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Legion: Superheroes Go Cerebral in Brand New X-Men Series

Mutants and superheroes have gone cerebral in FOX’s new entry in the X-Men franchise. Legion officially arrived in Philippine television last February 9, 2017. Unlike the iconic cast of previous X-Men films, the new series takes quite the surprising twist in telling the story of super-powered mutants.

Legion is a FOX original series that is produced by FX Production and Marvel Television. It’s an eight-part psychological drama series chronicling the story of David Haller, a super-powerful mutant that starts to realize the power within him. Is he clinically insane, or is he really “more” than human? This is the primary question explored in the series.

The show marks the return of X-Men in television, and a new take on the franchise. Inspired by it’s titular Marvel Comics character, FOX teases that it will “challenge everything” viewers know as a more psychological and cerebral take on the superhero genre.

Legion: Mutants arrive in television anew

Legion chronicles the life of David Haller, a schizophrenic who has been in and out of hospitals for years. He is currently in his thirties and is yet again institutionalized, and has made quite a routine inside the institution. Haller regularly eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner; he takes his therapy and medication, then sleeps. He frequently enjoys the company of his noisy friend Lenny, a fellow patient who is suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.

Haller’s life changes when a new patient by the name of Syd arrives in the institution. When he is drawn to the arrival of the new patient, Haller starts to change his worldview. He begins to question his reality: what if the voices and visions he hears and sees are real? Haller eventually escapes the institution he is kept in. However, he connects with a team of “unconventional” mental health specialists who open his eyes to a brand new world.

The show stars quite the memorable cast, with Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey, Beauty and the Beast) taking the lead as David Haller along with Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation, Dirty Grandpa) as Lenny, and Rachel Keller (Fargo) as Syd. The show’s executive producers include Noah Hawley and John Cameron, the same duo responsible for FOX’s Emmy and Golden Globe-winning series Fargo. Veteran X-Men director Bryan Singer is also part of the series’ executive production team. His inclusion may be the reason why fans will find some familiar elements in the show.

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X-Men Connections

David Haller is the son of Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller. He takes on the role of an antihero with a severe mental illness, and alternate personas that have different superpowers. In the comics, the X-Men consider him as an Omega-level mutant. This means his abilities can alter the very fabric of reality should he choose it.

This might be the reason why some fans will notice some odd aesthetics in the show. Showrunners explained this is Haller’s “subjective reality.” Not everything viewers will see in the show are “real.”

It was also confirmed that the series will be set in a universe parallel to the X-Men films. Here, the United States government has just been made aware of the existence of mutants. And the general public is in the dark about the mutant phenomenon.

According to a Comicbook.com article, the new show was apparently revealed to be included in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This suggests a connection with the rest of Marvel Television’s other series. Hollywood Reporter said that while bridges are “being made” between Marvel and FOX, the show’s inclusion in the MCU is still not final.

Last August 2016, Singer said that the show was designed to fit into the X-Men universe, but also to remain a standalone at the same time. He did, however, tease plans for the series to relate to “future X-Men movies”. At New York Comic-Con 2016, it was stated that the series is “far” from the X-Men movies but is still set within the universe. The show will be “very different” in addressing this because of the lead character’s “subjective reality.”

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2017 in FOX Philippines

Lucien Harrington, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for FOX Networks Group in Asia, called the show exceptional.

“The story explores universal human experiences that each of us can relate to, like second-guessing our thoughts and feelings. Though Legion has a clear superhero thematic that Marvel fans will love; it’s a series with a rich, emotionally charged subject matter that every viewer can connect with.”

The new X-Men show arrived with the complete slate of FOX Philippines’ entries for new and returning shows for the year:

Season 7 of The Walking Dead which airs on the 13th at 11:35AM and 8:55AM. 24: Legacy – a spin-off of the original 24 series, which aired last February 6 at 8PM. The second season of Billions which returns on the 20th at 9:50PM. Lastly, FOX Philippines will end the month with its ongoing WWE titles, as well as a local show – Wrestling Gods – set for February 14 at 9:50PM.

X-Men fans can also get their unique psychological evaluation with #ProjectLegion. The booth officially opened on the 6th, and will be at Uptown Mall in Bonifacio Global City until February 12, 2017. Fans can participate in a mirror maze that loosely matches the aesthetics of the new X-Men series. Is reality really going wild, or is it just you?

Fans are also invited to participate in FOXtreme Breakout; FOX Philippines collaborated with premier escape room game Breakout to combine the FOX experience with their escape room thrills. The experimental event is offered free for fans from Feb 9 to 12, with each room trying to emulate the each FOX program.

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Rhenn Taguiam
Rhenn Taguiam
Rhenn Taguiam is a frustrated journalist with a knack for comic books and video games. He likes pizza and pasta, and has an uncontrollable urge to gush over anything Super Sentai, Star Trek or X-Men. He is currently on his way to get his Master's Degree - unless he creates his own video game or graphic novel first.
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