Written by Mark Amato, et al.
Directed by John Bell, et al.
Starring Forbes March, Victoria Pratt, Lauren Lee Smith, Victor Webster, and John Shea
- Interview with actor Shea
- Original TV promos
- Two behind the scenes featurettes
Released by: ADV
My Advice: Rent it if you love mutant superhero comics.
Mutant X tells the astonishing tale of a group of human genetic experiments, now adults, who have escaped from the clutches of the Genomex Corporation who created them and, along with the scientist who’s responsible for them, search for more of these now-adult experiments so they can reunite in freedom.
The character mix is interesting. John Shea, perhaps best known for his stint as Lex Luthor on TV’s Lois and Clark, is the scientist responsible for conducting the experiments on these children, and now that they are grown, has helped a number of them escape the tragedies of their lives and leads them on their quest. Shalimar has cat DNA and a feral disposition. Brennan can fire lightning bolts from his hands and is a former thief. Emma is a telepath and is at times the only soft side to the group. Jesse can control the molecular cohesion of his body, which can range from hard as rock to “phased,” when things can pass through him.
Some critics have complained that the show is a ripoff of X-Men, and maybe it is, but that is not necessarily a bad thing (unless you are an intellectual property lawyer). If you hate the Marvel comic, then this show might be a refreshing twist that grabs you. If you love it, though, then this show might be more of what you love. Either way, some people will like this mix better than Stan Lee’s “originals,” and others will prefer the pre-Avi Arad versions. Make up your own mind.
Feminists of course will have the same problems with this show that they have with most American comics: the women, especially the “sensual” Shalimar (my, what an “exotic” name; at least she’s not African-American), never seem to wear as much clothing in dangerous situations as they should, or as the men do. The sexualization of the female characters will grate on female viewers at times, but then, this is a sexist world, and whether we like it or not, we have to get used to the fan service all around us, but we don’t have to like it or stay quiet about it. Maybe someday, the status quo will change.
The audio and video qualities are commensurate with what you will see on TV. There are a few instances where the sound balance between background music/sound effects and speech is a little muddled, but overall, the show sounds and looks just fine. The special effects of Brennan’s lightning could perhaps look a bit more realistic, but you have to presume that making the unnatural look natural is a bit tricky for the CGI guys. At least on the budget provided.
The bonus features are interesting; the interview with “Adam,” John Shea, is fun and informative–well-worth watching for fans of the show. The TV promos are a nice addition that more shows should add, as they cost nothing to produce (they’re already made after all), if a little underwhelming to Americans who likely saw them when the show aired originally. The image gallery is also nice, if not spectacular, but the truly interesting features are the two featurettes, one on special effects makeup that is worth watching and another on fight choreography.
In short, if you like mutant shows and/or comic books, then at least give this show a look. It has a solid fan-base among comic fandom, so it obviously pleases someone. It may be trendy to publicly mock it, but don’t assume that it’s not your cup of tea until you try it.