Marvel’s takeover of the television universe continues this fall. ABC has Marvel’s Inhumans, whose unfinished pilot was screened for critics to fairly disastrous results (what we got to see was pretty awful). Faring better at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills on Tuesday was FOX’s new series The Gifted. The series, which premieres October 2, is set in the X-Men universe and follows the Strucker family (led by Amy Acker and Stephen Moyer), who must go on the run when they discover their teenage children have mutant powers. The problem? Those with mutant powers are being locked up. The bigger problem? Dad Reed Strucker is a prosecutor doing the locking up.
Here are five things you need to know about The Gifted:
Don’t go looking for the comic books.
There’s not a comic book based on the Strucker family. Instead, executive producer Matt Nix (Burn Notice) says he was inspired by various comics. “What we started with [was], ‘What would be an exciting way to set a show in the X-Men universe that’s appropriate for what television does well?’ When I looked to the comics, I look to more of the obscure runs that didn’t deal with the central superhero mythology.”
The series will explore how the family structure is unraveled by the world that surrounds them.
The X-Men are gone.
In the world of The Gifted, the X-Men are nowhere to be found.
“That’s not a dodge. It’s a huge deal to these guys. It’s a huge deal in the world. One of the central mysteries to the show,” Nix says.
But don’t call the show X-Men adjacent. Nix points to both Polaris (Emma Dumont) and Blink (Jamie Chung), who are series regular characters and also huge characters in the X-Men world.
“We will meet more characters as time goes by that all fit in that world,” Nix promises. (Elena Satine will appear in the second episode as the character Dreamer.) “In our world, one of the things will be unpacking is the specific relationship of this group of characters to the X-Men.”
But it’s not connected to the movies.
“There’s not going to be a situation where the movies are driving the television show or the television show is driving the movies,” Nix says.
Bryan Singer directed the pilot episode.
“The great thing about having Bryan Singer direct your pilot is, he’s done all these things,” Nix explains. “One of the things we were really thinking about was how to make this original.”
So, keep an eye out for some different-looking special effects, which will continue as the series progresses. “We’re not letting up on the gas,” Nix says. Plus, a very familiar face will cameo in the pilot.
Nix loves comics.
When he was a little kid, he pretended he had super powers constantly.
“If I don’t get this job, 10-year-old me is going to build a time machine to go forward in time and kill me for not getting this job,” he joked.
Amy Amatangelo, the TV Gal®, is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and the Assistant TV Editor for Paste. She wasn’t allowed to watch much TV as a child and now her parents have to live with this as her career. You can follow her on Twitter (@AmyTVGal) or her blog .