What we are likely to see in the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series

I will take an objective view of Joss Whedon’s upcoming Marvel TV series to determine what we can expect to see, and what I would like to see, in the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series.

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By Paulley - 10/25/2012
Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. will be produced by Marvel Television to air on the ABC network with a pilot to be written by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, and directed by Joss Whedon. Clark Gregg will headline the series as his MCU character Agent Phil Coulson and Ming-Na Wen was also recently cast.

During this article, I will look at various aspect of the show and share my opinion as to what we can expect to see in the series while attempting to keep my suggestions objective and realistic.

“Contrary to your belief, you are not the center of my universe.” – Nick Fury, Iron Man 2 (2010)
I think it is fair to say that this show is going to be very similar in set up to that of shows like X-Files, Fringe and Torchwood; which see government agents investigate extraordinary/paranormal cases. Many of these shows are very character based, with a small ensemble cast facing bad-guy-of-the-week while ultimately feeding into a series arc of story. A premise very familiar to Whedon with his previous TV productions like Dollhouse.

”This isn't my first rodeo, Mr Stark.” – Agent Coulson, Iron Man (2008)
Having this TV series set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe offers an ever expansive world of possibilities for the show to explore, but with the added benefit of boundaries and universal truths to keep the show reigned in and focused. Marvel will not allow the show to affect the movies by doing anything over the top and silly (commonly known as “Jumping the Shark”).

Unlike the comics 616 universe S.H.I.E.L.D. is not a world peacekeeping agency but a homeland spy agency tasked with dealing with the more unusual threats to America, so I don’t expect there to be too much globe trotting in this series.

With the MCU tie-in comics, and eager fanatics, with have a very good knowledge of what the main character, Agent Coulson, and the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. are doing between Iron Man (2008) and Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) which pretty much tells us that this show will be set long before the events of the first Iron Man film. Alternately, Coulson’s death could be retconned and we could see the show being set after Avengers with him leading up a small team of covert agents, but this seems unlikely.

Agent Coulson, portrayed as S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury’s right hand man, will most likely be the head of this team/group reporting off-screen to Nick Fury. Seemingly unimpressed by the heroes he meets in the MCU movies, it makes sense to think Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. have dealt with all sorts of strange cases and super people.

“ You think you're the only superhero in the world?” – Nick Fury, Iron Man (2008)
Through-out its history, S.H.I.E.L.D. has had numerous agents portrayed in the comics with several going on to be superheroes in their own right. Any number of these could possibly make an appearance and I would presume many will but most probably before they progress to their superhero status.

Though, despite the story focusing on human agents dealing with superhuman things, I wouldn’t discount superheroes entirely. When Nick Fury brought the Avenger Initiative to Tony Stark in the first Iron Man movie, Tony Stark had only just come on to his initiative, Bruce Banner was on this list but Thor and Abomination had not appeared yet and Captain America was still MIA. Would Fury really start an initiative with only two active candidates?

One could argue his best skilled agents (Hawkeye and Black Widow) were on that list, which would make sense for why Hawkeye has a suit and trick arrows, but Black Widows name must have not appeared on any list Stark originally saw for obvious reasons. Either way, Fury specifically stated that there are other superheroes in the world which makes you wonder who exactly S.H.I.E.L.D. has come across in the past.

Another aspect that we may see explored later through the series would be the sub-divisions, like SWORD and ARMOR, and alternate government versions, like the UK’s S.T.R.I.K.E.

” Sorry, maam, we're the good guys!” – Agent Coulson, Thor (2011)
The TV series would also be the place to show case the minor and obscure characters of the Marvel Universe that would never carry the threat of a movie villain; specifically characters relating to the film superheroes that would never get used otherwise.

I think we can expect to see S.H.I.E.L.D. deal with sleeper-agents of HYDRA and possibly terrorist threats like the Ten Rings. We could also expect them to have run-ins with other spy organisations like the Red Room and MI-6.

A popular trend with the bad-guys in these types of shows is for them to be mad scientists creating monsters, and I think this is where Roxxon could be best used; as a private firm secretly trying to create super soldiers.

As every this is only my own thoughts and opinions, but who do you think will show up in the TV show? and what are you hoping to see when Marvel brings the MCU to the small screen? Sound off below.
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Kong - 10/25/2012, 2:39 PM
I like some of your ideas but others aren't good. Why would it take place BEFORE Iron Man. That would just ruin the purpose of tying it in to the MCU. Agent Phil Coulson will somehow come back to life and even though he'll probably headline the show i would hate for it to happen. I like coulson, but a show about him would get annoying and they'd try to hard to be funny.
CorndogBurglar - 10/25/2012, 3:01 PM
I dont get your logic in thinking this will be set BEFORE Iron Man.

Anyway, iron fist and luke cage would be awesome candidates to appear. Introducing Carol Danvers is almost a must. Daredevil. The list could go on but I would love to see a two part episode, or maybe even an entire season focusing on SHIELD trying to bring in The Punisher.

Villains will most likely be Hydra, but I think AIM would be good also. There can always be individual episodes showcasing lesser villains.
TheLokey1 - 10/25/2012, 3:12 PM
According to the tie in comics, shield has the leader in captivity. I'm really hoping he breaks out and we ge to see some hulk action!
Paulley - 10/25/2012, 3:28 PM
@Corndog AIM is set to appear in Iron Man 3 as some sort of public company no less.

@Red Hood/Corndog: I say before Iron Man because we know where and what SHIELD/Coulson was doing between then and Avengers so there is no place to fit a show... and id prefer them not to retcon his death.

@TheLokey1: just dont see Marvel using Mark Ruffalo/Hulk and a headline villain like Leader for a tv show... but that does sound good for TIH 2.
FirstAvenger - 10/25/2012, 3:46 PM
Agreed MrSteiners. How Coulson comes back is yet th be seen.
CorndogBurglar - 10/26/2012, 3:09 AM
@ paulley

Okay, well that makes sense, but has anyone even sajd if Coulson will be in the show? If they did, i must have missed it.
Paulley - 10/26/2012, 3:40 AM
“There was never going to be a 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' show without Agent Phil Coulson!” - Feige

“He's headlining the S.H.I.E.L.D. show and always was.” - Whedon

SomTingWong - 10/26/2012, 6:38 AM
maybe it will be set within and before phase 1.
ellispart3 - 10/26/2012, 12:02 PM
"Whedon said that he didnt want COulson to be back in a silly illogical way, that means him being ressurected..."

silly illogical way doesn't negate ressurection. We are talking about Whedon, maker of the buffy seance ressurection, buffybot, angel's return from hell, spike the ghost, and the reappearance of colossus. Silly and illogical would be coulson walking into a room and no one saying sh!t about him ever being dead or having died. Personally, I wouldn't mind the show being set prior to Iron Man I. No one said it can't be set in the MCU and having to be post Iron Man. They can simply exist in that universe and lay more ground work for the origin of everything the MCU has set up.
xcrementus - 10/27/2012, 6:40 AM
just putting it out there.....SHIELD guest starring MI:13 and Pete Wisdom. HELL YES!! Coulson & John Lennon the Skrull, it writes itself.
xcrementus - 10/27/2012, 6:42 AM
ooo don't forget other guest characters:

Jessica Drew
Agent Brand & SWORD
Clay Quartermain, Contessa, GW Bridge

So many things they can do with this damn show, it boggles the mind!!
DrDoom - 10/28/2012, 8:34 AM
We are likely to see BORING.

Unless they go with the classic SHIELD rogue's gallery, in which case, GODZILLA!

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