Legends of Tomorrow

DC's Legends of Tomorrow, or simply Legends of Tomorrow, is an American superhero television series developed by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, and Phil Klemmer, who are also executive producers along with Sarah Schechter and Chris Fedak; Klemmer and Fedak serve as showrunners. The series, based on the characters of DC Comics, airs on The CW and is a spin-off featuring characters introduced in Arrow and The Flash along with new characters, set in the Arrowverse, the same fictional universe. The series premiered in January 2016. Legends of Tomorrow was renewed for a fourth season in April 2018, which is set to premiere on October 22, 2018.[1][2]

Legends of Tomorrow
Legends of Tomorrow Intertitle
Genre
Based on Characters from DC Comics
Developed by
Starring
Composer(s)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 51 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Chris Fedak
  • Sarah Schechter
  • Phil Klemmer
  • Andrew Kreisberg
  • Marc Guggenheim
  • Greg Berlanti
Producer(s)
Location(s) Vancouver, British Columbia
Cinematography David Geddes
Mahlon Todd Williams
Editor(s)
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 42–45 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original network The CW
Picture format HDTV 1080i
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original release January 21, 2016 – present
Chronology
Related shows Arrowverse
External links
Website
Production website

Premise

Time Master Rip Hunter goes rogue after Vandal Savage murders Hunter's family. Intending to stop Savage, Hunter recruits a team consisting of Ray Palmer / Atom, Sara Lance / White Canary, Martin Stein and Jefferson "Jax" Jackson, who combine to form the hero Firestorm, Kendra Saunders / Hawkgirl, Carter Hall / Hawkman, Leonard Snart / Captain Cold, and Mick Rory / Heat Wave. They discover that the Time Masters are backing Savage in his domination of the world in 2166 to facilitate a successful repulsion of a Thanagarian invasion. Due to Snart's sacrifice, the Time Masters are destroyed.

In season two, with the Time Masters defeated, the team guard the timeline themselves, and cope with Rip's absence after he disappears. However, they are plagued by the Legion of Doom, a time-travelling team led by Reverse Flash (Eobard Thawne), who has recruited versions of Damien Darhk, Malcolm Merlyn, and Leonard Snart to find the Biblical Spear of Destiny, with which they can alter their fates. The team is joined by Amaya Jiwe / Vixen, an African superhero from the Justice Society of America, and Nate Heywood / Steel, a modern-day historian who acquires the power to become solid metal and reverse to normal skin.

In season three, the team discover that they created anachronisms throughout time, and Rip has formed the Time Bureau to help fix them. Rip tells the team of the demon Mallus, whose follower Nora Darhk has resurrected her father Damien and Amaya's granddaughter Kuasa, also recruiting Gorilla Grodd so that they can release Mallus from his prison by perverting history. The team loses both members of Firestorm, but is joined by Zari Tomaz, a hacktivist from 2042 whose air-controlling amulet is connected to Amaya's totem, and Wally West / Kid Flash, a speedster formerly under the tutelage of the Flash.

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedNielsen ratings
First airedLast airedRankAverage viewership
(in millions)
116January 21, 2016May 19, 20161353.16[3]
217October 13, 2016April 4, 20171412.57[4]
318October 10, 2017April 9, 20181702.24[5]
4TBAOctober 22, 2018[6]TBATBATBA

