Legends of Tomorrow , whilst yet to be legendary, still has the chance of being forgiven for its freshman ways.
As a Brit, the show screams with similarities to Doctor Who ; especially with casting its lead; Rip Hunter, with Arthur Darvill; who played both a companion and a time lord of sorts. Whilst he’s not guarding Amy Pond for 2000 years, Rip leads a group of the Flarrowverse ’s sidekicks in the fight against Vandal Savage.
An immortal; who gains power through the murder of Hawkgirl and Hawkman’s reincarnations, the world in 2166 has been colonised and destroyed by his drive for power.
After the murder of his wife and son, Rip defies the Time Council – keepers of the timeline – in preventing Vandal from coming to power.
Starting with a trip to the seventies, the show only just overcomes a case of the week categorisation, with Flarrowverse cameos, cute anecdotes, and comic humour.
Remaining optimistic, the show is hopefully only sacrificing any solid narrative in its pilot episodes, for the sake of setting the scene.
As the pilots end with the death of Carter (one of the reincarnations of Hawkman) we have rid ourselves of the one character – other than Rip – that we didn’t get to know properly in the Flarrowverse. We even know the A.I voice of the ship; Gideon aka Siri 7000.0, better.
Whether or not this time-travelling team will recruit one of his other reincarnations, is unknown. Regardless, having only one of the two female leads in the show, Hawkgirl aka Kendra Saunders committed to a 4000-year old relationship, would draw focus away from the series, as well as, shadow our character from any development as an individual.
Episode one opens in London 2166, during the second Blitz, to the murder of a young boy and his mother at the hands of Vandal Savage; later known to be our lead; Rip Hunter’s, wife and child.
Driven by his personal loss, Rip petitions the Time Masters’ council to travel back in time to prevent Savage, and the loss of his family. As we later learn, Rip acts against the council’s wishes; who as keepers of the timeline, disregard the state of humanity, with the threat of a bigger enemy developing in Savage’s wake.
Travelling back in time to Star City 2016 – the centre of our Flarrowverse, Rip recruits 8 members from The Flash and Arrow series. With Ray Palmer aka the Atom, the White Canary formerly the Canary aka Sara Lance, Hawkman aka Carter Hall, Hawkgirl aka Kendra Saunders, Leonard Snart aka Captain Cold, Mick Rory aka Heatwave; and the two halves of Firestorm; Martin Stein and Jefferson Jackson, on board – the mission begins. With the promise that they are legends in the future, the team later find out that this is a falsehood told to lure them onboard. With the ultimate decision to change their futures, the series continues on.
Travelling back to 1975, the crew seek out Aldus Boardman; an expert on Vandal Savage, who murdered his parents – a previous reincarnation of Kendra and Carter.
Elsewhere, Sara, Leonard and Mick enjoy the 70’s bar scene; setting sail, the fandom ship between Sara and Leonard, despite her sexual orientation.
Back on the ship – known as the Waverider, an underage, and alone Jefferson finds himself the target of an attack from the Time Council’s bounty hunter.
With his telepathic link to Martin Stein, the team unite, to save him, as well as, discover Rip’s falsehoods and tale, of personal loss.
Mortally wounded, the mission ends only with Aldus’ notebook. Learning that Savage places himself next to the seat of power throughout history, Aldus’ guidance leads them to Norway 1975; to find Vandal, in the midst of a nuclear arms deal.
With a cameo from Team Arrow’s Oliver Queen and Laurel Lance, the show succeeds in warming our hearts with, sentiment – the tragic death of Aldus, and the solidarity of teamwork – establishing a kinship between our legends.
As the series continues into a second episode, I freaked out at the cameo of Arrow villain; Damien Darhk, at the arms deal.
With the calibre of acting, and mere presence, brought to his character, I hope he returns for his own arc in Legends of Tomorrow.
As the deal ends with Savage obtaining Ray’s Atom suit tech, Sara leads the mission in recovering it, before Savage reverse-engineers it, and succumbs to a more powerful and imminent position than first seen in 2166.
To do so, the team track the tech using an invention of a younger Martin Stein. Balancing the line between upsetting his future with his wife Clarissa, and obtaining the tech, the team are ultimately successful.
Elsewhere, Ray, Leonard and Mick, seek out a dark object; a dagger, able to kill Vandal Savage. Only wielded by the hands of Hawkman and Hawkgirl, can he be killed for good. Vandal sadly escapes; with more power at the death of Carter, resulting in the revelation that only Kendra – the original owner of the knife – can kill him.
With the death of Carter, the team are filled with a refreshed sense of urgency; eager to take on Savage once more, to save the future.
With a lot to achieve in order to rank aside its predecessors, the show receives an optimistic recommendation thus far. As pilot episodes go – especially those with two parts – the show makes sure that audience members new to the Flarrowverse, need not watch a collective 6 seasons to understand the series.
If all else fails, have faith in the reunion of our Prison Break brothers, and the news of an Oliver Queen cameo; that will take our characters 30 years ahead of the current seasons.
Whilst the preview for Thursday’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow suggests the team targets Savage at his point of origin; its synopsis focuses on defeating Vandal through his financial assets. Meanwhile, Leonard and Mick take a trip back to Central City (home of the Flash) to continue their legacies as thieves. Should the latter not occur, will this former route revive Carter? or prevent Hawkman and Hawkgirl from ever existing…or reincarnating at least?
Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursday at 8|7c!
[Featured Image Courtesy of The CW; Source Content for Gifs: Legends of Tomorrow, The CW, 2016]