Fourth-episode verdict: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (US: The CW; UK: Sky1)

The BarrometerA Barrometer rating of 3

In the US: Thursdays, 8/7c, The CW
In the UK: Thursdays, 8pm, Sky 1. Starts March 3 (TBC)

You know what should be both fun and awesome? DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. You know what is instead just a bit limp and unremarkable? DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. It’s such a disappointment. 

It has a great central idea: take all the best supporting characters from both The Flash and Arrow, stick them together as a team, and have them travelling throughout time to defeat an immortal Big Bad. It’s a limited series, promising us all kinds of possibilities in terms of character development and mortality. It has elements ripped straight from Doctor Who, right down to having Rory (Arthur Darvill) playing time hunter Rip Torn. It’s got a great cast, including the two Prison Break brothers Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell, former Superman Brandon Routh, the kick ass Caity Lotz and the very cool Victor Garber. 

But each and every episode, from beginning to end, bar the second, has been nothing except low-budget, comic book escapism of the highest order, with no real significance or import. Even deaths are trivial and a bit meaningless.

Character development is defined as ‘starting off a bit mopey/fighty and progressively becoming a bit more/less mopey/fighty’. Fights are a bit poor. Special effects are okay at best. Attempts to recreate a particular time period largely come down to giving everyone some new clothes to wear, while someone hangs up a banner on a Canadian building and hopes everyone will just buy it as 1975/1986/2000 BC. Plots are a bit poor. Dialogue’s sometimes okay, but largely not. Acting is frequently hammy and dreadful. 

Given all the effort that’s been spent on developing the characters in other series, it almost feels like the producers thought it would just be so awesome having everyone together, they didn’t need to put any effort into the eventual team-up. Or maybe everyone good was already so tied up with Arrow and The Flash that it was left to the B-team to put together DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Or maybe it’s simply because The CW doesn’t actually have the budget to put together an entire TV series like The Avengers.

An unthreatening villain facing a not especially inspiring team-up in a series of uninspiring, plot loophole-riddled, joyless episodes of comic strip harmless? Who could resist? Probably not me actually. I’m not loving it, but the idea of not watching it seems odd, simply because of the good members of the cast.

All the same, I really, really wish it was a lot better than it actually is.

Barrometer rating:  3
Would it be better with female leads? N/A
TMINE’s prediction: Unlikely to get renewed with the current team, but the mooted anthology-type structure with completely different characters could well get traction


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.