Follow TV Tropes

Following

Series / Doom Patrol

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/51364597_1137868023062337_8893929800230502400_n.jpg
We come into this world unknown, but know that we are not alone. They try and knock us down, but change is coming, it's our time now.note .
Cliff Steele: So what is this place?
Dr. Niles Caulder: My home. A safe place for you, others like you, to heal.
Advertisement:

Doom Patrol is a 2019 superhero series on the DC Universe streaming service. Based off the classic Doom Patrol comic series, it is a Spin-Off of Titans and is part of the new Titansverse spawning from that series. Some members of the Doom Patrol appeared in Episode 4 of Titans, to set up this show.

Each member has suffered horrible accidents that gave them superhuman abilities but also left them scarred and disfigured. Traumatized and downtrodden, the team found purpose through The Chief, who brought them together to investigate the weirdest phenomena in existence — and to protect Earth from what they find. Picking up after the events of Titans, Doom Patrol finds these reluctant heroes in a place they never expected to be, called to action by none other than Cyborg, who comes to them with a mission hard to refuse, but with a warning that is hard to ignore: their lives will never, ever be the same.

Advertisement:

Doom Patrol features the likes of Negative Man (Matt Bomer), Elasti-Woman (April Bowlby), Robotman (Brendan Fraser) and Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero), under the guidance of Dr. Niles Caulder aka “The Chief” (Timothy Dalton). The team battles strange and bizarre villains, including the sinister Mr. Nobody (Alan Tudyk). Cyborg (Joivan Wade) plays an important part, but whether he's officially on the team isn't yet clear.

It premiered on February 15, 2019.


Advertisement:

Doom Patrol contains examples of:

