Recently, we shared an article about ten things Legends of Tomorrow – the third in the line of DC comic book adaptations on The CW – needs to do in order to be successful in the long-term. In that piece, it is noted that one of the major distinguishing factors of this new show that sets it apart from its predecessors is the ability to time-travel. Legends of Tomorrow’s premise is centered around the heroes and their leader Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) journeying to the past and future. There is potential in the premise of the show, then, for the writers and characters alike to explore uncharted territories and time periods.
Here are 12 Great Settings That Legends of Tomorrow Could Explore.
12. Prohibition Era America
If the Legends of Tomorrow crew traveled to America during the Prohibition era, it would be perfect for characters like Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) and Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell), who would slip into the grit and crime of the era with relative ease. In their present-day, they are thieves and modern gangsters, so a plotline where the two had to scheme and sell liquor, a la Boardwalk Empire, would be welcome.
The allure of this period in America would easily translate to the show, too, as Legends of Tomorrow has already proven its prowess in period-era wardrobe, hair, and make-up. The challenges in this era would be intriguing to watch the legends tackle, and a Leonard/Mick side-adventure would be worth the trip alone.
11. Ancient Egypt (… with everyone in tow this time)
Technically, Rip Hunter has already been to ancient Egypt to try and stop Vandal Savage (Casper Crump), but it would benefit the show greatly if the remainder of the characters were to return to this time period, too. With Legends of Tomorrow placing such a heavy emphasis on the love and origin stories of Chay-Ara/Kendra Saunders (Ciara Renee) and Prince Khufu/Carter Hall (Falk Hentschel), it’s important for their story to resonate with the audience.
10. Rip Hunter’s future London
With Rip Hunter being considered the leader of the sojourning Legends, the show should consider building in some time to travel to Rip Hunter’s future London (perhaps pre-Vandal Savage destroying it). Just like traveling to Ancient Egypt would aid the audience in connecting with characters, so would traveling to the future home of the Time Master leading the charge.
Time-travel, of course, is a bit wonky (any fan of Doctor Who can attest to this), so logistically it might be difficult to travel to a future that may or may not still even exist. Nevertheless, hurtling forward in time a bit would help Legends of Tomorrow create fun, unique conflicts for its heroes.
9. The Middle Ages
… Specifically, the High Middle Ages! In a time period rich with cultural and technological developments, placing the Legends of Tomorrow characters into this age would allow for the creation of some intra-team conflict. Since the High Middle Ages was a time in which the hierarchical feudal system reigned, it would be interesting to watch as each character was placed into a position of power (or one of poverty) within the different social classes.
Perhaps Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) would hold more power or a higher socioeconomic status than his fellow team members. The kind of stories possible in a period like the Middle Ages are boundless, and Legends of Tomorrow could craft some creative and unique world-building and character-building moments.
8. Ten years into the future (2026)
Like traveling to Rip Hunter’s future London would be a test of the powers and limitations of time-travel and timelines, so would traveling a mere ten years into the future. The show already plans to jump into the future that features a version of Arrow’s Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), but it would be intriguing for Legends of Tomorrow to merely hop forward a decade. Nearly everyone – whether character or real human being – creates a structure or loose plan of how their life will turn out five, ten, or fifteen years down the line.
If the show was able to jump a few years into the future, it would allow our characters to perhaps gain better perspectives on themselves and on one another. Because there is probably nothing like seeing your own future to humble you in the present.
7. The Titanic disaster
In spite of the fact that everyone knows the historical account of the Titanic sinking, it would definitely be captivating if Legends of Tomorrow was able to tell the historical account in a new way. There are ways that the series could spin the disaster and place their characters in impossible situations, but this scenario could allow the series to explore the humanity of each of its characters and give them opportunities to shine.
We’ve seen the humanity of Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) recently, but if the show was able to portray more of the “villains” on the team in the same light, audience members might find themselves connecting with them emotionally even further.
