Series / Legion Of Extraordinary Dancers
Legion of Extraordinary Dancers
is an acclaimed Web Original
series about two rival groups of dancers who gain superpowers through their dance moves. Its heroes are Trevor Drift, a boy born with the talent to breakdance really
well, Sp3cimen, a man experimented on by the Dark Doctor to make him the ultimate dancer of the robot (Or something
), Elliot Hoo, a boy who discovers a pair of shoes that force him to dance, the Fanboyz, a trio of Hollywood Nerds
who join the LXD through their own merits
, and Copeland, a badass tap dancer. They are all recruited into the titular legion, an organization there to prevent people with dancing-based superpowers from running out of control, just in time for the mysterious Organization X to decide that the world would be better off without the LXD policing it. Also in the mix is the Dark Doctor, a mind-controlling masked villain with an unknown agenda.
While the premise sounds ridiculous, it's essentially a musical with singing replaced by dancing, and with the Power of Rock
replaced by the power of, you guessed it, dance. The choreography is absolutely stunning
, and the "action", while sometimes Narm
, is very physically impressive. Extremely few effects are artificial, as unreal as it may seem. And the production value is comparable to broadcast television programs. While the acting is...unfavorable
, and the story either Troperiffic
or a Cliché Storm
, the delivery of story through dance makes for an ambitious series that's well worth a glance.
Unfortunately, season 3 was released in 2011, and season 4 was never made, leaving the story unfinished.
Its original website went down, but the series can still be found here.
This show provides examples of:
- Ascended Fanboy: The Fanboyz.
- Alike and Antithetical Adversaries: The Umbra are homogenous. The OX and The LXD are not. They all take steps towards homogeneity in "The Rise of the Drifts".
- All There in the Manual: The commentary videos.
- The cast sheet, too; a large number of characters aren't actually named in the episodes themselves.
- Alternate Reality Game: Cole Waters' website.
- Arm Cannon: Sp3cimen's right arm seems to function as one, without an actual cannon.
- Awesome McCool Name: Trevor Drift.
- In and out of universe example: Sp3cimen is played by a dancer named "Madd Chadd"
- Bad Ass: Quite a few candidates. The Dark Doctor and The Dark Nurse, for one. Fangz, the Wave, and the Illister, for another. On the side of good, you have Spex, Trevor, and Specimen, as well as the Elders.
- Badass Longcoat: The Illister.
- Black and Nerdy: The Fanboyz.
- Black Eyes of Crazy: How the Dark Doctor's mind-puppetry manifests.
- Blatant Lies: At the end of season 3, Petey accuses Katana of killing Jato. In fact, the episode made it clear that Katana's death was clearly Petey's fault (i.e. he purposefully kicked her off a high balcony). It's unclear how Petey thinks he can get away with this,as there was no attempt at a frame-up, he killed her five minutes before he accused Katana, and Katana was right there in front of him when he killed her, and Katana was right there when Petie accused him. But for the time being, it's pushed Spex into the Dark Alliance.
- I think this is along the lines of "If you believe this lying bastard over your teammate who came with you to save a person you loved then you are an idiot to begin with, added to the fact that he may not have been the real deal to begin with prophecy wise."
- Blind Seer: The prophet from "I Seen A Man". Turns out he's original leader of the founders of LxD, and possibly the Big Good.
- Bring It: Spex to Tendo just before defeating him.
- Chekhov's Gunmen: Sp3cimen's backup dancers showed up first in his introductory episode, and apparently escaped along with him. They didn't show up again until the Season 2 finale.
- Just about everyone for the Season 3 Finale.
- Coconut Superpowers: Used and abused, though camera tricks aid it. It probably makes sense with this particular show, since so many of the actors are almost inhumanly talented.
- Combat Pragmatist: Very few of the dancers act
- Sp3cimen is not above giving an opponent a beatdown with a pipe.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: Initially played straight and then averted in the episode Mess in Aisle Seven
- Curb-Stomp Battle: In episode 16, there's a face-off between The Dark Doctor and his newly-introduced "Umbras," a group of identically dressed mooks and Organization X, a group hyped up as being the main antagonists and the evil counterparts to the heroes. It seems obvious that Organization X is going to win, or at least put up a good fight (They're The main antagonists, after all). Instead, they get handed an absolutely humiliating defeat.