Cast and characters

  • Victor Garber as Martin Stein / Firestorm:
    A nuclear physicist focused on transmutation and also half of the superhero Firestorm with Jefferson Jackson. During “Crisis on Earth-X” he sacrifices himself to help the heroes escape Earth-X.[7][8][9] Graeme McComb portrays a young Stein in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.[10] The character was first introduced on The Flash.
  • Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer / Atom:
    A scientist, inventor, businessman and former CEO of Palmer Technologies who developed a power-suit that is now capable of size manipulation.[7][8] The character was first introduced on Arrow.
  • Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter:
    A roguish time traveler and leader of the team, who hides the strains of being responsible for history itself behind a façade of charm and wit.[7][11] His goal is to defeat Vandal Savage, his archenemy throughout time, in order to save the world and his family. Aiden Longworth portrays a young Rip Hunter.[12] In the second season, Rip disappears and gives command of the Waverider to the Legends. He later returns, first as a film student in the 1960s who has no recollection of his past life, then as a brainwashed killer working for the Legion and later back to his original self. He remains with the team for a while but departs when he realizes that the Legends no longer need him as their captain. In the third season, he is the founder and leader of the Time Bureau.
  • Caity Lotz as Sara Lance / White Canary:
    A Star City vigilante and former League of Assassins member suffering from rage issues after being resurrected by the mystical Lazarus Pit.[7][8][13] In the second season, Sara becomes the leader of the Legends and captain of the Waverider. The character is partially based on the Black Canary and was first introduced on Arrow.
  • Franz Drameh as Jefferson "Jax" Jackson / Firestorm:
    A former Central City high school athlete whose pro career was derailed by an injury and now works as an auto mechanic.[7][14][15] He serves as the other half of the superhero Firestorm with Martin Stein. After Stein dies, Jax decides to leave the Waverider and return to the present as he is no longer a metahuman.[9] The producers decided to create Jax as the other half of Firestorm to have him be someone in his early 20s and different from Ronnie's Firestorm, bringing comedy and camaraderie with Stein.[16] The character was first introduced on The Flash.
  • Ciara Renée as Kendra Saunders / Hawkgirl:
    A young woman who is just beginning to learn that she has been repeatedly reincarnated over the centuries. When provoked, her ancient warrior persona manifests itself along with wings that grow out of her back.[7][17][18] She chooses to leave the team at the end of the first season.[19] Saunders is also known by her Egyptian name Chay-Ara, and Edith Boardman in the series. Anna Deavere Smith portrays an older Kendra in 1871, known as Cinnamon.[20][21] The character was first introduced on The Flash.
  • Falk Hentschel as Carter Hall / Hawkman:
    The latest reincarnation of the Egyptian prince Khufu who is fated to reincarnate throughout time along with his soulmate Kendra, with powers similar to hers.[18][22][23][24] A reincarnated version is recruited by Vandal Savage where he is known as Scythian Torvil before remembering his life as Carter Hall. He chooses to leave the team at the end of the first season.[19] Hall is also known by the name Joe Boardman in the series. Hentschel received guest credit in his subsequent appearances in season one after the character's death in "Pilot, Part 2." The character was first introduced on The Flash.[19][25]
  • Amy Pemberton (credited as Amy Louise Pemberton since season 3) voices Gideon:
    The artificial intelligence of the Waverider.[26] Pemberton portrays a physical version of the character in the second season episode, "Land of the Lost" and the third season episode "Here I Go Again".[27] An alternate version of Gideon (voiced by Morena Baccarin) was first introduced in The Flash.[26]
  • Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory / Heat Wave:
    An arsonist, career criminal, and accomplice of Leonard Snart who, in contrast to his partner, uses a heat gun capable of burning almost anything.[7][28] After being deserted in the past by Snart, he is recruited by the Time Masters and becomes the bounty hunter Chronos, who hunts the Legends, but later rejoins the team. Mitchell Kummen portrays a young Rory.[29] The character was first introduced on The Flash.
  • Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart / Captain Cold:
    The son of a career criminal who turns to the quick and easy life of crime, and uses a cryonic gun to freeze objects and people on contact.[7][8] Trestyn Zradicka portrays a young Leo. At the end of the first season, Snart sacrifices himself to save his team. In the second season, the Legion of Doom[30] recruits a past version of Snart from before he joined the team with the promise of averting his future death. Following the Legion's defeat, Mick returns Snart to the exact moment where he was recruited by the Legion, wiping his memories in the process and ensuring that Snart will eventually join the Legends. During the "Crisis on Earth-X" event, a parallel universe version from Earth-X, Leonard "Leo" Snart / Citizen Cold is introduced; Leo temporarily joins the Legends. The character was first introduced on The Flash.
  • Matt Letscher as Eobard Thawne / Reverse Flash:
    A supervillain speedster from the future and the archenemy of the Flash. He is the leader of the Legion of Doom. His goal was to keep himself from being killed by Eddie Thawne back on The Flash. In the season 2 finale, he is defeated by the Legends and the Black Flash, apparently erasing Thawne from existence once again. The character was first introduced on The Flash.[31]
  • Maisie Richardson-Sellers as Amaya Jiwe / Vixen:
    A member of the Justice Society of America in the 1940s who is able to magically channel the abilities of the animal kingdom thanks to the mysterious Tantu Totem. She is the grandmother of Mari McCabe, who is portrayed by Megalyn Echikunwoke in other Arrowverse series.[32] It was originally intended for the McCabe version of Vixen to be used in Legends as well, but Echikunwoke was unable to reprise the role due to previous commitments.[33]
  • Nick Zano as Nathaniel Heywood / Steel:
    A historian from Star City who gains the ability to transform himself into a steel-like form, and is the grandson of Commander Steel, a member of the Justice Society of America.[34][35]
  • Tala Ashe as Zari Adrianna Tomaz:
    An American Muslim computer hacker from the year 2042 who possesses aerokinesis powers from a mystical amulet.[36]
  • Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West / Kid Flash:
    A speedster from Keystone City, and later Central City, who was mentored by Barry Allen. He is the son of Joe West and the brother of Iris West, and looking for his place in the world. The character was first introduced on The Flash.[37] He returned to Central City at the end of The Flash episode "We Are The Flash".