  • A Minor Kidroduction: In "Therapy Patrol," we have brief flashbacks to each member's childhood.
  • Adaptational Backstory Change: Although most of their origins are intact, some things are changed:
    • Cliff Steele is still a race car driver, but now he has a wife (whom he was cheating on with the nanny) and a daughter. And the accident that turned him into Robotman happened with them in the car, crashing through a semi-truck, decapitating his wife Kate and damaged Cliff’s body beyond repair, leaving him and his daughter Clara as the only survivors of the crash.
    • Larry Trainor is still a test pilot who merged with the Negative Spirit in the upper atmosphere, but here, he also has a wife and two children...and he was cheating on his wife with another man.
    • Crazy Jane still has 64 different personalities and each personality has their own superpower, but since there was no gene bomb in this universe, the way she got those powers is different. The extended trailer implies that she got them from being experimented on by "creepy scientists." Though Von Fuchs hypothesised that Jane must've got her personas from some other trauma in her childhood.
      • Kinda subverted, as in the episode 'Paw Patrol', while Mr. Nobody is travelling to moments in Jane's past, one of them was when Jane got her powers, it then shows that while Jane was being injected with medication, a large flash of light is visibly shown from the outside.
    • Rita Farr's origin is almost completely intact, except instead of being able to grow and shrink at will, Rita finds that her body has begun to distort and melt like a blob.
    • Cyborg's accident is much more mundane than usual. Instead of being injured by an extradimensional being or invasion, he is in a simple lab accident when he gets angry and throws a volatile chemical, which explodes.
    • Each of their origins also happened in different decades: Cliff's in The '80s, Larry's in The '60s, Rita's in The '50s, Jane's in The '70s, and Cyborg's in the 2010s.
  • Adaptation Distillation: This series is Darker and Edgier similar to Grant Morrison's iconic run on the team for the Vertigo imprint, yet the team itself is mostly based on the classic original roster from the '60s with the sole exception of Crazy Jane in the place of Mento.
    • Somewhat subverted in that Mento will appear partway through the first season, if not as part of the main team. Though he is part of a previous version of the Doom Patrol. Sadly, he is an old crippled man suffering from Mr. Nobody induced insanity. In no condition to resume any kind of superhero career.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Elasti-Girl is now Elasti-Woman, to avoid confusion with Disney-Pixar's Elastigirl.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: Cyborg joins the Doom Patrol on their first mission as a proper team. He had a previous connection to Niles Caulder through him being a friend of his father. In the comics, Cyborg has never had any such connection to them.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Played With for several characters throughout:
    • Rita is Zig-Zagged. When composed and in control, she is quite attractive like her original character, but when her "abilities" kick in, instead of only shrinking or growing, she visibly blobs-out into a terrifying mess.
    • Mr. Nobody is Downplayed. While still abstract and almost formless, here, he at least keeps part of a human looking face.
    • Surprisingly averted with Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man, of all people. In the comics, his dinosaur head is partially fused to his normal head, which is just as freakish as it sounds, but here, both heads are distinct, making him far less uncomfortable to look at.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Niles Caulder, in Titans, is shown to be well-meaning, but still very cold, manipulative, and pragmatic. The first few episodes here downplay his manipulative side and show him to be much warmer emotionally to the group.
    • Discussed between Kipling and Cyborg, speaking of the Chief. Kipling tells Cyborg that while Niles may be the "kindly uncle" type to Vic and the others he has helped from the team, he knows Caulder to be a much more pragmatic man who does "what has to be done."
    • Subverted further and further as the episodes go on. Niles practically abandoned the original Doom Patrol after Mr. Nobody thoroughly shattered their minds, and despite acting fatherly towards Jane, had planned on leaving her in the same care if he deemed her hopeless. Further, when Mr. Nobody offers to leave the current team unharmed for the location of Slava, Niles plainly states that he doesn't care what Nobody does to them in order to keep his secret.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Larry Trainor is now gay and was cheating on his wife with another man.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: Both Kipling and the Beard Hunter are more heavy-set and unkept than their comics counterparts.
  • Adapted Out: While mainly focused on the original lineup, Mento is absent so far. Averted as of Episode 6 where he and several other members from the comics make an appearance.
    • Downplayed with Beast Boy, who was a member of the team proper in the comics. Due to sharing continuity with Titans, we know that Beast Boy was a part of the group, but left in the months before everyone had to band together as a proper team.
