DC's Legends of Tomorrow Will Be an Anthology Series with Standalone Seasons

Friday, 24 July 2015 - 3:34PM
DC Comics
Legends of Tomorrow
Friday, 24 July 2015 - 3:34PM
DC's Legends of Tomorrow Will Be an Anthology Series with Standalone Seasons
Between Netflix and DVR, the television medium is changing, and shows are increasingly becoming more serialized and tending towards season-long arcs. Several prestigious shows, such as American Horror Story and True Detective, are going so far as to employ the anthology format, in which each season is entirely self-contained and features different characters. No superhero show has ever tried this format, but DC's Legends of Tomorrow might change all that, as showrunner Phil Klemmer explicitly referred to it as an "anthology show" and characterized the first season as "standalone":

Opening quote
"It's an anthology show. This is not designed to go forever. This season is meant to be standalone," Klemmer told Screenrant. "I mean not as anthological as 'True Detective.' But not everybody will be continuing on this journey. The sort of central premise of time travel and Vandal Savage is totally up for grabs. This is meant to be a season that is tightly serialized that, when it's over, you can't go home again. It's not going to begin Season 2 with us all hopping back on the same ship and like 'Let's get Vandal! Let's get him for real this time!' This is not traditional episodic television."
Closing quote


He clarifies that it won't be as serialized as True Detective, which makes sense. True Detective is as anthologized as it gets, as the different seasons have absolutely no connection to each other aside from tone and themes. American Horror Story is slightly more moderate, as the different seasons feature many of the same actors, a couple of the same characters, and various connections that place all the seasons in the same universe. EP Marc Guggenheim clarifies that the format will be more like AHS than True Detective:

Opening quote
"The way we think of it is each arc, each season is its own separate movie. What we want to do is have each separate movie have its own identity. So almost to the point where each season was telling one big story that you could sort of subtitle, like the way you do subtitle 'American Horror Story,' if that makes sense."
Closing quote


Most likely, it won't even be quite as anthologized as American Horror Story, as it will likely feature at least a couple of the same characters. But it's encouraging that the show will be willing to kill off main characters over the course of the first season, and it's always a good sign when shows are heavily serialized. Part of the reason television has had trouble gaining as much prestige as film is its episodic nature, but now, especially with the advent of binge-watching, serialized shows can play like a 15-hour-long movie. This way, the premise won't get stale, and the show will be less likely to experience the creative fatigue that most shows go through after a few seasons.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow stars Caity Lotz as White Canary, Brandon Routh as the Atom, Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart/Captain Cold, Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory/Heat Wave, Victor Garber as Professor Martin Stein (one-half of Firestorm), Ciara Renee as Hawkgirl and Arthur Darvill as time-traveler Rip Hunter. Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin will recur as Arrow and The Flash, respectively. The show will air midseason 2016.
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