Tom Welling, Kristin Kreuk & Michael Rosenbaum Look Back on ‘Smallville’ 20 Years Later (VIDEO)

“Always hold onto Smallville.”

Those loving words to Tom Welling‘s Clark Kent from a ghostly Jonathan Kent (John Schneider) in the series finale of Smallville proved not just poignant but also prophetic because millions of fans are still keeping the superhero series close to their hearts. And it’s clear from our chat with Smallville‘s holy trinity of Welling, Kristin Kreuk, who played Lana Lang, and Michael Rosenbaum, who played Lex Luthor, that they’re sitting on some good memories, as well.

Not that the entire experience was a (corn)field day for the young actors back then. The now-grown trio — each of whom has found their own successes away from Kansas — aren’t shy about sharing some of the challenges of working on such a popular show. But despite the intense production schedules, fan expectations, and other issues that went on behind the scenes, they happily recall the hit that handed them their long-standing friendship.

Smallville - Tom Welling + Michael Rosenbaum

Launched on October 16, 20o1 on The WB, the tale of a young Clark Kent sent Welling, Kreuk, and Rosenbaum into the teen-idol stratosphere, while also making superheroes a sexy TV commodity. For 10 seasons, Smallville was a nerdgasm of hot stars, soapy drama, and comic-book action. It gleefully messed around with the Kal-El canon and survived the transition from The WB to The CW. Plus, it built itself a deep bench of DC heavy hitters by bringing in fan faves like Supergirl (Bitten‘s Laura Vandervoort), the Green Arrow (This Is UsJustin Hartley), Aquaman (TitansAlan Ritchson), Metallo (Brian Austin Green), Lois Lane (Welling’s TV Guide Magazine cover partner Erica Durance) and Doomsday (Being Human‘s Sam Witwer). And, more than anything, it laid the groundwork for the Arrowverse we live in today.

Basically, Superman flew so Oliver Queen could thwack.

Smallville Box Set

In honor of the show’s 20th anniversary, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is releasing Smallville: The Complete Series 20th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray for the first time ever. The set features all 218 episodes along with over 28 hours of bonus material. And we’re not just talking gag reels or deleted scenes, either (although they are of course included). Among the extras are…

The Adventures of Superboy – The original 1961 pilot starring John Rockwell.

A Retrospective Look at the Series’ 10-Year Journey – An in-depth, season-by-season look at the creation of this landmark television series. Highlights include interviews with Welling, Durance (Lois Lane), Rosenbaum, Phil Morris (Martian Manhunter), Schneider, and more. On top of that, there’s rare behind-the-scenes footage.

• “A Decade of Comic-Con” Featurette

• A Paley Festival Featurette

Smallville’s 100th Episode: Making of a Milestone – An extended version of the original featurette included in the Season 5 set.

Secret Origin: The American Story of DC Comics – A feature-length documentary chronicling DC’s 75 years of challenges, creativity, and triumph.

So make like Clark in that closing shot of the series and fly to your local Best Buy or Target and grab your set. It’s 154 hours you will never forget.