Swamp Thing
Swamp Thing 2019 TV series.webp
Based on
Developed by
ComposerBrian Tyler
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
Production locationWilmington, North Carolina
  • Pedro Luque
  • Fernando Argüelles
  • Nathaniel Goodman
  • Peter Kowalski
  • Mark Stevens
  • Scott Draper
  • Tim Mirkovich
  • Hector Carrillo
Running time42–60 minutes
Production companies
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Original networkDC Universe
Original releaseMay 31 (2019-05-31) –
August 2, 2019 (2019-08-02)

Swamp Thing is an American superhero horror television series created by Gary Dauberman and Mark Verheiden for DC Universe, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Derek Mears portrays the eponymous Swamp Thing, a plant-elemental creature who fights malevolent forces around a Louisiana swamp with the help of medical doctor Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed).

The series premiered on May 31, 2019, and consisted of 10 episodes. Shortly after its premiere, DC Universe announced that Swamp Thing had been canceled. The remaining episodes were released on DC Universe until the series' conclusion on August 2, 2019.


Abby Arcane returns home to Marais, Louisiana,[1] to investigate a deadly swamp-borne virus, where she develops a bond with disgraced scientist Alec Holland. After Holland tragically dies, Abby discovers the mysteries of the swamp and that Holland might not be dead after all.[2]

