DOOM PATROL: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON – A Blu-ray/DVD and Digital HD Review by John Strange
The first season of any show with a complicated plot and dynamic characters can be a challenge for the writers, directors, and showrunners. Getting the audience on-board with characters unlike any seen on TV before is a daunting task. If you are using Alan Tudyk as both your narrator AND your villain can be tougher still!
The folks at DC Universe, the new streaming service from the folks who have brought us DC Comics for generations decided to swing wide with their choices for new shows to premiere on this service.
Doom Patrol is an ambitious story that is derived from the comics I knew as a kid some 50 years ago. That team is represented in this series as elderly (as it should due to the number of years that have gone by).
The new team has one thing the old team never had… immortality. Which is about all they have going for them as the season progresses. Their “superpowers” are as much a mess as their minds are. And let’s face it, they are just short of looney-bin nuts. All that keeps them even close to sane is The Chief (Timothy Dalton). The Chief is not technically a member of the team but they live with him in a huge mansion and spend hours in counseling sessions with him. I find it interesting that the show’s website calls him a “mad scientist”.
The team is composed of 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). Part-way through the season, they are joined by Victor ‘Vic’ Stone aka Cyborg (Joivan Wade).
The season spends a lot of time filling us in, slowly, on the backstories of the team members as well as those of The Chief and their main adversary, the aforementioned Alan Tudyk as Eric Morden aka Mr. Nobody. Their backstories are complicated and way out there so it takes most of the season to get to the point if you listen to the Narrator.
The episodes are filled with details that at times seem repetitious to the point of nauseating but each one SLOWLY builds a picture of who and what these characters are… messed-up-to-the-max superheroes.
It was hard to watch the early episodes and keep moving forward in the series/season. The episodes, worse, the characters simply don’t seem to be getting anywhere. I found myself yelling at the screen more and more often to “get on with it!” But, hang in there! The later episodes get better (oh thank goodness).
This is a complicated show and a wild ride where the villain breaks the fourth wall constantly and is willing to let you know that he knows it’s a TV show. If it were anyone but Alan Tudyk doing this, I doubt I could have stood it.
In a nutshell, the nuts (uh, sorry, heroes) have to bond as a team while searching for their kidnapped mentor (The Chief), all the while dealing with coming to grips with who and what they are while Mr. Nobody screws with their minds. And Cyborg also has to deal with daddy-issues thanks to his dad’s over-bearing control issues.
Oh, and watch for Ezekiel the Cockroach, voiced by Curtis Armstrong. Booger playing a cockroach. Love it!
The extras for the season are really thin. The gag reel was just not funny. The deleted scenes were just there, nothing to write home (or here) about. But the icing on this “pie”… a PSA for filming in Georgia! They even misspelled Georgia on the outer cover and the box!
Despite the slow start, I think that the series will be good. The characters are different and interesting, played by excellent actors. Doom Patrol has had a difficult birth but I look forward to watching it mature and grow (my lips to the writer’s ears)!
Doom Patrol: The Complete First Season is worth owning though I would only give it a “SALE ITEM” on our scale. I would have to rate the extras as a “D”. I hope they do better next time (and leave off the gag reel and PSA’s). What would I like to see? Talk to the filmmakers and talent about the series, please! Give us a better look behind the scenes of this show! These are what we, your target audience, want to see! Oh, the audio and video quality were excellent, A+!
- Jeremy Carver
- Diane Guerrero, April Bowlby, Alan Tudyk, Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Timothy Dalton, Riley Shanahan, Matthew Zuk, Joivan Wade, Phil Morris
- Gag Reel
Blu-ray & DVD:
- Gag Reel
- Deleted Scenes
- Come Visit Georgia PSA
- Donkey Patrol
- Puppet Patrol
- Cult Patrol
- Paw Patrol
- Doom Patrol Patrol
- Therapy Patrol
- Danny Patrol
- Jane Patrol
- Hair Patrol
- Frances Patrol
- Cyborg Patrol
- Flex Patrol
- Penultimate Patrol
- Ezekiel Patrol
- 900 Minutes
- 25 Minutes
- Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.
- A/1 (U.S. and Canada only)
- SALE ITEM
Bonus Features Rating:
Picture Quality Rating:
Audio Quality Rating:
Selig Rating Scale:
BRAND NEW: Should add to your DVD collection at any cost
SALE ITEM: Worth owning, but try to catch it a sale
SECOND HAND: Plan to get it, but wait to buy it used
RENTAL: Worth taking a look at, but not owning
COASTER: Pick it up at a garage sale and use it for drinks
PULL!: Makes a great Trap Shooting target