San Diego Comic-Con is packed with comics, vendors, writers, artists, cosplayers, movie and TV highlights but what if you didn’t get in this year? Thanks to the kind people at FX, you can experience some of the SDCC magic without a badge. FX Network took over the Hilton Bayfront lawn to highlight a few of their critically acclaimed dramas, most notably, Legion.
Step inside a dark circus tent to view three sneak peeks of the upcoming season of American Horror Story: Cult via zoetrope. Check out actual stingers from The Strain series and apply vampire-proof sunscreen. Have your shoes re-laced with colorful Snowfall laces in a variety of ways. Pop into the Atlanta photo booth or get tested for the X-gene. Without a doubt, the coolest of all the experiences was Sessions: The Legion Mixed Reality Experience. The Legion multi-experience drops you into David Haller’s mind. FX has taken VR a step further by incorporating live actors. After having my eyes measured and a hospital wrist band applied, I was greeted at the door of the facility. An attendant escorted me to my examination seat where I was fitted with a Microsoft Hololens head band. The attendant’s voice is firm yet quiet as she repeatedly asks me “do you remember me David?” You have to answer. After a few visual tests the attendant said I was ready to experience an old memory and I was lead to another room.
The room is stark white and is meant to be an amalgamation of an office and David’s bedroom. There are ink blot images on the walls and fixtures of David’s childhood such as a rocket-shaped lamp. I was suddenly bombarded with voices all talking over one another, then Melanie Bird’s voice calmly spoke over the din. “Can you hear me David? Listen to my voice.” Melanie instructed me to imagine a volume knob and to turn the voices down. I raised my hand and turned the knob. The voices lowered and finally quieted. Melanie then asked me to follow a clicking sound until I saw a Newton’s cradle on the desk. She then instructed me to slow the cradle with my mind until it stopped. The entire time a live actor attendant is watching me and asking me if I am all right? It is slightly unnerving. Suddenly, the door opened behind me letting light pour in as the doctor entered. The attendant and doctor seem to be colluding, which puts me even more on edge. The doctor put me through a variety of tests viewing images and answering questions about what I saw. I was a bit unsure of how to respond which is the point, to make us feel disoriented and uncomfortable. The doctor then lifts his head to stare directly into my eyes and I hear Syd’s voice. She tells me that these people are not here to help me and that she is going to get me out of here – just slowly nod my head. The doctor rises to escort me out. Then it happens – colored lights begin to swirl, Syd pulls me in the other direction and yells “you have to use your powers!” I am confronted with the giant headed World’s Angriest Boy in the World character from David’s childhood nightmares. I narrowly escape as I am pushed out a backdoor to freedom.
This was amazing!
It was especially interesting to interact with the actors and use voice and hand commands. Kudos to FX and the actors who made this a truly unique experience. I really felt like I was being tested, left in the dark and confused about where I was and why. It was exactly how I imagine David felt during that scene.If you are not already watching Legion, I suggest you check it out. Just like the multi-experience; it’s one hell of a trip.