A Gifted Start to Fox's Latest X-Men Spin-Off | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

A Gifted Start to Fox’s Latest X-Men Spin-Off

Gaming Editor Roshni Patel examines the opening episode of Bryan Singer's latest X-Men project, The Gifted

After many years of mutant films and animated TV series, the mutants are finally starting to get their own live action TV shows, bringing the magic of their mutations to the small screen. Beginning last year when FOX launched Noah Hawley’s (FargoLegion. This year they’ve attracted Matt Nix (The Good Guys), to make another Marvel Mutant series, which has already surpassed Legion’s initial viewer numbers, opening with over 3 million more US viewers than Legion did. With seasoned X-Men director Bryan Singer directing the premiere and executive producing the rest, the premiere certainly did have the some of the same film magic. 

With seasoned X-Men director Bryan Singer directing the premiere, the episode certainly did have the some of the film magic
Set after the X-Men have vanished and Mutant regulation has increased, the series focuses on a typical suburban family, the Struckers. Well they would be typical, except the bread winner, Reed Strucker (Stephen Moyer, True Blood), prosecutes mutants at work, while his children carry the X-gene at home. While the show jumps straight into the action, when we meet Clarice Fong aka Blink (Jamie Chung, Once Upon a Time) in the first 5 minutes, the show really kicks off when the Strucker’s youngest son, Andy (Percy Hynes White, Night At The Museum 3) triggers the X-gene leaving destruction in his wake, beginning the plot of the show. That’s when we see Reed and Caitlin Strucker (Amy Acker, Person of Interest) as more than parents, as they are now having to deal with their conflicting views, because while they have both supported increased regulations and persecution of mutantkind, their own children are mutants, now subject to the same horrors they’d allowed to be done to others. And no one is more conflicted than Reed, who is now having to find safe harbour for his family with the very people he has been helping to imprison. 

Despite the many characters, human and mutant, the spotlight did remain mostly on the Struckers, with appropriate deviations to other mutants such as Blink, Marcos Diaz (Sean Teale, Reign), Lorna Dane aka Polaris (Emma Dumont, Aquarius) and John Proudstar aka Thunderbird (Blair Redford, The Lying Game), ensuring the viewer was never overwhelmed by characters and plot lines. While the story follows the usual angle, where scared humans hunt mutantkind forcing them either to fight back or run. The Gifted currently falls into the latter with all mutantkind fighting for survival, with no mercy or clemency available for those with a triggered X-gene. While there is no clear single villain besides the authorities, it is still early days and there is no telling who might step out of the shadows in a smartly dressed suit with motives to kill or experiment on mutants. Character development wise, so far Blink and Lauren Strucker (Natalie Alyn Lind, The Goldbergs) have the most personality, with their story and struggles told best. 

Starting strong, The Gifted is slated for a 10 episode run, with another season likely to be ordered if they can maintain the viewing figures of their premiere. With the Sentinel Services bearing down hard on the family, it will be interesting to see how Reed will continue keep his family safe and how Acker’s character develops into the strong female character we know she’s capable of playing. Considering both children are mutants, its clear someone was a carrier, could the stress of evading capture trigger one of the adults? And finally, will Stan Lee cameo again, because frankly 2 seconds of silent cameo is not enough for the co-creator of such a large universe.  

SciTech, Film and TV Writer and Gaming Editor, who also occasionally dabbles in the dark arts of other sections. (@roshofalltrades)



Published

29th October 2017 at 9:00 am



Images from

Fox Television and Marvel Entertainment



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