- The season 2 finale hands the LxD a humiliating defeat. It was more or less inevitable, as an emergency rescue attempt with no preparation and unskilled recruits. Notably, the battle between The Wave and Specimen.
- In the season 3 finale, The Dark Doctor more or less has his way with Spex.
- Dance Battler: An entire cast of them.
- Darker and Edgier: The entire second season.
- Justified, since it introduced and fleshed out the villains.
- Deus Exit Machina: In episode fifteen, the protagonists head out to a nightclub. Copeland stays behind to study and Trevor declines so that he can meet his girlfriend in secret. Once they're there, Sp3cimen goes out on the dance floor and doesn't notice any of the ensuing events. With the three most badass main characters out of the way, the Tails of War have no trouble getting Elliot and the Fanboyz alone and nearly killing them.
- The Drifter: Copeland, before the LXD recruited him.
- Evil Sounds Deep: the Dark Doctor.
- Evil Versus Evil: Episode 16. It's even called "The Greater of Two Evils."
- The Force Is Strong with This One: Trevor Drift
- Excessive Evil Eyeshadow: Karey
- Functional Magic: The basis of the show. The Ra is apparently some sort of force that can be harnessed and controlled in different ways by different people. It seems to be either in-born or artificially developed (by robotics or by random objects imbued with some sort of power). Some characters seem to have developed the talent by trying hard enough. So far, it seems to work like telekinesis that needs to be wound up through dancing, though its application varies between characters.
- Gas Mask Mooks: The episode "Alliance of the Dark" reveals that the Dark Doctor now has an undead army of them at his disposal.
- Gender-Blender Name: One of the supporting characters is a guy named Karen. He lampshades it when he introduces himself.
- Genre Shift: The season 2 finale is an "Old West" shootout. With dance.
- Heel–Face Turn: Spex, surprisingly. It came out of nowhere, and there's evidence that More Than Mind Control was involved. Especially since the thing that made him turn was Blatant Lies.
- The Hero: All evidence points to Trevor Drift, who is a Child Prodigy breakdancer orphan with a secret family history and a prophecy that predicts his rise. Also probably the most competent of the new recruits, as well as the least quirky. YMMV on whether that's a good or bad thing.
- Hollywood Nerd: The Fanboyz
- Jerk Jock: Brendan.
- The Joy of X: The title bears a striking similarity to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
- Ki Attacks: Through dance.
- Large and in Charge: The show emphasizes the fact that the Dark Doctor is huge. There's probably some Hitler Cam in effect, but he does seem to stand at least half a head taller than most of his peers. He also has massive padded shoulders. The Dark Nurse also invokes this. She's actually pretty average, sizewise, but her nurse cap and the heavy black shawls and veils she wears in conjunction with the way she dances give her a fairly threatening presence.
- Sp3cimen is definitely no midget either.
- Love Triangle: Ninjato, Katana, and Spex. Figures into the second and third season finales.
- Loyal Phlebotinum: It's stated that the magic shoes that allow Eliot Hoo to dance have bonded with him, and won't work for anyone else.
- Luke I Am Your Brother: Spex and Trevor Drift are brothers, revealed in S 2 E 2's "Lessons".
- MacGuffin: Whatever the hell that vial was in episode 16. Will probably lose that status once we find out what it is, though.
- Making a Splash: The Tails of War attack by controlling the water in a person's body and moving it into their lungs. Through dance.
- Mama Bear: The Dark Nurse, as it happens. Though her son doesn't necessarily need it.
- Marionette Master: The Wave and his cohorts, who puppeteer eachother in combat. The Dark Doctor sometimes puppeteers his allies into attacking for him, despite the fact he can also cut out the middleman and puppeteer his enemies all over the room.