  • The Ageless: The entire main cast is this, except for maybe Cyborg. Cliff is a brain in a robot suit, so he doesn't age. Rita should be able to live for as long as she wants, as her ability allows her to shapeshift and reassemble herself to the only version she knows. Larry's body is implied to be dead and only functions while the Negative Spirit is inside him. However, it is not explained why the Chief and Jane don't age. In the comics, the Chief has a method of prolong life and vitality, but it remains to be seen if it will be canon. Caulder's is implied to be mystically connected to Slava, a potentially immortal Neanderthal and his lover.
  • Age Lift: Due to the fact that Comic-Book Time doesn't exist, all the characters are much older than their comic book counterparts, especially Rita, who was in her twenties during the 1950s.
  • Ambiguously Evil: The Chief is someone that is believed to be the Big Good of the setting as well as the beloved mentor for the team. However, from the Poorly Disguised Pilot in Titans onward, the Chief mas made many morally questionable decisions like lying to Cliff about his daughter being dead, allying with Mr. Nobody, and establishing an asylum that kept his former teammates in a Lotus-Eater Machine. Despite this, he usually has a defensible if arguable justification for all of his actions.
  • Apocalypse Cult: The Cult of the Unwritten Book seek the unmaking of the world, much like their comics origin.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Despite the team being made up of a brain in a robot, a woman who melts when distressed, a bandaged man with an energy being living inside of his body, and a woman with dozens of superpowered alternate personalities, the team is very skeptical of Kipling's (well-founded) doomsday assertions. Cyborg, the most normal member of the team, is ironically also the least skeptical of the group.
  • Argentina is Nazi-Land: In this case, neighboring Paraguay is where Doctor Fuchs fled to after WW2.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Rita's list of examples for why the world is 'garbage': "People lie, and they hurt each other, and they wear these things on their feet called crocs."
  • Big Fancy House: The Chief's house is huge, old-fashioned and well-furnished.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The albino donkey is actually a door to another dimension controlled by Mr. Nobody.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: While the comic book run it's primarily based off of could get quite gruesome, here the gore is boosted by the fact that Doom Patrol is allowed to take on (and murder) flesh-and-blood opponents.
  • Body Horror: All of the Doom Patrol in various ways: Rita can turn into a blob, Larry is horribly burned, and Cliff is a brain in a jar.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Mr. Nobody's narration does this, saying things like "The critics are going to hate this show."
    • Borders on Deadpool territory when he actively trolls the audience in episode 2 after the Chief asks him who he's talking to:
    Mr. Nobody: Grant Morrison fans, Reddit trolls with DC Universe subscriptions, and the three new fans who stuck around after the donkey fart.
  • Broken Pedestal: Part of Mr. Nobody's plan to torment Niles appears to be to lead the Doom Patrol to discover the skeletons in his past to drive a wedge between them.
    • Cliff lost his respect for the Chief when he discovered he was lying about his daughter being dead.
    • Mento adored Rita and was falling in love with her when he read her mind and turned away from her in disgust due to something in her past.
    • Crazy Jane suffers this when she finds out the Chief planned to put her in the asylum with the rest of the original Doom Patrol.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Doom Patrol debuted in episode 5 of Titans, aptly named "The Doom Patrol".
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The F-bomb gets used give or take 20 times an episode, not counting other swear words.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: An agent from the Bureau of Normalcy tries to torture Jane in the style of the Mr. Blonde scene from Reservoir Dogs but he never gets past the dancing.
  • Darker and Edgier: As to be expected, Doom Patrol is a weird and yet very dark series with swearing, sex and other mature themes being prominent throughout. There's brutal death, black comedy, and the cast is a Dysfunction Junction ensemble.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance:
    • Rita Farr has a one-armed cameraman fired because his appearance disgusts her, although it's not clear whether it's because he's black, disabled, or both. (She ends up frighteningly disfigured herself shortly afterwards.)
    • Larry's Gayngst is considerable and he considers himself a monster akin to a murderer or paedophile. This is not an unbelievable character trait for a military man of the 1960s who has been living in isolation since then but may surprise viewers who grew up in a more accepting time period.
    • Cliff's brief appearance shows him as a cheating, drunk, self-aggrandizing Manchild. It's all but stated this was lauded behavior in The '80s.
  • Denser and Wackier: In comparison to Titans and Swamp Thing being entirely Earth-based, it's said their mission will take them to the weirdest and most unexpected corners of the DC Universe. The show proper bears this out, and it might be the single weirdest DC Comics show ever, with talking cockroaches, farting donkeys, and Mr. Nobody constantly Breaking the Fourth Wall to insult the show and the audience with equal abandon. And that's just from the first few episodes!
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Each of the characters represents some form of severe mental illness or trauma.
    • Rita needing to constantly focus and control her mind in order to not literally melt into a pile of goo is akin to people suffering from anxiety disorders. Her previous need for constant validation and attention also implies some form of narcissism.
