Doom Patrol (Season 1)

After the first season of Titans included the Doom Patrol in the 4th episode, I was curious how they would use that group in the standalone series. I had no knowledge of them from the comics or any other material, so I was pretty much going in “clean”. The Titans episode certainly made the group look like a weird bunch and not exactly your standard superhero group.

The main plot of the season revolves around the Doom Patrol searching for their “Chief”, who is abducted very early in the season (beginning of episode 2). Along the way, they must try to work together as a team as well as work through their personal problems.

Not having any pre-existing knowledge means I appreciated the way the series introduced and handled the characters throughout the season. Some of the main cast were initially introduced through flashbacks, showing where they came from, what happened before they ended up at “Doom Manor”. Other characters I got to know over time, partially through flashbacks as well or through other characters being informed about them. Often it felt as if I knew just about as much about the characters as the Doom Patrol cast in the episodes themselves, which made if feel more natural if a character had to explain something. The “Chief” being absent for most of the time also meant there was no “mentor” character with a lot more knowledge than the rest that could always be depended upon for information or guidance.

The other character that I really liked was actually the main bad guy, Mr. Nobody. His fourth-wall breaking powers meant that he couldn’t really be dealt with in a conventional way and they managed to make him very entertaining overall.

Spoilery thought on Mr. Nobody
I rather hope that he’ll return in some capacity. His fate at the end of the season was ambiguous enough to make it easily possible.

I won’t talk much about the plot of the episodes, since I don’t want to spoil anything. In summary though, the episodes were all enjoyable, I think my favourite was episode 9 (”Jane Patrol”).

I appreciated that this wasn’t a “standard” superhero show. I don’t know how much they changed compared to the source material regarding the characters, their powers, continuity overall etc., but it was a really fun season overall. Even though the whole package was rather absurd, they still managed to put in enough character-driven drama that worked within it. To be fair they NEEDED to, given the ways the characters came to be and how they are living now. Not doing the dramatic parts would just have glossed over how someone would be affected by the things that happened. For me that was a big part of why I liked the season, I got to experience how the characters deal with their past and come to terms with it, while also having to deal with the absolute craziness going on.

If Titans wasn’t your thing, I can’t promise you this show will be closer to the source-material, but I can say that I had much more fun with it.

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