The Umbrella Academy Season 3: Crafting Viktor Hargreeves' Story

With three weeks to go until the third season of Netflix & Showrunner/EP Steve Blackman's adaptation of Gerard Way & Gabriel Ba's The Umbrella Academy gets unleashed across streaming screens, the cast is getting aboard the promotional train to get viewers amped up for what's to come. This time around, the focus shifts to Elliot Page (aka TUA Number 7 Viktor Hargreeves) and an impressive Esquire cover profile of the actor. It was back in December 2020 when the Oscar-nominated actor took to social media to announce that he is transgender and non-binary, expressing his gratitude for the support he had received "along this journey" and the happiness he felt at having "arrived at this place in my life." A question since that time was how his character on the popular streaming series would be handled in light of Page's announcement, with the answer coming in March of this year when Page first revealed the TUA Season 3 character profile key art poster for Viktor Hargreeves. In a piece for Esquire, transgender journalist, writer & amateur boxer Thomas Page McBee (Amateur) explains how he, Page, and series showrunner Steve Blackman collaborated to create a proper transition story that would be true to Page, the character, and the story.

umbrella academy
Image: Netflix

For Page, McBee, and Blackman, there were two narrative challenges that they would need to address. First, Page's role was "a fully fleshed-out character arc that intersected with every aspect of the show" so the story needed to be such that "his transness exist as a texture, not a defining character trait." And then there was the matter of the show's timeline. As we've already seen, the opening to the third season picks up immediately where the second season ended. That meant Viktor's story "would need to happen within the first episodes, and without the hand-holding usually provided for cisgender audiences." But as McBee notes in the article, those challenges also afforded them the opportunity to tell an "organic" transition story:

Trans people often know we are trans long before we disclose that information to others. We have goals that don't revolve around being trans. We have family drama unrelated to our gender identities, strengths, and flaws that span the whole of our lives. By necessity, this was an opportunity to show a transition so organic, so fundamental to the character, that it could only work in concert with the existing character arcs, not eclipse them.

From there, McBee describes how the process of mapping out Viktor's story played out:

Elliot and I had a long conversation about when and how Viktor may have come to discover his gender identity, and in what ways he might embody that identity in season 3. Steve and I used Elliot's insights as a jumping-off point to form and neatly overlay an economical narrative on those existing scenes—one that echoed where Elliot was in his own transition process at the time of shooting. Because Steve had an encyclopedic knowledge of the cis characters on the show, he helped flesh out how the family might react to their brother's news.

While the viewers will be the judge, McBee sees what they've put together as being "truer than true in many key ways," adding:

In this story, being trans is a context, a coming into focus, a sharpening of perspective that will only deepen the connection millions of viewers already have to Viktor and his family. And because of this, the truest truth of all shines through: On The Umbrella Academy, Elliot Page plays a transgender man who, like most trans people I know, isn't working to destroy the world but to save it.

Umbrella Academy
The Umbrella Academy. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
The Umbrella Academy Season 3: Crafting Viktor Hargreeves' Story
The Umbrella Academy. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Umbrella Academy
The Umbrella Academy. Cr. Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix © 2022
Umbrella Academy
The Umbrella Academy. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
The Umbrella Academy Season 3: Crafting Viktor Hargreeves' Story
The Umbrella Academy. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Umbrella Academy
Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
The Umbrella Academy Season 3: Crafting Viktor Hargreeves' Story
Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Umbrella Academy
Cr. Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix © 2022
The Umbrella Academy Season 3: Crafting Viktor Hargreeves' Story
Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Umbrella Academy
Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
The Umbrella Academy Season 3: Crafting Viktor Hargreeves' Story
Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Umbrella Academy
Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
The Umbrella Academy Season 3: Crafting Viktor Hargreeves' Story
Cr. Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix © 2022

Now here's the official trailer for the return of Netflix's The Umbrella Academy, with Season 3 dropping on June 22nd:

After putting a stop to 1963's doomsday, the Umbrella Academy return home to the present, convinced they prevented the initial apocalypse and fixed this godforsaken timeline once and for all. But after a brief moment of celebration, they realize things aren't exactly (okay, not at all) how they left them. Enter the Sparrow Academy. Smart, stylish, and about as warm as a sea of icebergs, the Sparrows immediately clash with the Umbrellas in a violent face-off that turns out to be the least of everyone's concerns. Navigating challenges, losses, and surprises of their own – and dealing with an unidentified destructive entity wreaking havoc in the Universe (something they may have caused) — now all they need to do is convince Dad's new and possibly better family to help them put right what their arrival made wrong. Will they find a way back to their pre-apocalyptic lives? Or is this new world about to reveal more than just a hiccup in the timeline?

The Umbrella Academy stars Tom Hopper as Luther aka Spaceboy aka Number One, David Castañeda as Diego aka The Kraken aka Number Two, Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison aka The Rumor aka Number Three, Robert Sheehan as Klaus aka The Séance aka Number Four, Aidan Gallagher as Five aka The Boy, Justin H. Min as Ben aka The Horror aka Number Six/Ben aka Sparrow Number 2, Elliot Page as Viktor aka The White Violin aka Number Seven, Colm Feore as Sir Reginald Hargreeves, and Ritu Arya as Lila. And speaking of the Sparrow Academy, we also have Justin Cornwell as Marcus aka Number One, Britne Oldford as Fei aka Number Three, Jake Epstein as Alphonso aka Number Four, Genesis Rodriguez as Sloane aka Number Five, Cazzie David as Jayme aka Number Six, and Existential Dread Inducing Psykronium Cube as Christopher aka Number Seven. In addition, Javon Walton (Euphoria, Utopia) has joined the cast in an undisclosed role. And (of course) Colm Feore as Sir Reginald Hargreeves.

Umbrella Academy
Image: Netflix

Created for television by showrunner Steve Blackman, the series is executive produced by Blackman, director Jeff F. King, Keith Goldberg, Mike Richardson & Jeremy Webb (S03E01), with Way & Bá as co-executive producers and Steve Wakefield producing (301-307). UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, produces for Netflix.

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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