» » Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Pilot (2013– )

Short summary

S.H.I.E.L.D. puts together a special team, led by Agent Phil Coulson, to track down a mysterious man with special abilities and the young computer hacker that's encouraging him to reveal himself to the world.

Simmons calls their mission a "Journey into Mystery," which was the title of the comic that debuted The Mighty Thor. The character was so popular, the book was eventually renamed for him.

In the 1960's in the early days of the Marvel Comics Universe, "Lola" style flying cars were often seen in S.H.I.E.L.D. related issues. This is why Coulson said "People tend to confuse the words "new" and "improved"."

The aircraft and team are referred to as "SHIELD 6-1-6". In Marvel Comics continuity, the baseline universe is referred to as Earth-616.

There is a reference to Project Pegasus. In the Marvel Comics Universe, Project Pegasus (Potential Energy Group/Alternate Sources/United States) is a secret US research project into alternative energy sources and a containment program for various arrested supervillains. It was referenced in The Avengers (2012) via signage in the bunker housing the Tesseract.

During the 15 day shooting schedule for the pilot, a splinter unit traveled to Paris, France to film part of Agent Ward's introduction. They had one day to prepare, one day to film and one day to return.

All of Cobie Smulders's scenes were filmed on the final day of production for the pilot (February 11, 2013) to accommodate her shooting schedule for How I Met Your Mother (2005).

The S.H.I.E.L.D agent to whom Agent Hill entrusts a Chitauri artifact wears the name-tag Skadden, Kirk. The same name appears in a newspaper's obituary notice in Runaways: Gimmie Shelter (2018).

Ron Glass was a main character, Shepherd Book, in the show Firefly, which was created by Joss Whedon.

The license plate on "Lola" is California, 681 PCE.

J. August Richards is part of the "Whedonverse", having previously starred in Angel (1999).

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Der Bat
    I had high expectations from this season coz of 3 main reasons. 1. Joss Whedon is the writer and director. 2. Huge fan of Marvel universe. 3. Will be able to see avengers storyline continuing every week.

    First I would say nice casting choices for new agents. Agent ward was bit shaky but I guess its such a character only. Beautiful transition from Avengers and IM3 storyline to TV series. Agent coulson and Maria Hill are as authoritative as always though Agent Hill was looking more beautiful in Avengers I must say. The pilot should have been 2 hr long with a little more focus on character building. I found many loopholes like when the blast scene was rebuilt how come the doctor who survived isn't anywhere in the scene or even mentioned when in fact she was in the same room. Then also if SHIELD discovered that it was a lab, why they didn't questioned the survivor about what she was doing there....

    Other than that I really liked the mystery surrounding Agent Coulson's escape from death and Agent Hill mentioning about something he should never know. My expectations from Avengers 2 have increases many folds already coz of this storyline continuation and even before Thor2,CA2, and GoG is even out. I dnt know how Joss is going to manage all the content into a 120-130 min long movie or is he gonna consult Peter Jackson about making 180-210 min awesome movie.

    Anyway I liked the series and will continue watching every week. I'll rate it 8 taking 2 points from loopholes and little less character building.
  • comment
    • Author: Gann
    I read somewhere that this show had the highest viewer ship for a paid TV drama pilot in the last 4 years, and it is obvious why. Marvel has created an interesting and fantastic franchise, and a television show based off the SHIELD organization is a great concept. It is obvious from the production value that the show has a high budget, and a ton of effort must have gone into the first episode. The sets and props look fantastic, and the special effects are actually really good.

    Unfortunately, my praise ends here. Every other aspect of the Pilot is average at best, and in the end the show fails to live up to the hype and quality that the Marvel movies have achieved. There are two main reasons for this; the writing and the acting. The writers had a good idea. Get a group of young SHIELD agents together, and show the daily adventures of these agents as they fight to hide and assist the many "hero's and monsters." Its such a good concept that it is hard to get it wrong, but they do. The story of this episode is very much an introduction to the characters (as most pilots are), but the plot seems to wonder and jump from place to place with little overall plot being laid out. This is only a minor issue this early in the show, but still doesn't help to improve this specific episode. Of course with this type of television show, the most important thing is to have deeply interesting characters, as we are expected to spend hours with them. Unfortunately, each of these agents are written have the same sarcastic, slightly humorous personalities. In the end, they all seem like the same characters in different bodies. This would be bad on its own, but it is worse because the joke attempts fall flat every time. When a characters only interesting quality is the humour, it should at least generate a chuckle from the audience if it hopes to succeed. This is especially obvious with characters like Skye, who is written to be so over the top it is almost awkward to watch.

