As the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going more and more space-bound with films like Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: Infinity War, it is perhaps not that surprising that the TV equivalent, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., will also explore a strange new world with tonight’s two-hour season premiere which is called “Orientation.”
Yes, friends. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are going to space.
“We try to a little bit follow in the wake of the films as they plot new territory in the MCU,” Executive Producer Jed Whedon said to us at a press Q&A held earlier this week. “Last year that was magic with Doctor Strange. We felt like Ghost Rider all of a sudden fit into our show in a way that we didn’t necessarily feel like he would have before, tonally.”
“This is us expanding out even further into the world of space which they very much are living in now in the features. It’s the great unknown and we hadn’t explored it yet,” Whedon said — a sentiment shared by the character Mack in the season premiere.
Whedon’s wife and fellow showrunner, Maurissa Tancharoen, agreed it was the right thing to do. “Every year we reset the series, and this year we definitely knew that it would be the most giant reset to date. And that just creatively across the board for everyone, art direction, all of it, our sets, you’ll see an overhaul.”
“It was exciting,” Whedon said. “It’s like a new challenge for everybody who has been working on this show for five years, and by exciting I mean too much work for everyone involved.”
“Orientation” is also a great jumping on point for new viewers, as the characters are as clueless as the audience is as to what really is going on. “Why not put them all on the same page together? No one knows anything,” he said.
“Last year was about tearing everybody apart,” Whedon said about the character dynamics of the season. “We spent a lot of time doing that. We started the year with everybody with different job assignments, Daisy was off on her own, we brought them together but only to break them apart again in the framework. They were not only losing each other but losing themselves. So our goal this year was, okay, we know all these people, we end the last year with them all going to get food and just being like, Daisy makes this speech that says, ‘If we go down, we go down together. We’re in this together.’ We wanted to create a situation where that would occur. And then, putting that family together in an intense situation will end up causing drama internally, inevitably. That was our goal, what can we do with our people? We know them so well, we’ve spent this many years with them, let’s throw them on the craziest roller coaster adventure we could think of. That was how we approached the year: let’s drop everybody, them and the audience, right in and let everybody go, ‘What the … ‘ You can fill in the blank on the last one,” Whedon teased.
The Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season premiere airs December 1 on ABC.