Review: Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Episode 1: Pilot / Director: Joss Whedon / Screenplay: Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen / Starring: Clark Gregg, Brett Dalton, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain De Caestecker, J. August Richards / Running Time: 60 minutes / Release Date: 27th September 2013 (Channel 4 8pm)
Where to start with this show? Are there any superlatives we can use to describe the build-up to the airing of the events after the Battle of New York in The Avengers? Does the show live up to expectations, both from a fervent Marvel fanbase as well as the army of Whedonites that are out there? Well, you’re about to find out.
After the aforementioned battle, it appears that Agent Coulson’s (Gregg) death had been greatly exaggerated by Nick Fury to spur the Avengers into action. He turns up here, allowing those who are deemed worthy enough to be in the know as having level 7 clearance. Under the appraisal of Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Coulson is assembling a team to help track down any unregistered gifted – as they are known rather than superheroes – and protect the public from them as well as the gifted themselves from an organisation known as the Rising Tide.
He enlists the help of Agent Grant Ward (Dalton), who is highly trained in combat and espionage, Agent Melinda May (Wen) an expert pilot and martial artist, Agent Leo Fitz (De Caestecker) who is a brilliant engineer and Agent Jemma Simmons (Henstridge) a genius bio-chemist. Joining them is a computer hacker, Skye (Bennet).
The first gifted they come across is Michael Peterson (Richards) who has a very special and familiar power from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but we won’t ruin what that is for you. All the Agents know is that they need to find him and fast.
The fact is that it would be far too easy to give away a bunch of spoilers for you, but it would ruin all the fun for you when the show starts airing over here. What we can tell you is that if you’re a fan of Whedon and what Marvel have accomplished so far with their movies, you will not be disappointed. The writing is some of the best we’ve ever seen in a television show, hilarious at times and with enough nods to the knowing audience about what is actually going on. Gregg is on top form, veering from enjoying himself immensely in one scene before turning into a hard professional in the next as the events unfold. The support players all seem to fit their roles nicely and there are enough tricks up the sleeve to entertain even the most jaded viewer.
If the budget, script and pace of the show is kept up, there is no realistic reason why the show could possibly fail. So, make yourself comfortable, you’re in for one hell of a fun ride – and the last scene is just brilliant, topping off the 59 minutes that have come before. Enjoy!
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