Doom Patrol Season 4’s Bizarre Time Travel Plot Explained by Showrunner

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Doom Patrol Cyborg

Doom Patrol Season 4 is confirmed to do a deep dive into the realm of time travel, and the show's producer recently shed some light on how the DC series will tackle this intriguing story device. 

Amid cancellation concerns, Doom Patrol Season 4 is still set to unleash a brand-new adventure for the DC superhero team, doing so with an added twist. 

The upcoming season's official synopsis teased that the team will be stumbling upon an "unwelcome surprise" as they travel through time. 

It is unknown what this surprise will be, but Season 4's first trailer did confirm the arrival of a slew of new villains, such as Sendhil Ramamurthy's Mr. 104. 

Now, Doom Patrol's producer has teased how wild this time-travel element will be in Season 4. 

Doom Patrol Producer Explains Season 4's Time Travel Antics

Doom Patrol Butts

Speaking with SFX magazine, Doom Patrol showrunner Jeremy Carver talked about the time travel plot of Season 4. 

Doom Patrol Season 4 is set to open with the team unintentionally traveling to 2042 by using Madame Rouge's time machine. Upon reaching the said year, the team discovers an apocalypse-ravage Earth and (spoiler alert) most of the Doom Patrol are already dead. 

Carver explained that this predicament "sets off the central thematic premise of the season:"

“The future that the Doom Patrol comes across is bleak, not just for humanity but specifically for themselves. That sets off the central thematic premise of the season, which is basically, ‘Are we going to go so far to save our Doom Patrol that we end up doing great damage to our personal selves?’ And how much longer can they continue to do that to themselves? That leads to some soul-searching as the season progresses."

The DC showrunner then revealed that returning villains such as the Butts will also come into play: 

“The glaring difference they are seeing in the future is that they, too, did not survive. That is the most glaring, bring-it-home take-away. They also realise some prior threats they thought were extinguished, namely the Butts, were not quite extinguished in a way that they thought and are once again rearing their ugly butts.”

The Doom Patrol also find themselves dealing with a prophecy known as the Knights Templar that finally happens, which involves the rise of an otherworldly being known as the Time Lord. 

The team then realizes that their own happiness and well-being are tied directly to this threat, thus causing them to embark on mind-bending trips. 

While confirming that the team travels to different points in time, Carver shared how this aspect will allow fans to look at the team in a different way compared to previous seasons: 

“In the past seasons, we have spent a good deal of time going backwards and seeing how our Doom Patrol got here. In this season, one thing we do a little bit different is for the most part, because we introduced this idea of not just a time machine but a timestream, we are going to see – in really fun and poignant ways – the Doom Patrol travel to different points of time."

When asked which period she enjoyed visiting, Rita Farr actress April Bowly revealed that it's the "fabulous alternate universe" which is also their "musical episode:"

"There’s so much time travelling and there’s also alternate universes. There is a fabulous alternate universe that we think is maybe in the ’80s. It’s this musical episode that we do. It is completely magical. We are all under this weird spell. It’s unlike any musical episode that you’ve ever seen. It’s so cinematic. Not to mention, we have some real singers on our show. Then you have Michelle Gomez and myself, who are not singers at all, so you get this nice comedy coming through the songs."

Amid traveling through time, the heroes are still set to tackle their personal issues. Negative Man is trying to figure out to be the best dad possible to Keeg, the energy spirit dwelling within him. Crazy Jane has an internal conflict about which of her personalities will be taking over.

As for Cyborg, Victor is revealed to be coming to terms with meeting his future self, which is described by SFX as a broken man full of regrets.

Carver further explained Cyborg's dilemma: 

“It makes present-day Cyborg, Vic, double down on this central question of, ’How do I move forward with my life, and what I want to do with my life, but how do I do it with my wants and my ideals?’” 

The showrunner continued by teasing that Victor's encounter with his future self makes him "think very hard about everything:"

“That was a thought process that he was never really given when his father put him together this way. Seeing the future him makes Cyborg think very hard about everything. We have always said about our iteration of Cyborg that we were looking to fill in that gap of Cyborg going from young man to fully adult, and where he wanted to go with his life and the kind of man he wants to be.”

How Time Travel Challenges the Doom Patrol

The time travel element of Doom Patrol Season 4 is poised to challenge the team like never before. 

In the first three seasons, the team managed to defeat otherworldly threats, but showrunner Jeremy Carver's comments hint that Season 4 will be far different due to the amplified nature of their personal issues that have carried over from previous installments. 

As a result, traveling through time is more of a challenge rather than a breeze as the team heads off to face unexpected surprises and returning threats. The Doom Patrol must contend with these problems while also trying to prevent the emergence of the Time Lord. 

Given that the team usually fails in preventing dangerous enemies from being unleashed, all signs point that a grand showdown between the Doom Patrol and the Time Lord will be in the cards in the final episodes of Season 4. 

Doom Patrol Season 4 will stream its two-episode premiere on HBO Max on December 8. 

- In This Article: Doom Patrol (Season 4 Part 2)
Release Date
October 12, 2023
Brendan Fraser
Diane Guerrero
Joivan Wade
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.