Episode Guide (Click the links for full recaps)
Pilot – | Review Score – 4/5
Donkey Patrol – | Review Score – 5/5
Puppet Patrol – | Review Score – 4/5
Cult Patrol – | Review Score – 4/5
Paw Patrol – | Review Score – 4/5
Doom Patrol Patrol – | Review Score – 5/5
Therapy Patrol – | Review Score – 5/5
Danny Patrol – | Review Score – 4/5
Jane Patrol – | Review Score – 5/5
Hair Patrol – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Frances Patrol – | Review Score – 5/5
Cyborg Patrol – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Flex Patrol – | Review Score – 4/5
Penultimate Patrol – | Review Score – 5/5
Ezekiel Patrol – | Review Score – 3.5/5
When I first saw the trailer to Doom Patrol all those months ago I have to admit, I wasn’t sold on the premise. I thought the show had potential but would ultimately feel lost in the myriad of other choices in this genre, especially with the feel of it being a Titans spin-off. How wrong I was. Fast forward 4 months and Doom Patrol is not just a fantastic show, it’s an example of how to take a concept and inject originality through character-driven plots to deliver a new take on the superhero genre.
The story predominantly revolves around 5 main characters -Cliff, Larry, Vic, Jane and Rita. With each possessing their own range of superhero abilities, the 16 episodes see them go up against the villainous Mr Nobody, tasked with retrieving the man responsible for bringing them together, DC’s own Professor X, named The Chief. Across the episodes, they confront their own demons and learn to work together as a team to bring back The Chief and stop Mr Nobody. While this sounds like a very basic plot set-up, the execution is anything but. Across the span of 15 episodes, Doom Patrol zigs and zags, delivering off-the-wall standalone plots and character-driven progression whilst challenging the conventional norms of this genre all the way.
From a talking street and a stampede of murderous butts to a dark trip into Jane’s multiple-personalitied Underground, Doom Patrol constantly reinvents itself whilst never losing sight on its character progression. It’s testament to the level of quality on offer in the show, taking the best parts of Deadpool, Happy!, Avengers and more traditional superhero tropes, blending them all up into a hybrid monster of epic proportions.
This unpredictability is ultimately the best and worst part of the show, with subplots regularly split across two episodes and oftentimes involving ingenious and creative ways to get our characters out of their predicaments. However, because of this Doom Patrol ultimately buckles under the weight of expectation late on, delivering a lacklustre end to what’s otherwise a very impressive first season. With no news on whether this one has been renewed or not, if this is the way Doom Patrol ends, it’s unfortunate it bows out on a whimper rather than a roar.
The writing in this show is ultimately what helps this one stand out over the rest. By the end of the 13th episode, each character’s flaws, hopes and dreams are shown in great detail and from here you really get a sense of finality when the final battle draws nearer. It’s just a pity that the final fight with Mr Nobody feels anticlimactic and a bit of a letdown given the amount of work done to set this up.
The cinematography here though is really impressive, making great use of colour and the unique personalities of the characters to deliver a mix of flashbacks and present day drama to good effect. The lighting is suitably moody, the musical score perfectly written and all the while Doom Patrol subverts expectations along the way in a realistic and surprisingly quirky manner.
Doom Patrol isn’t perfect. It does have some lacklustre episodes and its anticlimactic ending is a bitter pill to swallow after the great work done leading up to that point. As the old adage goes: “It’s the journey, not the destination”, and if you go into this show with that mindset, Doom Patrol is unlike anything else out there. It’s impressively written, unique, action-packed and a great example of how to reinvent the wheel and deliver originality in a bloated genre. Doom Patrol is easily one of the best shows of 2019 and one of the best superhero series out there making it a very easy choice to recommend.
Verdict - 9.5/10