Emma de Lauro
Lauren Lee Smith
OTHER MUTANT X SEASONS
OTHER SUPERHERO SHOWS
Birds Of Prey
Blade - The Series
A government owned company has created mutants through illegal experimentation that now it is seeking to control and imprison. One of the founders of the project, Adam Kane, has gathered together a group of the young people with strange powers into a team that they call Mutant X for the purpose of saving others like them from the government agency that is hunting them down.
MUTANT X is set up so much like the X-MEN that it's painful. We're talking young people with mutant powers who are brought together under an older, wiser man's tutelage. For heaven's sake they even have their own X-Jet and the show has the backing of X-MEN creators Marvel. They refer to themselves as mutants and use the letter X quite extensively. It couldn't be more clear if the show prefaced the opening episode with a subtitle saying we want to be the X-MEN'.
MUTANT X, though, isn't the X-MEN either in terms of the films or the comic book. It tries hard to be as cool with the costumes and the snappy dialogue and the whizzy editing, but this serves more to underline a lack of belief in the content of the show rather than to elicit coos of fanboy delight.
John Shea (Lex Luthor in LOIS AND CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN) is Adam Kane, the Professor Xavier-alike mentor of the team and finds it as hard as most people to make an essentially good guy interesting. The team is headed by Victoria Pratt (CLEOPATRA 2525 and DAYBREAK) as Shalimar Foxx, a woman with incredible agility. Others include a man who can alter his molecular density to allow him to walk through walls or become hard as steel, a telepath and a man who can control and generate bolts of electricity.Top
The Shock Of The New
Emma is on the run. There are men after her and she knows why because she is an empath, able to manipulate those around her. When the chasers finally catch up with her, she is saved by Shalimar and Jesse from Mutant X a group of young people with powers who are fighting against the government agency that is trying to capture and use them. That agency has been taken over by the sinister Eckhart and in saving Emma, the team fail to save Brennan, another mutant who helped her.
Welcome to TV's version of the X-MEN. This opening episode tries hard to be as cool as its progenitors with some snazzy editing, screen wipes and directorial flashes. The plot, though, is straightforward enough and all the gimmicks that are used to jazz it up are just that, gimmicks.
The show also has bad boy Brennan stealing Ferraris and carrying out slickly packaged bank robberies to up the cool factor.
The characters are nothing more than sketches in this opening episode, but there is a lot of set up exposition to get through. There is also a bit of action that shows what we can hope to expect in future episodes. This being superhero stuff a punch doesn't just land it sends the recipient spinning through the air. Some of the wire work is fairly obvious, but some of it works quite well. Some of the effects around the Mutant X-jet are fairly poor though.
The pace trips along nicely enough and ends with a bit of a cliffhanger to be resolved.Top
I Scream The Body Electric
When the Genomex agents take all of the new mutants prisoner from their safe house, the Mutant X team decide that they need to free them. Emma is able to locate the place where they are being held, but Brennan has been fitted with a control device that means he will have to work for Eckhart against the people who are trying to save him.
Mutant X's first plan is a bit of a mystery. In order to save the captured mutants they let Emma get captured. Whether this is by design or accident isn't made clear since once she is imprisoned with the rest she doesn't actually do anything to aid with the release. For a top secret prison facility, security doesn't seem to be particularly good since the Mutant X team seem able to wander about freely without being challenged by anyone very much. In the episode's opening scene, Brennan is able to take down about thirty guards and nobody thinks to bring a tranquiliser gun to the party.
Tom McCamus makes series villain Eckhart more than just an Andy Warhol lookalike, though again the relationship he shares with John Shea's Adam harkens back to the Professor Xavier/Magneto dynamic of the movies.
This episode, though, brings the origin story to a close and the show can now get on with its job without having to set up the background, so perhaps it will improve.Top
Brennan is shot by a mystery weapon wielded by a Russian woman who wants to work with Eckhart. The weapon negates a new mutant's power, but it then goes on to destroy them utterly. Jesse has to gain the trust of the Russian in order to find a way to reverse what has happened to Brennan.
This first story for the Mutant X team following the origin story is a curious one that hopefully won't set the pattern for the rest of the show. It starts off impressively enough with the introduction of the weapon and its effects on Brennan, but then the plot requires that the Russian woman and her partner trust Jesse immediately even though he is posing as someone who is eminently untrustworthy.
The superpowered family strand of the tale isn't helped by the fact that apart from the son being a total Judas the rest look and feel like the Stepford family.Top
Fool For Love
Shalimar makes contact with a woman who has a similar mutation to hers, but who says that she has been receiving 'treatment'. The source of the treatment is a man who is also like Shalimar and they instantly become an item, Shalimar willing to surrender her ability to be with him. His serum, however, is not completely reliable.
Victoria Pratt comes to the fore in this episode and the 'feral' nature of her character makes the attraction that she feels for the new man in her life believable, though not so believable as to support the idea that she would abandon her whole life as a new mutant after bunking up with him twice.
The fight-cum-foreplay scene in which they first meet is some of the most fun action that the show has produced to date, but the wire work is still less than convincing.
