15. Dr Virgil Swann
Played by: Christopher Reeve
Appearances: 2 episodes (guest – S2-3)
Despite only appearing twice, Dr Virgil Swann is a hugely important character in the show. First of all, it is he who first tells Clark of his Kryptonian origins. Second, he is played by the iconic Christopher Reeve. It’s a tragedy that Reeve’s untimely death prevented him from making more appearances.
Played by: Terence Stamp (Voice), Julian Sands (Flashbacks/Clone), Tom Welling (Young)
Appearances: 25 (Stamp, recurring S2-10), 2 (Sands, guest S9-10), 1 (Welling, S3)
At the beginning of the A.I Jor-El’s relationship with his son, he is presented as an antagonistic and manipulative. Yet as Clark matures – though they still disagree and fall out – he realises that his Kryptonian father is just trying to push him into becoming a force for good in the world. Stamp’s voice always adds an air of gravitas to proceedings.
Played by: James Marsters
Appearances: 16 episodes (recurring – S5, recurring – S7, guest – S10)
As well as being a major comic book villain, Brainiac holds a fond place in our hearts because… well, he’s played by Buffy’s James Marsters. Besides that, the decision to reinvent the character as an unstoppable T-1000 type was a clever one and he was a persistent foe (and one-time friend) throughout the back half of the show.