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The Gifted: Matt Nix Explains the Show's Approach to Mutant Mayhem

Blink has always been a fan favorite character, from her very first appearance in the mid-'90s. How extensive are her powers on The Gifted? Did you have discussions about her bing able to visit different dimensions or realities?

It’s certainly come up. In the trailer, you’ll notice she has this physical relationship with her portals. She pulls them open. I just want to reassure people that it’s not that we don’t know about the way she throws portals in the comics. It’s not like we don’t know Polaris’ hair is green. I tend not to read internet comments, but one that got me was, “Polaris’ hair is green.” “You think I don’t know that? Come on, dude. Gimme a second. Polaris’ hair will be green.” In the case of Blink, this is a Blink who is not there yet. In the X-Men movie, “Days of Future Past,” she’s sort of the girl who makes portals, but doesn’t say much. What I love about Blink is her powers are sort of like, “I’m out of here. Screw you guys.” There’s that attitude. She has her own mind about things. She’s working with the Mutant Underground, but she’s not a joiner. If there were uniforms, she wouldn’t wear one. She’s very independently minded.

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But, one of the things we really explore over the season is her relationship to her powers, which she doesn’t understand that well, yet. Blink is learning and getting better. For her, portals initially are a way out of situations she doesn’t want to be in. One theme we explore a lot is the idea of, “Where do your powers come from? Is it fear? Is it anger? What emotional connection does it have to you?” So, for Blink, one of the things we’re exploring is that part of the reason her powers haven’t developed beyond pulling portals open is she’s a baby when it comes to understanding and connecting to her mutant powers. That’s something that evolves as the show goes on.

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In the pilot, Blink does something really huge with her powers. In the second episode, you realize it nearly killed her. It’s a huge issue. How do her powers work? How far can she go? What can she do? Blink is so powerful. When you think of the comics, there’s that great issue where she portals a plane. We need a movie budget for that. We roll it back to she’s interacting with her powers in new ways and figuring out exactly what she can do.

Roderick Campbell, known to comic-book readers as the villainous Ahab, will be plaguing the mutants. What makes him such a good foil for these characters?

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Roderick Campbell is a much more extreme character in the comics. We’re not making a show that exists in a universe where people have big, purple, robotic exoskeletons. He’s not that guy, just like Stryker was very changed for the movies. The idea for Roderick is he’s running this program that is lethally threatening to the mutants. The significance of that emerges over the course of the season.

Lastly, do you view these mutants as heroes? Will they be saving the day on a weekly basis, or, are they too busy saving themselves?

It is certainly not,"save the mutant of the week.” They end up needing to do both at the same time in the sense that if the Mutant Underground does not survive, then the last line of defense for mutants, overall, will fall. Over the course of the series, you definitely see the ongoing activities of the Mutant Underground, as they are trying to help mutants. At the same time, the Mutant Underground is threatened, so they have to save the Mutant Underground in order to continue to save mutants.

Debuting on the Fox network on Oct. 2, The Gifted is a production of Marvel Television created by Matt Nix and starring Stephen Moyer, Amy Acker, Sean Teale, Jamie Chung, Coby Bell, Emma Dumont, Blair Redford and Natalie Alyn Lind.

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