The ending is, of course, compeletely predictable.Top
An unstable mutant who is able to transform himself into energy and therefore mess with anything that runs on it, is making a nuisance of himself by causing major events and publicising that he is doing it for the new mutants. Both Mutant X and the GSA are on the hunt for him.
Everyone is too busy trying to look cool in this episode to inject any sort of sense of momentum or urgency into the proceedings. The investigation into who the mysterious Kilohertz is produces results with absurd ease, but he gets away on a number of occasions with equal ease and the bungee-jumping rescue is faintly laughable.
The episode does, though, have the nerve to show that the team won't always be the winners.Top
The Meaning Of Death
A plague breaks out that only kills new mutants. Adam is forced into an alliance with Mason Eckhart to discover a cure, but Eckhart's unkillable assistant has a personal score to settle with Adam.
It seems that Eckhart is going to have a new assistant or associate each week and this one has a personal bone to pick with Adam that is actually a more interesting one than might have been expected. Unable to die, he cannot be with his lost family and he blames the creator of the mutants for that.
It is completely predictable that members of Mutant X will contract the disease and equally predictable that the assistant will provide the cure and get his own wish in the process.
The subplot of Brennan being stuck in quarantine with cheating spouses is tiresome in the extreme and the transmission of a genetic cure by radio waves seems outlandish in the extreme.Top
Eckhart sends a bounty hunter after a woman whose mutant power is the ability to absorb energy. She is immediately drawn to Brennan, but when she is prevented from going in to save her boyfriend, she absorbs him altogether.
The victim of this week's plot is so utterly stupid that it's hard to see why the team would work so hard to save her. It is clear that her boyfriend is as bad guy and interested in selling her out, but she wilfully refuses to see that and her personality changes to the point where she can absorb Brennan, a man she was suddenly infatuated with, and show not one moment's remorse.
There is little action and the plot just can't shoulder the burden alone.Top
In The Presence Of Mine Enemies
A hacker with telekinetic powers is being aided by Mutant X, but can't resist breaking into Adam's computer systems. She is then taken prisoner by Eckhart who wants her to destroy the online entity known as Proxy Blue whose news stories have been a little too close to him for comfort. Amongst her programmes is one that could give away the location the Mutant X Sanctuary.
The logic behind the computer programmes and how they might give away the secret base doesn't make a lot of sense. Surely a hard reboot would solve the problem, or cutting off the computer from the internet. Still, it is only the excuse to get the team to stage an assault on the GSA headquarters, something that they have consistently failed to do in simulations and those sequences are entertaining enough.Top
Crime Of The New Century
A child is kidnapped, a child who happens to be a new mutant and firestarter. It turns out that the boy was kidnapped to protect him from something worse and that lands him in the hands of the GSA and Eckhart.
Considering how important Eckhart seems to think this child is, and he says it often enough, the lack of security around him, allowing the Mutant X team to do their stuff, is just unbelievable.
The only things surprising about this episode is that it is so short that they had to jam in a ten minute pointless fight scene at the beginning just to boost the running time.Top
Dark Star Rising
An elite military squad has been destroyed by an illness that they picked up in a Central American operation. The remaining operatives are out to destroy the biochemical research company responsible, a company that is close to perfecting the process of artificially creating New Mutants.
Security doesn't seem to be something that the GSA can really get a hang of. First they are assigned to protect some ultra rare plants, but as soon as they capture Shalimar and one of the Dark Star team they abandon that job completely. Considering how important those plants are to the process it seems unlikely that would be allowed to happen.
Almost as unlikely as Eckhart just allowing his captives to walk away because time is running out on the episode. Nothing about this is convincing, including some of the wirework fighting, which is unusually shoddy.Top
A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Danielle is a woman with whom Adam has a past. Her mutancy is invisibility, but the long term effects are invariably fatal. She is intent on working both Adam and Eckhart in the hope of finding some way of saving her daughter who also has the mutancy.
The fact that there was once a love triangle between Eckhart, Adam and Danielle adds a little spice to the rivalry between the two men, but not the episode as a whole. There is the usual technobabble, some fighting against faceless agents and everything is resolved. It fades from the memory almost as quickly as Danielle can fade from view.Top
An old friend of Brennan's has been altered by the GSA and given a power of her own. When her power and Brennan's electrical power collide, Emma is split into two people, one with all her fears and uncertainties, the other with confidence and lack of a moral compass. The team have to find a way of getting her back from Eckhart and recombining the two.
This story is the most outlandish that the show has come up with yet. Whilst trying to give a scientific underpinning to the new mutants and their powers it strove for some sort of legitimacy, but the splitting of Emma and, worse, her recombination isn't science, it's magic.
The plot is ages old and has been used in just about every genre show running and this doesn't add anything to it other than the fact that neither Emma is actually evil, just going about business in different ways.Top
Jesse's father shows up on the run from men with guns. An ex black-ops agent, he has stolen a disc that, if made public, could bring down Genomex and the GSA, but would also make new mutants the most feared things on the planet. Though Jesse doesn't want to believe it, his father is willing to sell to the highest bidder.
