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Mutant X Articles: 3/15/02 "A Breed Apart"



Comics Continuum 3/15/02, 4/25/02 and 5/15/02

MUTANT X'S PATIENT ZERO

"A Breed Apart," the first-season finale of Mutant X, introduces Patient Zero, who figures to be a big player in the show.

"He's the most powerful new mutant," Howard Chaykin, executive story consultant of Mutant X, told The Continuum. "He's an interesting new character and a lot of fun. He's a seductive, dark character who is a one-man match for all of Mutant X."

The character is portrayed by Michael Easton, who starred in Total Recall 2070 and might also be remembered as Glenn, the model ogled by Ally McBeal in the Fox series.

"He's basically going to menace both our team and Genomex," Chaykin said.

"A Breed Apart" will air in syndication the week of May 13.


MUTANT X SEASON FINALE

Howard Chaykin, executive story consultant, has written "A Breed Apart," the season finale of Mutant X set to air in syndication the week of May 13.

The episode introduces the character Gabriel Ashlocke, the most powerful of all mutants who is also known as Patient Zero and is played by Michael Easton.

"He's an interesting new character and a lot of fun," Chaykin said. "He's a seductive, dark character who is a one-man match for all of Mutant X."

Gabriel is released from a pod at Genomex that he has been encased in since a child. He then becomes involved with a group called The Strand.

Meanwhile, the members of Mutant X begin to lose control of their abilities.

Kim Schraner guest-stars as Kelly Rice, a mutant with the ability to start fires. Karen LeBlanc plays GSA agent Morgan Fortier.

"A Breed Apart" was directed by Brad Turner.


New Mutant X Episode

Howard Chaykin told The Continuum that the "A Breed Apart" episode will close the season with the introduction of Patient Zero, a powerful new mutant.

In the episode, Gabriel Ashlocke, who was placed in confinement during childhood when his sociopathic nature was revealed, is released by one of his devout followers. Immediately, he embarks on a mission to destroy Mutant X by recruiting mutants into his organization with the intent of taking over the world.

"He's the most powerful new mutant," said Chaykin, who wrote the episode. "He's an interesting new character and a lot of fun. He's a seductive, dark character who is a one-man match for all of Mutant X.

"He's basically going to menace both our team and Genomex."

Gabriel is portrayed by Michael Easton, who most recently starred opposite Alyssa Milano, Roy Scheider and Sean Patrick Flannery in the four-hour mini-series Diamond Hunters, based on the novel by Wilbur A. Smith. At the onset of his acting career, Easton co-starred in several made for TV movies before landing the lead role of David Hume on the popular sci-fi thriller Total Recall 2070 in 1999. He has also guest-starred on a number of television series, including Ally McBeal, The Practice and Bull.

Buzz on the finale is that it ends with a shocker involving one of the recurring characters in the first season.

"We do have some surprises in the finale," Seth Howard of Tribune Entertainment said.

Chaykin - the comics veteran who currently continues to write such comics as American Century and Barnum with David Tischman -- and the Mutant X writing crew are already at work on Season 2.

"The fans can expect to see more of the stuff they like and stuff they haven't seen before," Chaykin said. "The world gets bigger, the stakes are higher and the jeopardy deeper. We're going to put them through more hell in the second season."


A Breed Apart," the season finale of Mutant X, will air in syndication this week.

The episode was written by Howard Chaykin and was directed by Brad Turner.

Below the photos is a complete synopsis of "A Breed Apart," with spoilers.

Brennan (Victor Webster) and Shalimar (Victoria Pratt) attempt to rescue Kelly Rice (Kim Schraner), a mutant with the ability to start fires, from GSA agent Morgan Fortier (Karen LeBlanc) and her team of super-mutant field agents. Just as Brennan prepares to throw an electrical arc, things suddenly change. The electricity backfires, sending Brennan flying. Shalimar jumps in, pushing Kelly to safety.

As they're about to flee, however, Morgan uses her telekinetic powers to trap Kelly in a maze of pipes. Shalimar and Brennan abandon Kelly, returning to Sanctuary to inform Adam (John Shea) of the super-mutants they've encountered, and Brennan's sudden inability to control his powers.

Morgan enters Genomex and uses her powers to put all security officers and agents into a deep sleep. She then releases the handsome but intimidating Gabriel Ashlocke (Michael Easton) from the pod that has held him since childhood. Once the two escape, Morgan snaps her fingers, releasing the employees from their trance.

When Eckhart (Tom McCamus) learns of Gabriel's disappearance, he frantically explains to his cohort, Dr. Harrison (Andrew Gillies), that Gabriel Ashlocke, also referred to as Patient Zero, was the first child of Genomex. Undeniably the most powerful mutant, Gabriel was placed into a pod for his own safety and the good of the world. Eckhart immediately orders Morgan and her field agents on a manhunt.

Back at Sanctuary, Jesse (Forbes March) tells Emma (Lauren Lee Smith) about the bizarre encounter he had with Kelly at a safehouse. He says she tried to recruit him into a group called The Strand, describing it as an alternative to Mutant X. He shows Emma the flyer Kelly gave him. Meanwhile, Shalimar tells Adam that she too, can no longer control her mutant abilities.

At the Museum of Antiquities, Gabriel presents himself to the devout members of The Strand, who listen intently as he preaches against Eckhart and Mutant X.

That night, Emma panics when a shimmering star-shaped energy burst suddenly appears in front of her forehead. Moments later, when Jesse attempts to phase out, he realizes that his powers are also off-kilter.

