Image copyright ABC Studios 2015
The lay of the land when it comes to Marvel TV series is quite diverse and far-reaching.
Over on Netflix, we’ve got the Defenders, and The Punisher; Freeform will soon play host to upcoming teen-romance/coming-of-age story Cloak and Dagger; The Runaways are showing on Hulu; Legion and The Gifted are currently performing well over on FX; and ABC has the ongoing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series that grows from series to series.
However, it is with that last network that we find a problem, as, alongside Agents, ABC also hosted Captain America: The First Avenger stand-out and S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s First Lady, Agent Carter – until it was cancelled.
The decision to cancel Agent Carter, which starred fan-favourite Hayley Atwell in the titular role, had been mixed with unpleasant comments from audience members who rallied against Marvel for axing the series.
Some new comments made by Atwell, however, put the source of the blame towards ABC.
Speaking to The A.V. Club, Atwell says;
“It’s a shame the network cancelled it and wanted to put me in something more mainstream.
You know, Marvel didn’t want it to end.
There’s lots of online campaigns to bring her back. Fans loved her.
I think it was just a network economical thing: ‘Let’s put Hayley Atwell in something more mainstream that’s less genre-specific and see if we can get higher ratings.’
And unfortunately, that isn’t, as an actor, anything I’ve got control over.
But maybe, in small ways, characters like Peggy Carter very slowly pave the way for it to be possible for other female-led narratives to exist.”
Atwell went from Agent Carter to ABC‘s Conviction, with the new programme being picked up the same day the network cancelled Agent Carter.
However, as fate would have it, Conviction was also cancelled following its initial run of thirteen episodes.
In the meantime, Atwell has been very positive when talking about her relationship with Marvel;
“I really love the people that I work with in Marvel,” Atwell mentions. “I’ve known Louis D’Esposito [Marvel co-President] for eight years now, and Kevin Feige; they’re really good fun, and they’re good guys.
And it’s a franchise that works because it has that tongue-in-cheek element to it that I think Joss Whedon also brought in.
When I kind of look at anything now, I look at it in terms of the genre and the context and who its audience is. And I feel that Marvel have their winning formula at the moment of creating superhero genre that everyone wants to see.”
And when it came to looking back at her time as Agent Peggy Carter, Atwell said;
“Peggy’s such a lovely character. I am kind of playing her with my eyes closed, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t play her again, because I like what she puts out into the world.”
Agent Carter ran for two seasons back in 2015-2016 and followed Atwell’s Peggy Carter as she worked for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR), a predecessor to SHIELD. Carter was the secret agent dealing with new threats rising from the ashes of World War II and took place shortly after the events of 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger. The series was cancelled due to “diminishing ratings for the show’s second season.”