just embracing being a hero so he doesn't get emotinonally attached; And it's propelled Oliver Queen has been propelled in the opposite direction. They're both making opposite choices.

Question: Were things done because of fans' reaction -- and perhaps departue -- to him not being in a costume or a quicker path to that?

Souders: Well, obviously the fans are our No. 1 concern always, and we certainly hope not. Like Brian said, we go back to the pilot constantly. The pilot is really our mantra, and the pilot is really about how does he get from being this freshman dorky kid in high school to becoming the world's greatest superhero. It's really about that journey. We know from that moment has been covered many times very successfully, so we're really just trying to fill in and give a three dimensionality to that arc before he puts on the tights and he's fully embraced who he is.

Question: Can you talk about Erica Durance having more episodes this season?

Peterson: We had all intentions last year, and it just didn't end up happening, and we're excited this year, because she plays a little more pivotal role in the show.

Souders: One thing that's different about her character this season is that Lois actually is part of that mythology. She plays an interesting role, so she sends Clark and Lois on this trajectory where they just have to crash into each other in order for him to be do he needs to do by the end of the season. We're excited about it.

Question: What does he need to do by the end of the season?

Peterson: You will have little flashes in the premiere. Lois will start having visions as to what the future holds after she comes back with the Legion ring, and what the world will be if Clark doesn't fix things.

Question: Is Clark going to deal with more of his destiny?

Souders: I think it's part of his training. We're trying to bring Jor-El and the Fortress back. Last year was all about becoming human and having these two identities, but "How do I create a human disguise?" This season, it's much more about embracing the fact that he is alien, that he was sent here for a reason, and he is supposed to save the world. He has that much greater destiny, and for the first time he's really whole-heartedly embraced that side of him. So that's really kind of the arc of the season for him.

Peterson: We've pitched that this year is Clark's darkest hour as he's struggling with that, but the show is not really going to be dark. We have a lot of fun with Lois and Clark in the Daily Planet. We have a couple of really fun episodes coming up. We're not plunging through darkness. It's just that he has a deep, dark decision that he has to make with balancing his human and Kryptonian sides.

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