October 6, 2001 (2001-10-06) – May 17, 2004 (2004-05-17)
Mutant X is a science fiction television series that debuted on October 6, 2001. The show was created by Avi Arad, and it centers around Mutant X, a team of "New Mutants" who possess extraordinary powers as a result of genetic engineering. The members of Mutant X were used as test subjects in a series of covert government experiments. The mission of Mutant X is to seek out and protect their fellow New Mutants. The series was filmed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Even though the series had high ratings and was meant to be renewed for a fourth season, it was abruptly canceled in 2004 after the dismantling of Fireworks Entertainment, one of the show's production companies, ending the show with an unsolved cliffhanger.
Adam Kane (John Shea) is the strategist and moral centre of Mutant X. Chief biochemist of the scientific experiments that led to the creation of the New Mutants, Kane created Mutant X to atone for his mistakes. The group seeks to protect New Mutants and help them control their powers. Viewing the New Mutants as his responsibility, Kane is looking for treatments for their various conditions. To this end, Kane has stolen The Creator's database, which can be used to track other New Mutants.
Shalimar Fox (Victoria Pratt) is a recombination of human and animal DNA – a Feline Feral – giving her great strength, speed, healing ability, agility, reflexes, and enhanced senses. Fox often confers with Adam, who had found her starving and frightened in a sleazy motel. After further mutation, she develops a sixth sense which allows her to anticipate incoming danger to herself. Like all Feline Ferals, Shalimar is extremely territorial and has heightened fear of fire and she is immune to the form of hypnosis.
Jesse Kilmartin (Forbes March) can alter the density of his body at will. Kilmartin is the only known New Mutant to have surpassed his "expiration date." As a Molecular New Mutant, he can become intangible, or super-dense, making him nearly impervious to harm. He can only maintain these forms for as long as he can hold his breath, and is able to extend his powers to people or objects through physical contact.
Brennan Mulwray (Victor Webster) is an Elemental Electrical with the ability to generate enough electricity from his body to power a small city. He can also shoot powerful electrical bolts from his palms which, if fired downward, are capable of launching him high into the air. His primary weakness is water. Before Adam Kane found Mulwray, he was a thief. Mason Eckhart captured him and used him to hunt down the other New Mutants. However, Mulwray escaped and managed to join Mutant X along with Emma DeLauro.
Emma DeLauro (Lauren Lee Smith) is a Tele-Empath who can communicate and receive the feelings and emotions of those aroumd her, and of others. Her abilities allow her to manipulate the emotions of those around her. She has limited precognition, and also has the ability to induce hallucinations into the minds of others by drawing upon their own emotions. During her time in the team, Emma developed the power to project bolts/beams of pure psychic energy which she uses to knock her opponents unconscious, alter and erase memories, and even kill. Before Adam Kane found her, DeLauro sold clothes at retail and used her control of emotions to become a successful businesswoman. Initially resistant to joining Mutant X, she eventually developed an attachment to Brennan Mulwray. DeLauro was killed in an explosion at Naxcon Corporation Industries (Nicholas Fox's company).
Lexa Pierce (Karen Cliche) was the first member of the original Mutant X. As a Chromatic Molecular, she can bend light to make herself and anything she is touching invisible. In addition, she can shoot beams or bursts of light from her fingertips and can project blinding flashes. Pierce cannot stay invisible for long before reverting to normal. Even in her invisible state, she is visible as infra-red light or ultraviolet. She is also a skilled martial artist.
Mason Eckhart (Tom McCamus): The former head of security of Genomex and the current head of the Genetic Security Agency (GSA), serving as antagonist of Mutant X in seasons 1 and 3. After an accident involving Adam and the production of the New Mutants, Eckhart's immune system has been severely weakened, forcing him to wear a white wig, synthetic skin, and thick gloves. He formed the GSA to protect the public from what he deemed as a threat from the New Mutants, capturing them to perform further genetic testing to find a "cure". He is put into stasis after being double crossed by one of his agents and Dr. Harrison, allowing Ashlocke to rise to power. Some time before the season 2 finale, he has escaped his imprisonment and convinced Shalimar's father to fund his research to cure himself, but he is ultimately killed by Brennan.
