"I'm Tempus, I'm from the future that you and Superman created."

Tempus is a recurring villain in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

He was a dangerous sociopath from the future whose sole purpose was rule the world and destroy Superman and one of the few villains to survive knowing Superman's true identity.

He was portrayed by Lane Davies.


Tempus was born in a utopian Metropolis set possibly hundreds of years in the future that was founded on the principals of Superman and Lois Lane. In his own words it was "A world of peace, a world with no greed or crime, a world so boring you could blow your brains out but there are no guns. No works, no one argues, there are 9000 channels and nothing on."

Tempus grew bored and fed up with the peaceful and unexciting Utopia, so when he was visited by a time travelling science fiction writer, he decide to make some changes.

Season 2

Tempus and Wells in the Time Machine

Tempus with Wells in the Time Machine.

Tempus volunteered to time travel with Mr. Wells whom he nicknamed "Herb" to Metropolis in the 1990s to prove that his time machine worked and when his companion left to ask Lois and Clark for help, he wondered the streets of the city, marvelling at how differant it looked and enjoyed mugging a nearby pedestrian. He then stole some weaponry from a gun store and then went to meet Wells who talking to Lois about his time machine that was powered by 24 carat gold she found very hard to believe. He introduced himself to Lois and told him that he was going to kill Superman by travelling to Smallville in 1966 when he first arrived on Earth as a baby. Holding Wells at gunpoint, he made him set the controls to take him to the set period, not noticing the gentleman setting the time for 1866 and had left plans behind for Lois and Clark to build another time machine.

When they arrived Tempus was annoyed with Wells' apparant mistake, but decided to find some more gold to power the time machine. After a meeting with Jesse James and his brother Frank and robbing a bank to provide them with gold to power the time machine, Tempus and Wells went back to load it. Lois was there waiting for them and told them that she had grabbed the side of the time machine before it vanished, even though she and Clark had build another time machine to follow them.

Tempus revealing secret

Tempus telling Lois Superman's identity.

Tempus decided to strand Lois in 1866, commenting on his love for irony. Lois reprimanded him for going to Smallville in 1966 to kill Superman. Tempus then told her the truth about Clark and Superman being one and the same with the help of Wells' glasses, much to her surprise and horror; "Hello! Duh! Clark Kent is Superman!"

Tempus told her that even though she is held in great respect in the future with books, statues, an interactive game and even a breakfast cereal, he saw her as the most galactically stupid woman who ever lived for never knowing the truth. After finishing loading the gold, he and Wells travelled to the time period he had requested.

They found the baby Superman in the capsule he was sent in and carried him away to a place called Rocky Cove in the woods. Tempus tied Wells up in the time machine and placed many chards of Kryptonite around the baby's basket to erase Superman from the future. Mr Wells reprimanded Tempus for his cruelty and said that even killing Superman would never destroy the utopian future. Tempus shook this off saying he was even more boring than the novels he wrote.

However Lois and Clark tracked him down. Clark was weak and beginning to fade away so Lois went on ahead. Lois stepped on a twig and arming himself with one of his guns set off to investigate. Lois beat him with a stick and with the help of Clark who froze Tempus' weapon, he was disarmed and then beat down.

Tempus Defeated

Tempus being foiled by Lois and Clark

Lois went over to the baby Superman, threw away the surrounding Kryptonite and released Wells. Clark returned to normal and eventually leapt on Tempus, hoisting him up into the air.

Tempus was then tied up to the machine by the freed Mr. Wells and Clark as Superman took his younger self to the area where his parents Jonathan and Martha Kent had found him on that very night.

Having had enough of Tempus' behaviour, Mr. Wells decided to send him somewhere where he would cause no more trouble. Before the time machine vanished, Tempus asked Superman one last thing; "Why tights? Why a cape? You're a grown man, don't you feel ridiculous?" to which Superman then replied angrilly; "My mother made it for me."

Tempus Stranded

Tempus stranded in 1866.

A defeated Tempus then travelled with Wells one last time. Wells stranded him in their previous destination of Smallville in 1866. He was placed in a mental asylum where he would do no more harm. He had stones thrown at him and called names by passing pedestrians. His shouts that he was from the future and he had to get out to build another time machine were ignored. He continued shouting for help but to no avail. (Tempus Fugitive)

During his imprisonment, he wrote a diary of what had happened including Superman's true identity and many years later it ended up in the hands of a scheming business man named Jason Mayzik. He used it as blackmail against Superman to get what he wanted, but he was thwarted and Tempus' diary was destroyed. (And the Answer Is... )

Season 3

Tempus somehow managed to escape from the asylum and built a new time machine. He found an alternate version of Metropolis which was without Superman and much crime and corruption was taking place. Lois being lost in an assignment in the congo long before Superman existed. Tempus chose that particular universe to rule with an iron fist.

He used his time machine to go to the present day Metropolis and robbed some jewelry from a jewelry store. He bumped into the present day Lois Lane and took her at gunpoint to the parallel universe as well as finding his old friend H.G. Wells who had aged a few years older.

Episode Appearances

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4


  • Apart from Lex Luthor, Tempus was the longest recurring villain in the series and became a very popular fan favourite.
  • "Tempus" is the Latin word for time.


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