Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 'Pilot' Review

Agent Phil Coulson is back on screen after dieing at the hands of Loki during the events of Avengers Assemble and is busy building his own team of shield agents tasked with dealing with the emergence of more and more ‘gifted’ or super powered individuals and any such threats that might appear.  With a misfit group of field agents and scientists Coulson comes face to face with a down on his luck factory worker who volunteers to receive powers from a shady organisation.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. kicks off without skipping a beat from its big screen counterparts and immediately sets its feet firmly within the same universe without feeling out of place.  From the opening montage of the Avengers and the battle of New York to the guest appearance of Maria Hill and the use of Extremis the show just feels like another part of the larger tapestry that Marvel Studios are creating.

Cobie Smulders reprises her role as Maria Hill for the show.
I was worried that the show wouldn’t be able to stand beside its big screen cousins and would feel like a sub par attempt to recreate the same movie magic on TV, but those fears were quickly put to rest and by the time the first ad break rolled around I was invested.

Having said that there are parts of this first episode that I’m not completely sold on, some of the characters felt particularly weak, Agent Ward for example, and some of the ‘comic’ banter between Fitz and Simmons was a bit too cheesy to be believable.

To counter these criticisms though Clark Gregg was fantastic as Coulson and I’m glad to see the character back as I’ve loved him sine his first appearance in 2008’s Iron Man.  I’m glad that we’ve not been told the whole truth as to his resurrection straight away and that it’s something even his character doesn’t know the whole truth of.  I’m hoping for a great season finale reveal as to how and why he’s back from the dead that will give Gregg the chance for some stand out acting.

Mystery surrounds Ming Na's Melinda May, a fierce field agent.
In addition Ming Na’s Melinda May was played well and given enough intrigue to her back story to have me eager to find out her past and J August Richards excelled in his guest appearance and helped to put a great deal of empathy and pathos to what could have easily become a hateable character.

All in all this was a great opening episode and it looks like Wheadon is on top form once again doing what he does best, making a great ensemble television cast.  A great start to what will hopefully be an amazing series. 7/10


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