After the first 2 episodes (if you haven't seen this show before, like I hadn't until this DVD First Season Set) there's no way you're going to believe me when I tell you this is a solid, entertaining and stylish show. It's impossible to put your finger on any one bad feature at the start of this series centring on a world of new mutants, because EVERY aspect of their introduction is hideously embarrassing and laughably poor in its execution (Shalimar's pouting being the least of the troubles). Something I must mention though- the special effects that illustrate some of the mutant powers are very poor and funny when they're not supposed to be. Trust me- you'll firmly believe within only a few minutes of the first episode that the only basis for this show is the `X-Men' comics and a group of below average actors who happened to have some spare time between waitressing at Starbucks and auditioning for ketchup commercials (I can't begin to comment on the writing!). But from episode 3 onwards, EVERYTHING comes together and `Mutant X' comes into its own. It's so surprising and actually quite admirable how the producers, actors and writers managed to turn around in a considerably short space of time what could have been an absolute disaster had it continued in that same painful, vein of those initial episodes. From awful to gripping in the blink of an eye, I guarantee and from then on things only get better, episode by episode, consistently excellent in my view until the finale of the season.
Admittedly, even at its height, `Mutant X' remains Saturday afternoon, somewhat forgettable television (although probably a great show for all the family) and so does not come close to the enduring brilliance of shows like `Alias', `Firefly' or `Dark Angel', or to other programmes geared to a somewhat more young-adult and above audience, but there are comparisons to be drawn from those shows. The fight scenes in `Mutant X' (I risk saying) are even better than the fight scenes in `Alias', the exploration of minorities in society and the importance of coming to celebrate everyone's uniqueness is an improvement on the similar issues at the heart of `Dark Angel' and the special effects (even the mutant powers before too long) are incredibly visceral and compliment the action very well and come to rival those of `Firefly'. But what this show in its own right manages impressively and effortlessly is to convey a unique message to its audience in each episode. I would say that redemption is the key to the season as a whole- Mason Eckhart (the baddie) remains the unredeemable character- while all others are neither white nor black, but somewhere in between...even the members of our band of injustice-fighting heroes, which is refreshing.
I was also reminded of cult programmes like `La Femme Nikita' (which shares a producer with M-X) and `Deep Water Black' (named differently in the U.S. I think), but this show has a tone all of its own, which again you'll find hard to believe after the first two episodes, which fail miserably in setting up a convincing world for these gifted characters. Some good points to convince you it's definitely not all bad- the sets and the locations in `Mutant X' are SPECTACULAR, there are twists and turns in many of the stories that you won't see coming and aren't predictable for even the most jaded fan of the genre, and whether a new feature of this DVD or something the show already possessed- it has a slick, stark and quite beautiful look (in one episode I thought I had the martial arts film `Hero' in my DVD machine by mistake- that good people!).
By episode (10), I wanted to write this review to extol the virtues of `Mutant X', but I held off until I'd watched all 22 episodes just in case it took a turn for the worse and descended into the car-crash-horror of the first two introductory episodes, but thankfully it remained enjoyable, fresh, classy television all the way through. An extremely shaky start, but well worth your time and money.
Also...regarding this DVD package...the extras are numerous and appealing- tons of outtakes and the commentaries are great, while the plastic case is cheap but functional and the menus are quite attractive and very easy to use.