Friday, January 22, 2016

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow's 1x01: "Pilot Part 1"

Written by Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim & Andrew Kreisberg & Phil Klemmer
Directed by Glen Winter

Rip (to the team): "I know it's difficult for you to fathom but where, when I'm from in the year 2166, you and everyone on this roof aren't just considered heroes, you're legends."

It might seem a little strange that I'm reviewing this show in bigger detail than I do with parent shows Arrow and The Flash and the possibly related Supergirl but then again, I guess I really am a sucker for a time travel story and this is one that has eight misfits brought together with them all being guided by the mysterious and enigmatic Rip Hunter.

Let's get the Doctor Who comparisons out of the way because there are a fricking lot of them to be had with in this opening episode. The biggest one being that Rory Williams himself, Arthur Darvill is Rip Hunter and Rip himself comes across as a bit of a Doctor/Jack Harkness mash up and it works surprisingly well. Then couple that with nicking a Time Ship, the concept of Time Masters and altering/not alternating timelines and an immortal psychopath in the shape of Vandal Savage with plans of world destruction and they're slightly overwhelming.

Then there's our gang of 'legends' themselves. Immortal couple Kendra/Carter aka Hawkgirl/Hawkman, the newly renamed White Canary/Sara Lance, tech genius Ray Palmer/The Atom, both Firestorms themselves Professor Martin Stein and Jefferson Jackson and bad boys themselves Captain Cold/Leonard Snart and Mick Rory/Heatwave. They're quite the motley crew and a bit reluctant about becoming legends even though they quickly accept a ticket onto Rip's time ship called Waverider.

The great thing about this pilot (of which it's first episode of a two parter) is that while there is emphasis on setting up main events that will bleed over the first season, Rip is the only main character we need to get to know. Everyone else, it's a case of catching up with them and having them find their sense of purpose, especially it's revealed that Rip's reasons for taking them out of 2016 was less glorious than expected. I like that the show got that out of the way.

Then there was Rip's backstory. Like Kendra and Carter, Rip has more of a personal interest in besting Savage (who was kept to the shadows and only appeared in two prominent scenes) and Darvill certainly plays all the moments with him to perfection while Kendra and Carter got closer to each and met their son, Professor Boardman who didn't make it out of the episode alive.

There are a lot of highlights in this opening episode and plenty of beautiful character moments. The budget certainly looks a bit higher than both Arrow and The Flash and the various trips to different places per week is certainly going to add a lot of excitement to proceedings as well. It's also going to be interesting to see how various cast members play off each week as well.

- This is the first DC show to actually have DC in the title as well. I wonder why they did it now and not with previous ones over the last few years.
- No regular from The Flash (aside from Gideon and a Cisco mention) appeared in the opening episode but we did get Oliver and Laurel from Arrow here guiding Ray and Sara.
- Sara's bisexuality is still there, viewers. Aside from an upcoming episode where she gets a female love interest, she did wind up an aggressive bar patron by flirting with his girlfriend and causing a bar fight. I do like the rapport with her, Cold and Heatwave though.
- Main times in this episode were 1975, 2016 and 2166 of course. Locations included most of America, London and Tibet.
- A minor critique but the male/female ratio for the cast does seem a little off. Any chance we can get Lisa or another female character to pop up too?
- I'm surprised the CW didn't air both parts of the Pilot on the same night. I also wonder if they're going to do a two part finale for this one.

Considering this was only the first half of the actual pilot episode, I think Legends Of Tomorrow has managed to get off to an impressive start. It feels bigger than it's parent shows but every bit as good as them and with 15 episodes at their disposal, I think the show will be more able to sustain Vandal Savage as an ongoing threat as well. I can't wait to see what the second part of this pilot brings to the show.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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