The Beginning and the End: Legends of Tomorrow

Photo by Steven M. Diaz

On Friday at 1PM, Arthur Darvill and Olivia Swann met in the Marriott Atrium Ballroom to talk about Legends of Tomorrow, which ended its seven-season run earlier this year. Moderated by Kevin Bachelder, the panel fielded audience questions and talked about the joy of hopping time in the Waverider with a changing cast on a show that embraced diversity.

Bachelder kicked things off, asking Swann and Darvill how they found their way into the Arrowverse. Swann had just finished drama school, and a theatre tour, when she landed the audition and nabbed the role of Astrid Logue within days. She called the show—which was her first TV job post-school—a “wonderful playground” with “wonderful people” where she learned so much.

Darvill, too, was doing theatre when he got the call to audition, which he did twice: once with an American accent and once with his natural British accent. He didn’t know much about the show then, but when he was told it was a time travelling show, and that they wanted a seven-year commitment, he had to think about it. Darvill, who portrayed Rory Williams on Doctor Who from 2010–2012, wasn’t so sure he wanted to play a time traveler again until he felt he would “get to stretch [his] legs in a different way,” which is what mattered to him about Rip Hunter, a role he played from 2016–2018.

Both Swann and Darvill talked about the fun in joining a show made of chaos and developing their characters. Swann, who joined in season 4, said, “The cast was so lovely and so welcoming,” which made it easy to jump into an established ensemble that continually brought in new people. This, Darvill said, kept the show from getting stale.

On that note, the audience asked if the diversity of the show was planned, and both actors agreed that it was reflective of the writers and done very consciously. “You could feel the love in which it was created in that respect,” Darvill said while Swann felt the storylines reflected diversity of experience and were often honed-in collaboration with the cast.

Photo by Steven M. Diaz

The audience asked fun questions about favorite comic book character, Legends character, and time machine. Swann said she’d jump at a chance to play Poison Ivy while showing off her tattoo of the famous DC villain, wouldn’t mind being in Smallville, that she liked her second iteration of Astra the best, and, of course, prefers the Waverider—calling it dope—over that other infamous spaceship known as the TARDIS. Darvill loves The Sandman comic book in general, would like to play Link in a Legend of Zelda adaptation, and, at first, refused to pick a favorite ship. While the Waverider was his ship (in that he captained her), he pointed out that the TARDIS was his first time-travel vehicle. “I loved all the stuff you could play with,” he said of the Waverider, before changing his mind. “Gonna say TARDIS.” He recounted how Doctor Who star Matt Smith snuck him in to see the set before he got the role of Rory.

Darvill said filming Legends was “like being in a fever dream,” due to the crazy storylines and speed of filming, as episodes were shot in 8 days and in succession. He recalled being on a horse that was charging and the sheer absurdity of filming that scene, as he had very little experience riding a horse, especially one that was running. Swann talked about the numerous episodes in seasons 6 and 7 that were crazy to film, including one about reality TV, one where everyone was a robot, and an animated one. But for her, singing in an episode was anxiety inducing. Darvill chimed in, saying even musical theatre icon Victor Garber was nervous to sing on the show.

While Darvill kept all his socks and boots from the show, Swann took nothing, saying she wanted an amulet necklace someone else nabbed. “Why can’t we just have the stuff?” Darvill quipped before later revealing he didn’t know what happened to the coat Hunter wore. “Every time I put that coat on,” Darvill said, “I just felt amazing.” He also said while he initially wanted a cape, he was relieved he did not have to wear a restrictive hero costume. For Swann, the stiletto heels were the worst part of every outfit Astrid wore.

Both actors expressed great admiration for the full cast and crew of the show, giving special shoutouts to Amy Pemberton, who voiced and played Gideon for Legends’ duration.

Darvill, who is no stranger to Dragon Con, joked that the whole shebang is run by a large dragon named Pete who makes calls and deals from the 27th floor before ending the panel by imploring everyone to “have a really great Dragon Con!”

Author of the article

Kelly McCorkendale is a dog-lover, avid quilter, and occasional creative writer who loves the color orange and boycotts cable (except Game of Thrones because, well, what if winter is coming!?). After college, she realized poets weren’t in demand, so she shipped off to Madagascar with Peace Corps. Since then, she’s found a niche working on health systems in Africa but has a long-list of life tasks yet to be fulfilled--such as perform blackmail, learn a trade, and become a competitive eater. She has an MA in International Education, believes rice is the elixir of life, and, in high school, won the best supporting actress honor for the state of Missouri. She may also recite poetry (her first love) when imbibing in alcohol.