Far from abandoning Marvel’s AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., ABC is practically doubling-down on the concept by committing to Marvel’s AGENT CARTER, a series that centers on Peggy Carter, Captain America’s love interest in Captain America: The First Avenger.
Hayley Atwell will reprise her role as Peggy in the 13-episode series that will debut at midseason, allowing AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. to take a break and minimize reruns.
Quick on the heels of announcing a guest shot by Lady Sif, Marvel has confirmed that AGENTS OF SHIELD will soon feature another Asgardian — the troublemaking sorceress Lorelei — and a homicidal cyborg known as Deathlok — who will have a familiar face.
You didn’t think that SHIELD went to the trouble of casting a recognizable face in the throwaway role of Mike Peterson in the AoS pilot for nothing, did you? J. August Richards — known to many as Gunn from ANGEL — will play Deathlok, a character created back in the 1970s, a half-human killing machine who just might herald the resurgent threat of Centipede.
According to Marvel Studios, Jaimie Alexander will appear as Sif later this season on AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Sif was last seen in Thor: The Dark World in movie theaters last fall.
Marvel Executive Director of TV Communications Arune Singh tweeted this from ABC’s presentation at the Television Critics Association meetings in Los Angeles Friday:
Jamie [sic] Alexander as Sif announced as guest star on #AgentsofSHIELD this season! #TCA14
Yes, Arune did misspell her name. No word yet on an airdate, the storyline or with whom she will interact, but this sounds pretty cool to me.
Perhaps looking to up the action ante on the plodding spy series, the producers of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. are importing a veteran field agent in the form of John Garrett, to be played by genre veteran Bill Paxton. Garrett will be working with agents Ward (Brett Dalton) and May (Ming-Na Wen), and that will certainly change the dynamic.
S.H.I.E.L.D. executive producer Jed Whedon described Paxton’s character:
“We wanted to bring in a rough-and-tumble former cohort of Agent Coulson with a little bit of attitude and cigar-smoking swagger.”
Cigar-smoking? Too bad the Marvel movie universe left Dum Dum Dugan back in World War II in Captain America: The First Avenger. Paxton, a veteran of the action classic Aliens, has impeccable comic timing (see also: True Lies), so maybe he can alleviate the audience-alienating problem of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. taking itself too damn seriously!
Cpl. Hudson Agent Garrett to report for duty in late March or so.
Attention, fans of MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.! Get thee to a cinema forthwith to view Thor: The Dark World, which opens today — because the Nov. 19 episode of AoS is going to pick up on plot threads left over from the movie.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the AoS episode, called “The Well,” most likely will not feature any Thor cast members (barring a surprise cameo), but rather some “connective tissue” in the storyline.
Check out the official synopsis from ABC:
“In the aftermath of the events chronicled in the feature film Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World, Coulson and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pick up the pieces – one of which threatens to destroy a member of the team.”
Putting this together with what we’ve all seen in the various trailers, it looks like there will be lots of Asgardian/Elf technology expended in all the fighting, so Agent Phil Coulson’s team most likely comes across something dangerous in some wreckage while cleaning up after the battle.
With a lot of the film’s action set in Greenwich, England, it seems like a natural setup for a crossover with TORCHWOOD, doesn’t it? If only that reconstituted UK team was still in action, that is…
One of the things I find most interesting about MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. is the way episodes hinge on decisions that Agent Coulson has to make, as opposed to a shoot-out or some other action set piece. Whether it’s choosing to let Skye tag along with his team from the pilot or a life-or-death decision about the person his team was chasing. And he makes these choices on the spot, and rather coldly and without sentiment. I like that he takes his job seriously and is willing to make the tough calls.
Those of you keeping score at home know Coulson sometimes gives the prey the benefit of the doubt — Skye and Akela — but sometimes doesn’t — just ask Dr. Franklin. I find that the most interesting aspect of this show, which isn’t always all that interesting. After all the action and chases and hand-to-hand combat, Coulson usually has a split-second to weigh the life of a bad or dangerous person against the lives of his team (or the safety of the world), and he doesn’t let sentimentality get in the way. (Or would Akela disagree, even though she benefitted from it?)
The fourth bombastic episode of MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. saw our heroes pitted against a… diamond thief? Er, um… a really good diamond thief. One who stole a whole bunch of diamonds. From guys wearing red masks. On a subway. In Stockholm. Yeah, the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division took on a jewel thief.
I know the show has a few mandates and guidelines to follow in order to air at 8 p.m. on ABC (curbs on violence, etc.), but I think the show’s producers are aiming a little too low. For a while it was hinted that the thief might have super powers, but no, she just had a camera (and a bomb) installed in her eye.
From all appearances, this episode of MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. was meant to be a run-of-the-mill, this-is-how-we-do-it story of a regular SHIELD (it’s too much trouble to type all those periods) mission — and thus, it was a bit on the dull side. Solving a kidnapping was just the McGuffin to push Skye into fieldwork before she’s ready — and before anybody, including SHIELD, knows she can be trusted.
It also served to start sketching in a background for Mr. Stuffed Shirt, aka Agent Ward, and pushing the two most conventionally attractive people in the cast together, just as everybody watching expects. But where “The Asset” worked best was in laying the groundwork for SHIELD’s first super-powered adversary.
I can best sum up my feeling about AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. by saying that I really wanted to like it more than I did. And I did enjoy it; I just didn’t love it. Even though I wanted to love it.
It felt like the show was coasting too much on Executive Producer Joss Whedon’s reputation and its association with last year’s blockbuster The Avengers movie. I got the sense that the pilot was Joss slapping together a demo piece and telling the network, “This is just a placeholder; trust me, the real series will be great.” And, yes, the script was generously stocked with Whedonesque quips and Easter eggs, but I expected it all to be much more… well, polished.
As such, the pilot for AoS was pretty okay, but it demonstrated nothing close to its potential. It felt a bit like one of the characters, Grant Ward — shiny and a bit smug, and not as charming as it thinks it is.