It was Doom Patrol day at TCA Saturday as stars from the forthcoming DC Universe series Brendan Fraser, Timothy Dalton, Alan Tudyk, Diane Guerrero, April Bowlby, and Joivan Wade were joined on stage by executive producers Jeremy Carver and Sarah Schecter. The new series, which is the second original series from DC Universe, premieres on Feb. 15 and comes from the comics based on a group a downtrodden team of superheroes who received their superhuman powers via horrific accidents that left them traumatized, lonely and/or disfigured and all of them fight to save a world that ostracizes and fears them.
In the comics, like many superhero teams, the titular group has seen a change in roster. This particular cast features Fraser as Robotman, Guerrero as Crazy Jane, Bowlby as Elasti-Woman, Dalton as Dr. Niles Caulder, Tudyk as Mr. Nobody, Matt Bomer as Negative Man (who couldn’t attend the panel because he was shooting scenes for the show in Atlanta) and Wade as Cyborg, who was previously portrayed by Ray Fisher in the Justice League film. With the many iterations of the DC Universe, Doom Patrol‘s relationship to the cinematic iteration comes into question — and Schecter says there is none.
“DC has made a decision, quite smartly, to separate the cinematic world and the television world,” Schecter says. She adds that in the comics, there are multiple versions of different characters — like Cyborg.
Wade points out that there is the CW universe and the DC universe and these different iteration allows us to live in in a world we haven’t seen “It’s a different version of any other version and an opportunity for me to have my take on it,” Wade says of Cyborg. “It’s an earlier cyborg — he’s coming into his powers and a long way off to the Justice League. There’s a distinction between this version others.”
When it comes to adhering to the comics, Carver, who also serves as showrunner, says “The show is dipping into different versions of the Doom Patrol over the years.” He continues to say that the series is “a great jumping off point is the Grant Morrison comics and the Silver Age.” He also teases that certain characters from the comics such as the Beard Hunter, Celsius, Lodestone, and Danny the Street are coming to the series. Members of the Doom Patrol made their first live-action appearance in the fourth episodes of Titans, but Carver says that it will have elements introduced, but will still maintain its own continuity.
In the sizzle reel of highlights from DC Universe’s forthcoming comic series, we hear a voiceover say “This is what the world looks like when we try to live in it.” The series parallels Marvel’s X-Men and is about outcasts saving a world that doesn’t accept them — a theme that speaks to today’s cultural climate. When it comes to distinguishing this ragtag group of superhero misfits from other DC properties, Fraser explained it best by punctuating the panel saying, “This ain’t the Justice League.”