IT DEBUTED to more than 12 million viewers in the US last week, but does Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. live up to the hype?
With a pilot helmed by The Avengers director Joss Whedon, and a central character already well established in the Iron Man and Thor film franchises, SHIELD has carried the weight of Marvel fans' expectations during its production.
The show premieres in Australia on Wednesday and is set in a post-Avengers world where the public knows about aliens and other super-powered heroes, and villains, after the "battle of New York".
It follows the not-so-dead Agent Phil Coulson as he assembles an elite team for the worldwide law-enforcement agency SHIELD, which as we learn from Brett Dalton's character stands for Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division.
Cobie Smulders also returns as Agent Maria Hill, who appears to know more about Coulson's miraculous and secret brush with death than she's letting on.
They call people with powers who are unknown to the organisation as "unregistered gifteds" and are on the trail of an underground group called the Rising Tide, whose aim is to stop the US government from covering up "the truth".
The action scenes are well-filmed, with production values rivalling plenty of movies. Just in the first few minutes of the first episode we see action in an unidentified US city and Paris.
There are helicopters, huge black stealth cargo planes, bomb blasts, James Bond-like cars, futuristic technology and save-the-day drama.
The show does a good job of balancing action, very serious spy talk and a cheeky sense of humour similar to what Whedon did so well in Avengers.
Only time will tell if Australian audiences embrace the show. But if they like it even half as much as The Avengers then Seven might have a new hit on its hands.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. debuts on Channel 7 on Wednesday at 7.30pm.
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