Doom Patrol May Just Be The Superheroes TV Show We Know We Needed
Boy! More tv superheroes are just what the world needs right now, right? We’re sure that's what the producers thought when they started screening this show. Doom Patrol is the third original series after 'Titans' and 'Young Justice: Outsiders' for the DC Universe streaming service; it is a strange comic ode to the misfits of DC comics. Doom Patrol is based on characters created by writers Arnold Drake and Bob Haney with artist Bruno Premiani and is essentially the origin story of DC’s superhero team that aren’t necessarily the heroes we’re used to.
A round-up of the main characters and the not so loved or even known superheroes are Cliff Steele played by Fraser, a.k.a Robotman; he is a NASCAR driver whose body was destroyed in a car accident, but his brain was implanted into a welded-together frame by the mad scientist, Niles Caulder (Timothy Dalton). Rita Farr played by April Bowlby, a.k.a. Elasti-Woman, is a Golden Age Hollywood actress who had an experience with an unusual substance in Africa which left her body prone to melting into a Blob-like monster under stress.
Larry Trainor played by Matt Bomer, a.k.a Negative Man, is a pilot whose exposure to deep space radiation left his skin horrifically scarred (he bandages up like Universal’s Invisible Man) and a separate entity sharing his body. And then there’s Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero), a woman with 64 different personalities—each with a separate superpower. Wheew! That can’t be easy on her.
Doom Patrol isn’t your dime-a-dozen superhero production. Matter of fact, the opening narration tells us to expect “super zeroes,” a description that kind of fits for the misfits. See what we did there? These superheroes were not born with mutant genes, neither are they gods or aliens from other planets. Instead, they’re all victims of tragic origins that bestow onto them the gift of supernatural powers. Or should we say the curse?
They find their way into the company of Niles Caulder a.k.a the Chief, who’s played to perfection by Timothy Dalton. When we do think of it, we could describe him as the Charles Xavier of the show because he’s the one who has a comparable analog also because this whole show gives us a more surreal weird X-men vibe.
But in less than five minutes into the pilot, we see Brendan Fraser‘s bare ass-cheeks dutifully pumping away, and that’s when we decided, maybe we should pay more attention. In terms of performances, tones and overall feel, Doom Patrol is turning out to be fun, and it didn’t take long for us to see how epic this series is. It’s self-aware, yet it’s not pretentious. It’s humorous, and if nothing else, it’s packed with emotion and heart.
It’s a story about a f*****d up and unusual family finding out what makes each of them unique and embracing it. Each character wonderfully unique and different but perfectly brought to life by the cast and creative choices. Three-quarters of the episode sees the crew is in the modern-day timeline just sitting around Doom Manor.
Thankfully, the cast can hold its own, not that we don’t entirely mind sitting around with them, but, a time-jump halfway through suggests that these superheroes basically sat around the house for 13 years, and they’re all so unchanged on the other side! You’re left wondering why the show includes such a significant time-jump at all.
But when the team ultimately gets out of the house to explore the world, things instantly go from pleasantly strange to -WTF is happening here- Strange. Rita devolves into her true form, A swirling vortex sucks up an entire town and a mysterious donkey shows up and basically puts up a mysterious message into the sky.
By now, we know you’re thinking - 'so who’s the villain?' We’ll say it’s ‘Mr. Nobody,' played by Mr. Alan Tudyk. Afterall he is at the heart of the first great calamity and serves as our narrator. Mr. Nobody’s character design is pretty impressive on a show filled with remarkable character designs, Tudyk served perfectly as an appropriately insane Big Bad guy for a crazy series, and his twisted sense of humor will make you question yourself for laughing at scenes where you shouldn’t be laughing
Overall, Doom Patrol is most definitely not going to be for everyone. But if you can get behind the type of comic book storytelling that swings wildly for the fences in that weird superhumanly macabre way only comic book storytelling can, Doom Patrol is going to be your thing. If DC universe was looking to put out something different and bring diversity and uniqueness to the channel, then this may just be it!
In a world flooded with comic book-based movies and TV shows, this is just the kind of difference we need now. “Critics, what do they know? They’re gonna hate this show,” The self-aware villain/narrator Mr. Nobody says in the first episode. Now, we don’t want to get prematurely excited, but this time, we’re inclined to say - ‘Nobody is wrong.' Have you seen any episodes of this show? What's your take on it? Tell us in the comments section below.