Super Saturday: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – Pilot Review

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (2016)
Created by: Greg Berlanti

Branching out from the already successful ‘Arrowverse’, will Greg Berlanti show that he can work his magic with an ensemble of smaller DC characters?

An unlikely team of heroes is assembled to pursue immortal villain Vandal Savage through history.

With the CW making a DC event week out of it I had expected this week’s episodes of ‘The Flash’ and ‘Arrow’ to tie into this pilot a lot more, surprisingly they didn’t, almost at all. Maybe that’s a sign that the producers are hoping this can stand on its own, though I do feel it really helps to have seen the episodes of those shows that have set up these characters already, only a scant amount is filled in about a few of them.

The ‘Legends’ are no small or simple team. Lead by Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill), who you will struggle to get past likening to a time lord akin to the Doctor of ‘Doctor Who’ fame, a show that Darvill featured in for a while. He’s able to travel through time, in a ship that he commandeered, flouting the orders of his people. There are 8 other members, familiar to viewers of ‘Arrow and ‘The Flash’ in varying amounts, Ray Palmer aka ‘Atom’ (Brandon Routh), Sara Lance aka ‘White Canary’ (Caity Lotz), Firestorm comprising Dr Martin Stein and Jefferson Jackson (Victor Garber and Franz Drameh), Hawkgirl and Hawkman (Ciara Renee and Falk Hentschel) and lovable rogues Leonard Snart aka Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Mick Rory aka ‘Heat Wave’ (Dominic Purcell).

I like the producer’s promise of a lighter tone than even ‘The Flash’, that’s an appealing prospect though this pilot episode didn’t convince me that it would be as light as that might have made it sound. There are themes of revenge and loss at the heart of the set-up here, which will have to be revisited regularly throughout the series, so it won’t be all fun and games. Plus you have to remember that one of these heroes has returned from the dead and two are endlessly reincarnated, these things take their toll and mean they have a lot of baggage which it would be stupid for the writers to completely ignore.

The way the characters will have to travel through time through time is a very nice idea for a TV show, with the first episode starting mid-war in the future, then coming to present day for the ‘Arrowverse’ before heading back in time to the 1970’s. This plot device should hopefully keep things changing and interesting, as long as it’s not done just for the sake of it, if for example there’s not been an episode in the civil war era and doing one just for the fun of it and not having a good story to tell about how these characters needed to visit that period.

I enjoyed the first episode, though I can see why the pilot is being spread over two episodes, though stupidly they weren’t shown back-to-back. There’s a lot to take in, with the bringing together of the team being zipped through at quite a pace. hopefully they’ll slow things down and really get to establish these characters properly in a way that their appearances on other shows hasn’t yet allowed for.

I am already wondering where the almost inevitable love interest storylines will come from, and to be honest fearing that sort of thing. I hope that the writers can get clever and creative with this show as premise indicates, and while it may turn out to be a ‘Doctor Who’ with superheroes, I for one am oddly enticed by the thought of that!

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