    Some of the blame can be placed on the actors as well. I love it when they cast unknown actors because it allows the actors to really become the characters without being related back to previous roles. But the actors have to be good as well, and none of the agents can pull off the role. They don't have a lot to work with because of the bland writing, but it is still obvious that they are quite amateur.

    Despite these two major issues, there is still some interesting action and visuals, and the concept can still go places, but this leaves us with a show that is only average, and I really don't see an only average show surviving for very long. It is much too soon to say whether this show will stand the test of time or not. Who knows, maybe in the next couple of episodes the characters will find their place and the story will start to go places. But for now, my expectations have been lowered greatly (not that they were that high to begin with after the trailers). I give this episode a 4/10
  • comment
    • Author: Onaxan
    Right after The Avengers a short film was made by one of the top producers by the name of Item 47. It was only a 12 minute adventure which picked up after the New York alien attack was cleaned up and followed a cash needy young couple who discovered one of the alien weapons. Naturally one wouldn't have big expectations on a small budget with no major stars or even superheroes, but it was great. It was a very entertaining, well cast and acted short flick. The reason for bringing this is up is to prove that having a superhero or A-list actor in the cast does not mean failure or success for this type of spin off.

    I was hoping and expecting something along the same lines, maybe even better with the infused budget and success of The Avengers? No such luck at all. Right from the start I kept asking myself, "who did the casting for this?!?". And it didn't get any better, just worse. Much, much worse. Once the whole cast had been introduced I couldn't stop thinking this is a bad joke or some girlfriend, nephew or family member of a Hollywood big wig must have gotten involved. At one point it got so sick I had to literally pause the show and look up on IMDb who is responsible for this catastrophe. After a quick check I wasn't disappointed and discovered Joss Whedon had gotten his brother and the brother of his wife involved who are well known for their work on, um . . . wait for it . . . nothing!

    Now I'm not sure how involved they are on this, but can only surmise with Josh heavy in the works on Avengers 2 that he's left the bulk to family. Either way, it has to be assumed due to the lack of any originality whatsoever.

    Here's an idea of what was going through the "creative" minds when they came up with the debacle of a cast:

    Motion #1 - we first have to get Phil (Clark Gregg) back from the dead to get things going. (Don't worry, here in Hollywood when someone goes up to a working actor known for only one role which was killed off even if he thinks it's a dumb idea he'll tell you it's the greatest ever.) He'll have that role everyone knows and loves him for and we'll give him some jokes which fall flat and take away some of his appeal.

    Motion #2 - Leading man - let's get some guy who's young and handsome and looks like he just graduated from an Ivy league college and the most dangerous thing it ever looks like he's done is row a boat in the rain.

    Motion #2 - Leading lady - obviously like everyone else in the cast she must be very pretty, but let's take it a notch higher and make sure looks like she just got off the cheerleading team and would be crushed if she were to brake a fingernail. We'll make sure her makeup and hair is always perfect and give her a really sassy personality with non-stop stupid jokes to keep everyone in complete disbelief.

    Motion #3 - We'll need two super nerdy folks for the technical and gadget department. How about we get actual children for these roles? Naturally they'll be attractive too, but we'll make them British so that people think they're smarter you know, like that Potter crowd? Maybe we'll even get some of that fan base too! Let's also make sure they have non stop stupid jokes flowing out of their pieholes to make everything even dumber and less believable.

    Motion #4 - We'll need your cliché standard and completely stereotypical and unoriginal Hot Asian chick who doesn't talk much, but knows martial arts and wears sexy, leathery skin tight outfits and kicks ass. - check.

    If the horrific casting and acting in this aren't enough for you, the writing will make you want to vomit and jump off a bridge. To give you an idea how unoriginal this is, Phil drives an old '50s Corvette and there are countless unnecessary dumb jokes alluding to the fact that it's not your average classic car. (HINT HINT) I kept begging them in my head the whole time to please not go full shameless copying and turn this into a Men In Black car, but they were able to do even worse! Instead they decided to blatantly copy the flying DeLorean in Back to the Future! I can only assume the genius crack team looking for the teenage audience thinks they haven't seen it yet and this will all be new and exciting?