Families eh, who'd have them? Especially fathers. Fathers seem to always be up to no good in genre shows and this one is no different. Apart from that it is the usual mix of cross, double cross and occasional punch ups with added wire work. Nothing special, but an adequate time passer.Top
A girl whose father was put into prison by Adam and subsequently committed suicide comes back into his life. Her mutancy is the ability to turn evil men good, but also good men evil and when she turns Adam he proves to be a match for the whole Mutant X team.
It seems that everyone in the world has a personal connection to someone in the Mutant X team and that most of them are going to try to work for Eckhart at some point in the story. This one sees Adam take on his team and possess the knowledge to beat them, but only because none of them are willing to punch him out when they have the opportunity, not even to save him.
The emotional turnaround at the end has to be seen to be disbelieved.Top
Emma falls prey to a man whose mutation makes him akin to a vampire. Unable to break from his mental suggestion, she is captured tries to team up with his other captive, a GSA agent to escape once more whilst the Mutant X team try to locate her.
All the other mutants get pretty much a single power, but this one gets a whole set that just happen to be like those of a vampire? How likely is that? Then again, how likely is anything in this show?
Emma's imprisonment is just like any police procedural in which the bond between captor and captive is explored, although here it is barely explored. And as for the team trying to find her? They don't even think to search the nightclub in which she went missing.Top
Emma and Michelle were huge friends when they first found out about their mutant powers. Now Michelle works for the GSA and Eckhart. Emma makes contact with her all the same and so is surprised when Michelle turns her in, but never gives up hope of changing her friend's mind.
The idiocy on display in this episode goes beyond anything that the show has yet come up with. Emma meets up with a friend she knows is working for the GSA without any back up. Michelle doesn't check up on the GSA even though her computer linking skills give her the perfect tool to do so. Eckhart keeps all his incriminating files in computers in a room that isn't even guarded and all that it takes to get out of GSA central is to turn out the lights.
Quite simply the stupidest episode yet.Top
Adam falls foul of a new mutant who can take memories and who frames him for the murder of the girl he accidentally killed. Whilst the team search for him, Adam has to come to terms with what he doesn't know about himself from the evidence of what he does.
Amnesia's a wonderfully useful dramatic tool that always ensures a character only forgets what it is convenient to the plot for them to forget. This Adam knows none of his past and yet can hack his own computer systems with ease. He knows who is responsible for the murder, but doesn't deal with that and the amount of forgiveness that is shown at the end of the episode to the man who caused the whole mess is unbelieveable.Top
Ex Marks The Spot
The secret to the genetic code for free will lies within a Faberge egg lodged in an uncrackable vault. The only man who can get Adam and his team inside that vault has history with Shalimar and it's the kind of history you don't forgive.
Shalimar's ex is a new mutant whose power is to be able to see and project what lies inside anything. That he can't be trusted is a given and that he will betray Shalimar again at the end is predicatable in the extreme. What isn't predictable is that the character who is so vital to the cracking of the vault does virtually nothing once the heist is underway, making his presence there at all simply to serve Shalimar's story.Top
Nothing To Fear
The team is attacked by a mutant in the employ of Eckhart, but more intent of making them suffer for the death of his wife. His mutant power is the ability to strand them in a dreamscape made up of their own worst nightmares.
This starts off promisingly with Shalimar turning traitor and letting in all the bad guys, but then it turns out to be a dream and everything starts to get very formulaic.Top
Eckhart is after some computer software that will allow him to hack into any system no matter how well it is secured. The key to the software is a mutant who can emit pheromones that no man can resist and can sting with a deadly poison. Brennan falls under her spell.
Another member of Mutant X turns against the team thanks to the effects of an outsider. It's turning into a well-worn plot strategy and proves to be as ineffective as it is familiar.
It doesn't help that the sting of the scorpion woman is about the least believable thing that the show has produced yet.Top
Dancing On The Razor
When the Mutant X team are filmed taking on a group of GSA agents, Proxy Blue claims to be about to receive the footage to show to a waiting world. Mutant X don't want that kind of exposure and the GSA can't afford it, so they are both on a collision course to find out who has it first.
Once again, one of the Mutant X team is taken in by the lies of someone else, giving their trust in order that the plot can last the full 60 minutes. If they had leaned on the guy who clearly had the disc from the start then they would all have been able to go home by the first break.
Add to that the fact that the action is repetitive and uninteresting and this is not a good addition to the show.Top
A Breed Apart
Gabriel Ashlocke is patient zero, the very first mutant developed by Genomex and a man whose powers eclipse all of the Mutant X team put together, so when he escapes from his Genomex pod, both sides get nervous. This is not a time for the Mutant X team's powers to start going haywire.
This season finale comes out of nowhere with the sudden arrival of Ashlocke and his cult (known as the Strand). It introduces a new, more powerful, baddie for the next season and leaves a cliffhanger for Eckhart rather than for the Mutant X team. It's a nice set up for the next time around, but the episode itself just reuses themes such as mind control (yes another member of the team is taken over again) to make things move.
Michael Easton's Ashlocke is an interestingly self-centred and assured villain with a god complex and a thing for the ladies that bode well for the future.
The episode, though, ends on the Mutant X team striking the most ludicrous hero pose as the credits run.Top
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