Legends of Tomorrow is going to be DC Comics most ambitious (and some would say, risky) superhero spinoff series for The CW, following in the footsteps of hit series Arrow and its spinoff, The Flash. The new show acts as miniseries spinoff of The Flash‘s time-bending mythology, in which a so-called time master named Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) gathers various heroes and villains we’ve met in both Arrow and The Flash, for a team tasked with patrolling the time stream and thwarting an evil immortal named Vandal Savage (Casper Crump).
Though the team starts out as a combination of disparate personalities – Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh), Firestorm (Victor Garber), White Canary (Caity Lotz), Hawkman (Falk Hentschel), Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee) and villains Heatwave (Dominic Purcell) and Cold (Wentworth Miller) – are told that they are destined to become … (you guessed it) legendary heroes of the future.
We came to New York Comic-Con 2015 with plenty of questions for the cast and crew in attendance, which included Brandon Routh, Ciara Renee, Arthur Darvill and producer Phil Klemmer. One of the biggest topic to dissect was Legends of Tomorrow‘s plans for time travel, and all the convoluted time travel logic that can strangle the continuity of a story, franchise, or shared universe, if not managed properly.
In particular, we probed Klemmer for his time travel logistical rules (as a showrunner), as well as speaking to the time master himself, Rip Hunter, about how the rules for this new time-hopping adventure series differ from the other time-hopping adventure series that actor Arthur Darvill is known for (Doctor Who). Check out what they had to say in the interview snippets below.
Legends of Tomorrow: Time Travel Rules & Spaceship
Q: Can you talk just real about the rules of time travel on your show? Is that someone can die and they can go back and save them?
Phil Klemmer: No, death means death; if you lose that, you get the kind of ‘get out of jail free card.’ You know, we do construct a rule on our show that if you kill me right now with a hatchet, the rest of the team can’t just go on for a show, then go back in time and stop you from hitting me with the hatchet. Our rule is that when try to interfere in events that you participated in, that creates a time paradox, and black holes, and horrible things happen. So we want to keep those tensions alive; when our characters are in moments of mortal peril, that they do have consequences – that they’re not just like, ‘well, it’s ‘Groundhog Day’, we’ll start over tomorrow.”
Q: In addition to time travel, will you be dealing with the different Earths [The Multiverse]?
Phil Klemmer: No! No, that’s Flash’s purview, not ours. Yeah, that would make my head explode.
Q: [Arthur] So you’re a master of time travel – how are the rules of time travel different from say ‘Doctor Who’ to this show?
Arthur Darvill: There are different rules! I don’t want to give too much away, but you know, their way of traveling is different. It has to do with the same things; the fact that history can be changed and what the responsibility of that is, is such a fascinating thing to explore. It’s very different, um, I can’t say too much, but it’s really cool! And the first day I walked on set to see the method of time travel, I was like a kid at christmas.
Q: Can you talk about the ship?
Arthur Darvill: Can I talk about the ship? The ship’s amazing! [Holds up cellphone] Like I’m not allowed to show pictures [laughter] It’s like the coolest set I’ve ever been on! It’s like all my childhood fantasies rolled into one. It’s just huge.
Q: How does it compare to the TARDIS?
Arthur Darvill: Like the TARDIS is great. You know it’s an iconic thing; this has got a very different feel, and brings together all the interconnected… it’s massive scale. It’s lot’s of space to house these nine people who are on this big journey.
There’s no firm premiere date for Legends of Tomorrow, though the series is expected in early 2016. Season 2 of The Flash is currently airing on Tuesdays at 8pm on the CW, and Season 4 of Arrow airs on Wednesdays at 8pm on The CW.