Matt Ryan was announced as being promoted to a series regular for the fourth season ahead of its renewal, reprising his role as John Constantine, an English exorcist and conman from the short-lived series Constantine.[38] Jes Macallan and Courtney Ford have also been promoted to series regulars for the fourth season, after recurring as Ava Sharpe and Nora Darhk, respectively.[39][40] Lonsdale will not be a series regular in the fourth season.[41]

Production

Development

In January 2015, co-creator Greg Berlanti stated that there were "very early" preliminary talks for an additional spin-off series centered on Ray Palmer / Atom (Brandon Routh), from Arrow and The Flash.[42] In February 2015, it was reported that a spin-off series, described as a superhero team-up show, was in discussion by The CW for a possible 2015–16 midseason release. Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim, and Sarah Schechter would serve as executive producers. The potential series would be headlined by several recurring characters from both Arrow and The Flash, including Palmer, Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller), and Dr. Martin Stein (Victor Garber). Caity Lotz was also mentioned to be among the main cast. There would be potential for other Arrow/Flash characters to cross over to the new series, and the series would be casting "three major DC Comics characters who have never appeared in a TV series".[8]

In March 2015, Stephen Amell, who portrays Oliver Queen / Green Arrow on Arrow, confirmed the series would air in the 2015–16 midseason. Additionally, Kreisberg stated more would be revealed about the nature of the series by the end of Arrow's third season, specifically why Lotz is slated to appear, given her previous character, Sara, was killed at the start of Arrow season three.[43] Berlanti also stated there was a particular reason for the other half of Firestorm—Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell), as seen on The Flash—not being mentioned in the initial cast announcement.[44] On the purpose of the series, Berlanti said it was designed to be "most similar to our crossover episodes, where you feel that 'event-iness', but all the time. For us, first and foremost, with all of [our shows], it's about 'how is it its own thing?' Because we don't just want to do it to do it." He also revealed the producers were focusing on "making sure that the villain that we have on [the] show is distinct too... another big character who hasn't been used yet."[45] Also in March, Dominic Purcell was revealed to be reprising his role as Heat Wave in the series,[28] and Blake Neely, composer of Arrow and The Flash, would serve as composer.[46] At the end of the month, Arthur Darvill was cast as Rip Hunter, one of the "new to TV" DC characters,[11] while Ciara Renée was cast as Kendra Saunders / Hawkgirl.[17] In April 2015, in a Variety article on the recent MipTV event, it noted the title for the series would be Legends of Tomorrow, despite it still being unconfirmed by those involved with the series.[47] Also in the month, Franz Drameh was cast as Jax Jackson.[14]

In May 2015, actor Victor Garber said that The CW was impressed with what was shown to them, giving the project a straight-to-series order.[48] The network officially confirmed the order for the series on May 7, 2015, as well as the official title, DC's Legends of Tomorrow.[7] Later in the month, it was confirmed that Lotz would reprise her role as Sara Lance, who would be taking the name White Canary,[13] as well as revealing the antagonist as Vandal Savage.[49] In June 2015, it was announced that Phil Klemmer had been made the series showrunner as well as executive producer;[50] Chris Fedak serves as executive producer and co-showrunner with Klemmer.[51] At the end of the month, Grant Gustin stated he would appear in the series as Barry Allen / Flash,[52] though he ultimately did not appear in the first season. In August 2015, Casper Crump was cast as Vandal Savage.[53]

