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SYFY WIRE DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Legends of Tomorrow showrunner breaks down S7 premiere’s surprise new hero, big timeline twist

By Trent Moore & Benjamin Bullard

The Legends are back — but instead of ripping off to a new adventure on the Waverider, they’re stuck in the 1920s. Even stranded in the past, though, they still managed to cause plenty of trouble. So we caught up with co-showrunner Keto Shimizu to talk about all the cliffhangers from the Season 7 premiere of DC's Legends of Tomorrow and what comes next.

**SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers ahead for the Season 7 premiere of The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow**

The season premiere found the crew trying to feel their way through the 1920s, which had them taking up as bank robbers (it’s a whole thing) and setting off on a mission to find the scientist (played by returning star Matt Ryan) who will eventually create time travel in the hopes he can help them jump back to the future. But before they get there, they have a few timeline-breaking problems to deal with.

The first big twist? Thanks to some accidental magic, the ship’s brilliant AI Gideon, once again played by Amy Pemberton, has returned in human form to help out the team sans ship. Shimizu said they have always tried to find a way to get Pemberton into the show in the flesh, but this time she’ll actually be sticking around for a while.

“It always, in a way, seemed a shame that she was only a voice and sometimes a floating blue head on our show, when we had this really wonderful, talented person who was on our show,” Shimizu tells SYFY WIRE. “I think the way that we’re bringing her to life in this season is very emotional. It really is tied to the trauma of the Legends losing their home, having it blown to bits in front of them, and this desire to have that home be put back together … It comes from Astra. Astra, who’s able to take that emotion and turn it into a power source. And the surprise is, she didn’t bring back the Waverider, but she did bring back this element of home.”

Shimizu says it’s that element of “home” that will help guide the team through the early parts of this season, even without a ship to carry them. Along with how it impacts the team, this arc is also a chance to evolve Gideon’s character development as she navigates this new life.

“It’s the spirit of Gideon, and it’s all the things that Gideon has been to the team, which is — Gideon has spent her entire existence, and certainly the entire show’s existence, being that source of ‘home’ — being that guide, being that mother, being the one that fed them and comforted them and instructed them and educated them and drove them around. You know, she really is this very maternal character,” Shimizu says. “So having her come to life, but now her story is really about being kind of helpless at the start. She isn’t used to this. She’s not used to being a human; she’s used to being a computer. So really, kicking off a journey for her about discovering what it means to be a human being and celebrating the human spirit, ultimately, is what we wanted to bring about in this season for her. “

‘This is her worst nightmare’

Legends of Tomorrow S7 2

But even with the story and cast getting a shake-up, it wouldn’t be a Legends premiere without the team causing a massive screw-up to the timeline in the process. The crew runs under the purview of J. Edgar Hoover, who mistakes them for notorious bank robbers. They make an escape, but accidentally kill Hoover with a deflected bullet — which means they just took out a key figure in history. Oops.

Shimizu says they’ll be figuring out the aftermath of that mistake in the episodes to come, and it also gives Ava a chance to shine as she taps into her true crime story obsession.

“That scene in the premiere where [Ava] makes that switch is so, so phenomenal. ... Again, it’s a great highlight of why we adore Jes Macallan as much as we do. Because it’s just brilliant. The way she plays it is so brilliant. This is a woman whose whole edict of life has been preserving the timeline and doing it in this very by-the-book fashion,” Shimizu explains. “So this is her worst nightmare. This season is her worst nightmare — the fact that they are stranded and they’re causing these huge aberrations everywhere they go. In the premiere episode, they make a big one — a big one. So her constant fear of, and anxiety surrounding, the further mistakes that they’re gonna have to make just to try and make their way from point A to point B — it’s a real source of tension between her and Sara and the rest of the team.”

Shimizu says this season effectively puts the team into a “pressure cooker” as they face the challenge of trying to get home and find their way to survive, and make it through the past without making any (more) changes to the timeline.

“The idea of forcing the Legends to go on a real road trip, and to have to really face any version of missteps that they make in a way that they never have before,” she says. “Because normally, if they made a mistake, they could hop on a Waverider and completely disappear, and no one would ever seen them again if they didn’t want them to. And now that’s not the case. A Model T only drives so fast and so far before it breaks down and you’ve gotta find another means of transportation. “

New episodes of Legends of Tomorrow air Wednesdays on The CW.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow | Season 7 Trailer | The CW