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Mutant X Articles: 9/11/01 "Shock of the New"



Comics 2 Film 9/11/01

Reported By The Comics Continuum, 9/11/2001:

According to The Comics Continuum, Cedric Smith is set to make a guest appearance in the first episode of the syndicated Mutant X TV show. Smith may be well know to mutant fans of the X persuasion as he provided the voice for Professor X on the long running X-Men animated show. Other than that, Mutant X has no relation to X-Men.


Zap 2 It 9/30/01

TV Feature Story Monday, Oct. 1: "Mutant X" Syndicated, Check Local Listings
(Sunday, September 30 10:00 PM) LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) -

You know those ads from the dairy farmers whose tagline is "Ahh, the power of cheese" ? They'd be a good fit on "Mutant X."

The syndicated sci-fi offering was the subject of a lawsuit earlier this year in which 20th Century Fox sued producer Tribune Entertainment (whose parent company also owns Zap2it.com), claiming "Mutant X" too closely resembled Fox's "X-Men" movie. This shouldn't be too surprising, since Marvel Enterprises -- home to Marvel Comics and the long-running "X-Men" comic book series -- is also one of the producers of "Mutant X."

The series does, in fact, tell the story of a group of young mutants who fight evil while trying to find their place in a world that fears them. See, they're creations of a secret government project called Genome X, and the project's former chief scientist, Adam (John Shea, Lex Luthor from "Lois & Clark" ), has formed Mutant X to fight the evil that lurks within Genome X.
Of course, the nefarious head of the project, Mason Eckhart (Tom McCamus), wants none of that and launches a program to round up the "anomalies."

The cheese factor -- Eckhart bears a striking resemblance to Andy Warhol -- and the bad-funny dialogue are there, as you might expect from a syndicated show. If you like that sort of thing, "Mutant X" is a perfectly pleasant way to use up an hour.

© Zap 2 It


SciFi Weekly 10/1/01

Reviews: Screen Mutant X
By Kathie Huddleston October 01, 2001

Mutant X When a government agency plays god with evolution, the genetically superior must make war to save their own

Mutant X—"The Shock of the New"
Starring John Shea, Tom McCamus and Lauren Lee Smith
Created by Avi Arad
Executive produced by Avid Arad, Rick Ungar, Jay Firestone and Adam Haight
Syndicated
Premieres the week of Oct. 1

Says the animated broadcaster at the beginning of Mutant X: "A teen-age girl falls six stories and walks away unscathed. A man bursts into flames with no signs of burns. One thing's for sure, it's getting weirder out there every day." But that's only the beginning for this new syndicated series about what happens when nasty government types experiment with the genetic code.

In "The Shock of the New," the first episode of the two-part series premiere, a woman named Emma (Smith) runs through a crowd and bumps into a thief named Brennan (Victor Webster). Suddenly, in his mind, he can see and feel her fear. She runs off, finally ending up in an empty street. Terrified, she looks behind to see her pursuers close behind.

Out of nowhere, two people with amazing powers appear and take on the bad guys. The woman, Shalimar (Victoria Pratt), seems to have the speed and power of an animal. The man, Jesse (Forbes March), can make himself solid or intangible at will. They dispatch her pursuers and save Emma, quickly whisking her away to a mountain stronghold called Sanctuary.

Sanctuary is the headquarters of Mutant X. The group is led by a mysterious man named Adam (Shea), who tells her she was being chased by men from Genomex, a biotech firm that was responsible for secret government experiments which played god with the genetics of 1,000 unsuspecting people. Now, those "children of Genomex" are evolving and discovering they have extraordinary and terrifying powers. Beyond that, they are being hunted by the Genetic Security Agency, a group which seeks to either turn them into operatives or kill them. Adam and his organization, Mutant X, are dedicated to rescuing and protecting these new mutants from the forces that would control or destroy them.

Emma is confused, and isn't sure what to do. She tells Adam she doesn't have any powers, and she doesn't understand why they are after her. In the meantime, Brennan the thief is about to discover his power over electricity may not be able to help him when the GSA sets its sites on him, and Genomax security chief Mason Eckhart (McCamus) has plans of his own involving the direction the biotech firm should take in recovering and utilizing these special "children." When Emma takes off, Adam suddenly finds himself in a race to reach these new mutants before it's too late.

A familiar dip in the gene pool

It seems mutants have never been more popular. It's been just over a year since the release of the film The X-Men, and now syndicated TV and Marvel Studios step up to offer Mutant X, a TV series about genetic experimentation, not genetic evolution, and that seems to be the fine and timely line that's been drawn between the two. The two stories are quite different in many ways, and Mutant X should quickly establish itself as a separate entity.