    Side note to Joss Wheadon:

    Dear Joss: Although it is commendable to try and include family and friends in your artistic endeavors, please refrain from doing so in the future. In fact, whomever cast this should be thrown out of Hollywood and the entertainment industry altogether. Also, even though I'm a Disney shareholder and want them to succeed please do not let them force feed their shameless marketing tactics down your throat to cheapen things even more. It was sickening. If any big wig execs try and give you a hard time or "creative input" just remind them about The Lone Ranger.

  • comment
    • Author: Little Devil
    'Heroes' deliberately took the super hero thing out of its typical colorful Marvel/DC comic context and placed it in our 'real' world. It made super heroes real, and this worked amazingly well in the first season. I'm a big Marvel fan, and what I don't like about 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' and most other MCU products is that they try to do something similar, they try to make it all more simple, toned down and 'realistic', and by doing so they end up pulling the 'marvellous' out of Marvel.

    There are some complaints I have with the pilot - generic looking and acting cast/characters (with the exception of Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, who's just astoundingly likable), uninspired plot and action, forgettable dialogue, but this is my biggest complaint: the characters and the story don't really feel like they are part of the Marvel world that I've come to know from the comic books. It's not because there aren't any popular super heroes there (yet), it's the whole 'air' of the show, all the elements and contents seem replaceable, it feels like any other TV show.

    I'm left with the feeling that someone created a totally regular TV show and fit in some stuff from the Marvel world, when instead they should create their characters and plots according to that world. Which would mean for example to create characters like Nick Fury, Dugan, Agent 13, Victoria Hand, comic Maria Hill - colorful people that you hate, appreciate, respect or despise (I mean it's freaking S.H.I.E.L.D., they are a nuisance and their agents act like dicks most of the time!). Which would mean to include the complexity of the world, background, politics, powers, magic etc.

    I read from many fans 'but well, it's Marvel, so I'll give it a try', and that's my standpoint as well, but imo there's more to Marvel than just including some elements from that world. I'm missing this certain Marvel magic that surrounds the comic books (and some of the movies).

  • comment
    • Author: Risky Strong Dromedary
    OK so like you I am a big super hero fan and that means Marvel as well as DC and that means avengers and ironman and Thor and all the rest. It also means the excellent ARROW and the good no ordinary family RIP. Also Buffy was a super hero and I loved her and angel who was a anti hero monster lol Do i love AGENTS OF SHIELD AVENGERS GODS AND MONSTERS UNIVERSE HEROES SUPER CHA CHING FRANCHISE America FOR EVER etc. show? It is OK so far.

    Sadly OK is not OK for a pilot especially of this pedigree so lets talk HEROES. Is this better than HEROES? NO no in any way is it better in the pilot than any episode in season 1 or maybe 2 or 3. Is it better than ARROW pilot? NO WAY 100% or Smallville? Nope.... So what is it like in quality then???? It is like No Ordinary Family but without a strong cast.

    We have a very wooden Jock type and some very bad UK types who resemble jar jar lol and some generic cliché kung fu Chinese lady (who is a goo actress from other shows wasted here) and then we have some hot teen babe who is just annoying but hot so meh and then we have the parents.

    Agent C and Coby from that comedy show and they rock as they are film stars so Im wondering why the show is not just about them...and maybe the hot new girl? who could become less annoying???

    Time will tell but it is no ARROW and no HEROES but then that is OK if it becomes its own show but currently it HAD NOTHING IN IT which was new or unique or even cool over cheesy.

    No villain was established worth any thing to mention and the heroes were mediocre and I never felt that they were a team or the real heroes just less super which I thought the show would be more about.

    To soon to call but it currently lacks identity and with this director and writer and franchise...........well all it has is FRIKEN CHARACTER!!!! so for them to lose or drain it or distil it to appeal to everyone (much like CPT America) they have lost something in the process which all good MARVEL and super hero and shows need to survive to season 2.

    Arrow has it in spades (amazing show, so much more than this so far). Actually you know what this show reminded me of? THE CAPE LOL as its campy and kind of funny and fun and cheesy but not cool and not clever.

    To early to call but will need so much more to be worthy of its legacy. All they need to do is kill off everyone but Agent C and Coby and we have a hot show :D
  • comment
    • Author: Mave
    So it will be cancel pretty soon ! :(

    You take away Marvel, Whedon, and the expectations, and you have one of the best pilot for a large public TV show in the last 5-6 years.

