June 25, 2018  (Web Review)

Legion: The Complete Season One

Fox, 409 min., not rated, DVD: 3 discs, $29.99; Blu-ray: 2 discs, $39.99

Reviewer rating: 3.5/4

The most unusual superhero show on TV, Legion is a trippy mind-game series based on a fringe character of the X-Men comic book universe. Dan Stevens stars as David Haller, a boyish patient in a special mental hospital who is diagnosed as schizophrenic—assaulted by voices in his head and vivid, nightmarish hallucinations. David soon learns that he’s a mutant with immense powers and that those “voices” belong to another mutant trying to take control of his abilities. With the help of his touch-averse girlfriend Syd (Rachel Keller) and a team of agents and fellow mutants, David escapes the facility (which in reality is designed to contain and study him) and trains to use his abilities to fight the voices and take control of his mind. Aubrey Plaza gives a maniacal performance as his wild-child best friend and former drug buddy, playing her character as a mythological trickster figure in modern form. Legion was developed by showrunner Noah Hawley, who fills the series with visions, flashbacks, fantasies, and shifting perspectives, constantly keeping both David and viewers off-balance in trying to figure out what is real in the sensory overload of David’s life. It’s a blast of creative energy, a fascinating character study, and a deviously creative piece of storytelling—serving up a superhero adventure that spends more time in the landscape of the mind than in battling villains with fantastical powers. Compiling all eight episodes from the 2017 debut season, extras include behind-the-scenes featurettes, and deleted scenes. Highly recommended. (S. Axmaker)