Mutant X is filled with action, special effects and cool camera shots, and the series tackles the themes of genetic experimentation and government conspiracy almost as though it created the concepts. What lifts the series above normal fare is the acting by veteran character actor John Shea and the able young cast. They are clearly the strength of the series. McCamus is especially effective as the evil GSA security chief who just happens to look a lot like Andy Warhol.

The series opener, "The Shock of the New," provides a fairly good introduction to the series as it draws the black-and-white lines between the GSA and Mutant X. We discover what each character's power is and what their initial motivations are. While the characters are fairly well drawn, Mutant X is a bit too down to earth.

However, where Mutant X falls down is in a misguided attempt to copy Matrix-style action with the use of slow motion and pounding music. The music is annoying and the slo-mo is used for just about everything the creators want to emphasize. If the creators of Mutant X are going to copy a style, it'd be nice if they did it well.

Mutant X has the potential to provide great commentary on the ethical and scientific questions of today. However, it seems unlikely that the series will break away from the traditional good guy/bad guy storylines where government conspiracies lurk around every corner and right and wrong are crystal clear. It'd be nice if there were more to this series, but it doesn't seem likely.

© SciFi.com


Excerpt from Tribune Entertainment: 10/4/01

Goldman Sachs Communacopia
Dennis FitzSimons, President and Chief Operating Officer October 4, 2001

"Tribune Entertainment, which has become the largest producer of syndicated action hours, has become a really significant supplier to our station group. That has been an increasing area of profit contribution to the company and we're very pleased with what Tribune Entertainment has done there. We will be premiering our latest action hour, "Mutant X," this week and we're expecting some good ratings there. We had the strongest new show in first-run syndication last year, "Andromeda."

© Tribune


Post-Gazette 10/5/01

'X-Man' and 'Matrix' merge for new sci-fi series
By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor Friday, October 05, 2001

Ah, mutants. They're suddenly hip after the success of the "X-Men" movie last summer. Hence viewers get "Mutant X" (6 p.m. tomorrow, WCWB), a new hour-long syndicated series produced in association with Marvel Comics.

The movie people who made "X-Men" think "Mutant X" infringes on their copyright, and they may be right. Then again, who can put a copyright on mutants?

Filled with "Matrix"-style martial arts action that might make you think "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Mutant," "Mutant X" stars John Shea (Lex Luthor on "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) as Adam, leader of Mutant X. They're the good mutants.

The bad mutants are led by Genomex security chief Mason Eckhart (Tom McCamus), a guy with a bad skin condition and an Andy Warhol-inspired hairstyle. Genomex was the front for the Genetics Security Agency, which created men and women with genetic mutations that give them superhuman powers. Eckhart is charged with tracking down these mutants and keeping their secrets hidden from the public.

Presumably each week there will be some sort of showdown between mutants of varying stripes, but the premiere episode (Part 1 of two) is most concerned with introducing the characters.

Newcomer Emma (Lauren Lee Smith) is a "telempath" just learning about her powers. Jesse (Forbes March) is a sensitive tough guy prone to wearing sleeveless sweaters, Shalimar (Victoria Pratt, "Cleopatra 2525") is territorial and Brennan (Victor Webster, "The Lot") can shoot bolts of electricity.

It's all a bunch of hooey, but it's fairly well-packaged hooey as cheesy syndicated shows go.

"Mutant X" will regularly air at 9 p.m. Saturdays on Channel 22, but it's pre-empted this week by hockey. On upcoming Saturdays with hockey games, "Mutant X" will air at 3 p.m. Sundays. A second late-night run airs weekly at 12:30 a.m. Monday.

© Post Gazette


Excerpt from Chicago Tribune 10/13/11

`Mutant X' needs help making its superheroes interesting
October 13, 2001|By Allan Johnson, Tribune television reporter.

"Mutant X" (4 p.m. Saturday, WGN-Ch. 9) has too little of its "Matrix"-like stunt-driven action scenes and special effects, and too many characters blabbering about whether those with enhanced abilities should be caged or left alone.

The series, co-produced by Tribune Entertainment and the production studio arm of comic book publisher Marvel Enterprises, uses Marvel's mutants-as-superheroes format made popular by "The X-Men."

But the series is devoid of the compelling characters and sophistication of the "X-Men" feature film.

John Shea ("Lois & Clark") looks strained as the leader of a group of cuties with abilities that are either eye-catching (electricity) or dull (telepathy).

© Chicago Tribunefree hit counter
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