‘Legends of Tomorrow’ EP Phil Klemmer Hints at Villains Galore Post-Season 3
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow—easily the breeziest, funniest and most popcorn-fun superhero show going—wraps up its time-jumping third season tonight.
The episode, “The Good, the Bad, and the Cuddly,” is like Love Boat for Nerds, packed with guest stars, demonic showdowns, and what sounds like a crazy set-up for Season 4.
But don’t just take our word for it—let showrunner Phil Klemmer explain…
Congratulations. Yet another fun as hell season…Damien Darhk was the best this year.
Phil Klemmer: Oh my God, I know. I really fell in love with him and Nora. Some of my favorite episodes were the ones that just focused on weird family dynamics between bad guys, which I find hilarious and poignant at the same time. Like the East Berlin one, where we focused on it, like I just toned it as, “Pretend this is us. Don’t pay attention to the words. Don’t even acknowledge how ridiculous the things that you’re fighting about, just make the fight feel real and raw.” It totally worked because you laugh at it, but at the same time, you’re like, “I get these two. This is like a real family.”
It was nice to see him humanized, but also just kind of unleashed.
The seeds for that were obviously planted last season, where he became a bit of the comic relief for that triad, but then I don’t know, it was … I mean, Courtney Ford [star Brandon Routh’s wife] was only supposed to be a guest star and her Nora originally wasn’t related to Damien. That all changed once we decided to make her a child who basically had an absentee father due to time travel and other weird stuff. Obviously talking about taking over the world is the most boring thing you could ever do in TV, but when you’re talking about a father and daughter arguing about it…
It gets demented.
So how do we get into the season finale? We ended last episode and all of a sudden we’re in our Jonah Hex’s hood again?
Yes. If you’re a real sort of deep watcher, we introduced this notion in Season 1 of these sort of fragmentations, these temporal blind spots. We have so much crazy stuff going on in the show, that we wanted to moor it to a genre. It really helps sometimes when you have a CGI time demon who’s been unleashed and all these various totems that are conjuring up various powers. It was starting to feel like, even by our own standards, a little kind of unmoored. The notion behind it was, “We have to give the finale a genre, a foothold in something people recognize.” For us, a Western seemed great, because there is this sort of classic Western archetype of the last stand, whether it’s Butch and Sundance or High Noon.
All of your episodes are ambitious, but this one sounds extra.
We hired basically all the guest stars from all the seasons. Matt Ryan as Constantine, We have Bar Paly, who played Helen of Troy. We couldn’t get Simon Merrells, who played Julius Caesar, so we got his brother to come play him, so hopefully people will find the fraternal similarity good enough to cover it. [Laughs] We have Freydis (Katia Winter), she was Leif Erikson’s sister. Then we have our friends. It’s the most kind of over the top [we can get].
It’s what you do for a finale! Then you have Jonathan Schaech coming back as Jonah Hex.
We do, we do.
Are the Legends calling in all of the troops to battle Mallus, or are they also dealing with all these other anachronisms?
A lot of this was something we’d actually planted in the first episode of this season. I’m not claiming to be as smart as to have had the foresight that we’re going to tie it up this way, but we accidentally planted this notion of screwing things up for the better. Thematically, the way it worked was we’ve always had an unorthodox way of fixing history. With Helen of Troy, the sort of seeds were planted of like, “What if we make things better for her?” This poor woman, her version of history that’s correct is actually terrible, she had a terrible life. We wanted to find all of the “mistakes” our non-Time Bureau fixed, the ones the Legends had come to throughout the season and made things better—those actually made various people indebted to them, whether that’s Jax, whether that’s Ava. We broke all sorts of rules.
It’s so great you have Franz Drameh coming back.
Oh yeah. The finale’s all about putting the Legends at their lowest, and realizing that they’ve made this horrible mistake by releasing this monster, but then having them buoyed by the notion that, “God, here are all the things we thought we screwed up throughout the season and here are the silver linings. Here’s the people whose lives have benefited from your sloppy version of time leaping.”
You set teed-up Season 3 so well in the Season 2 kicker with the, “Guys, I think we broke time.” How would you describe this year’s kicker?
Don’t turn it off before the very end. We have gone throughout Season 3 believing that Mallus is this singular kind of beast who has been relegated to some sort of another dimensional prism and that’s not true. He was not alone in there.
Nice. You gave us some great personal stuff too. All these guys got their backstories fleshed out. You gave Caity Lotz so much great stuff with Sara and Jes Macallan’s Ava. Is that something that we can expect to see continue into next season now that she’s a cast regular?
I cannot quit Jess. I knew from the moment she came in. That’s the problem of slow-playing something, we didn’t get to realize all the things she’s capable of. It wasn’t until what? Episode 15, where she was playing with the rubber foot and doing Dungeons & Dragons. I was just like, “That is a show. I would watch that!” She’s a funny, funny, funny lady. We gave her a largely joyless first portion, where she was being the heavy…I don’t think we’ve nearly gotten into where she’s going.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, season finale, Monday, 8/7c, The CW