On March 11, 2016, the series was renewed for a second season,[54] which debuted in October 2016.[55] The producers have considered adjusting the Legends team for additional seasons, with Joseph David-Jones' Connor Hawke and Megalyn Echikunwoke's Vixen potential additions.[56][57] For the second season, Klemmer revealed that Arrow writer Keto Shimizu and The Flash writer Grainne Godfree would be working on Legends in order to "make our stories work in concert" with Arrow and The Flash. Klemmer also noted the challenges of creating more crossover elements, since Amell and Gustin work full days for their respective shows. In terms of working within the Arrowverse, Klemmer said that the death of Laurel Lance on Arrow would "resonate into Season 2... [since] something that happens on Arrow can create ripples that appear on our show in a huge way. It fundamentally alters the DNA of our series."[58] The second season initially consisted of 13 episodes,[59] with four more ordered in November 2016 to bring the season total to 17.[60]

Teasing the premise of season two in April 2016, Klemmer stated, "We're coming at it from a completely different angle. We're determined to make every part of season two feel like its own show. [The first episode of season two] will very much be a new pilot with new good guys, new bad guys, new stakes, new dynamics, new goals. The team will basically have to find a new purpose. Once you save the world, what do you do then?... The fact that the world was in peril sort of forced our team to fall into its own dysfunctional version of lockstep. Season two, they're no longer going to be hunted by Time Masters. They're no longer going to be burdened with having to save the world. It's no longer going to be about saving Miranda and Jonas. The interesting thing about season two is I think it's going to have a much, much different tone because our Legends are going to have a totally different purpose. They're actually going to have a totally different constitution. There will be new faces and new everything."[58] The season also introduced members of the Justice Society of America.[61] The Society consisted of Hourman, Vixen, Commander Steel, Obsidian, Stargirl and Dr. Mid-Nite.[62] The season also featured a version of the Legion of Doom, composed of the Reverse-Flash, Malcolm Merlyn, Damien Darhk and Captain Cold.[30]

Filming

In May 2015, Garber revealed filming would begin in August 2015, for a January 2016 premiere.[48] The series shot a presentation for the network's upfront showcase, which was filmed over the course of one night, and directed by Arrow and The Flash veteran Dermott Downs.[9] Filming of the series began on September 9, 2015, in Vancouver, British Columbia.[63][64][65] Director/producer Glen Winter discussed in a January 2016 interview with Comic Book Resources the process of filming key elements of the series' pilot,

The new facet for Legends was that there's no #1 [actor] on the call sheet. There are seven or eight leads. For me, that was the intimidating part. I wasn't as worried about the action and tone as I was with wrangling all these personalities and finding out how they all work together. Or, how to shoot a scene with eight people in the Waverider, day after day.[66]

He stated of the series style of shooting on location as opposed to predominantly shooting on a soundstage,

As is typical with any pilot, most of the time you are going to shoot more on location. Because you don't necessarily know if you are going to have a show that's been picked up, they don't want to invest a lot of money in the infrastructure, so you end up shooting more on location. The only set that was built was the Waverider. That being said, because we knew there was a pickup for the show, it wasn't a conventional pilot. All the resources of construction went into the Waverider. That's continuing into the series. I don't think they tend to build much. I think they tend to adapt locations because there's so much time travel and so many eras to create.[66]

Broadcast

Legends of Tomorrow premiered in the United States on January 21, 2016,[67] and the first season consisted of sixteen episodes.[68] The series premiere in Australia was originally announced as January 20, 2016,[69][70] however it was pushed back until January 22.[71] It started airing in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2016.[72]

Reception

Critical reception

The pilot was well reviewed for its potential. Russ Burlingame from ComicBook.com praised it saying, "The series delivers a sharp, enjoyable pilot that's arguably the most attention-grabbing and entertaining from any of the current crop of superhero shows."[73] Jesse Schedeen of IGN gave the first part of the pilot episode a 7.7/10, praising the show's "epic scope", "fun character dynamics", and Arthur Darvill's performance;[74] and gave the second part of the pilot a 8.4/10, saying it "improved in its sophomore episode thanks to great character dynamics and superhero action".[75]

