Wednesday, March 12, 2014

X-MEN Episode Fifty-Five - September 16, 1995

One Man's Worth (Part Two)
Written by Gary Greenfield

Summary:  Bishop, Shard, Storm, and Wolverine travel back to the future, hoping to use Forge’s time machine to arrive a few minutes before Xavier’s death.  In this new reality, Forge doesn’t recognize his former allies.  Meanwhile, Fitzroy realizes that Master Mold is going to betray him.  He finds the rebels and gives them a holographic message to send back to his earlier time-traveling counterpart.  Bishop and his allies escape a Sentinel attack and travel back to 1959.  When Fitzroy sees the message from his future self, he abandons his attack on Xavier.  Time begins to revert to normal, and Wolverine and Storm say their final goodbye.

Continuity Notes:  The Forge of 2055 now resembles his “Age of Apocalypse” counterpart.  The Sentinels of the future also have their AoA designs in this new future.

"Actiiing!":  Fitzroy’s partner Bantam appeared last episode, and while his voice was unusually grating, he barely spoke, thankfully.  This episode, he speaks quite often, making it clear that this just might be the worst voice in the history of this series.  This is Jar-Jar Binks level annoying, I swear.  

Review:  “One Man's Worth” concludes, bringing us some of the most imaginative uses of time travel in the show’s run, admittedly, but not doing much to change my opinion that it’s a wasted opportunity.  As amusing as it is to see the characters go back in forth in time, running into people who don’t remember them or even their earlier time-traveling selves, the story never fully explores the ramifications of alternate realities, making the AoA elements mere window dressing.  Kids ignorant of the source material might’ve enjoyed the brief cameo of new toys on sale this Christmas, but I doubt the fleeting glimpses were enough to assuage fans who actually recognized the material from the comics.  Instead, they’re a reminder of what the story could’ve been, which automatically makes the main storyline dull by comparison.  The show’s done time travel numerous times at this point, so there’s nothing really special about the concept by the fourth season.  Even if you have a decent hook for the time travel plot, and this two-parter actually does, the story needs something else to separate it from the previous Bishop episodes.  I realize that the censors wouldn’t allow much of the AoA material to air, but some effort could’ve gone into exploring what exactly the world is like without Xavier.  Instead, the bulk of the episodes are spent in 1959, the least interesting era of the story.  Maybe it’s the easiest to animate, but it’s the least entertaining to watch.

Credit to for the screencaps.


cyke68 said...

I was under the impression this story actually served as the basis for AoA rather than the inverse. Bob Harras was a consultant for the show and had the basic germ of the idea (a world without Xavier) and helped flesh out the plot. He then ran with it, building a proper comics event around the premise. With the comics requiring less lead time than the show, it appeared in print quite some time before television. Obviously, the character models themselves were lifted from Madureira, Skroce, the Kuberts, etc. But if that account is to be believed, "One Man's Worth" can be thought of as an early draft of AoA. I could see how swapping out Storm for Jean and Fitzroy for Legion, as well as Bishop's role in the story might have evolved from revisions in the early planning stages that made sense for the comics but not the show.

Easter egg: the guy Fitzroy uses to power himself up is referred to by Master Mold as "Lobdell."

Matt said...

Cyke -- I had forgotten, but I think you may be right. I know I've read that Harras had the idea for "Age of Apocalypse" while in meetings on the West Coast.

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