Few shows have changed and evolved as much as ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has across its five seasons. So what’s the moment that turned the show from good to great? Star Clark Gregg has it pinned down.
In an interview with io9, Gregg (who has stars as Agent Phil Coulson on S.H.I.E.L.D. and in films like The Avengers and Captain Marvel) said the show basically started as a proof of concept to see if it was even possible to create an ongoing series that connects to an evolving film universe. It had its bumps, but Gregg said the eureka lightbulb came when they realized there was plenty of stuff in the Marvel Comics universe they could adapt themselves, stories the MCU at large was not all that interested in telling. Basically, they said “screw it.”
“I think in the early days it was very much an experiment and honestly, Marvel was really one big company, and now it’s really not. I think it’s really two separate divisions and there was a real desire to thread very carefully what we were doing with the movies. You know, at the end of Season 1 with the Hydra reveal in Captain America: Winter Soldier, it turned our show upside down,” he told io9.
“But I think when the show started to really find its best stride was when our writers decided ‘Eh, screw it.’ We’re going to take what we can get and there’s a lot of stuff [Marvel Studios] doesn’t seem to be using. They don’t seem to be using L.M.D.s, they don’t seem to be using Ghostrider or the Framework … They’ve ingeniously taken the parts of the Marvel universe — which is broad — that no one seemed to be interested in, and we’ve squeezed every drop out of them and really let our train go on its own track.”
Though the show’s ratings aren’t lighting the world on fire, the series has used that freedom to build a solid and loyal fanbase over the past few years. It’s delved into everything from Inhumans to LMDs, telling stories that comic fans have longed to see adapted for decades. The show is coming back for a shortened sixth season, as well as a seventh season that is currently shooting, so fans still have plenty of small screen Marvel adventures to come.
The sixth season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres in May on ABC.