From Homer's The Odyssey to Chicago and The Real World, the Legends showrunners tease season 7's many inspirations.
Guest Starring John Noble

DC's Legends of Tomorrow is switching things up for its seventh season, which premieres Wednesday night.

Whereas most of the super-show's seasons follow the team as they jump from one historical era to another and inhabit different genres (a John Wu action flick! a Bollywood musical! College party movies!), the latest one, at least initially, finds them stuck in the past — specifically 1925 Odessa, Texas — because their timeship, the Waverider, was destroyed by a second Waverider that appeared out of nowhere at the end of season 6. Without all of the futuristic technology they've come to depend on, Sara (Caity Lotz), Nate (Nick Zano), and the rest of the gang must travel to New York without causing too much damage to the timeline and find Dr. Gwyn Davies (Matt Ryan), the forefather of time travel who might be able to help them.

Legends of Tomorrow
Jes Macallan as Ava and Caity Lotz as Sara Lance on 'DC's Legends of Tomorrow' season 7
| Credit: Colin Bentley/The CW

Even though the Legends are stranded in the 1920s, that doesn't mean the pop culture-devouring CW dramedy will stop experimenting with different genres and drawing inspiration from classic stories. To help you understand season 7's many references and influences, EW asked showrunners Phil Klemmer and Keto Shimizu to put together a study guide over email.

Below, the producers share what you should read, watch, and research to enrich your viewing experience and preview the roaring season ahead.

Homer'sThe Odyssey

The Odyssey
'The Odyssey' hardcover book by Homer and translated by Emily Wilson
| Credit: W. W. Norton & Company

"This season is about the Legends trying to return home, so if you're looking to go deep, start with the original 'just trying to get home' story. But if you're not into the classics, go for a classic film based on The Odyssey: O Brother Where Art Thou by the Coen Brothers. And if classic films are too snobby, we would suggest The Cannonball Run. Fun fact: Erwin "Cannonball" Baker was a real life person who first made the coast-to-coast race famous in 1925. Our Legends will manage to cross with him this season." 

Bonnie and Clyde

Legends of Tomorrow
Shayan Sobhian as Behrad and Tala Ashe as Zari on 'DC's Legends of Tomorrow' season 7
| Credit: Colin Bentley/The CW

"Although these two historical figures have already appeared on the show (season 5, episode 9 'The Great British Fake Off'), this season will find our Legends doing an impersonation of flashy bank robbers who become media sensations (without killing anyone, of course). But it's more than just robbing banks…"


'Chicago' (2002) starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, and Renee Zellweger
| Credit: Everett Collection

"It wouldn't be Legends if there wasn't a little song and dance, right? Move aside Roxie and Velma because the Legends are going to try their hand at some tap dancing — oh and also a little aerial silk action. Caity Lotz and Jes Macallan didn't need doubles to make this one shine!"

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' (2004) starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet
| Credit: Everett Collection

"In order to prepare for the 100th episode of Legends you're going to have to bend your brain a bit. Our celebration of the century mark is an episode based on the notion of memory, and how identity is formed by memory. Snore-fest, right? On paper, it might make your head hurt. But a parade of Legends from seasons past will make it worth it…"

The Great Train Robbery

'The Great Train Robbery' (1903) starring Gilbert 'Broncho Billy' Anderson
| Credit: Everett Collection

"I'm [Klemmer] not going to lie, I haven't seen this movie, but we do have an episode about a train this season… and not a robbery exactly, but a crime. Murder on the Orient Express?  Sorry, haven't seen that one either. I've seen Snowpiercer… but our episode was shot in August so no snow, sorry."

The Real World seasons 1-4

THE REAL WORLD, NYC, MTV Reality Series, from left: Eric, Norman, Kevin, Andre, Becky, Heather B., J
'The Real World' season 1 cast
| Credit: Everett Collection

"Our Legends are going back to the '90s this season. The only thing worse than being stuck on a timeship with eight annoying roommates? Being stuck in Constantine's manor. John might be gone but infernal curses persist on our show. Question: Who do you think will play our version of Puck?"

The Terminator

THE TERMINATOR, Arnold Schwarzenegger, 1984. ©Orion Pictures Corporation/Courtesy Everett Collection
Arnold Schwarzenegger in 'The Terminator' (1984)
| Credit: Everett Collection

"I'm not going to tell you why to watch this but you can probably guess."

And here's a bonus tease from the EPs: "Listen to some Franz Ferdinand and while you're at it do a little light wiki reading on the final days of the original dude."

DC's Legends of Tomorrow returns Wednesday at 8 p.m. on The CW.

Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.

Related content:

Episode Recaps

Guest Starring John Noble
DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Led by White Canary, a band of superhero misfits defend the time stream with an assortment of wacky threats in the fourth Arrowverse series.

  • TV Show
  • 7
stream service