Based on Marvel’s X-Men comics, Legion stars Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens as David Haller, a schizophrenic who discovers he has special mutant powers.
Series creator Noah Hawley (Fargo) was especially interested in exploring the distorted reality of Haller’s mind, using him as an unreliable narrator to create suspense and tension in the narrative. Legion is often praised for its impressionistic artistry, drawing comparisons to auteurs like David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick and Terrence Malick.
There are three seasons of Legion. The first and third seasons have eight episodes and the second series has 11. Hawley told reporters he always envisioned the series as arcing over three seasons, “like three acts of a story.”
What is Legion about?
David Haller has spent his life bouncing between psychiatric hospitals. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, a chance encounter with a fellow patient leads David to suspect that his special powers —including telepathy and visions— might point to something beyond mental illness.
Soon, David is taken to a special facility where he learns he is a mutant, and one of several being chased by a dubious government group called Division 3, who may be infiltrating his own mind.
Together with his fellow mutants, David seeks to come to terms with his abilities, battle dangerous nemeses and save the world.
Who is in the cast of Legion?
Cast of Legion (Theo Wargo/Getty)
In a considerable departure from his role as Matthew Crawley in ITV’s Downton Abbey, Dan Stevens plays the title character.
Jean Smart was persuaded by Hawley, with whom she also worked on Fargo, to join the cast as psychiatric therapist Melanie Bird.
Smart’s Fargo co-star Rachel Keller plays Syd Barrett, the patient who helps David discover his special powers.
Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza stars as Lenny Busker, a character Hawley originally intended to be male.
Where is Legion set?
Legion’s setting is deliberately ambiguous, with production design that recalls past decades and incorporates modern elements. It is primarily set at Summerland, a facility for mutants that one can assume exists somewhere in the X-Men universe.
Where is Legion filmed?
The first season of Legion was filmed in Vancouver, but the second and third series were filmed primarily on studio sets in Los Angeles.