Superheroes are performing very well on the small screen thanks to the success of Arrow and The Flash. Both shows are made by the same people and in an unprecedented move, The CW commissioned a spin-off from both shows called DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. The show is the third of four superhero shows on the same network in the US (and the UK) and features characters that have appeared in both Arrow and The Flash.
The storyline for the first season revolves around a time-traveller known as Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) who poses a threat to the world. The superheroes are recruited to travel through time and stop Vandal before he destroys humanity but what they don’t know is that their captain Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) has a very personal reason for going after Vandal and it may not be related to what he originally told them. Complicating matters further is the fact that only Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee) or Hawkman (Falk Hentschel) can kill Savage as their history is intrinsically linked with his.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow features 16 episodes in its first season and it’s fair to say that the show takes a little while to find its feet. Part of the issue is that there are so many characters thrown together, that not all of them can get the time they need. Those who have watched Arrow and The Flash will already know all of the main characters with the exception of Rip Hunter the captain of the Waverider who enlists the help of Atom (Brandon Routh), White Canary (Caity Lotz), Professor Stein (Victor Garber), Jefferson (Franz Drameh), Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell), Hawkgirl and Hawkman.
Inevitably with so many characters battling for screentime, some of the more popular characters are put in the background in favour of those who drive the plot of the main arc. Sara Lance aka White Canary is very under-used but the moments she gets to take the lead are some of the best moments of the season. A lot of focus is put on Hawkgirl, who is a decent enough character but not strong enough to lead a season that features so many other more interesting characters.
At times DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is uneven and the plot has a fair amount of holes in it. For the most part you can forgive that and go along for the ride but the show certainly isn’t as tight as either of its parent shows. Arrow is darker and more brutal whereas The Flash is more steeped in comic-book sci-fi. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow doesn’t really know what kind of show it wants to be and that’s part of its challenge for its first season.
By the season finale a great deal of the issues are ironed out. Some of the weaker characters are thinned out or given less prominence while the characters you really care about are put upfront. The show is also positioned for a different and stronger second season that will hopefully be able to stand on its own two feet without having to bring in characters from Arrow and The Flash to keep it afloat.
Extras on the Blu-ray release include a gag reel, a featurette with the cast at Comic-Con in 2015, a tour of the Waverider set, behind-the-scenes footage and a character spotlight on Jonah Hex.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is an ambitious show that has a very difficult first season. From all the buzz around the forthcoming second season, it’s clear that the showrunners know they have issues to address and I’m hoping that they focus on the core characters we love rather than introducing loads of characters we don’t. It’s little over a month until the show kicks off its second season and the decision to shorten it to 13 episodes rather than 16 is one that should definitely benefit it. Still DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is entertaining and when it hits its stride, it shows the potential it has to be, like it’s central characters, legendary.
Cast: Brandon Routh, Caity Lotz, Arthur Darvill, Ciara Renee, Victor Garber, Franz Drameh, Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, Falk Hentschel, Casper Crump Certificate: 15 Duration: 681 mins Release By: Warner Home Video Release Date: 29th August 2016