This is one of those episodes that you watch, and find yourself smiling at while you’re doing so, but afterwards realise really doesn’t hold together that well at all. To say this is derivative would be probably missing the point – the creators have commented on its Star Trek similarities (which, I have to say, are completely bypassing me at the moment bar the larceny of a spaceship), but basically imagine a situation where a younger War Doctor goes to the High Council of the Time Lords and makes the impassioned speech about evil in the universe that must be fought (a la The War Games) and goes off to do what he wants about it anyway (despite, as we discover, their lack of permission). That’s where this begins – and it’s not helped by Arthur Darvill inevitably bringing with him associations with Doctor Who! Of course to those not versed in time travel TV, this may seem as original as that did then…
The various characters are familiar from Arrow and The Flash (and we get a helpful cameo from the former) but the dialogue that they’re given is arch, even by these standards – and not as fluid as on Supergirl. There are some fun moments (the 1975 bar scene works very well), but the revelations we get at the end of the episode upend much of what we’ve just had established, and really could have done with coming a little bit down the line.
I suspect this series is going to play off the interaction between the characters rather than its plotlines – but they’re going to be seriously more engaging than currently to maintain interest for those not already heavily invested in this universe.
Verdict: Flashy and superficial fun. 6/10