    • Larry and the negative being in his body are pretty much a metaphor for his image as a 'normal' straight man, and his secret, other, true self of being a gay man.
    • Cliff's wild swings from rage to depression to cheerfulness to guilt implies some sort of manic or bipolar disorder.
    • Crazy Jane has dissociative identity disorder, implied to have stemmed from sexual abuse by her father as a child.
    • Victor's relationship with his father implies some sort of mental or emotional abuse.
  • Entropy and Chaos Magic: Stated to be Willoughby Kipling's specialty. What appears to be clocks, cigarettes, and rosary beads covered in hot sauce are actually very specific charms, enchantments, and defenses.
  • Epic Fail: The team has actually so far shown that they are incredibly incompetent at just about everything they do as a Running Gag and Dramatic Irony for a superhero show. Victor even tells them bluntly that in an ideal situation they would not be qualified at all to be the ones to rescue Niles.
    • In the first episode, going into town nearly ends with them destroying it.
    • In the second episode, they utterly fail to prevent the town from being sucked into a Pocket Dimension (via donkey).
    • In the third episode, they can't get to Paraguay until Jane just teleports them there and even then she only takes Cliff and Larry.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Doom Patrol features full-on nudity, and makes the sex scenes in Titans look rather tame in comparison.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The episodes are titled "X Patrol".
  • The Immodest Orgasm: Thanks to Flex Mentallo flexing the wrong muscle, everyone on a street has an orgasm. Including the street.'
  • Lemony Narrator: Alan Tudyk doesn't pull any punches with Mr. Nobody's narration of the first episode.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine:
    • What Mr. Nobody initially shows Rita and Larry. Its their glory days that only gradually turns into an image of horrifying despair.
    • The school that the original Doom Patrol teaches at is one of these. Only the Doom Patrol and their doctor are present with the school being a rundown ruin. Mento's powers make them think that they are teachers of an X-men like school for gifted youngsters.
  • May–December Romance: Exaggerated by Slava, who is potentially more than 200,000 years old, and the Chief, who is somewhere around middle-aged when they hook up in 1913. Avoids being a Mayfly–December Romance because the relationship itself seems to make the latter incapable of aging as well.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Tag Line "What doesn't kill you makes you stranger" was pronounced by The Joker in The Dark Knight.
    • At one point, during the flashback to Larry's origin, Mr. Nobody comments that he was "crawling from the wreckage" of his plane. Crawling from the Wreckage is the first storyline that Grant Morrison wrote for Doom Patrol.
    • Cliff and Jane's 1st(official) meeting leads to word for word dialogue from their first meeting in the comics
    The Hangman's Daughter: My paintings ruined, everything's gone wrong
    (beat)
    Cliff: Come in out of the rain
    • When Cyborg shows up in the second episode, he tells Dr. Caulder that his father says in five years, he could be a part of the Justice League. In the DCEU, he is.
    • Cyborg also uses an A.I. called "Grid" to track criminal or unusual activity. In the comics, Grid was Cyborg's Evil Counterpart from Earth 3. Later episodes in season one show that, much like the comics Grid, it is capable of independent action against Vic's wishes.
    • One of the news headlines in Cyborg's feed is about a Brazilian woman with glowing green eyes, this is a reference to the superhero Fire/Green Fury who could emit and control green flames.
    • The logo for A.R.G.U.S. is the same one used in the Arrowverse.
    • When the town of Cloverton is swallowed up, Cyborg taps into a phone conversation between two government officials who cover it up and mention "the Ant Farm." The Ant Farm was a part of Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol run that involved a hidden basement in the Pentagon that was controlled by the Men from N.O.W.H.E.R.E.
    • The X-Men parallels with Steve Dayton is similar to how in the comics, after Mento went mad, he formed a team of villains consisting of pastiches of the X-Men.
    • Among the trophies in Steve Dayton's collection are Ultimax/The Brain's robotic jar and Garguax's robe and crown. Both are members of the Brotherhood of Evil, with the former being the leader.
    • Dr. Harrison is the center of a cult just like her introduction in Gerard Way's Doom Patrol
    • One of the trophies shown in the room is a clock, presumably belonging to the Doom Patrol villain Dr. Tyme.
    • And another trophy is Wonder Woman's "Godkiller" sword.
    • The original Doom Patrol's fight with Mr. Nobody is a reference to issue #96 of the first Doom Patrol run, which also involved a jukebox and a large number of people going insane.
    • During a flashback to Niles Caulder spending a few years in the arctic north, he is shown having a much thicker beard, more in-line with the one he sports in the comics.
    • A Comic ad named "Mentall-o's" is featured in "Hair Patrol", However the man in it has seemingly escaped from it, a clear reference to Flex Mentallo from Morrison's run
  • Mr. Fanservice: Matt Bomer is still an incredibly handsome man and his flashback sequences illustrate this to audiences. This is a Downplayed Trope example as he usually is portrayed as in a varying degree of tortured given his unhappy pre-superhero life (and post-superhero, well, he's not very pretty anymore).