However, review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the complete first season only a 57% approval rating, with an average rating of 6.05/10 based on 37 reviews. The website's consensus reads: "Fancy effects, comic-book nostalgia, and an alluring cast help keep it afloat, but DC's Legends of Tomorrow suffers from an overloaded cast of characters that contribute to a distractingly crowded canvas."[76] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 58 out of 100 based on reviews from 22 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[77]

Rotten Tomatoes gave the second season a 77% approval rating, with an average rating of 6.06/10 based on 13 reviews. The website's consensus reads: "Though the narrative remains too ambitious, DC's Legends of Tomorrow enjoys a freer creative arc with the removal of problem characters."[78]

The third season holds an approval rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 7.98/10 based on 11 reviews.[79] while IGN gave the season an approval rating of 8.1 /10, stating : "When Legends of Tomorrow works, it's easily among the best superhero shows on television (if not shows in general). Unfortunately, while Season 3 reached some impressive highs, it also gave us some of the weakest installments of the series. Season 3 ultimately suffered from its inability to create a conflict worthy of this cast of misfit heroes, and that casts a shadow that will linger when the series returns for Season 4."[80]

Ratings

Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes First aired Last aired TV season Rank Avg. viewers
(millions)
18–49 rating
(average)
Date Viewers
(millions)
Date Viewers
(millions)
1 Thursday 8:00 pm 16 January 21, 2016 3.21[81] May 19, 2016 1.85[82] 2015–16 135 3.16 1.2[83]
2 Thursday 8:00 pm (1–8)
Tuesday 9:00 pm (9–17)
17 October 13, 2016 1.82[84] April 4, 2017 1.52[85] 2016–17 141 2.57 0.9[4]
3 Tuesday 9:00 pm (1–9)
Monday 8:00 pm (10–18)
18 October 10, 2017 1.71[86] April 9, 2018 1.41[87] 2017–18 170 2.24 0.8[88]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2016 Saturn Awards Best Superhero Adaption Television Series Legends of Tomorrow Nominated [92]
The Joey Awards Young Actor in a TV Series Featured Role 6–10 Years Glen Gordon Won [93]
Young Actor in an Action TV Series Guest Starring/Principal Role Aiden Longworth Nominated
Cory Gruter-Andrew Nominated
Mitchell Kummen Won
Young Actor in a TV Series Recurring Role 6–9 Years Kiefer O'Reilly Won
2017 Leo Awards Best Direction in a Dramatic Series David Geddes Nominated [94]
Best Visual Effects in a Dramatic Series Armen V. Kevorkian, Meagan Condito, Rick Ramirez, Andranik Taranyan, James Rorick Nominated
Best Sound in a Dramatic Series Kristian Bailey Won
2018 Saturn Awards Best Superhero Adaptation Television Series Legends of Tomorrow Nominated [95]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Action Caity Lotz Pending

Home release

Complete Season DVD/Blu-ray Release dates Additional info
Region 1/A Region 2/B Region 4/C
1 August 23, 2016[96] August 29, 2016[97] August 31, 2016[98] The Blu-ray/DVD box-sets include featurettes, deleted scenes, gag reels and highlights from Comic-Con.
2 August 15, 2017[99] August 14, 2017[100] August 16, 2017[101]

Arrowverse

In May 2015, Renée made a cameo in the final episode of The Flash's first season, "Fast Enough", and later made appearances in the show's second season in November 2015.[102][103][104] In July 2015, Guggenheim revealed that the resurrection of Sara Lance would be launched in the first few episodes of Arrow's fourth season, with the events of the eighth episodes of Arrow and The Flash—which were a crossover event—being used to set up the other characters of Legends of Tomorrow.[105] Franz Drameh was introduced as the new other half of Firestorm in the fourth episode of the second season of The Flash. Crump, Hentschel and James debut in the crossover episodes for the second season of The Flash and the fourth season of Arrow.[23][53][106] In November 2016, the cast of Legends of Tomorrow appeared on The Flash and Arrow as part of the three-part "Invasion!" crossover event; the crossover episodes also featured appearances by Melissa Benoist, reprising her role as Kara Danvers / Supergirl from the TV series Supergirl.

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