The shadow of Magneto loomed large over Polaris throughout the first season of The Gifted, especially its final few episodes, but for a character with so much presence even off screen the show surprisingly never mentioned the Master of Magnetism by name.
Fans familiar with Polaris and X-Men lore probably didn’t need the name drop. Polaris is Magneto’s daughter and inherited his magnetic powers. Esme Cuckoo mentioned that Polaris’s father was a major mutant figurehead and a king of the Hellfire Club, which is true of Magneto in the comics as well.
So if everyone with a little background knowledge knows who is being alluded to, why not just say it outright? Showrunner Matt Nix tells TV Line that its exactly the reason fans may suspect. Magneto is a major character in the X-Men movies, and The Gifted is trying not to crowd that part of the franchise.
“Not to be coy, but we don’t want to stumble into movie territory,” Nix said. “That said, canonically, Polaris’ father is Polaris’ father.”
Whether Magneto is actually Polaris’ father has been unclear in the comics. When Polaris when first introduced, the title “daughter of Magneto” seemed to be just that, a title. Marvel has gone back and forth over whether it meant something more and most recently seemed to confirm that she definitely is Magneto’s daughter. But Nix is aware of the ambiguity and is using it in Polaris’s story on The Gifted.
“One thing that we do use from the comics, that is legitimately part of the lore of Polaris, is that she doesn’t always know that Magneto is her father,” Nix said. “And she has very mixed feelings about Magneto being her father, so we’ve taken what is kind of a necessity, in terms of us needing to stay out of the way of the movies, and turned it into a virtue in our eyes. It’s now a feature of the characters that they don’t really want to talk about — [that Lorna’s father is] the leader of the mutant group that made mutants look horrible and kind of put them in the position that they’re in now.”
That said, Nix wouldn’t mind being able to interact more closely with the movie side of the X-Men franchise. Nix told ComicBook.com that he hoped a possible consequence of the pending Disney and Fox merger would be a stronger connection to the films.
"Does that give me the opportunity to come in and say like, ‘Hey, let me set something up for your movie or let me echo your movie in some cool way,’” Nix said. “And if I could do that then that would be neat because I'm generally just guided by, as a fan, what would I want to see? And what would I want? As a fan, I don't want my TV show to do the same thing that my movie is doing. But at the same time, I don't want my TV show to be just like, you know, completely unconnected or just totally the bastard stepchild of what my movies are doing either. So, I'm going to push for not bastard stepchild but also not trying to do the movies on television because I think both are bad ideas."
The Gifted will return for its second season on Fox in 2018.