Star Trek Guide

How Doom Patrol References The Original Avengers

Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Doom Patrol season 2, episode 8, "Dad Patrol."

The latest episode of Doom Patrol paid homage to The Avengers; not the Marvel Comics' superhero team but the 1961 cult classic television series. This tribute came in the form of a daydream sequence, in which Rita Farr imagined herself and Cyborg as a pair of secret agents cut from the same cloth as Avengers protagonists Emma Peel and John Steed.

The second season of Doom Patrol has seen Rita Farr attempting to master her shape-shifting powers, with Cyborg acting as her trainer. Though she denied that she was thinking of becoming a superhero, it was clear that some heroic instinct had been awoken in Rita following the first season of Doom Patrol, as she became much more proactive in offering to help her teammates in dealing with various issues. This culminated in Rita stepping in to thwart a mugging while dressed as a beekeeper in the episode "Dumb Patrol."

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"Dad Patrol" saw Rita trying to humble-brag about her taking the next step in becoming a superhero to Cyborg, pointing out the newspaper article describing her heroic act. While Cyborg tried to be supportive, he couldn't help but poke fun at Rita's chosen codename of "The Beekeeper" and asked where she was hoping to go with all this. This prompted a dream sequence, similar to one in "Finger Patrol" where Robotman imagined himself and Cyborg as Starsky and Hutch, where Rita envisioned herself and Cyborg reenacting the opening credits of The Avengers as a crime-fighting duo dubbed Beekeeper and the Borg.

Originally produced for ITV, The Avengers was the first British television series to be aired on prime-time television in America, beginning with its fourth season in 1966. Though the series originally centered around Dr. David Keel (a physician investigating the murder of his fiancee) it came to focus on John Steed (Patrick Macnee) the mysterious agent of an undefined espionage organization, who showed up to aid Dr. Keel in his quest and recruited him for other missions. Later seasons would see Steed paired with a variety of partners before teaming him with Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) in Season 4. This incarnation of The Avengers became the most famous and served as the basis of a 1998 reboot film, starring Ralph Fiennes as John Steed and Uma Thurman as Emma Peel.

While having nothing to do with Marvel Comics' Avengers, the series did go on to have an influence on Marvel Comics in several ways. Black Widow's most famous costume was modeled on the leather catsuits Emma Peel favored when she went into the field. One Avengers episode, "A Touch of Brimstone," inspired the Hellfire Club from Chris Claremont's X-Men run. Indeed, Jean Grey's costume as the Hellfire Club's Black Queen in The Dark Phoenix Saga was a tribute to the erotic outfit Emma Peel donned while posing as the Queen of Sin.

Sadly, Cyborg cut Rita's dream sequence short before the opening credits of Beekeeper and the Borg could come to a close. There was no chance for "Dad Patrol" to show Cyborg making use of a trick-filled umbrella or Rita kicking butt in a yellow-and-black striped corset. Still, with one episode left in Doom Patrol's second season, anything is possible and there's no telling what might be seen in the season finale.