April Bowlby (Rita Farr), Jovian Wade (Vic Stone), and Michelle Gomez (Madame Rouge) spoke to the press at New York Comic Con this past weekend, and gave lots of great teases about the new season of Doom Patrol, which begins December 8, 2022 on HBOMax.
Bowlby says the team “travels into the future, and we desperately want to change the future because it is not what we thought.” But their initial efforts will only make things worse, “because that’s what we do. That’s the show.” Along the way, she says, “there are more butts, more sex ghosts, we have an amazing musical episode.” She also admits, “I don’t even know how many dimensions we travel to.”
The season will see Rita really embracing the confidence and strength that her character has gained, Bowlby promises, to now lead the group. “It’s so important to her.” But her enthusiasm will also cause conflict with her teammates. “She says ‘Here’s your code name, and you have to do things a certain way’…. it pushes them away.”
Bowlby also promises lots of sparks, and maybe also some hugs, with her nemesis Madame Rouge. “Rita’s heart got cracked open” in season three, Bowlby says, by the experience of being truly loved for who she is. When Rouge took that away from her, it “was a really devastating thing,” but one that forced tremendous growth in the character. In season four, we’ll see Rita trying to punish Rouge at first, but Bowlby promises a beautiful resolution. “There’s this really lovely scene where they’re drunk and then they walk through a portal and time travel into another dimension, and all is forgiven for them.”
For her part, Gomez promises that Rouge joining the team does not mean she is now a good guy. “We’ve all got an asshole in our family that we don’t like,” she says, gesturing to herself. “Ta-da!” Rouge will very much be spending the season wrestling with her own moral compass. “All this altruistic stuff is all very well,” Gomez says, “but there’s maybe a moment where she has to choose.”
“She’s swimming in the grey right now,” Gomez promises. “Grey is the new black.”
Gomez also reveals Rouge will have “a new relationship that I fell in love with.” She wouldn’t say with whom other than to say “it was a character that was in another season at some point,” and that it’s not Chief—though when that was suggested she did say, “Actually no, but that would have been good. Fucking hell.”
She offered one additional hint: “It’s not a man.”
Maybe the biggest changes are in store for Jovian Wade. Now that Vic has removed the entirety of his cybernetics, he’s just a normal human being again. “He’s lost what gives him his power,” Wade says, and he’s lost GRID. “GRID is such a big deal for him. You know that voice you talk to you in your head? That’s GRID for Vic….He’s just not the same guy.”
From a team perspective, Vic's new situation presents complications, but Wade is thrilled about what it means for the character. “It’s a great journey for him,” he says. “We really get the chance for some healing to take place and some self-love….It’s encouraging him to come to terms with how he becomes a superhero within himself and realizing it’s not the cybernetics that makes him a hero but his wanting to do good, wanting to protect and serve.”
Wade is also thrilled to be able “to act with two eyes” for the first time. “Underneath the prosthetic I can’t see through the mask, and it kind of messes up depth perception. It’s nice, especially when there’s combat, to be able to see what I’m doing and not need a double for things that I would be able to do with two eyes. So that’s been really fun.”
Wade says the season finds him in Detroit and connecting with old friends. How does this fit with the team going messing up the future, traveling through alternate dimensions, and fighting man-eating butts? Who the f*ck knows? This is Doom Patrol, and as Bowlby said, it’s what they do (and do so well). But one thing it sounds like the season won’t include is the long-awaited Cyborg/Beast Boy team-up. Wade says this is something he and Titans’ Beast Boy actor Ryan Potter have been wanting for four years. “When I first landed Vic, Ryan reached out to me straight away, because hopefully we’d get to do it,” Wade remembers. “But then you’re four years in and it hasn’t happened and you’re like ‘Okay, what’s happening?’”
“I want to see these guys come together. I want to see the Teen Titans in their full glory.” Us, too, Jovian. And if there’s any show that could make it work, it’s Doom Patrol.
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