Cast and characters





No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [14]Prod.
1"Pilot"Len WisemanTeleplay by : Gary Dauberman & Mark VerheidenMay 31, 2019 (2019-05-31)T33.01008
In a swamp outside of Marais, Louisiana, three men hired to drop cases of mutagen accelerator into Bayou Swamp are attacked by plants; with only one of them surviving. Days later, the survivor's daughter, Susie, comes down with a mysterious illness that has been spreading throughout town. CDC doctor and former resident Abby Arcane, is sent to help. She reunites with childhood friend turned policeman, Matthew Cable, before meeting with Alec Holland, a disgraced scientist hired by businessman Avery Sunderland, to investigate further. The pair find the survivor's body overrun with a plant creature, though Alec kills it. After meeting up with Abby's reporter friend, Liz Tremayne, and being accosted by Maria Sunderland, the pair find the mutagen cases. While waiting for the results, Alec and Abby bond, revealing he had manipulated test results to prove himself right and she was responsible for killing Sunderland's daughter, Shawna. After getting the results, Alec departs alone to find more of the cases, only to be violently killed and taken by the swamp. Abby rushes to find him, only to be scared off by a mossy creature.
2"Worlds Apart"Len WisemanMark Verheiden & Doris EganJune 7, 2019 (2019-06-07)T33.10352
The police investigate Alec's death, but disregard Abby's claims. Maria meets with Madame Xanadu, who advises her against finding her daughter's spirit and that she should put her regrets to rest. She refuses to however, later resting on Shawna's bed next to her daughter's corpse. Not long after biogeneticist Jason Woodrue and his wife, Caroline, arrive in Marais, the former meets with Avery, who berates him for the mutagen spreading disease instead of cultivating the swamp for land development like he wanted. Jason disagrees, claiming it is incapable of doing so, but Avery forces him to investigate the disease regardless. Susie dreams of a plant-like creature clawing at its body and feeling how scared it was. She later escapes the hospital and into the swamp, where she sees two men dumping more mutagen and killing an officer. One of the men, Munson, spots her and gives chase when she flees, only to be killed by the creature. Abby catches up to them while looking for Susie, who says the creature is Alec and he is confused as to what is happening.
3"He Speaks"Deran SarafianRob FrescoJune 14, 2019 (2019-06-14)T33.10353
Munson's body is resurrected by killer insects. Abby confides in Liz that the "Swamp Thing" is Alec. Abby later breaks into Alec's lab and finds what he was working on. Munson attacks her, but she is saved by the Swamp Thing, who orders the insects to release Munson. Abby tries to reason with Alec, but when he says the disease is fighting to protect itself, she realizes that antibiotics make it stronger and uses immuno-suppressants to temporarily save the infected. Liz confronts loan officer Gordon about him secretly paying Avery, but he denies this. He later demands Avery return the payments or else he will talk. Matt's mother, Lucilia, interviews Avery about Alec's death; hinting at their past relationship. Shawna's ghost confronts Maria about Avery's infidelity. Avery attempts to procure funds from Maria's inheritance, but she denies him. Meanwhile, Daniel Cassidy expresses his desire to leave Marais, learning from Xanadu that change is coming. Liz's girlfriend discovers a piece of Alec's boat. When Gordon threatens to expose the Conclave, Avery kills him.
4"Darkness on the Edge of Town"Carol BankerErin Maher & Kay ReindlJune 21, 2019 (2019-06-21)T33.10354
A young man named Todd discovers a corpse hidden in a tree and unknowingly becomes infected. While working for Liz's father's, Delroy, Todd hallucinates and kills himself in the resulting panic, though not before scratching Delroy. Abby meets with Alec and obtains a sample of his tissue to study, with Jason's assistance. Delroy begins to hallucinate a mysterious man and panics. While Lucilia, Liz, and Abby restrain him, Lucilia gets scratched. While Avery holds a celebration for the "plant flu's" end, Maria attempts to get closer to the recovering Susie. Abby investigates the area where Todd was infected, finding the corpse and a hotel key. Liz looks up the hotel and learns of a similar incident in the past wherein the final victim vanished into the swamp. Abby theorizes they did this knowing they were infected. At the party, Lucilia sees a vision of Matt dying and attempts to shoot his "attacker" before Daniel disarms her. She scratches Abby, who rushes into the swamp. As she hallucinates a tall, faceless man trying to kidnap her, Alec arrives and cures her before returning the disease to the corpse before confirming Abby's theory. Avery and Maria decide to take care of Susie instead of her uncle.
5"Drive All Night"Greg BeemanFranklin RhoJune 28, 2019 (2019-06-28)T33.10355
