Legends of Tomorrow is going into its third season on the CW, but the showrunners say they look at each new season like, "rebooting the show". After a rocky first season, the time traveling superheroes hit their stride in season 2 with adventures that took them everywhere from Camelot to NASA in the 1970's during the Apollo 13 mission.
The success of the second season of Legends came from the combination of lighter tone, a group of rogue villains, and new cast members Nick Zano as Nate Heywood/Citizen Steel and Maisie Richardson-Sellers as Amaya Jiwe/Vixen. The show has maintained its core members of Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill), Sara Lance/White Canary (Caity Lotz), Ray Palmer/Atom (Brandon Routh), Jefferson Jackson (Franz Drameh) and Martin Stein/Firestorm (Victor Garber), and Mick Rory/Heatwave (Dominic Purcell). It has also managed to include a number of guest stars who have joined the team- like Leonard Snart/Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller)- and subsequently left. Like comic book team-ups, these characters are able to come in and provide support and then go on their own way. In season 2, this was the role of the Justice Society of America whose members helped the Legends hide the Spear of Destiny throughout time.
These character changes are all part of the plan to keep every season of Legends of Tomorrow fresh. At the Television Critics Association showrunner Phil Klemmer said:
We did crazier versions [of cast turnovers] in our head. It was never going to be like an anthology, but it is supposed to be -- every season was meant to feel like a fresh, crazy start.
Season 3 will see a similar changes. Rip is off to lead the Time Bureau, a group that will police and protect time- potentially even from the mistakes of his former team. Besides losing Rip, the Legends are also gaining an addition to their numbers with Tala Ashe as Zari Adrianna Tomaz. As a hacker from the near future she is sure to challenge what the Legends think they know.
Executive producer Marc Guggenheim also said at the TCAs that the new cast members help the show feel completely new each time.
When we break the season premiere we always start slipping and calling it a pilot. But we've already done the pilot. Every time we start a new season we are like rebooting the show. Part of that is new characters. It's nice to have the new character come in and shake things up a little bit and offer a new fresh perspective, but each season, if we're doing our jobs correctly, there's also a slightly new conceit. There's always time travel, there's always hijinks and humor, but the way that they get into it and the overall mythology of the season, that's always designed to be different as well.
The ability to essentially reboot the show is what saved Legends of Tomorrow after its messy first season. It's nice to see the producers acknowledging their ability to make changes when things don't work. As long as they don't lose too much of what makes the show at its core they should have another fun season of dinosaurs and time travel on their hands.
Legends of Tomorrow season 3 premieres Tuesday, October 10 on The CW.
Source: Television Critics Association