Dr. Kenneth Harrison (Andrew Gillies): A biogeneticist working for Tricorp Botanicals, and former employee of Genomex. Eckhart seeks him out to produce a mind-controlling toxin from the plants he studies so he create create new New Mutants under his own control. He continues to work with the GSA, but ultimately double-crosses Eckhart to allow Ashlocke to take control of Genomex.
Gabriel Ashlocke (Michael Easton): "Patient Zero" of the New Mutants and the main antagonist of season 2. He possesses the abilities of all known kinds of New Mutants, particularly the Mutant X team. In the past, Adam was hired by Genomex to attempt to hamper the young Ashlocke's powers and pscyhopathy, but he failed to prevent the boy from killing his parents in a powerful rage and only damaged the young boy's genome. To prevent his death, Ashlocke was put on stasis, only to be freed by a member of the GSA to usurp Eckhart's power. Ashlocke takes his revenge against Adam and Mutant X in his attempts to prevent his own death, but is ultimately unsuccessful. However, his loyal followers known as the Links used the genetic material of four similarly powered New Mutants, including Brennan, to produce a child that would effectively be Ashlocke's second coming. However, another New Mutant whose DNA was used to make this child took the boy into her own care to raise him to be a kind person instead of the monster Ashlocke turned out to be.
Lexa's Dominion Contact (George Buza): In season 3, the remaining Mutant X team and Lexa work for an organization known as the Dominion to solve New Mutant-related mysteries and crimes.
Several years ago a company called Genomex carried out a series of illegal and immoral experiments on human subjects, forever altering the DNA of any children they might have, to make them mutations from the norm. Now many of those children have grown up, and it has become increasingly difficult for the rest of the world to ignore the New Mutants in their midst. Genomex, under the direction of Mason Eckhart, one of the original scientists, seeks to exploit its creations. Others seek to protect them. A New Mutant Underground has sprung up, and one of the most prominent cells in that organization is Mutant X, a team of powerful New Mutants led by Adam Kane, head chief biogeneticist of The Genomex scientists who participated in the experiments which have altered the world forever.
ADV Films released all three seasons on DVD in Region 1 in 2004 and 2005, but they are currently out of print. In late 2008, a complete series collection was scheduled to be released by ADV Films, but it was later cancelled.
In May 2002, Marvel Comics released a tie-in comic called Mutant X: Origin which chronicled the early life of Adam Kane. In the story Adam and a friend Paul did research of the DNA of the mustard plant in college which drew the attention of the U.S. government, who offered them the Genomex company to work on a cure to genetic diseases. During this story Eckhart is exposed to radiation which leads to his vulnerability to diseases.
In 2001, 20th Century Fox sued Marvel, Tribute Entertainment, and Fireworks Entertainment for breach of their licensing agreement and false advertisement. Fox stated it had exclusive rights from Marvel to develop the X-Men property, and anything similar was an infringement. Fox claimed that Mutant X was too similar to X-Men, and Mutant X was being advertised as an "X-Men replacement."
Marvel counter-sued Fox, saying that the two were dissimilar and asking the courts to allow Mutant X production to go forward. Production was allowed, as long as X-Men material was not used in the promotion of Mutant X. Apparently, the title "Mutant X" itself was deemed too close to "X-Men" to be effectively leveraged.
In 2003, Fox and Marvel resolved their differences in a confidential settlement of their suits. Meanwhile, Fox continued to pursue their case against Tribune and Fireworks. Tribune sued Marvel for fraud and breach of contract, claiming Marvel encouraged Tribune to connect Mutant X to the X-Men, misrepresented what they were getting in their license, and caused millions in losses due to the need to alter story lines and characters to ensure the mandated distance between Mutant X and X-Men, as well as fighting Fox's litigation.