FOX has enjoyed quite a bit of success over the past year.
Their FX show Legion has been greenlighted for a second season . Logan has also been critically acclaimed while also doing quite well in the box office.
With all the winds of success beneath their wings, FOX has decided to spread its X-Men franchise a bit further. The Gifted comes to FOX this October. In this story, we follow the lives of two kids in High School, played by Percy Hines White and Natalie Alyn Lind, who are on the run from the government.
The kids are labelled dangers to humanity in a state-sponsored effort to control mutant kind. At the center of this effort their father, played by Reed Strucker, is torn between duty to his country and duty to his family. The two kids then meet other young mutants on the run, and together they use their powers to survive against authorities who use the latest in sentinel technology to hunt them down.
Where The Gifted Gets It Right
The trailer hits on a lot of familiar notes with the X-Men comics. Director Bryan Singer clearly borrows concepts from X-Men: Days of Future Past in this series. We see mini sentinels chasing down the kids, while Warpath and Blink from the movie also appear to aid them in their escape.
The series also delivers that old feeling of exclusion to the X-Men universe. There has always been a feeling of loneliness in the X-franchise. This rang true even in the most notable of relationships. Cyclops and Jean Grey are classic examples. The two are married and have kids together. Yet their circumstances always keep them somewhat emotionally separated. Imagine such feelings as experienced by a High School teen. If the writers can pull this kind of thing off, The Gifted will become more of a character study like Legion and Logan were, and might also experience some of the same critical success.
Where The Gifted Goes Wrong
Where I believe the trailer fails to deliver to X-audiences is that it seems to be going straight to the dystopia of the Age of Apocalypse. The School for Gifted Youngsters no longer exists, and the rebellious Brotherhood is gone as well. So the young mutants must fend for themselves, using their powers to survive the constant chase that the sentinels give.
What I want to see as an X-fan is the Xavier school, with mutant kids finding themselves in it. For example, I would like to see the teenager in the high school experience. Except in this case, with the added burden of mutation. I want to see their journey as they discover their powers, themselves, and their place in this world. Rather than running away from the world, they find connections with people just like them. They make their own community work amidst one that refuses them.
Matt Nix is the writer for the pilot episode. He and director Bryan Singer have had their hits and misses over the years in their respective creations.
All things considered, let’s just hope The Gifted is more the former for them than the latter.
The Gifted will premiere on Monday, October 2nd.