The premise of Legends of Tomorrow is that time traveler Rip Hunter has recruited a group of heroes and villains from the present day to travel through time to prevent the immortal Vandal Savage from destroying the world. The team will have enough enemies to deal with in these various eras, but they’ll also be facing an obstacle from an unexpected source. A day before the show premieres, it’s been announced that Inherent Vice star Martin Donovan has been cast as Rip Hunter’s mentor, Zaman Druce.
As a respected member of the Time Council and one of Rip’s first mentors at the Time Master Academy, Druce has had a lot of experience mediating conflicts throughout history during his tenure as a Time Master. However, his biggest challenge will come when he’s forced to track down Rip and convince him and the team to stop their journey to stop Vandal Savage. If Rip doesn’t comply, then Druce may be forced to kill him. Donovan will first appear in Episode 4, titled “White Knights,” and according to IGN, the role could become recurring.
It’s interesting that Legends of Tomorrow opted to create a new character to serve as Rip’s mentor rather than use Rip’s father, who is the DC hero Booster Gold. Thanks to the wonder of time travel, the adult Rip has frequently teamed up with his father in his younger years. It wasn’t until the late 2000s Booster Gold series that the true nature of their relationship was revealed. Given everything that’s already occurring on Legends of Tomorrow, adding Booster Gold into the mix might have been overkill, though there’s always hope for Season 2.
As for why Druce suddenly needs to stop Rip from completing his mission, that’s unclear. Executive producer Phil Klemmer previously said the team will never travel past 2166, a.k.a. the “Second London Blitz,” in Season 1. This is the era where Rip hails from, and from what we’ve see in the previews, things definitely aren’t going well. That said, perhaps Druce and the other Time Masters feel Rip’s journey poses too many risks, and it’s not worth stopping Vandal Savage in the past if it results in the entire time space continuum being destroyed. On the other hand, perhaps the Vandal Savage of the future has brought Druce to his side, and willingly or unwillingly, the Time Master is carrying out Vandal’s orders. Only time will tell, literally in this case.
To comic book fans, Donovan is most recognizable as Hank Pym’s nemesis and HYDRA agent Mitchell Carson in last year’s Ant-Man. His notable movie credits include Inherent Vice and The Portrait of a Lady, while he’s also been featured on shows like Weeds, Boss, Homeland, The Lottery and Rogue. Druce is the second future player that’s been announced for Legends of Tomorrow recently, following Jewel Staite’s still-unnamed character.
Legends of Tomorrow premieres…well, tomorrow (that works out nicely) at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.