After 17 years of the X-Men movie universe, Fox introduced a new drama Legion. If you’re thinking “Another TV series based on a comic book? Really? I think I’ll give it a miss.” think again, because Legion is unlike any other superhero show. Here’s why.
Are you looking for a good TV show to binge watch?
Here’s a new TV series based on a superhero story, Legion!
Legion is an arms-length addition to the X-franchise, and showrunner Noah Hawley spent three years developing the project.
The Legion comic books are part of the X-Men universe, since David is the son of legendary mutant Professor X.
But aside from David, the characters on the series are all new inventions, and Hawley wanted to use the source material as a springboard to tell his own story, as he did with Fargo.
“I’m a fan of all the comics and all the storylines in them, but I thought there was a story that’d be great to tell using them as a template.” Above all, he said, he wanted to, “create something unexpected.”
In the original X-Men comics, Haller was the estranged son of mega-mutant Charles Xavier but Legion has so far downplayed any familial connections.
The true nature of Haller’s psychological problems also seem rather vague: his hallucinations could be mistaken for the manifestation of uncanny powers, or vice versa.
David Haller is played by Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens (who played Matthew Crawley on the show).
It’s hard to pin down exactly what time period Legion takes place in.
It’s styled like movies from the ’60s and ’70s, but we also see futuristic technology at times.
Hawley says that’s deliberate, because the show puts you inside David’s mind.
“You’re experiencing what he’s experiencing. His perception of reality is: Some of it feels retro, some of it feels futuristic.” he says.
Executive producer, Lauren Shuler Donner, who works on the X-Men films, sees Legion as “a chance to bring the X-Men to television, to mine some of the characters that we won’t be using in the movies.”
And EP Jeph Loeb, from Marvel TV, says that the show “redefines the genre in a new way,” calling it “the kind of show that Marvel’s never made before.”
And so far, critics seem to be impressed, too.
The New York Times called it a “trippy tour de force,” while Rolling Stone compared it to the unique cinematic visions of Kubrick!
The original X-Men were conceived by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1963 as heroes who protected humanity even as they faced discrimination and fear because of their uncanny powers.
Superhero fiction has long been about escapism, which fuelled fantasies of strength or flying away.
But recently, it seems empathy comes into play too. Legion explores the downsides of being exceptional.