The sixth season of DC's Legends of Tomorrow kicks off tonight with "Ground Control to Sara Lance," in which the titular heroes wake up from a booze-fueled night in '70s London to discover that their captain has been abducted by aliens. They find this out in a fairly unlikely way, but in the end, it means that the timeship -- which has largely been constrained to Earth -- will find itself traveling into space a bit this season in the hopes of finding Sara and reuniting her with the team. If you're looking for a nuanced look at alien cultures, a la Star Trek, though...well, you just might be out of luck.
Instead, executive producer Phil Klemmer said that the series' propensity for humanizing and redeeming its villains may take a back seat to some good, old-fashioned sci-fi schlock and gore in the new season. Yeah, they went to the '80s in "Phone Home," a season 3 episode that paid homage to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, but that's not the goal here.
"That one was very Amblin based, that sort of heartwarming Spielberg vibe of a baby Dominator changing this sort of outcast young Ray Palmer's life," Klemmer told ComicBook. "That was a very earnest episode, and there's nothing wrong with being earnest. But we decided that this episode was going to be a little trashier. And again, I think people dismiss a lot of genres because they just out of hand decide they're low brow, but a lot of the stuff -- like the movie Flash Gordon -- I went back and watched it. It's probably a little cheesy, but man, when I was a kid, that movie changed my life. You have a Queen soundtrack. You have...was that Timothy Dalton sticking his hand into, or the bad guy, making him stick his hand into the thing that bit it? That's what I grew up on, is just kind of B-movie alien kind of stuff. And I feel like... Look, the Legends are indelible characters, and they can withstand to take a turn in genres that are not considered high art. And so it's fun just to do the campy, low-budget '70s and '80s version of this stuff. That's how this season is different from the episodes that you're referencing, because we just wanted to dive into something that was just fun, and gross, and just visceral. And it wasn't about getting to know these aliens and understand their deepest, darkest secrets and yearnings. We decided when we wrote the season, we just want to blast some aliens. We just want to explode them in the grossest way possible."
This certainly explains why the key art for the season features the Legends on a VHS tape, and why the extended trailer for the season showed some alien-splatter and an '80s-era Warner Bros. logo.