There can be little doubt left that we are currently living in a new Golden Age of scripted television. Sure, we may be losing Breaking Bad soon, and Game of Thrones is wrapping up another stellar season - and as we pointed out, you should probably be watching Orphan Black - but this fall is gearing up to be one of the most exciting lineups in years.
One clear standout is Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., creator Joss Whedon's wildly anticipated and highly secretive TV extension to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since ABC (owned by Disney, who owns Marvel) is airing the NBA Finals, what better way to
exploit build on the synergy of this dynamic than by airing a new TV spot (above) for their small-screen superhero show?
There is admittedly nothing strictly new in the ten-second spot. One thing you'll notice, though, is a slightly longer look at the mysterious hologram Agent Ward (Brett Dalton) is examining. In the original trailer released about a month ago (you'll find it below), Clark Gregg's Agent Phil Coulson may have hinted at this particular subject's identity - could we be seeing the introduction of sorcerer and occasional Avenger Doctor Strange?
Probably not, given Marvel's plan to introduce the character for a Phase 3 standalone film. Still, the issue of just which characters from the Marvel universe will be joining the (apparently) not dead Agent Coulson each week points toward the host of other, unanswered questions about the series. The most glaring, of course, is just how Whedon and company will deal with the fact that fan-favorite Coulson was clearly impaled by Loki in The Avengers, an act which kicks off the film's climactic third act. Whedon has promised that Coulson's return will be "earned," but has delivered no specifics.
There are a number of questions when it comes to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Will the show feature familiar characters from the Marvel comics - albeit more obscure ones - or will we have a host of brand-new additions? Will the events of the series cross over or intersect with the ongoing Marvel movies or be more standalone? (Whedon has indicated the latter, but we can probably expect a decent amount of Easter eggs from the Cinematic Universe.)
However these details shake out, we're certainly looking forward to the series. If Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. works, it just might prove a model for this kind of multi-platform content, and an exciting way to tie a concurrent movie franchise into a television show (a method that the producers of the perpetually stalled adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series might want to pay close attention to).
We'll just have to wait and see. If the new NBA Finals spot was too lean for you, here's the full-length series trailer:
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will air Tuesdays @8pm on ABC.