- Mind Screw: Some of the episodes head in that direction, since there's a lot of interpretive dancing used without dialogue. We haven't been given the full backstory yet, so there are some really weird details (unexplained immortality, random magic artifacts) that crop up without explanation.
- Mind Screwdriver: The main point of episode 7 is to explain just what was going on in episode 3. The first three episodes of season 3 give some background on everything
- Musical World Hypotheses: At first, it was assumed that the Alternate Universe hypothesis was in effect, where all the dancing shown was actually going on, in-universe. As can be expected, this led to some Narm. However, it's since been made clear that it's also Adaptational (some of the dancing, especially the interpretive dances, are there to capture the feeling). As such, some of the dancing actually happens, and some of it...doesn't.
- Noodle Implements: Ignoring Rule of Cool, some of the names of characters' powers can get kind of vague ("Body Weaponry for internal bleeding"? "Bassbooms and Popdaggers"? "Sonic Soul Sucking"?). The names make more sense once we see the powers in action, though.
- No Sell: Everything Sp3cimen tries on the Wave.
- No Dialogue Episode: Episodes 3 and 16. The season 3 finale, as well.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The season 3 finale has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot of Trevor Drift squaring off against the Dark Doctor, who has been trashing Trevor's more experienced older brother, but they don't come to blows. He's also seen holding his own against the Dark Nurse, but the full battle is never shown.
- Older Than They Look:
- The Dark Doctor was a child in the forties, and is referred to as ageless.
- The website states that Spex had a leadership role in the 1970s, which would make him decades older than he appears. Or else, the show is set around the eighties.
- The LXD Elders are older than all of them, having appeared to be the same age since the narrator (an old blind man) was a child.
- Out of Focus: The Illister seems to be The Dragon for Organization X, but between the first few episodes of season 1 and three episodes in season 2, he didn't show up at all. All of his fights in both seasons are hidden from the audience, possibly to continue with the Mysterious Watcher angle.
- Also Copeland, who hasn't had any episodes center on him since his introduction.
- Our Zombies Are Different: They are people who are being mind controlled. Through dance.
- Perma-Stubble: Copeland.
- Punny Name: Cole Waters. May just be the name he uses for his Vlog.
- Serious Business: Dancing.
- Sinister Shades: Goggle variant worn by the Re-Animators in "Alliance of the Dark."
- Start of Darkness: To think that the Dark Doctor started out as a kid playing around in his dad's lab...
- Stylistic Suck: When the Fanboyz try and fail at making an LXD application video, it's obvious at points that they are dancing badly on purpose.
- Sucking-In Lines: Invisible variant. Used by Sp3cimen, the Wave, Autumn, and their backup dancers.
- Summon Backup Dancers: Appears to be an ability of Sp3cimen's, as demonstrated in his introduction and the Season 2 Finale.
- Also the Wave and Peetie/Fangz, although the Wave's backup don't seem to be at his beck and call.
- And Copeland in his introduction... Maybe.
- Three-Point Landing: Oh so many
- Took a Level in Badass: The Fanboyz have become competent dancers by the third season, and Specimen power levels after his defeat at the Wave's hands. Meanwhile, Trevor can by that point best his older brother in combat.
- True Companions: The new recruits by the third season.
- Special mention goes to Specimen and his backup dancers. The backup dancers will willingly take hits to distribute the damage done to Specimen, but Specimen will in turn take the brunt of it to shield them and risk himself observing the enemy so that the others can do some Mega Manning.
- Villains Out Shopping: In "Mess in Aisle Seven," the Dark Nurse is ambushed while grocery shopping with her son.
- The Virus: The Dark Doctor's mind controlled henchmen can infect others via a kiss.
- The Voiceless: Sp3cimen.
- The Worf Effect: The Ox at the hands of the Umbras in their introductory episode.
- Happens to Specimen at the hands of the Wave.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Justin Starr is introduced in episode two and appears at the end of episode ten, but is nowhere to be seen at the start of the next season.
- X Meets Y: Often described as "Heroes told through interpretive dance."
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: All of the Ox members' names. Fangz, Stakka, Shado, to name a few. Also The Fanboyz and Sp3cimen from the LXD.