We Chat with DOOM PATROL Showrunner Jeremy Carver!

DC Universe

DC Universe

April 23, 2019


Jeremy Carver is no stranger to the world of the strange and mysterious, having written and produced such beloved sci-fi/horror shows as Supernatural and Being Human. Now he’s bringing his talents for peculiarity to DC Universe's Doom Patrol. We recently caught up with Carver, and he revealed how he’s staying true to comic writer Grant Morrison’s freaky vision for the team, what it’s like creating a show specifically for DC fans, and his favorite Doom Patrol member…


On staying true to Grant Morrison’s weird sensibilities…


The first thing I read was the Grant Morrison run. I did not know about Doom Patrol before I came on. Grant Morrison was the craziest and really most heartfelt entry into this team. Seeing the liberties that were taken with it in tone, feel, and style, it really touched so many things that I like. This idea of so much springing from pain, whether it be humor or pathos. In some ways the whole Doom Patrol thing just really fit my sensibilities. I don’t know how else to say it. It was just figuring out how to apply that in the TV sense and what I wanted from it. So much work was done before I got here in terms of this team and the wonderful run of comic book writers and artists that it was very easy to bring my sensibility to their sensibility.


On making the villain the narrator…


I just knew I wanted to add yet another wrinkle to that pilot episode. I was hoping to pull off someone taking a delicious delight in telling a story where nothing was quite as it seems, an unreliable narrator who has very strong impressions of where this is going to end. You are forced to put yourself at his mercy to tell you what's what. I don't have a fancy-dancy way of saying that. It just felt like the right thing to do. It was an enormous challenge. It was basically throwing down the biggest possible challenge I could have for myself, adding that element to it. It was a series of trials and errors. It wasn't until I hit across that first line of the show, when he’s groaning at the idea of more superheroes, that the voice really started to form itself in my head. In terms of everything that was meta about it.


On the real journey Doom Patrol embarks on in season 1…


In the most general sense, we have a season in which they need to find the Chief, but really it’s a season about finding themselves. It’s about these five disparate individuals overcoming their own sense of otherness, and self-loathing in some cases, and really beginning to face why they're here, what has happened to them, and what they're going to do about it. There's a real journey of self discovery that’s happening over the course of the season amongst all the zaniness. It's not always a journey that ends with a bow wrapped around it. Not everything is going to have a happy ending... The idea of being a team doesn't even enter their consciousness. They don't even consider themselves the Doom Patrol for most of the season. That's not who they are. They do encounter another Doom Patrol, or another early iteration of the Doom Patrol. But our main characters have a lot of coming to terms with who they are and who they were before they can really take any formative steps to becoming anything close to a team.


On the possibility of a crossover with DC Universe's Titans


My universe has been Doom Patrol the last ten months; so creatively we haven't really gone to the idea of crossovers with the Titans or anything. They're in the same world. We're asking fans to come to this version of the show knowing that it is the same world, but it's a different continuity. While there are elements of Titans and the Titans’ introduction of our team, not all characterizations are the same and it's best just to come into it with a fresh look. I know people get very particular about it and I think that’s fair. The best thing I can say to the fans is don't look for the same continuity from the Titans introduction of the Doom Patrol to Doom Patrol's Doom Patrol. That will bring the most enjoyment instead of looking around corners for something that you may have thought was there from Titans.


On giving Larry Trainor a new, updated tragic backstory…




There's so much about these people -- who they are now, feeling different. It was just interesting to me to have at least one of our characters who always felt different in a way and never really got to come to grips with it before he became yet even something else different. One of the more moving arcs of season 1 is watching Larry reconnect with who he was; and actually reconnect in ways that will be seen in the show with his old life and his old lover and watching him play that out with an honesty and a new appreciation for what was, what could have been, and how that helps him to move forward with who he is now. It's a very emotional story, and it's part of our mission to keep digging into these characters, who they were and what they're all about, and not just living in the present. Every moment we're spending in the past -- and not just the past but every other iteration of our characters -- is only deepening our appreciation for who they are now.


On creating a show for fans on DC Universe…


You feel a bit more of a burden because there are certain things that comic book fans care more about, like the DC Universe and the continuity. DC and Warner Brothers and my partners that I'm working with, they've been very adamant about doing something in the comic book space that felt unique and adult and cinematic. They've really given myself and the writers and the cast all the support we needed to pull off something that felt within the mantra of comics but something that felt unique within that space. It's a small blessing in that you're taking on a team that isn't the most known in comic book [circles]. But I feel even more of an obligation to get things right. Because the people who have been hardcore fans of Doom Patrol are a really incredible lot. You want to do them right.


On bringing the best and weirdest elements of the Doom Patrol to life…




We’ve lifted and shaped a lot from the comics. It's been rather mind-blowing to bring certain characters to life, like Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man and the Beard Hunter, who is one of the stranger villains or heroes -- whichever way you see him -- and Danny the Street, who is a sentient, genderqueer street and who is one of my favorite characters of all time from the Doom Patrol comics and has been thrilling to try and pull off. We have taken from the Grant Morrison run and the Silver Age run and we've added some new elements ourselves, as seen in the flatulent donkey who makes a strong guest appearance in the first few episodes. We have a character, Ezekiel, who is a doomsday-prepping cockroach who believes he's a prophet of the Lord, as well as a small band of other animals getting involved in our universe and potentially coming together in ways that bespeak a greater role for them in our universe. We're having a lot of fun balancing the absurd versus the very grounded.


What’s your favorite part of Doom Patrol so far? Let us know in our Community!