    It begins "Alias" like, with the story reuniting with the marvel movies ! Character introduction is OK, and I agree that the pilot could have been 80mn. Many of the actors are OK too, with one way over the other, and another one a little above.

    But as always, it's the mix of convention with smart-ass jokes, and the background of a geekie fantasy, that got me. This is really easy and nice to watch. Maybe not the best TV show of the last 3 years, but an anticipated future guilty pleasure !
  • comment
    • Author: Nejind
    ...I mean "Dr Streiten" (Ron Glass).

    Agent Coulson thinks he had recovered in Tahiti from his wounds at the hand of Loki, but Shepherd Boo.. Er, Dr Streiten indicates something else is going on, is Coulson a Life Model Decoy? That's the first thought that came into my mind.

    We see the apparent beginnings of a "New hero". J. August Richards is Mike Peterson, a guy who can crawl on walls like Spiderman and save people from exploding buildings.

    But a young Hacktress, Chloe Bennet as "Skye" runs a huge conspiracy- busting operation- from her Van. She sees is all happen, and tracks the guy down.

    But Mike has also shown up on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s radar, and Agent Ward (Brett Dalton) is enlisted to grab the guy, before Skye's Hacker Group does.

    But what SHIELD does not know is that her "organization" is a one-woman op. I say, giver her Apple iOS 7 and let HER Jailbreak it! This woman has some Skillz.

    This Pilot Episode is in fact the formation of this new SHIELD operation, we have a plane with much more than a a Pilot (Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May) and a pair of squabbling British scientists, who can't get anything done unless they are pretending it is a final exam.

    This is much better than I ever thought it could be, I can already see the threads of a conundrum beginning to form right in this Pilot.

    If anything, they have piqued my interest on exactly how Coulson survived Loki's Wand.

    Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk and Black Widow are all part of this, will they be making pilgrimages to this show? I hope so, but even without such gimmicks, this show stands on it's own.

    But what about Mike Peterson... His "super powers" are related to something we saw in Iron Man III. Will it leave him with a Headache - In Extremis?

    As usual, the trolls of IMDb are using multiple IDs to try to drag the rating down.
  • comment
    • Author: Dugor
    I'm a huge fan of this show and there is no way I can look at this episode impartially, it is far from perfect with some cliche dialogue, but it has a bit of everything I love about the show, characters that feel human, playing with audience expectations, setting up the ending (with the Night night gun tease in the beginning) so it doesn't feel out of nowhere and introducing things for the episode that will come into play later..if these are the aspects you enjoy of this episode then there is a good chance you will end up loving the show overall.
  • comment
    • Author: Envias
    I wasn't expecting to tune in to this show and I'm pretty disappointed I did. As all pilots, it starts out with the introduction of all types of characters but the problem lies in the fact that there is nothing really there of any type of characterization, only annoying and smug persona's. The huge error occurs with the show's leading man, Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson) whose charisma in the Marvel films is dismantled here, all his jokes fall flat and he has a straight face throughout the showing which is obviously not able to engage you or come up with any enjoyment. The cast is basically filled with all unknown actors which I don't have a problem with at all, I actually prefer it only when they actually pull it off. All performances are bland and executed with barely any emotion, this destroys all likability for them. The only time I was really was entertained was when the special effects came into play but their still nothing to brag about, the references to the Avengers will give you a grin but there are too few moments. I will give this series another chance next week but I will definitely lower my expectations which is a first for any Marvel program.

    Rating: 5/10
  • comment
    • Author: CrazyDemon
    Hacker this, Hacker that... Incorrectly used word this, Incorrectly used word that...

    Absolutely Awful.

    Women Hackers... in a TV series... That's all i should have to say.

    And it's all i am going to say...

    OK, maybe a little more... To enjoy this series, you need to dial down your IQ to 50, Ignore every little thing you know about EVERYTHING, and stick your head in a microwave on high while you are watching this big PIECE OF GARBAGE!

    In the order of what was noticed.

