It's not enough that Marvel will, by the end of this year, have produced three Iron Man movies, two Incredible Hulks, two Thors, a Captain America, and The Avengers. Having dominated the silver screen, they're now moving to master the smaller screen with this fall's debut of the television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. The show, which has been in production since 2012, officially passed the pilot stage on May 10 and is scheduled to air Tuesdays at 8 PM this fall on ABC, made official by the trailer:
(There's also a 30-second teaser trailer that's rather uninspiring.)
After watching the above, I'm curious what previous shows S.H.I.E.L.D. will draw upon. The trailer makes the agency sound like hunters of the superpowered, which is too reminiscent of Heroes, a show that started with great promise but quickly crashed and burned. Or will Marvel's show eschew a serial nature in favor of a phenomenon of the week, in the style of The X-Files?
The return of Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson is also curious, given his meaningful, heroic death in last year's The Avengers. With what explanation will they devalue his sacrifice — a clone? An alien? Time travel? Even if it makes no sense from a perspective of narrative, it's perfectly reasonable as a business decision. To launch a television series in an established universe, they need the hook of a familiar character — and there's none in the movie series as small yet as important as Coulson. Besides, who could possibly lament the resurrection of anyone who kicks this much butt?
With the show developed and produced by Joss Whedon, who directed of The Avengers, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has plenty of promise. We'll see this fall if it can deliver.