Testing all of their blood, Adam concludes that they are experiencing a growth spurt and will need to adapt to their new powers. When Jesse informs Adam of his encounter with Kelly, Adam goes to Emma to get the flyer. Upon reading it, he goes pale and calls an emergency meeting. He tells the team that Gabriel is a sociopath, who was born without a conscience and believes himself to be God. After Gabriel killed his parents, Adam created the subdermal governor and the pods to protect the world from his wrath.

Back at the museum, Kelly informs Gabriel that she knows a way to recruit mutants into The Strand.

Later at a safehouse, Brennan and Shalimar are practicing their new powers when they suddenly find themselves in a romantically awkward moment. The silence is broken, however, when Gabriel and Kelly enter and ask the two to join The Strand. When Shalimar declines, Kelly uses her powers to create a wall of fire around the computer console. Shalimar recoils while Brennan attempts to create a tesla coil, which Gabriel easily stops. Gabriel then uses his super powers to blast Brennan, knocking him out. Kelly works on downloading files from the Mutant X database, while Gabriel hits Shalimar with an energy pulse. He then throws the unconscious Shalimar over his shoulder, exiting the safehouse with Kelly.

Back at the museum, Morgan becomes enraged when she realizes that the database Kelly stole is encrypted, and therefore useless. As Kelly flees the room visibly upset, two feral mutants enter with Shalimar. Realizing that Shalimar is unimpressed by his powers, Gabriel places his palm on her forehead, freezing her in place. The moment he removes his hand, she submits to him.

Back at Sanctuary, Emma senses that Shalimar is in grave danger and insists they search for her.

At Genomex, Gabriel enters Eckhart's office with Morgan and Shalimar, ordering that Eckhart be apprehended and taken to a pod. When Brennan suddenly bursts on the scene, Shalimar, still under Gabriel's control, lunges at him. Brennan dodges Shalimar and immobilizes Morgan with a bolt of electricity, before shooting an electrical arc at Gabriel.

In all the chaos, Harrison frantically tries to decrypt the Mutant X database, but Emma and Jesse appear and pounce on him. Gabriel recovers, and he and Shalimar attack Brennan with a vengeance, but Emma comes to the rescue shooting a psionic blast at Shalimar that releases her from Gabriel's control. When Shalimar turns on Gabriel, Brennan stops her and tells the team it's time to go.

As Gabriel watches them exit, he comments that there's no better place to start conquering the world than Genomex.

© Comics Continuum


SciFi Weekly 5/13/02

On Screen: Mutant X Season Finale
By Kathie Huddleson

A new villain is in town, the mutants' powers are mutating further, and things will never be the same

Mutant X
"A Breed Apart"
Starring John Shea, Victor Webster, Victoria Pratt, Lauren Lee Smith, Forbes March
Directed by Brad Turner
Written by Howard Chaykin
Syndication
Premieres the week of May 13

Mutant X winds up its first successful season in syndication by introducing a new villain. In "A Breed Apart," a young woman runs through an empty building trying to escape her pursuers. Just as the woman is about to be captured, Mutant Xers Shalimar (Pratt) and Brennan (Webster) seem to come out of nowhere to save her.

However, they soon discover they are going up against other powerful New Mutants, and when Brennan's power suddenly catapults him into the air, the two retreat, having to leave the woman behind. Adam (Shea) soon discovers that Brennan's power is changing. In fact, all the New Mutants are having a "growth spurt" that has increased their powers, but in unpredictable and strange ways.

At Genomex headquarters, Mason Eckhart discovers Gabriel Ashlocke (Michael Easton) has escaped. Mason orders his people to recapture or kill him. Gabriel is Patient Zero, the first and most powerful New Mutant ever created, because he has multiple powers.

Gabriel was imprisoned as a child and through the years he has developed a following. Now the members of the organization known as The Strand are ready to follow him without question. The Strand's mission is to become an alternative to Mutant X, a place where New Mutants can go to find "their rightful place in the world."

When Adam discovers that Gabriel has escaped the Genomex, he knows it means trouble for Mutant X as well. Adam was there in the beginning and he understands what Gabriel really is: a sociopath who believes he's a god. Now, after years spent in a GSA-induced coma, Gabriel is more than ready to take what he believes is his rightful place in the world, especially if it means destroying Mutant X and taking over the GSA.

Eye candy of consistent quality

Mutant X has enjoyed a wonderfully successful first year, sparring continually with Andromeda for the distinction of top syndicated weekly hour. In the season finale, "A Breed Apart," the storyline takes a turn, sparking big changes that will continue into next season.

New villain Gabriel Ashlocke, played by Easton, looks to stir up some good trouble for the Mutant Xers, while the character Eckhart is put into stasis so actor Tom McCamus can take a break to do some theater. Next season will see both characters back as they share the villainous bad-guy duty. Since Eckhart is a wonderfully droll villain, it's terrific that the writers discovered a way to keep the character while bringing in some fresh blood.

With the addition of a new powerful villain come stronger powers for the Mutant Xers. As the characters get to explore their powers, it should all lead to bigger badder battles for next season.

Easton, a sci-fi veteran from VR.5 and Total Recall 2070, fits in nicely as the new hot bad guy and is a good addition to the cast. The rest of the regulars, led by Shea, are typically solid, with Pratt and Webster finally getting a chance to explore the attraction between their characters.

Fans of Mutant X should enjoy this big finale. Just like the series, "A Breed Apart" offers pleasant eye candy, plenty of action and very little depth. Mutant X does what it does well. It entertains.

After a big battle over the show's title at the beginning of the season, Mutant X has proven it has its own story to tell and has little, if anything, in common with the X-Men. OK, it might be nice if Mutant X delved a bit deeper into its subject matter, but then it would be a different series. The stories, writing and the tone of the show are all nicely consistent, and few series can say that these days.

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