DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: Pilot Part 1 Review8th March 2016
Legends of Tomorrow is the third series in the Greg Berlanti Flarrow universe, although if you count Supergirl (which with the recent news of Flash/Supergirl crossover, we really should), it would be the fourth. But along with Berlanti Legends brings along some familiar faces (or I guess names) with the likes of Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and Phil Klemmer (who acts as showrunner), who all should give viewers at least a sigh of relief when it comes to fears that this show would not work.
The general idea of the series focuses on recurring characters from Flash and Arrow banding together to form a mismatch superhero team to save mankind (you know that old chestnut). The team is made up of The Atom (Brandon Routh), Martin Stein (Victor Garber) & Jefferson ‘Jax’ Jackson (Franz Drameh) the duo who make up Firestom, Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) his partner in crime Heatwave (Dominic Purcell), Sara Lance/ White Canary (Caity Lotz). Rounding off the cast of recognisable characters are Hawkgirl (Ciara Renée) and Hawkman (Falk Hentschel). Newcomer Rip Hunter (Doctor Who & Broadchurch’s Arthur Darvill), a cockney time traveller, brings our misfit group together to stop the evil, if slightly boring, Vandal Savage (Casper Crump), completes our main cast.
The episode suffers some slight problems as most pilots do, because it has to set everything up for the whole series, and while it doesn’t go all in on the details, it gives us enough to showcase why this team is needed and what the stakes are with an interesting opening scene, showing Savages reign of terror but also giving us an insight in to Hunters backstory.
From this we head into a montage of Rip gathering the time up and enlisting in them. After some time to think about the offer, with a couple nice cameo’s from Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) and Black Canary (Katie Cassidy), and questionable methods by Professor Stein (I mean did he always have a bottle laced with a sleeping agent in his office?), the group gathering back together to take Rip up on his offer.
Leading into what makes this show unique out of the Flash/Arrow shows is the team’s dynamic, unlike Flash and Arrow, who do have an ensemble cast but largely focus around one main character.
Legends of Tomorrow have nine main characters who have their own ideals and personalities, which adds a fun contrast from the other two shows, as science bros like the Atom and Stein bounce off each other. So do Sara and Cold creating unique pairings that would not have happened, if this show didn’t existed.
With this the show is allowed to become its own contained shell that allows the actors to have fun with their characters, from Purcell adding most of the laughs as the slightly slow Heatwave to Darvill, adding his own style of charm and roguishness (is that a word) in the vein of Han Solo to allow him to make Rip Hunter a fleshed out and interesting character.
The pilot, however, does have some problems such as Savage not feeling like a main antagonist, as while he does some evil things I don’t find him as interesting as, say Harrison Wells/Reverse Flash or Deathstroke. However, with hopefully more episodes, he can grow on me.
Another main issue I had was the episode plot felt slow, as it moved from point to point such as going back into the Hawks and Savage’s backstory that seasoned viewers of Flash and Arrow may find disappointing. And, to me, this is more aimed at new viewers rather than old.
Overall Legends of Tomorrow has and decent start with fun character dynamics and a good premise that is more sci-fi than your traditional superhero fair, with a slightly lackluster villain and slow plot. This show looks like it could become something special as the series goes on, and I, for one, can’t wait to see more.