LEGENDS OF TOMORROW SEASON 1

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Following the murder of his wife and son at the hands of gloriously named supervillain Vandal Savage in the year 2066, time traveller Rip Hunter returns to 2016 to assemble an eclectic group of superheroes in a last ditch effort to save humanity and prevent Savage from conquering the world.

Fans of parent series’ Arrow and The Flash will already be familiar with Hunter’s squad; Ray Palmer (Atom), Jefferson Johnson and Dr Stein (both halves of Firestorm), Mick Rory and Leonard Snart (Heat Wave and Captain Cold), Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders (Hawkman and Hawkgirl), as well as the welcome resurrection of Sara Lance (White Canary) – but the question remains: with such an abundance of Marvel/DC products onscreen, can this PG equivalent of the Suicide Squad find its place amongst an already oversaturated market?

The answer is a resounding YES. Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl) knows his audience and isn’t afraid to give them what they want: a colourful, funny and action-packed series that doesn’t pretend to be more than it is and employs the talents of its collective cast to full effect

The series itself only consists of 16 episodes, but thankfully the story moves at such a pace that there is no time for any filler episodes. Plenty of humour punctuates the fight scenes, which grow thrillingly more inventive as the season progresses towards an explosive finale. Whilst overall light and family-friendly in tone, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security; it only takes until the second episode before the team suffers the loss of one of their own. Inevitably with such a large ensemble there is a healthy dose of romantic subplots peppered with tension that divides the team and threatens the mission. 

Arrowheads will be pleased with the regular cameos from the originals (a doff of the cap in particular goes to Stephen Amell’s portrayal of a battle-hardened Oliver Queen in standout episode ‘Star City 2046’), as the team lurches unsteadily from one time period to the next. Arthur Duvall is a swaggering bundle of charisma as leader Rip (Duvall himself knowing a thing or two about time travel shenanigans thanks to his stint as Dr Who’s assistant Rory opposite Matt Smith), and his interactions with ship’s computer Gideon are a continuous highlight.

As with all shows where time-travel is the central theme, the omnipresent warnings of doom should the timeline be disrupted become a little wearing, though there’s enough spice to prevent it resembling an old episode of ‘Crime Traveller’ (look it up, millennials). Savage, Chronos and the Time Masters are effective antagonists, though the series has yet to replicate the true villainy of Arrow’s Biggest Bad, Slade Wilson.

With DC’s cinematic exploits delivering one critically mauled production after another, it‘s the Arrowverse that continually provides the strongest competition to the Marvel juggernaut. ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ is a fine string to that bow. 

LEGENDS OF TOMORROW SEASON 1 / CERT: 15 DIRECTOR AND SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: ARTHUR DARVILL, VICTOR GARBER, BRANDON ROUTH, FRANZ DRAMEH, DOMINIC PURCELL, CAITY LOTZ / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
 


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