What does the CW’s “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” have that a lot of shows are missing?
Sure, it has unique characters like a man who can shrink down in size (Brandon Routh’s The Atom), a pair of flying birds (Hawkman and Hawkgirl, played by Falk Hentschel and Ciara Renee) and a few villains (Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold and Dominic Purcell’s Heat Wave) in the mix.
But the “Arrow”/”Flash” spin-off also has one of the more diverse group of people in front of and behind the camera.
Besides Miller, “Legends” also stars out actor Victor Garber as Martin Stein (one half of Firestorm) and Caity Lotz brings her “Arrow” character, bisexual Sara Lance (aka White Canary), to the new show, too. (And to really bring it all in, Routh once played gay on the short-lived sitcom “Partners,” too.)
With all this diversity in the cast of the new series in terms of LGBT-ness as well as race, out producer Greg Berlanti believes they can still go further. “The world just isn’t singularly white,” he said during the show’s panel at the recent Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour. “I don’t think we, by any means, look at this ensemble and think it’s even as diverse as it should be, or could be even another two or three years from now in front of and behind the camera.”
Besides pure entertainment, Berlanti hopes other writers and producers start taking action in bringing even more diversity to their projects. "I think it's a real conversation point right now in Hollywood because it should be, and people should be talking about it and doing as much as they can to change the landscape."
The appealing thing about the diversity in "Legends" is it's a natural part of its framework and not a message being shoved down the viewer's throat. The fact that there's an array of LGBT representation as well as race is something that just is, though the show will reflect on that very real notion that that wasn't always the case when they go back to different times in history.
Sitting down with Garber after the panel, besides talking about his new marriage (the actor wed Rainer Andreesen last fall), he expressed his love for the “Legends” premiere episode when a “Back to the Future” element comes into play for Stein when the team visits the 1970s and he interacts with his younger self. “I thought, ‘Well, this is one of the best scenes for me to play this, seeing myself for the first time and acting that,'” he said. “By the way, we were in a time period that I remember very well so that was pretty exciting.”
Since her character was brought back to life recently on “Arrow,” I told Lotz that I was glad we get to see the sexual side of Sara once again on “Legends.” And while sexuality doesn’t define the character, the show doesn’t make it seem out of the ordinary or “other.” “I think that everyone always liked that about Sara,” she said. “For me, it was an important part because I have a lot of young girls come up to me when I’d go to Comic-Cons or whatever and say how much it meant to them. I think with Sara it’s about normalizing who you are, and I think with her being that strong female, yeah, she is that. She is this, she is that and just normalizing all of those things, which helps I think everybody feel like, ‘OK, I’m normal. It’s OK.'”
“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” airs Thursdays at 8 pm (followed by the new season of “The 100”) on the CW.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.