ROBIN with­out BAT­MAN

The BOY WON­DER branches out on his own in a new su­per­hero show

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‘We start to see Dick’s frus­tra­tion at liv­ing in Bat­man’s shadow for so long’

Bren­ton th­waites

Ti­tans

Net­flix, avail­able from Fri 11 Jan

WHAT WOULD HAP­PEN if Boy Won­der Robin split from crime-fight­ing men­tor Bat­man? That’s the premise of Net­flix’s dark new Ti­tans, which cen­tres on Robin’s al­ter ego, Dick Grayson, and his bat­tle to save the planet with a new su­per­hero team.

As the se­ries be­gins, Grayson, who’s played by Aus­tralian ac­tor Bren­ton Th­waites, has parted ways with bil­lion­aire Bruce Wayne, aka Bat­man, and has left Gotham City. Now liv­ing in Detroit, he works as a de­tec­tive by day – but at night he’s a masked vig­i­lante, do­ing his best to rid the streets of crime.

‘It takes the char­ac­ters we all know from the comic books and tells the sto­ries in a more ma­ture way,’ ex­plains Th­waites. ‘We start to see Dick’s frus­tra­tion at liv­ing in Bat­man’s shadow for so long and his will­ing­ness to break out and do his own thing.’

KIN­DRED SPIR­ITS

Mat­ters be­come more com­plex, how­ever, when teenager Rachel Roth (Tea­gan Croft) – soon to be­come su­per­hero Raven – comes to Grayson’s at­ten­tion af­ter her mother is mur­dered and Rachel’s ter­ri­fy­ing tele­ki­netic pow­ers are un­leashed on the world.

As Rachel finds her­self in ter­ri­ble dan­ger, the pair even­tu­ally team up with other trou­bled but ex­tra­or­di­nary su­per­heroes, in­clud­ing Ko­riand’r aka Starfire (Anna Diop), Gar Lo­gan aka Beast Boy (Ryan Pot­ter), and Grayson’s for­mer allies Hank Hall aka Hawk (Alan Ritch­son) and Dawn

Granger aka Dove (Minka Kelly).

‘Dick has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to hold it to­gether as leader of the group. But he makes mis­takes,’ ex­plains 29-year-old Th­waites. ‘We see him learn­ing how to be­come that leader. He’s try­ing to fig­ure out who he is, while try­ing to keep the crew safe.’

The drama also delves into each of the Ti­tans’ dif­fi­cult pasts. For Grayson, that in­cludes the un­solved mur­ders of his cir­cus ac­ro­bat par­ents and also his dif­fi­cult re­la­tion­ship with Bruce Wayne, who took him in af­ter their deaths.

‘Key mo­ments from his past still haunt him and there is the grief from los­ing his par­ents,’ says Th­waites, whose pre­vi­ous cred­its in­clude Pi­rates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Re­venge and Gods of Egypt

as well as a stint in Home and Away.

‘The writ­ers wanted to ex­plore who the guy be­hind the mask was and the pain he was go­ing through. It’s go­ing to take a long time to iron out these deep emo­tional is­sues that we see in flash­backs.’

FEEL­ING THE PART

While the char­ac­ters’ per­sonal trau­mas give the show ex­tra bite, the in­tense ac­tion scenes also bring a stee­li­ness to pro­ceed­ings.

‘I trained in box­ing and kick box­ing, and it turned out sim­ple and bru­tal,’ says Th­waites. ‘The cos­tumes look fan­tas­tic, too. Once I put the chest plate on, that’s when I started to get ex­cited – it has that mil­i­tary feel. But it was very ac­tor-friendly, too, be­cause I could do all my own stunts in it.’

TEA­GAN CROFT AND RYAN POT­TER AS RAVENAND BEAST BOY

BREN­TON TH­WAITES AND ANNA DIOP AS THE BOY WON­DER AND STARFIRE

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