Agent Carter Episode 1 Now is Not the End review

By | 13/07/2015

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Last night I finally got to see Marvel’s Agent Carter when it arrived on UK TV screens courtesy of Fox. I had all but given up on the show arriving and I was left hoping for a DVD box set release.

So just in case you don’t know what it’s about, it is a follow up to the first Captain America movie and features Hayley Atwell’s British agent character Peggy Carter working for the secretive SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve) in the post-war world of 1946.

We get some clips from the Cap movie to remind us of her relationship with Steve Rogers.

Peggy goes to work in her New York secret office (apparently in the Bell telephone company building). Her secret way in through the switchboard room reminds me a bit of Jennifer Garner’s secret way to work to SD6 in Alias.

But while Peggy wants to continue the important work she did in the war she finds herself relegated to secondary duties because she is the only female agent in the office and she is always forced to stand her ground.

For example, she arrives at work and all the men are heading off to the briefing room. Her boss tells Peggy to cover the phones. Peggy lifts a phone and says “Rose, forward all calls to the briefing room.” She turns to the boss and says, “Covered.”

It turns out that Dominic Cooper’s Harold Stark character (also from the Cap movie and father of Tony) has gone missing. Apparently he’s making his high tech weaponry available to enemies of the USA. Peggy doubts this but her concerns are ignored by the men. Later Stark approaches her in secret and asks for her help to recover his “bad babies” that were stolen from his vault. He offers Peggy the assistance of his butler Jarvis as backup.

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Along the way we meet some seriously creepy assassin guys who have had their voice boxes removed. One of the assassin guys makes reference to something called Leviathan. Possibly a new villainous organisation?

There were a few reminders of Alias. I’ve mentioned the secret entrance to the office. Also Peggy goes undercover in blond wig disguise to a nightclub to steal back the Stark weapon design. Peggy slips into an American accent effortlessly. Also there’s the fact that Peggy is doing missions unknown to her employers.

The production design is wonderfully retro. The makers have gone to a lot of bother to source old cars and dress the sets and cast in 1940s fashion. At one point Peggy goes to look at an old file in the file room and it’s all pleasingly filled with boxes and paper files.

There’s also a 1940s diner Peggy uses to meet with Jarvis. I note that the the waitress there is played by Lyndsy Fonseca from Kick Ass and notably the TV show Nikita which also was heavily influenced by Alias.

The episode ends with the revelation that Jarvis and Stark apparently have some ulterior motive for getting Peggy involved in the shenanigans.

All good fun. I look forward to the next seven episodes.

Oh, by the way, fox have got Hayley Atwell to do these little q&a links during the advert breaks. They are also quite fun in their own right. For example when asked what Marvel character she would most like to team up with Hayley suggests Black Widow as they could both “kick arse”. Love it.