DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Spoiler Free Premiere Review

legends of tomorrow large cast photo

Review on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Season 1, Episode 1 “Pilot, Part 1”

As DC’s comic book movies are building towards an epic superhero team up, the television division has gotten to a head start in the form of Legends of Tomorrow which debuted Thursday night on the CW.   

Legends of Tomorrow wants to be a bold adventurous sci-fi romp through time. It’s got the time-travelling part down, the rest is a work in progress. 

Is it so wrong to critique a pilot for … being too much like a pilot? Consider that all but one of the main characters were already established on The Flash and Arrow. We would hope that Legends could hit the ground running. The conundrum is that while Legends is a spin-off show, it still needs to cater to new viewers getting to know the team members for the first time.

The pilot does a decent job of introducing the team which includes Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer (aka the Atom), Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold /Leonard Snart and Caity Lotz as Sara Lance (aka White Canary). A large part of the episode is rightfully spent on establishing the motivation for each individual to join and stay with the team. Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory/Heat Wave has the best motive/quip “I just like to kill people“.

Legends of Tomorrow Rip Hunter Pilot, Part 1

What’s gets lost in the mix is showing why these characters are so darn likable. This was done better on The Flash and Arrow where these characters had individual time in the spotlight. In a 40 minute pilot (minus the commercials) there just isn’t enough time to have all 9 team members make a strong initial impression. 

The question heading in is how awesome would the team chemistry be with all these super powered heroes and trouble makers?  We should get a better feeling for the team once they have the chance to gel. However, off the bat the fresh appeal was lacking and the fun factor wasn’t consistent enough.

The relationship that’s having trouble translating from the written page to the screen is Ciara Renee as Kendra Saunders (aka Hawkgirl) and Falk Hentschel as Carter (aka Hawkman). They are eternally intertwined as lovers from one life to the next, which supposedly sounds all deeply romantic and all. But because they are in the beginning of a relationship cycle where Hawkgirl isn’t comfortable in her own skin yet and there is a divide between them, their scenes together come off as lacking in chemistry.

The strongest hero pairing is Victor Garber as Dr. Martin Stein and Franz Drameh as Jax Jackson. Where Hawkgirl /Hawkman are a little too stiff and serious, the duo who make up Firestorm gets some of the better laughs. Garber is consistently strong whether doing comedy or playing the science buff.  The pilot does a good job by showing why Dr. Stein is a courageous hero even when not as Firestorm.

legends of tomorrow hawkman hawkgirl falk hentschel and ciara renee

Another bright spot is Doctor Who’s Arthur Darvill as time master Rip Hunter. This is excellent casting. Rip was an unknown factor because he wasn’t set up in The Flash and Arrow. He’s one part wrangler, one part time-travel guide and is sort of the glue that’s holding these characters together. Rip rounds out the team very well.

The pilot ends on a solid story beat which gives the team a purpose that is both meaningful and personal. It’s clear what the week to week formula will be. Rip even says it to the team as if they were the TV audience at home.

The thing is that we’ve already seen the rag-tag team of comic book based misfits done better and very recently. 

Still, there is definitely potential if Legends of Tomorrow gives us a team we can whole heartedly root for as they dive into epic comic book moments throughout the past and future. 

The start to Legends of Tomorrow is a tad underwhelming given it’s promise, but is good enough to warrant further viewings as it hopefully develops into a stronger superhero team based show. 

What will make or break your decision to watch Legends of Tomorrow? If you watched it, what did you enjoy or dislike about the Pilot, part 1?

About Sidekick Reviews

Movies, TV shows, comics, and video game news & review.

Posted on January 22, 2016, in Comics, Television, TV Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Actually it was 45 minutes (not a lot of commercials). When have we seen the group thing done recently? Maybe I’m forgetting something. Was there a superhero team on TV (besides animated)? Legends was okay and I was thinking each would have their own episodes. Or one or two of them at a time. But if they try to put everybody in every episode, I think I’m going to get bored. Arthur Darvill annoyed me. Not the actor but the characters backstory. I mean he’s from Doctor Who. SPOILERS: He’s a Time MASTER (not Lord. It’s different). He steals a time machine. yadda yadda yadda. There’s a lawyer on the phone. I think he has an accent. My two least favorite pairing are the old guy and the black dude and the two birds. The other four are awesome. I just don’t know yet if my annoyances will be balanced out by the cool four. And if the veiled Doctor Who rip-offs will start to piss me off. I’ll keep watching. I liked that the old guy was her son. That was cool. :END SPOILERS I hope that they can find some depth to the characters. It took Agents of SHIELD a while to get going but they’re in the same universe as the movies. The TV DC universe is completely removed from the DC movies. I think that’s a mistake. But they’ve got three shows that AI love so I’ll give them some time to get going.

