Brett Dalton, Ming-Na Wen
When ABC launched Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the series was predicated on the idea that not all heroes are super, meaning fans knew ahead of time that they weren't getting The Avengers on television. But that didn't really work with viewers, who slowly tuned out over the subsequent weeks.
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But for those still tuning in, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has turned into a weekly treat. We finally learned part of the truth behind Coulson's (Clark Gregg) resurrection and found out that Skye (Chloe Bennet) is actually an 0-8-4. But it's been the introduction of superheroes and villains that has really made the show more fun to watch. The groundwork has already been laid for Blizzard (Dylan Minnette) and Graviton (Ian Hart), while it was recently revealed that Mike Peterson (J. August Richards) would be turning into cyborg Deathlok. Pair that with the fact that Skye could potentially have powers and it seems like the brain trust behind S.H.I.E.L.D. has learned that superheroes may be the answer to the ratings woes the series has faced thus far.
Insisting that it was always the plan to bring in the supers, executive producer Jed Whedon says the show was trying to stay close to the Marvel cinematic universe, in which he says there were really only two human beings with powers — Captain America (Chris Evans) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). "We didn't want to be a show that came out and all of a sudden was changing those rules and throwing everything out the window that they had spent so much time and money setting up," Whedon tells TVGuide.com.
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"We are following a plan that we basically set out with from the beginning," executive producer Maurissa Tancharoen adds. "It was to roll out people with powers slowly and gradually. We'd ease people into the world of our team of humans through what they encounter, and as we move along, we're starting to roll in the other characters into the universe that may have powers."
Instead of turning S.H.I.E.L.D. into a cameo-of-the-week show, the producers have been more focused on how supers fit into the world thematically — taking a tip from Joss Whedon's years on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. "They called them theme-ons versus demons," executive producer Jeffrey Bell says. "There was a reason you were giving this person this power. When we're bringing these characters in with these gifts, hopefully it helps us tell an emotional story in a way that you couldn't tell literally. Super powers are a fun way to do that."
Do you think S.H.I.E.L.D. needs to be super to be successful? Hit the comments!
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC.