Tuesday, August 23, 2016

TV on DVD Review: Legends of Tomorrow - Season 1

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fun action and comedy with great characters
Cons: All cons lost to time
The Bottom Line:
A fun trip through time
Fighting immortal villain
Escapist delight

“To Quote Every Star Wars Ever Made, I’ve Got a Bad Feeling About This.”

I’ve become so hooked on the DC Comics universe that has been unfolding on the CW that as soon as it was announced, I knew I’d be jumping on board with Legends of Tomorrow.  After all, they were culling supporting characters from Arrow and The Flash, and both shows spent so much time setting up this spin off early in the season.  I could hardly wait for season 1 to premier in January.  And my faith was rewarded.

The show begins as Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) appears in 2016.  He’s from the future, and he has a mission he needs help with.  In the future, Vandal Savage (Casper Crump), an immortal, has taken over the world as a dictator.  The only hope is for him to assemble a team from the present day to fight Vandal across time.  This group of “heroes” include Ray Palmer and his Atom suit (Brandon Routh), both halves of Firestorm, Dr. Stein (Victor Garber) and Jax Jackson (Franz Drameh), Mick Rory and Leonard Snart better known as Heat Wave and Captain Cold (Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller), a resurrected Sarah Lance aka White Canary (Caity Lotz) and Kendra Saunders and Carter Hall also known as Hawkgirl and Hawkman (Ciara Renee and Carter Hall) who have had many run ins with Savage over the centuries.

However, it isn’t long before this ragtag group learns that this mission isn’t exactly sanctioned by the Time Lords that Rip Hunter claims to work for.  Furthermore, defeating Savage appears to be even harder than they first thought.  What other secrets is Rip hiding?  Will this team be able to come together to defeat Savage?

Actually, Rip Hunter is the only character that viewers of Arrow and The Flash hadn’t already met since much of the backstory for the series was set up in the annual crossover event that aired in November.  As a result, the two part season premier moved quickly since we could jump into the action once the team is assembled.

Since Rip has a time ship, we jump around in time quite a bit, which is a lot of fun.  A visit to small town Oregon in the 1950’s becomes a bit preachy, but other than that, we focus on the story and the complications our heroes face in each time while tracking Savage.  We spend time in Russia during the Cold War and even the Wild West.  There are actually several two parters, or at least two shows set in the same period, which gives us some interesting cliffhangers.  A few episodes stood on their own and even didn’t tie in directly to the quest to stop Savage, but they were always fun.

I was actually worried that with a cast this big, we wouldn’t get to know the characters that well.  On the contrary, we got some great development for all the characters over the course of the season.  Some episodes focused more on some characters than others, but everyone had something to do, and we had some nice arcs before the season was over.

Those looking for action will find plenty to enjoy here as well with several action scenes each episode; this is a comic book show after all.  I think this show has more action than the others in the TV DCverse, but it could just be that the scenes can be more epic with the larger cast of heros.

The acting is just a touch on the over the top side of the spectrum.  This is especially true from Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell.  Actually, this adds a very fun campy feel to the whole show, and I loved it.  When the show called for a series moment, the actors always hit it out of the park.

And the writers give these characters some funny lines.  There are some classic one liners in the show, mostly coming from Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell’s characters, but everyone gets their fair share of great lines.

While the show premiered in January, production started the previous fall, so we got 16 episodes in the first season.  Naturally, they are all in this set in wide screen and full surround.  In the way of extras, we get parts from the 2015 Comic Con panel about the show, a featurette on the time travel ship, a featurette on the old West episode, which included Jonah Hex, a third featurette, this time on the fact and fiction of the history our characters experience, and a gag reel.

So if you are looking for a fun trip through time fighting evil, Legends of Tomorrow is for you.  Season 1 is pure escapism, and you’ll love every second of it.

Season 1 Episodes:
1. Pilot, Part 1
2. Pilot, Part 2
3. Blood Ties
4. White Knights
5. Fail-Safe
6. Star City 2046
7. Marooned
8. Night of the Hawk
9. Left Behind
10. Progeny
11. The Magnificent Eight
12. Last Refuge
13. Leviathan
14. River of Time
15. Destiny
16. Legendary

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