'Doom Patrol' Showrunner Previews Stories From Grant Morrison's Comic And Talks The Show's Version Of Cyborg [Interview]

DC Universe's second live-action show, Doom Patrol, arrives today. This superhero team consists of Robotman (Brendan Fraser), Negative Man (Matt Bomer), Elasti-Girl (April Bowlby), Cyborg (Joivan Wade) and Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero) and a farting donkey. So it's not the Justice League. It's not even the Suicide Squad.During a Television Critics Assoiation panel for Doom Patrol, series creator Jeremy Carver confirmed appearances by Danny the Street, Celsius and other characters from the Grant Morrison runĀ Doom Patrol. Flashbacks reveal more of the characters' backstories, like how Larry Trainor was a closeted pilot before a crash made him Negative Man and Cliff Steele was an adulterous race car driver before Chief (Timothy Dalton) put his brain inside a robot.Carver spoke with /Film after the TCA panel further about the cinematic look of the show, overlapping Cyborg characters, and more.Is there a bit of a Zack Snyder influence on Doom Patrol with the slow motion, 300-esque effects?No disrespect to Zack Snyder but mimicking the movies was not really part of the conversations we were having when we were bringing the show together. That was very much Glen Winter, our pilot director, and Dermott Downs who directed episode two. We were trying to create our own look and feel. Any similarity to me, it's flattering but unintentional.I don't mean mimicking someone else's look. I meant the scale and scope achieved as much as the movies have.There was always an effort to give it as much scope as possible, to make it feel like TV as cinema as much as possible in the way that some of the best premium and streaming shows do. I think that was really important to Warner Brothers and the DC Universe as an app to lay down a marker that they were going to be something that felt even bigger and more scopey than network TV. That was always part of the plan to give it a very widescreen cinematic feel.Is there a superhero battle in every episode?No, no. This is very much a character based superhero show and you might see a battle and you might see an episode that is essentially group therapy, where they're trying to keep each other from going slowly insane. The show pulls no punches when it comes to spectacle. We don't do it every episode and I'm very proud of the look the show has achieved but it's a show that is not all about big battles every episode.When it comes to big tier superheroes like Batman, Superman and Spider-Man, people may feel like those origin stories are so well known you don't need to do them again. Were these origin stories really juicy to put in the first episode?Yeah, these are really fun origin stories. Some are presented as fun. I think you can see in the first episode it's not just fun. There's a lot of layers to their origin stories that we're unpacking over the course of, at the very least, season one. These weren't necessarily fantastic people before they became what they were. It's very interesting, to me at least, to live in a world where not great things happen to not great people and they have to learn how to deal with it. People who may have scoffed at what it was to be other or different find themselves in that position. Others who may have felt different in various ways when they were a normal human being find themselves different in wholly different ways as a meta human. The backstories are of great interest to us writers now into the life of the series. There's a lot to unpack there.Is there an element of karma to their origin stories? I hesitate to say that about Cliff because his family didn't do anything wrong.I think that's a great question in that I think that's a question that they struggle with. They've been asking themselves while mired in isolation for all these decades, what did I do to deserve this, right?Larry had a secret but we know now it's not a bad secret. It was a bad sign of the times that he had to keep it.That's exactly right. I think for Larry, a guy who was very much control-centric, he always wanted to be in control, keeping his different lives in control. I think what's important about the Larry character, as you described it, it's taken Larry a very long time to forgive himself for feeling different and realizing that what he had not done in all the years since his accident is put his prior life in context of the times. That it wasn't bad to be what he was and it was bad what the times made him feel like it was.There are actually three versions of Cyborg right now, Doom Patrol, Justice League and Teen Titans. Does your Cyborg only cover his eye and hand because you already have two completely covered characters?The Cyborg costume, we very much wanted to go more throwback where in some of the throwback Cyborgs, there was more of his human flesh exposed. With the face, we wanted to see as much emotion in the face because very much part of this Cyborg story and his origin story and the relationship issues he's having with his father in season one is this feeling of does his father love the machine or the man? We wanted to feel as much humanity in Cyborg as possible, and that to us meant exposing a bit more of his human features.Does the irreverent narrator come from the comics?Mr. Nobody's a pretty irreverent figure in the comics so the voice is very much inspired by the Mr. Nobody of Grant Morrison.Is he the narrator throughout Doom Patrol?Yes, but he doesn't narrate every episode. He chooses to pop in and out. We play with narration a little bit in various episodes. It's best left to the episode itself to understand.Does Doom Patrol have the most fart jokes of any comic book show?[Laughs] We laid down our marker in episode one that we were going to own that space. I'd like to say we try to be fairly restrained, but the truth of the matter is we sort of let it all hang out. Be prepared for anything.Will flashbacks always be part of Doom Patrol?Yes. Part of the fun of introducing these backstories of these team members from their various eras is even in their backstory, there were lots of elements that are yet to be revealed and learned. So there's a whole rich world in these backstories.What else do you take from Grant Morrison?There is the Cult of the Unwritten Book which is a two episode arc, which is basically an end of the world scenario in which we the writers have penned our own response to the Grant Morrison version which we had a lot of fun with.Is a sentient street a piece of cake after you've done Robot Man, Negative Man and Elasti-Girl?You know, we're very much coming into this episode through the eyes of our characters who are at times just as bewildered by what they're encountering in the outside world as we are. From the character's point of view, the paces they are being put through in the first three episodes sort of set the premise that nothing surprises them anymore.