This past week, HBO Max announced that their streaming series, Doom Patrol and Titans, were ending once their fourth seasons conclude later this year. These two TV shows are based on the DC Comics and originally streamed on the now-defunct DC Universe app before they were carried over to HBO Max.
The news of the series concluding has upset many fans, especially those of Doom Patrol. With its four season, Doom Patrol will surely go down as one of the most bizarre DC TV shows or movies to come out. It centers on a groups of superhero misfits who were given their “powers” if you want to call it that by scientist Niles Calder (Timothy Dalton) in his quest to protect his daughter Dorothy (Abi Monterey), who can bring her imaginary friends to life. His tampering resulted in certain damaged individuals who gained strange abilities.
This includes Cliff Steele aka Robotman (Brendan Fraser), a man whose brain was placed in a robot body that is not very maneuverable. His background as an absentee father shows him trying to make amends by bonding with his daughter and grandson with mixed results. Rita Farr (April Bowlby), a movie star from the past whose exposure to toxic gas changes her molecular structure to that of gelatin giving her the name Elasti-woman, also has emotional issues with regards to her mother and her failed movie career. This is a common theme in the show with the characters all having issues with their pasts and trying to overcome this. Larry Trainor (Riley Shanahan), Negative Man, is no exception who was a former fighter pilot who bonded with a negative energy entity after a plane crash disfigured him. He also deals with child abandonment issues with his own child and his father, as well. Vic Stone (Joivan Wade), Cyborg, was turned into a half-man, half-machine colossus by his scientist father after a car crash, and has to come to terms with his new life. Vic is alienated from his family and friends while finding a new family in the Doom Patrol. Perhaps the most damaged character is Kay Challis (Diane Guerrero), Crazy Jane, who suffers from multiple personalities that were created to protect a little girl that was abused. These different personas are shown as a group of women living in an underground area connected by a subway station, when at certain times, one of them comes to the surface to display a completely different aspect of Jane’s life, and a different super power, too.
The plots of the episodes are strange to say the least and the flashbacks to each character’s respective pasts are a frequent occurrence. We see them thinking about their traumas, struggling to get past it and become heroes to fight against whatever threats they are facing today. These threats include Mr. Nobody (Alan Tudyk), an old enemy of Niles, or the Candlemaker, a creature from Dorothy’s subconscious, as well as Madame Rouge (Michelle Gomez), a time traveling agent of the Bureau of Normalcy, who captured Rita and forced her to become a weapon. Later on, Rouge actually joins the Doom Patrol to lead them after the departure of Niles. The series can seem somewhat chaotic with so many different ideas thrown around. Such things like a sentient street that talks to people via signs, zombie versions of the characters going to the afterlife, and magical creatures coming from a girl’s imagination all make the show very distinctive in DC lore.
Doom Patrol is supposed to have a proper ending as the producers had a hint that cancellation was coming so hopefully the last batch of episodes coming out later this year will give this odd group the sendoff they deserve and hopefully they will finally get some peace of mind. Regardless of how it ends however, this series has cemented its place as the most unique property to come out of the DC universe and will most likely stay that way.
C. S. Link