Doom Patrol features the rag tag group of metahuman outcasts turned reluctant heroes that we first saw appear in episode 4 of Titans. I have to be honest and admit that I don’t know too much about the Doom Patrol as characters or a team prior to their appearance on these DC Universe shows. I knew their character names and that they were pretty out there characters but that’s about it. With that being said the pilot episode of this series does a great job at introducing its cast in a timely manner while providing enough forward narrative to keep you interested in where things are going.
The first thing this episode needed to do was establish its main characters and get you to care about them, and I think they do a really great job of accomplishing that. Robotman aka Cliff Steele (Brendan Fraser), Negative Man aka Larry Trainor (Matt Bomer), Elasti-Woman aka Rita Farr (April Bowlby), and Crazy Jane(Diane Guerrero) are all led and sheltered by Niles Caulder aka The Chief at Doom Manor. Robotman, Negative Man, and Elasti-Woman all have their backstories featured prominently, and each one does a solid job of establishing the quirks of each character and also showcasing the horrible accidents that led to their arrival at the manor. I found myself caring about each of them and the emotional gut punch of what they went through really hits home.
The mental struggles each of them faces with the life they now endure is the emotional backbone of the show, and sets the team up to act as a support group for one another. Though they’re a bit dysfunctional, the team really feels like a family and it’s entertaining to watch. They all have such strong personalities and there are some genuine laugh out loud moments and one-liners. Every actor gives a really great performance too, they deliver on the emotion when needed and have great chemistry with one another.
From a technical standpoint I think it’s quite good in most areas. It’s shot beautifully and has some fantastic set design, especially the manor, and the sound editing along with score really bring home some scenes. The practical effects and costumes look great, and the overall plot structure is good. I think the weakest element would have to be the CGI. While it’s good in some areas it’s pretty average in a lot of others, which is sort of to be expected given the budget but it’s worth pointing out, nonetheless.
The last big talking point for the pilot is the tone of the show. This is definitely not a show for kids and earns its mature rating very quickly. It might be a little off putting for some, but it leans into its dark and sometimes crude humor. The mature rating also allows for some more adult themes to be explored which works wonderfully with these characters.
Overall the Pilot episode of Doom Patrol was a really solid start to the series. A great cast of characters that you want to spend more time with and an inciting incident that has huge implications for the team. Doom Patrol is worth checking out for the greatly executed team dynamic, and that’s just the start.