    • I was thinking of the movies for the group thing. I guess there was the TV version of the Suicide Squad but it wasn’t a show on it’s own and was under developed. Yeah, too many characters to juggle in the pilot, I think they had to introduce everyone though. I’m guessing that week to week, the regular episodes would have focal point character or pairing, but it’ll still be a team based show. So many similarities to Doctor Who, add to the fact that the actor is from Doctor Who. Someone getting sued? Haha, maybe after the first regeneration. Did you dislike Stein and Jax on the Flash too, or just how they were bickering this ep? I like them, I also do like hawkgirl but not her interactions with hawkman. I like the reveal that the professor dude is their son, I just wasn’t overly fond that his death was used to “develop” her or whatever the right word is. I have mixed feelings about the separate DC TV and Movie universe. I liked the Supergirl pilot more, it allowed their star to really shine and in Legends I don’t think anyone in the pilot stood out that much (but that’s just me). Thanks for the comment!

      • That’s funny I like Hawkman better than Hawkgirl. I would rather they both be that intense as he is and you can just skip to the part where they’re together. Obviously we’re going there. I like Stein more than Jax. I loved Stein and ATOM nerding out with the physics talk. But the whole drugging him thing I was NOT down with that. On the A-Team they would drug B.A. because he didn’t like to fly but he did want to go there he just didn’t want to be in a plane. But this was a straight up kidnapping. Not cool. But my favorite thing was the bar scene with Sara, Snart and Rory. (Is there really a Rory on the show? It’s gonna get confusing). I would have liked a lot more from the time travelling dude. Have him finding them be the adventure in the pilot and it be all him and at the end they’re assembled. It felt like a field trip. I don’t know. Maybe I’m wanting too much.

        • Hawkgirl got more time on The Flash and mostly opposite Cisco so I gradually warmed up to her. I’m not feeling Hawkman. Stein is great and his nerdy scene with Atom is a good sign for things to come. I see where you’re coming from, I don’t support drugging, but it was mainly played off laughs and they needed one character that didn’t want to join. He doesn’t look like a Rory lol, definitely go with Mick or Heat Wave. I like that thee three got into mischief but I didn’t love that scene. More adventure, more craziness, more character moments is I what I’m hoping for … I’ll think we’ll get there and soon.

  2. I thought it was an alright start. I have the same complaints as you. For someone who already knows the background on these characters, the little intros felt awkward. While you still have to make this work for someone who may jump into this without watching Arrow/Flash, it kind of hurts the pacing of the episode a bit when there is so much to try and do. Perhaps if they could have aired both parts of the pilot together that would have helped me get more out of it.

    And then there is me just not being sold on all these characters yet, let alone their chemistry and how the show will fit together all of these parts. I enjoyed Snart, Rory and Sara getting into trouble together the most I think, but perhaps that is just because I liked Cold and Sara the most previously whereas I haven’t exactly warmed up to everyone else.

    Great review. Hopefully this come together some as it goes on. Time traveling adventures with some of these characters could certainly be fun if they can get all these parts in order.

    • I like your idea of the back to back parts of the pilot, maybe they could have found an alternative to those little intros which I agree felt awkward, especially as someone who has watched these characters on the other shows. The pacing for the first part suffered, the action part against Chronos helped, but I wanted more overall.

      The chemistry isn’t quite there yet, maybe part 2 will be better. I like the idea of Sara and co. getting into mischief. I think that scene really worked to show off Sara especially to new viewers but it felt like an extended version of her first scene where she was also at a bar getting into trouble. I guess I would have preferred a different kind of set up, but maybe that’s just me. 🙂

      I still think this show can work, it’s decent for now. just needs some time. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Looking forward to checking this out…although we aren’t getting it in the UK until March (arg). Sounds like it may take a few episodes to develop, fingers crossed it will evolve into something great!

    • Hello Chris, hope you’ve been doing well. I think this show is worth checking out. I a lot of other people liked this more than me. I think the first episode had a lot of setting up to do is all, part 2 of the premiere shouldn’t have this issue. Oh man, it’s not in the UK until March eh.

  4. I haven’t watched it yet, but plan to on Hulu today or tomorrow. Nothing has totally sold me on the show yet, and your review was great, in that it reassured me not to expect too much from this first episode at least. Pilots are definitely always strange. As a matter of fact, as much as I love The Flash, I still think that to this day, its worst episode was its pilot. Hopefully this is a series that can grow. I look forward to reading more of your stuff! Be sure to check out mine if you get a chance. Keep up the great work 🙂

    • Hi there, welcome to the blog. Nice to read your comments, feel free to frequently stop by and chat. 🙂 I’ll be sure to check out your posts too! Going in with a reasonable expectations is a good way to watch Legends’ pilot. I watched the trailers which were spectacular and was probably expecting too much. A lot of other reviews seemed to really like it, at least more than I did. Maybe if they aired parts 1 and 2 of the pilot back to back I might have had a different reaction. I think this series will grow, like how the Flash got better and better. Thanks again!

  5. I haven’t seen this yet, but I really like Flash and Arrow so I am planning to check this out. There are quite a few characters in the line-up, so I’m hoping they can balance everyone. A big team-up can be tons of fun, like The Avengers, but it can also get too complex and bogged down, like Age of Ultron.

    • Hey Ashley, I think Legends will be worth checking out and giving it a try. 🙂 It’s has a lot of elements of the Flash and Arrow (and cameos too), plus a sci-fi time travelling premise. I think the big team up has potential … so far there’s humor and I think after a few episodes the chemistry should develop. Hope you enjoy it!

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