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Legends of Tomorrow co-showrunner on Season 7's big plan: ‘This is their Odyssey’
They’ve traveled through time and space, fought everything from aliens to zombies, and now they’re back for a brand new round of adventures. So what does The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow have left in the can for Season 7? Thankfully, a whole lot more of the wild action, twists and surprises fans have come to love from the Arrowverse series.
SYFY WIRE caught up with Legends of Tomorrow co-showrunner Keto Shimizu ahead of the Season 7 premiere on October 13 to dig into what fans can expect from the weirdest super-team in the DC universe. As Season 6 ended with the Legends trapped in the 1920s after their ship, the Waverider, was destroyed (seemingly by another Waverider), Shimizu said this first arc is literally about what comes next when the time-traveling superheroes are all out of tech and tricks.
“This season is really about the Legends having to find their way home. And it’s, in a way, this is their odyssey. It’s them having to overcome a humongous obstacle — several obstacles — but the biggest one being that they are trapped in a time period that is not their own, and they do not have the tools that they normally have to achieve their goal,” she explained. So, you know, there’s the complication of the messes that they leave in their wake — because they’re the Legends, and they ultimately do [leave messes]. But, you know, the fact that all the resources that they would normally use to achieve what they’re trying to achieve, they are gone — they literally blew up in front of them.”
Back to basics
After all that time spent using their high-tech ship and time travel wristband devices, Shimizu reiterated this season takes things back to the basic tenets of what makes the Legends, well legends: “This season is very much a journey, a long journey. And it’s about the Legends having to sort of dig deep and rediscover what makes them special.”
With the story anchored to a specific time period for a whole, Shimizu said they tried to lean into the different tropes and stories they could tell and put a twist on within that era.
“For the first chunk of episodes, we really are playing in sort of 1920s genre. So we’re really saying like, ‘Okay, we’re in 1925; like, what are the genres we can live in in this time period?’ So we really explore different facets of that period and sort of what is familiar to us that we’ve seen on-screen that takes place in this period,” she explained. “But of course, adding our Legends spin on those genres as always. So that’s been really fun.
Once they eventually do make it out of the 1920s, Shimizu said the back half of the season will get back to the “big old mix-up of genres” fans have come to love: “The fun is like, ‘Where are we, when are we, and how can we celebrate this time and place?’ But again, always adding a fun, subversive spin on the whole thing.”
The big bad is a secret (for now)
Every good hero (or team of heroes) needs a villain, and though they’re playing the season’s new big bad close to the vest, Shimizu teased we won’t have to wait too long to find out who the Legends will face off with this year — and that reveal will be a bit part of the journey for Season 7.
“I won’t say explicitly who our bad guys are, because I think that’ll be a fun discovery for our fans. But I will say you won’t have to wait too long. We are not holding back with our bad guy story this season like we typically would,” she said. "We find that, rather than the mystery of it — the ‘Who is it? What’s going on?’ — we actually are more interested in the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ of those stories. So we’re actually going to be telling kind of parallel stories within the first chunk of our season, that both explains how the bad guy was created, but also what happened next.”
But like most Legends stories, it won’t be a simple trip to get there. Shimizu noted the connection to that mystery villain gets twistier as it goes along: "And how the dynamic between, sort of, our adversaries changes part-way through the season and further complicates the Legends’ trajectory on their route back to their native time periods.”
New (and old) additions to the Waverider
Legends of Tomorrow has never been shy about shaking up its core cast season-to-season (and sometimes even week-to-week), and the same actors have often taken on different roles along the way. That flexility will continue in Season 7, as fan favorite Matt Ryan will trade in his trademark John Constantine trench coat to play the new character Gwyn Davies, who will cross paths with the team as they try to find a way out of the 1920s.
“They realize their one glimmer of hope is this scientist working in New York named Gwyn Davies, who works for Edison, and this is the man who supposedly laid the foundation for time travel. So their goal becomes to find this man and have him invent time travel for them so they can go home,” Shimizu explained. “This character is wonderfully portrayed by Matt Ryan. He really disappears into it and he feels so entirely different from John Constantine — which is, I think, really important to set him apart from the previous version of Matt Ryan’s appearances on the show.”
Though Ryan is playing a new character, that doesn’t mean he’s lost all that darkness he can bring to a role. Shimizu teased we’ll get to dig into Davies’ motivations and the tightrope of having the inventor of time travel teaming up with actual time travelers.
“He’s got a lot of demons — not the kind that John had, but really personal ones that he’s dealing with, and his own reasons for wanting time travel,” she said. "So him hooking up with the Legends both is a means to the end that he’s trying to reach, but also a potential hindrance. And there’s just wonderful potential there for deep friendships to form but also, you know, some real conflict as we approach sort of the endgame.”
Ryan’s reappearance as Davies isn’t the only cast shake-up fans can expect this season — as Shimizu confirmed frequent guest-voice Amy Pemberton will also be popping back up in physical form as Gideon, who will be joining the team in-person for much of the new season.
“Human Gideon is going to be showing up. Gideon, the AI, has been a character on the ship since its very beginning. She’s the ‘O’-est of O.G.s, in our minds,” she said. “We have Amy Pemberton, who plays the voice, coming to play a version of Gideon, in the flesh, for our entire season. And that is incredibly exciting for us, and her portrayal has been just marvelous to watch. So I think fans are really gonna enjoy her story.”
Legends of Tomorrow Season 7 premieres October 13 on The CW.
*Benjamin Bullard contributed to this report.