6. Pre-disaster Pompeii, Italy
Much like visiting the Titanic before or in the midst of it sinking, Legends of Tomorrow visiting Pompeii before Mount Vesuvius’ eruption would certainly be powerful. One of the major time-travel “rules” that Rip Hunter has outlined is the notion that you cannot change the past; the characters are not supposed to alter their timelines or anyone else’s. Martin Stein (Victor Garber) discovered that firsthand, and nearly had to face life-altering consequences as a result.
Encountering a disaster of the magnitude of Pompeii would surely place these legends in heartbreaking situations. Leaving the city before the volcano would likely prove to be emotional for the characters (in much of the same way that it was in the Pompeii-focused Doctor Who episode “The Fires of Pompeii”) and it would be interesting to watch Rip Hunter take on the team and convince them that timelines shouldn’t be altered.
5. Gladiator-period Ancient Rome
Sticking with the theme of Italy for a moment, if Legends of Tomorrow was able to visit the gladiator-period in Ancient Rome, the show would be able to utilize its fight and stunt choreography to brilliant results. Not only that, but this type of storyline would help present physical challenges for the heroes. If Sara Lance was to accidentally find herself a gladiator, for example, it would provide her character with the opportunity to display more ferocity than any other fight sequence (and also provide an interesting story in regards to her recent blood lust).
Not only that, but Rome during the times of gladiators was politically layered and complex. Characters from Legends of Tomorrow experiencing these complexities and the sheer terror and violence would provide them with some perspective about the present day.
4. The American Revolution
This period in time should be one that Legends of Tomorrow considers traveling to sooner rather than later. Any intra-team conflict or character stagnation could easily be remedied by allowing the legends to have perspective. In addition to the impeccable period wardrobe, hair, and make-up that would result, colonial America (and in particular, the period of time surrounding and including the American Revolution) is oozing with complexity and conflict.
Struggles only present during this time period would allow the characters to better interact with one another and provide – if done right – a great framework for the present-day legends. Recently, Hamilton became one of the most popular Broadway shows not because it told a story no one has ever told before, but because it did so in a way that was engaging and enraptured audiences. If Legends of Tomorrow was able to depict the colonization of America and its struggles in a way that elevated the characters, it could become something incredible.
3. Victorian era England
If Legends of Tomorrow were to travel to Victorian England, a world of possibilities could be opened up. Specifically, this would be an amazing way to introduce fictionalized versions of famous literary and historical figures into the show’s canon.
What might happen if the team were to encounter Arthur Conan Doyle in the midst of his Sherlock-inspired days? How would the characters react to the high culture and entertainment of the time period? Such an era would allow the characters to come face-to-face with people and events who could inspire them and – perhaps – be inspired BY them as well.
2. The Renaissance
The arguably richest era of history is characterized by beauty in art, literature, and other mediums. The Renaissance’s decadence would draw in characters like Sara Lance, Leonard Snart, and Mick Rory. But its rich history would easily captivate a character like Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) or Martin Stein, too.
In a time period that is filled with artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, having Legends of Tomorrow travel to the Renaissance would be less about constructing dark and convoluted conflicts and more about the characters actually getting the chance to enjoy the history they’ve only read about. Sometimes television shows are utilized as vehicles to make social commentary or to solve problems or confront dark and complex issues. But other times, television can be used as a vehicle for escapism. And the series’ premise is the perfect way to do just that.
1. The present-day (2016)
It might seem like the last place Legends of Tomorrow should travel to is the present. After all, one of the things that sets this superhero show apart is that it has unlimited storytelling potential in traveling forward and backwards through time. But it might be important for the show to take a break every once in a while and allow its characters to return to their present-day. What would be particularly interesting to see is how they handle their newfound time-traveling. Would their old lives seem boring in comparison? Would they long for the chance to continue traveling through time and watching days and years pass by?
The conundrum that each character in any time-traveling movie or television show seems to experience is the dichotomy between traveling and remaining still. Old lives lose their luster once characters can shift between eras and worlds. It would be great if Legends of Tomorrow could explore the personal conflicts each character faces when time stops moving and stands still upon return to their old lives.
Where else could Legends of Tomorrow travel to and explore throughout the course of this season (and, perhaps, next)?