Spinning off from DC Universe’s Titans, Doom Patrol features the not-so infamous superhero group are brought together from all walks of life by the Chief (Timothy Dalton) to give them a place for them to feel safe. Very similar to the premise of X-Men, these individuals with unique and strange abilities take refuge in Doom Manor where they are sheltered from the outside world and their old lives to feel a sense of security. Featuring characters Robotman (Brenden Fraser), Negative Man (Matt Bomer), Elasti-Woman (April Bowlby), and Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero), this team of freaks and weirdos really make the series all the more interesting to watch. So what is the verdict on the series’ premiere episode?
We begin the pilot with the tragic origin of Cliff Steele, aka Robotman, and it is easily one of the most emotionally griping and complex origin stories for a comic book character I have seen in a long time. Originally a famous NASCAR driver in the 1980’s, Steele leads his life very recklessly. His extramarital affair and frustrations with his wife come to ahead in a day that changes the course of his life forever. Now living in a robotic body built by the Chief, Steele struggles with his new life and living in seclusion. Fraser does a fantastic job of leading the series and really being the emotional heart of the pilot. Needless to say, Cliff Steele really is the strongest character introduced thus far and can’t wait to see more of him
The rest of the main characters all steal the show in their own unique ways. Each of them have real depth in ways that other comic book shows lack in their characters. By having characters come from different eras give us as the audience to see the individual struggles they all faced in those periods of time. While I expected this show to be a real quirky and weird look into a side of the DC universe we haven’t seen much of, I didn’t expect to connect with these characters as much as I did in this pilot episode. The actors all do fantastic jobs of bringing these characters to life in a way that you can easily connect with but also believe to actually be these flawed and strange people.
Overall I think the premiere episode for DC’s latest live-action endeavor is one of the best pilots I have seen in a long time. I was expecting to enjoy this pilot since the teams episode in Titans was one of my favorite episodes of that series but this episode really blew it out of the water for me. While still being a more adult series like Titans, the characters and story feel a little more genuine and emotional in this series so far compared to its sister series. From the performances, to the set design, to the story, Doom Patrol has so much potential to be one of DC’s best live-action series yet. I cannot give enough praise to this episode and those involved in its creation. If you have not had the opportunity to watch this episode, I highly recommend it for anyone who is a fan of comic book television or just good story and characters.