Swamp Thing meets a mysterious being, who tells him that the ghosts he has been seeing were events witnessed by past trees. Susie is possessed by Shawna's ghost and lures Maria to the swamp. Abby follows Maria and tries to save her, but Maria nearly drowns Abby, who manages to swim away. Shawna's ghost tries to drown Maria in turn, but Swamp Thing saves her. With Swamp Thing's help, Abby discovers that Shawna was killed by an evil force that pulled her underwater. Avery threatens Liz to stop investigating Alec's death, but she refuses. Daniel tries to leave Marais, but his arm bursts into blue flames at the border. Jason searches Alec's lab and finds giant footprints that lead to a piece of vegetation. After analyzing it, he concludes that it has the same genetic material as Abby's sample. Jason later tells Avery that a large creature is living in the swamp and that he needs it alive so he can study it. Avery obliges, offering the name of someone who can help him.
6"The Price You Pay"Toa FraserTania LotiaJuly 5, 2019 (2019-07-05)T33.10356
Avery's trackers try to capture Swamp Thing, but he defends himself against them. Lucilia sends Matt to investigate, who tracks down Swamp Thing in the process and fights him. Abby stops them, revealing to Matt that the creature is Alec. Matt confesses to Lucilia that he killed Alec on Avery's behalf to protect her. Liz tells Abby that the thugs who attacked her and Daniel were sent by Avery. When Abby confronts Avery over Liz's allegations, he hints at possible retribution. A comatose Daniel remembers the deal that he made with the Phantom Stranger that resulted in his being trapped in Marais. Jason manages to awaken Daniel, but his experiments on him almost transform the failed actor into a blue devil-like monster before Caroline sedates him. Xanadu visits Daniel and relieves his pain. Swamp Thing grows a hallucinogenic flower that makes Abby temporarily see him as Alec.
7"Brilliant Disguise"Alexis OstranderConway Preston & Rob FrescoJuly 12, 2019 (2019-07-12)T33.10357
Abby and Alec head to a rotted area of swamp. While she is collecting a sample, the darkness attacks and infects her with bacteria. Alec takes Abby back to his lab, where she is saved by the Green. Lucilia tells Avery that Alec is still alive and asks him to help her take Alec down before he comes for them. While searching the swamp, Avery betrays Lucilia and steals her shotgun. Just as Avery is about to shoot Lucilia, Matt surprises him and knocks him out. When Avery wakes up, he tells Matt that he is his father, and Matt gets angry at Lucilia for not telling him. While he is distracted, Avery stabs him. Lucilia shoots Avery in the leg, causing him to fall into the swamp. Alec tells Abby that his transformation is serving a higher purpose, and that she should move on with her life and not come back anymore. Abby goes to the CDC in Atlanta to try to find a cure for him before it is too late. An injured Avery emerges from the water and onto the shore.
8"Long Walk Home"E. L. KatzDoris EganJuly 19, 2019 (2019-07-19)T33.10358
A wounded Avery wanders through the swamp. Losing blood, he begins to hallucinate. Swamp Thing finds him, brings him to the lab, and helps him recover. Abby is denied access to her sample results. Afterwards, she is confronted by the Conclave. Harlan is kidnapped after leaving Abby's apartment. Avery returns the next day with Jason to "help" Swamp Thing, though he has also secretly brought Conclave mercenaries with him. Swamp Thing tries to make them leave, but the Conclave manage to capture him. Sensing that Swamp Thing is in danger, Abby heads back to Marais, but arrives too late.
9"The Anatomy Lesson"Michael GoiTeleplay by : Mark Verheiden
Story by : Noah Griffith & Daniel Stewart
July 26, 2019 (2019-07-26)T33.10359
At a secret Conclave facility, Jason conducts research on Swamp Thing, discovering that he can function without vital organs. As payback for trying to kill him, Avery bribes a judge to commit Maria to a mental institution. Upon further examination, Jason deduces that Swamp Thing is actually a humanoid plant that absorbed Holland's memories after he died. Abby and Liz locate the facility. Daniel recovers and the Phantom Stranger shows him a vision of Liz and Abby being hunted and killed by Conclave security. Inspired, he decides to become the Blue Devil. Abby and Liz are able to free Swamp Thing while the Blue Devil takes out the guards, but Jason manages to escape. Returning home, he finds Caroline has overdosed. Swamp Thing returns to the swamp and retrieves a skeleton. A horrified Abby looks on as Swamp Thing confirms the body belongs to Alec.
10"Loose Ends"Deran SarafianTeleplay by : Erin Maher & Kay Reindl
Story by : Rob Fresco
August 2, 2019 (2019-08-02)T33.10360
Despite recovering Alec's body, Abby tries to make Swamp Thing believe that Holland's spirit resides within him. Nathan and his men attack, but Swamp Thing kills them, sparing only Nathan. Swamp Thing has one last conversation with Alec. Jason performs an experiment on himself to save his wife. Xanadu visits Maria in the mental institution and gives her closure, though at the cost of her sanity. Avery tries to reconcile with Lucilia, but when she refuses, he stabs her and dumps her car in the swamp with her in the trunk. After talking with Liz, Daniel is finally able to leave Marais. Swamp Thing and Abby decide to remain in Marais to combat the encroaching darkness together. Matt arrives at the station, only to find his fellow police officers dead. Jason, mutated by his experiment, attacks him.



