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‘Legion’ of crazies star in new marvel series

Legion is well worth watching if you like psychological dramas. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Legion is well worth watching if you like psychological dramas. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The second season of US cable TV series Legion just got started this past Tuesday night in the UK. So it’s a good time to get on the bandwagon and catch up with season one of FX’s most successful comic book TV series.

Some folks love Marvel comics better than DC’s; some feel the exact opposite. But either way, this cerebral series based on the Marvel comic book character, David Haller, was a must-watch show for millions of fans who could hardly wait to find out what insanity would afflict David from week to week.

It is never wise to watch a second season of a series without catching up on the first, which I highly recommend. Not that you will fully grasp all the mental acrobatics that David, a telepathic mutant, goes through.

But it’s good to know that one big problem that David encountered as a child was being misdiagnosed ‘a schizophrenic’, and getting medically drugged up as a consequence.

It takes several episodes for even David to understand that he’s a mutant with super-human powers. And even by the end of season one, it’s not clear that he fully understands himself or his incredible capacities. That’s the only spoiler I will share.

Otherwise, David was medically misdiagnosed because, from childhood, he was ‘hearing voices’ and ‘seeing people’ in ways that feel quite like what Russell Crowe’s character endured in the award-winning film, A Beautiful Mind. That film was based on the true story of Dr John Nash.

In contrast, David’s originally a comic book character. But just like Nash, David’s also a genius or at least someone with off-the-charts mental powers.

What’s more, with the British actor Dan Stevens (who previously starred in the popular BBC series, Downton Abbey) playing David, this mutant, for all his crazy demons, is brilliantly portrayed by Stevens.

For anyone who’s heard about the Bible story of Jesus casting out a legion (meaning a multitude) of demons from the mad guy whose name is also ‘Legion’, the title of the show will make heaps of sense.

Sometimes the show seems truly psychedelic since we, the viewers get to follow David’s trippy hallucinations into crazy realms of consciousness that often seem insane, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

It’s actually in a mental institution that David meets and falls head-over-heels for Syd Barrett (Rachel Kelley). She’s a beautiful blond girl whose mania includes not allowing anyone to touch her, not even David.

David’s journey leads him to a secret cadre of fellow mutants who start to help him learn to control his powers. They also help him to understand what kind of a demon he’s been battling with.

I don’t want to give away more. But Legion is well worth watching if you like psychological dramas that have unbelievable twists. If you don’t mind watching a series that combines fantasy, science fiction, mystery and cerebral struggles, then Legion is a series not to miss.

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