    1. Stupid Half-Arsed Effects 2. Extremely Horrifically Bad Acting 3. A...Female Hacker... 4. 99% of the words in the script are retarded 5. I'll kill myself if i watch this any longer
  • comment
    • Author: Fesho
    Have seen many TV Series till now. The kind of expectation it carries due to its name is no Amazing thing. This proved to be an total disappointment. After watching this the only thought that is in my mind is, It would be Stupid of me to attempt to watch another episode. The pilot should have been more detailed. The pilot was all around a person with super-powers and SHIELDS is somehow wanting to get hold of him. Upon acting department didn't like any of the characters. Smart Jokes don't suit everyone. It was Robert Downey Jr. who comfortably carried Iron Man's character and hence the liking of his character and Avengers. Total Disappointment. Please keep away from this Series.
  • comment
    • Author: Akta
    As soon as I see this drama, i have fallen in it because i am big fan of superheros. For example, Iron Men, Superman, Spider-Men, Captain-America, Hulk, Thor...etc. Anyway now i am going to talk about this drama. I said that i am very interested in this drama so i had high expectation for this drama. However, I was depressed little with the story-line. It was little weak than i expected at first time. Eventually I felt boring at the end of story. I often see superhero movies two times a weak. Compared with other superhero movies, i just want to say that this drama is interesting like other superhero movies but it is insufficient yet. In this drama, especially, I like Skye,one of the characters in this show. I personally think that she is pretty good. I was impressed by her act also her beauty. I remember the scene that she was trying to tempt Grant Ward...I like it!
  • comment
    • Author: HelloBoB:D
    Like other fantasy shows, this episode is just what I had been expected to be. It contains little bit of computer graphics. It was pretty intensive after all. However, The story-line was weak and it was little bit boring. I usually watch lots of fantasy or sci-fi movies and dramas. Compared to those, I cannot say this show is very interesting. I will take off 3 stars because of the weak story-line, and not being very interesting. Skye, one of the characters, I personally think she is very pretty. And agent Coulson, who is the actual person who appeared in the Avengers movie, was very cool. I encourage you to watch it even though i did not find this episode interesting.
  • comment
    • Author: Dawncrusher
    When Marvel said that they were going to create a TV show in tandem with their movies, I got pretty excited. This could easily allow for future links, more characters and solve any plot holes that come up during the movies while also giving great characters and stories. And they sort of did that with the first episode of Agents of Shield.

    With the characters, they first start off with bringing back a fan favorite, Phil Coulson, who died in the Avengers. That can be a great story explaining what exactly happened that brought him back. And he proved that he's a great character and good leader in this episode. His line "Don't ever tell me there's no way", I felt, was very powerful. With the other characters, Fitz and Simmons seem like a lot of fun as the science duo that make such a great pairing. Ward is just your basic secret agent and I don't see much for him other than being the trigger man and muscle. May actually really caught my attention cause our first scene with her she is quiet and sort of mysterious. Then she shows she's a complete badass when she stopped a guy from shooting Skye. There's so much more of her we can explore and I really want to see. Skye, however, was an annoying character as it really seemed she was trying a bit too hard to be funny and carefree but also a good person.

    The guest characters I liked. It was pretty awesome having Hill there as a link to the Avengers and Richards' Mike Peterson was very relatable and easy to like as a superpowered man trying to find his place in the world. The fact that some of where his power came from was Extremis made that even better as to how something very recent can be linked to the show and actually effect the plot.

    I will say the effects were pretty good, with the set design for the bus, and the appearance of it anyway. The explosions and holographic projections were also very good for a television show.

    While this show does have its mishaps, quirks and low parts, I am looking forward to more episodes.

    + Main cast esp. Coulson, May, FitzSimmons + Connections to MCU + Great guest actors + Effects were well done - Some characters didn't work esp. Ward, Skye - A bit too much references to MCU though

    Final Score 7.4/10
  • Episode cast overview, first billed only:
    Clark Gregg Clark Gregg - Phil Coulson
    Ming-Na Wen Ming-Na Wen - Melinda May
    Brett Dalton Brett Dalton - Grant Ward
    Chloe Bennet Chloe Bennet - Skye
    Iain De Caestecker Iain De Caestecker - Leo Fitz
    Elizabeth Henstridge Elizabeth Henstridge - Jemma Simmons
    J. August Richards J. August Richards - Mike Peterson
    Shannon Lucio Shannon Lucio - Debbie
    Ron Glass Ron Glass - Dr. Streiten
    Bob Stephenson Bob Stephenson - Gary
    Cobie Smulders Cobie Smulders - Maria Hill
    Ajani Wrighster Ajani Wrighster - Ace Peterson
    Aaron Behr Aaron Behr - Angry Man
    Nicole J. Butler Nicole J. Butler - Aunt Mindy
    Sarah Dumont Sarah Dumont - Beautiful Woman
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