As a long time fan of the X-Men and more specifically The New Mutants in my more formative years, I have long known who Legion was and thought him to be an interesting character. However, when I heard they were making a TV show starring this character I was instantly suspect. How could a show about Legion be any good? The question I should have been asking was how could this show not be any good?
Legion, David Haller, was introduced in “New Mutants” #25, March 1985. He is the son of Professor X and easily one of the most powerful mutants on the planet. The problem is, he is very mentally unstable and a) doesn’t know the full extent of his powers and b) doesn’t know how to control them. End History lesson.
Legion is easily one of my favorite shows on TV right now. Not only is it the best Marvel show (yes I’m counting the Netflix shows), it gives most of the Marvel films a run for their money. The Legion series is the brainchild of Noah Hawley, best known for his award winning Fargo series. The best part about Legion is that it doesn’t spoon feed you anything. This isn’t a show you can half watch while starring at your phone (come one, you know you’ve done it.). Legion is not only told in a non linear fashion, but with David’s mental problems he is a very unreliable narrator, so you never know if you can believe what you are seeing or not. The show jumps from present day and back then to the astral plane then deep into David’s memories and back again.
This is a show that is very intensionally confusing at first. But the more you watch the more the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit together. The closest thing I can relate this show to is David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, it is that strange at times. Which I suppose might turn some people off, but it’s really their loss.
The acting across the board is fantastic. Dan Stevens is David Haller. He loses himself in this character completely. Rachel Keller plays Syd Barrett, a fellow mutant and David’s love interest. The always hilarious Aubrey Plaza, plays the not so funny Lenny, a long time friend of David’s. Then Jemaine Clement shows up! It’s fascinating that this show has a lot of comedic actors in it, all playing very serious characters, but not losing their comedic charm.
Legion is easily one of the best written shows on TV right now. In lesser hands, the way this story is told we be lost or so jumbled up that it would lose effect. But the writers here know exactly what there doing and know perfectly how to plot out this very strange story. I’m doing my best to try and sell this show without giving away any spoilers, but I have to give a small one as an example. There is a character introduced in first episode that is clearly one of the bad guys and you instantly hate him. Then towards the end of the series we are given some insight into his character and his background and we suddenly understand him and care about him and want to see him succeed. This was late revelation is laid out in the first 30 minutes of an episode and just might be one of the best moments of the show.
The main villain of the series is a classic X-Men villain that I don’t want to spoil here as it is a pretty big reveal. However, I will say that as the clues started to pop up here and there, I started to totally fanboy out when I realized who the villian acutally was.
I guess I’ve gushed enough about this show, for now. There really isn’t a bad thing I can say about it. The show just gets better and better upon multiple viewings because now that you know what’s coming you can see how the confusion in the early episodes actually make complete sense. It’s all very impressive. Do yourself a favor, watch this show!
This show is presented in widescreen 1.78:1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound. This show must have a very high production budget, because it looks and sounds better than some movies I’ve seen recently.
Extra include: Fractured Reality: A Different Kind of Hero: (10 min.) Then a series of short promo pieces that rand from 2.5-3 minutes including: Uncanny Romance, Production Design, Powers, Make-Up (making the devil with the yellow eyes), Visual Effects, Costume Design, and Locations, and Deleted Scenes: (27 min.)
Have I mentioned that I like this show? As of this writing the premier of season 2 is only a couple days away and I am very excited as Season 1 ended with quite the cliffhanger. So if you haven’t seen Season 1 yet, now is the perfect time to start!
20th Century Fox presents Legion: The Complete Season One. Created by: Noah Hawley. Based on the Marvel Character created by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz. Starring: Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza and Jemaine Clement. Running time: 8 episodes on 2 discs. 409 min. Not Rated. Released on DVD: March 27, 2018. Available at Amazon.com.
Tags: Aubrey Plaza, Dan Stevens, David Haller, Jemaine Clement, Legion, Noah Hawley, Rachel Keller, X-Men