VERIFICATION: Doom Patrol – Season 1 (2019)
It’s no secret that Warner Bros. and DC have struggled with their film business, squandering much of the goodwill originally gained by their television counterpart. The movies are over for me, and the TV shows I missed mostly because of the number of them. When I heard about Doom Patrol, I knew nothing about the characters, but the casting caught my attention. I love Timothy Dalton and Brendan Fraser and neither of them are working at the moment. I would consider any of these actors in Doom Patrol, but together they form a kind of strange combination that really interests me. I didn’t bother looking at the show or the characters before watching it, which is unusual for me. I started watching the show last week and I didn’t like it much at first. But Doom Patrol is very memorable, and after a few episodes I knew I was looking forward to what would happen next. Well, let’s see.
We begin the first season of Doom Patrol with Cliff Steele (Brendan Fraser) as our character. He begins as a drunken, outcast race car driver, more interested in having fun than spending time with his wife and daughter. A tragic accident kills an entire family, or so we think. Niles Calder (Timothy Dalton) finds the only remaining part of Cliff’s body, his brain. He installs his brain in a giant metal body and slowly trains Cliff to walk and talk again, even though he can’t do anything else. At Niles’ Doom Manor, Cliff meets Rita Farr (April Bowlby), Larry Trainor (Matt Bomer) and Crazy Jane (Diana Guerrero), social misfits like him, who are taken in by a kindly old man. When Niles is approached by Mr. Nobody (Alan Tudyk) is kidnapped, it’s up to his gang of thugs with Cyborg (Joyvan Wade) to save their boss. But what they don’t know could hurt them, because Niles has a deep, dark secret he doesn’t share.
Cliff is the first character we meet, and he’s probably my favorite. He had made terrible and understandable mistakes when he was human, and just when he was about to redeem himself, that opportunity was taken away from him. At that point he realized that his wife and daughter were his real priorities, they died in an accident and he was turned into a Robotman. Other residents of Doom Manor have experienced similar difficulties. Rita Farr is the first Elasti-Girl, who was exposed to a mysterious chemical that caused her body to take on the properties of rubber. She was a famous actress, and this incident and the fate that followed ruined her career. Rita really bothered me at first, but I fell in love with this character. April Bowlby shines in this role. Everything she does and says is extremely believable, and she does away with the mid-Atlantic accent that characterizes this era in film history. I already knew Matt Bomer from American Horror Story, and he’s very nice here as Larry Trainor. Like Rita, he was at the height of his flying career in the Army when disaster struck. He must now wear bandages to hide his charred flesh and protect those around him from radiation poisoning. In addition, he has a mysterious entity called a negative spirit that shares his body, and sometimes he accidentally decides to take control. Cyborg is exactly what he looks like, and although I had never heard of or seen Joyvan Wade, I knew the character from the anime series Teen Titans. He has his own traumas related to his cybernetic existence and his distrustful relationship with his scientific father Silas (Phil Morris).
Diana Guerrero plays Crazy Jane, a troubled young woman with 64 different personalities, each with their own superhuman powers. Jane is by far my least favorite main character, mean and cruel. This is largely due to her multifaceted and alternative personality which she is not in control of, and we must regret that. When her story finally comes out, I really feel sorry for her. But their personalities are almost all annoying and not as funny as I think they were intended to be. Karen is the only one I found entertaining, and I really enjoyed the episode about her, episode 8, Danny Patrol. Karen is exactly what you want from her and more, and that’s all I’m going to say. Substitutes like Penny and Hammerhead are boring and they are often rude to other characters, which quickly becomes boring. This is especially true when their anger is directed at Cliff, who rarely deserves it. I liked Jane a little more as the season went on, but I liked the others better. Diana Guerrero, however, does an excellent job in this role. Each personality has a different look, sound, feel and credibility. It can’t have been an easy role, and it affects all personalities. The team was surrounded by the boss himself, Niles Calder. Timothy Dalton is in great form here, and at first Niles reminded me of Sir Malcolm Murray, his character in Penny Dreadful. Both are (or were) professional exporters fascinated by the unusual and potentially dangerous. But where Sir Malcolm is a seemingly cold man with a heart of gold, Niles is a warm and welcoming presence with a dark secret. Dalton effectively portrays both sides of this character. He’s ruthless and doesn’t exaggerate when it comes to his goals, but he also cares deeply about the gang. For better or worse, Niles considers his group of nerds a small family that he has created. And in time, they realize that too. Alan Tudyk is the narrator of the series and he turns out to be Mr. Nobody, Niles’ main antagonist and nemesis. Not surprisingly, he also has a dark story. Fortunately, they haven’t tried to collect it – at least not yet.
It took me a while to get used to the style and tone of Doom Patrol. The comedy is very reminiscent of Deadpool or Suicide Squad, and I’d say the result is somewhere in between in terms of quality. The story of the characters is engaging and likable (for the most part), but I find that the first few episodes are a bit too bare-bones. The Doom Patrol shows well what it means to get off the white queen. Jane is Latino and Larry is gay, but these traits never dominate their stories or define who they are. Cyborg never becomes the stereotype of the urban black teenager, which should go without saying, yet it happens all too often. Instead of looking for the obvious points of diversity, Doom Patrol lets its characters and all facets of their identity speak for themselves.
The music for Doom Patrol is by Kevin Kiner of Clone Wars and Rebels and Clint Mansell. I was a little disappointed that Keener was in, because Doom Patrol’s scoreline is not impressive, not even very flashy. The visuals are pretty good, but not revolutionary. They use basic elements like lighting and staging intelligently, which has a great impact on the overall look of the show.
Overall, I liked Doom Patrol once it started. Comedy and even dramatic elements are an acquired taste, but I’m glad I decided to give it a try and I recommend it if you have the time. Timothy Dalton’s current show surpasses that of his opposite number Penny Dreadfall. I’ll do a review of season 2 when I finish it.
frequently asked questions
Is Destiny Patrol worth watching?
Doom Patrol has a great cinematic quality, every shot exudes style and character. … Doom Patrol is one of the best superhero series of all time. I might even like it more than Daredevil, which is not only my favorite superhero series, but also one of the five best TV series of all time.
How old do you have to be to see Destiny Patrol?
What is the best choice between Doom Patrol and Umbrella Academy?
1 winner: Umbrella Academy In the end, it comes down to an Umbrella Academy that relies more on its powers. The Doom Patrol is an impulsive group, and some of their forces have a mind of their own. This makes them unreliable in battle.
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