  • Ms. Fanservice: Rita Farr is often shown in a way that highlights her actress' glamorous good looks and fashion sense. As the series has progressed, the camera has also been more willing to show Crazy Jane's legs (often with stockings). Both are Downplayed Trope examples compared to how female comic book heroines often are.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Mr. Nobody never had his first name revealed in the comics (he had previously been known as"Mr. Morden"); here, his given name is Eric Morden.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The advertisements paint the series as a joyously gonzo adventure by a team of oddball superheroes. In reality, while undeniably strange, it's a pretty bad trip loaded with mental agony and dysfunctional group dynamics.
  • Older Than They Look: Applies to almost every main cast member.
    • Niles Caulder, while still appearing visibly older, looks to be the same age during Jane's flashbacks to the seventies. He actually hasn't aged since some time in 1913, due to some sort of connection to his neanderthal lover Slava.
    • Rita Farr still appears youthful despite being a young woman in the 1950s. Justified with her powers causing her to exist in a nearly formless state; she has to focus to retain her previous form, and since that was the last time she looked "normal," she's intentionally reverting back to her appearance then.
    • Jane still looks just as young as she did in the seventies. Possibly justified since her different personalities frequently show different physical characteristics, meaning each one may only age while in control.
    • Cliff can't exactly "look the part," being in a robotic body and all, but his mental capabilities don't seem to be any worse for the wear despite what his age should be.
    • Larry's burned body has not degraded at all since his accident in the '60s. The Negative Spirit is most likely preserving him as he is.
    • Mr. Nobody's face (or what's still there of it) is the same age as before the experiment. Of course, since he was literally transformed into a metaphysical (and metafictional) super-being, this is really to be expected.
    • Averted with Cyborg, the only team member who looks and behaves exactly as his visible age would imply.
    • Subverted with Mento and the rest of the original Doom Patrol. After several episodes with the main cast, seeing Mento still looking as young in the present as he did in the past seems to imply that non-aging just comes with the powers. Except he, and the other two, HAVE aged correctly. The youthful versions seen are simply psychic projections he's creating so that none of them have mental breakdowns and cause dangerous outbursts.
  • Previously On: Each episode begins with a recap of previous events.
  • Race Lift:
    • Crazy Jane is white in the source material but played by Colombian-American actress Diane Guerrero.
    • Kind of done with The Chief. On Titans, he's to be played by Mexican actor Bruno Bichir, but on this show, he's back to being white and played by Timothy Dalton. What this distinction means for the character and how, if at all, the show will address this remains to be seen.
    • In the comics Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man was Swedish. Here he's played by Flipino actor Alec Mapa.
  • Reality Ensues: Happens a lot in the series.
    • The Doom Patrol's lack of training, teamwork, and control over their powers mean their earliest battles are complete failures.
    • The attempt to save the Morality Pet Elliot from his destiny despite it endangering the world...results in the world nearly being destroyed.
    • Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man's first attempt at a robbery ends with his dinosaur head attacking his normal head. Turns out having an independent raptor brain in a high-stress scenario might cause an outlash.
    • Holding a therapy group between several individuals with deep-seated traumas, all without a trained therapist to mediate, is not going to end well. Made worse because Cliff has a mouse messing around in his head, leading him to act out far more than usual.
    • A much lighter example comes up in Danny Patrol. Larry gives an amazing musical number in his Imagine Spot but when he actually attempts to sing, the lack of training and practice is very apparent.
  • Reality Warper: Flex Mentallo can control reality with his muscles. The limits of this ability are unclear but all appear to be relatively small scale.
  • Refusal of the Call: Rita and Larry, at first. More specifically, Rita goes back to Doom Manor and waits for the Chief to come back, while Larry tries to skip town as quickly as possible (but the Negative Spirit won't let him).
  • Spin-Off: Of Titans. They appeared there first before getting a show here.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Prof. Von Fuchs is capable of giving superpowers to people who can pay for them.
  • Tag Line: What doesn't kill you makes you stranger.
  • That Man Is Dead: When Mr. Nobody appears to Dr. Caulder, Caulder calls him "Mr. Morden." Nobody replies, "I haven't been Mr. Morden since - ahh, yo help me!"
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Fuchtopia has shades of this, with the way its "staff" acts.
  • Trenchcoat Brigade: Willoughby Kipling, being a deliberate Expy of John Constantine. (He was only created in the comics because Grant Morrison wasn't allowed to use Constantine himself.)
  • Uniqueness Decay: Used for comedy. Apparently the Ant Farm has encountered dozens of human brains kept alive in crude mechanical bodies over the years and so see nothing interesting about Cliff.

"They really are quite doomed."
Top

Example of:

/

Feedback