On May 2, 2018, it was announced that DC Universe had given the production a script-to-series order. Mark Verheiden and Gary Dauberman were expected to write the first episode of the series and executive produce alongside James Wan, Michael Clear. Rob Hackett was set to serve as a co-producer. Production companies involved with the series were slated to include Atomic Monster Productions and Warner Bros. Television.[2] On September 4, 2018, it was reported that Len Wiseman would direct the series' first episode in addition to serving as an executive producer.[15]

Despite being released on DC Universe, the series does not exist in the same fictional universe as the service's other live-action series, including Titans and Doom Patrol.[16] On June 6, 2019, the series was canceled one week after its premiere aired.[17] Before the series' cancellation, there were plans for a three-season arc and to introduce Justice League Dark and create a spin-off based on that team.[18]


In September 2018, it was announced that Crystal Reed and Maria Sten had been cast in the main roles of Abby Arcane and Liz Tremayne, respectively.[3][7] Jennifer Beals was also announced in the recurring role of Sheriff Lucilia Cable, although she would later be revealed to be part of the main cast.[10] In late October and early November 2018, more series regulars were revealed, with Jeryl Prescott cast as Madame Xanadu,[8] Virginia Madsen cast as Maria Sunderland,[4] Will Patton cast as Avery Sunderland.[9] Andy Bean cast as Alec Holland with Derek Mears as the Swamp Thing,[5] Henderson Wade cast as Matt Cable,[6] and Kevin Durand cast as Jason Woodrue.[11]

Also in December 2018, Ian Ziering joined the cast in the recurring role of Daniel Cassidy / Blue Devil,[13] and a month later, Leonardo Nam was cast as Harlan Edwards in a recurring role.[12]


Principal photography for the series commenced in early November 2018 in Wilmington, North Carolina and wrapped on May 6, 2019.[19][20]


On April 17, 2019, it was announced that production for the series had been unexpectedly cut short due to creative differences with DC Universe's parent company WarnerMedia, thus reducing the original episode order from 13 to 10 episodes.[21] Further reports stated the series had been canceled due to budget shortfalls after the expected level of tax rebates offered by the state of North Carolina were substantially reduced.[22] A representative from DC Universe stated that the streaming service was being re-evaluated and that there were no plans for a second season. When asked why specifically the show was canceled, the spokesman responded, "Unfortunately, we are not in a position to answer at this time."[23]

Mears described the cancellation as a "heartbreaker" and felt the decision to cancel the show showed a "lack of respect" on DC's part. He added that members of the production had been told up until the cancellation "how amazing everything was... So it's a weird nebulous space that we're all in now because we don't know officially why that would happen, or why they canceled it."[24] In mid-2019, a movement with the hashtag #SaveSwampThing began spreading on social media shortly after the series was cancelled in an attempt to save the series. Mears also showed his support of the movement.[25] With The CW network acquiring the broadcast rights to the series, The CW president Mark Pedowitz did not rule out the possibility of renewing the series for a second season, saying, "that would be a discussion for Warner Bros. and the CW. But at this time, Swamp Thing is just the episodes we have."[26] In January 2021, Pedowitz said it was unlikely the series would return on The CW but did state there was a slim possibility of Swamp Thing appearing on other Arrowverse series, such as Legends of Tomorrow.[27]


Swamp Thing premiered May 31, 2019, on DC Universe.[28] Despite being canceled not long after its premiere, DC Universe continued to release the remaining episodes of the series, with the finale being released on August 2, 2019.[29] Swamp Thing: The Complete Series was released digitally on December 2, 2019, and on DVD and Blu-ray on February 11, 2020.[30]

In May 2020, The CW acquired the broadcast rights to the series.[31] It began airing on the network on October 6, 2020,[32] and concluded on December 22, 2020.[33]


Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds a 92% approval rating based on 39 reviews, with an average rating of 7.32/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "By leaning into the horror of it all, Swamp Thing swims deep into the trenches of this strange world and returns with a scary good TV show."[34] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 69 out of 100 based on reviews from 6 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[35]


Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2019 Saturn Awards Best Streaming Superhero Television Series Swamp Thing Nominated [36]


Main article: Crisis on Infinite Earths (Arrowverse)

Swamp Thing, as depicted in the series, makes a cameo appearance in the Arrowverse crossover event "Crisis on Infinite Earths" through archival footage of Mears as the character. The event depicts Swamp Thing as being set on the world of Earth-19.[37]


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