Joss Whedon’s “Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Shimmies and Shines.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

After the all conquering success of Buffy and Angel, everyone in Hollywood was desperately praying for Joss Whedon to fall flat on his face. And sure enough, both Firefly and Dollhouse duly bombed.

But Americans do it seems have second acts after all. As a matter of fact, all of them do. It was just Fitzgerald who proved to be the exception. And sure enough, Whedon bounced back commercially with the spectacular box office smash Avengers Assemble – reviewed earlier here. And then, on a completely different scale, with the much admired Much Ado About Nothing – reviewed by me earlier here.

The ludicrously overlooked Firefly prequel "Serenity".

The ludicrously overlooked Firefly prequel “Serenity”.

And now he’s married those twin strands and has returned to television with yet another Marvel product from their perpetually revolving assembly line.

There was really only one of two ways that this could have gone. Either it would be one more depressing dilution of what was once an interesting idea in the never-ending pursuit of pointlessly amassing impossible to ever spend quantities of pieces of coloured paper with numbers on them. Yes Star Wars, we’re looking at you.

Or, somehow, we’d get a series that managed to marry the panache, wit and exuberance of Buffy to a whole new family of characters.

Remarkably, actually amazingly, he’s given us the latter.

It’s some time in the future, and in the aftermath of a disastrous War the world has been reduced to a primordial struggle between the forces of good and evil, but a world in which the technological advances have rendered that battle all the more perilous. And fun.

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy.

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy.

Impeccably structured, and plotted with the kind of confidence that produces regular surprises, as ever it’s the smart, fast and constantly witty dialogue that both propels the action forward and gives the show a gloss that completely sets it apart. You can get a good sense of all of which from the Agents Of Shield trailer here.

Whether or not they manage to maintain that dazzling quality throughout the rest of the show that they managed to squeeze in to the pilot only time will tell. But the first episode was flawless. And if you missed the Joss Whedon space age trip first time around, jump on board.

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