Peggy Carter’s finally gotten her due within the Strategic Science Reserve, but now she faced with another universal question: between her professional and personal lives, can she have it all?
The second season of Marvel’s “Agent Carter” on ABC will find Peggy (Hayley Atwell) wrestling with that dilemma as she shifts locales to 1940s Los Angeles, with Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy) and Agent Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) in tow. Executive Producers Tara Butters, Michele Fazekas and Chris Dingess met the press at Comic-Con International in San Diego to offer some hints at what Peggy will face in a landscape that includes both glamorous Old Hollywood, the burgeoning scientific breakthroughs of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a unexpected element of classic comic book canon.
To what degree would you say that Peggy’s able to have more respect and show more leadership qualities in Season Two?
Tara Butters: So at the end of last season, she sort of got applause from her coworkers, so the nice thing about her position this year is she’s not having to hide her agenda. She’s not like conducting a secret investigation that she’s trying to hide from SSR — which is not to say that everything’s awesome in the office, and it’s not to say that everybody respects her. I think Thompson is a really interesting character — Chad Michael Murray — because knows what she can do, but he’s got something to be afraid of her too because she knows his deep, dark secret about his Navy Cross. So that’s a complicated relationship. But yeah, she’s got a little [more respect] — We felt like we told that story.
Do you feel more freedom now?
Butters: It’s not so much about freedom because I didn’t feel like that was constraining in that it was a great story to tell, but that felt like a completed story. What’s the new story to tell? And part of her new story is she got kind of work squared away, what about her real life outside? Is there a life outside? Not so much right now. [Laughs]
What kind of pressure do you feel introducing new men into her life? Captain America’s a tough act to follow.
Michele Fazekas: Well, that’s actually — that character needs to feel different.
Chris Dingess: The thing we need to remember is she fell in love with the skinny Steve. She fell in love with him before he became the Cap that the world knew. So when you’re coming up with a character, it’s really about finding those qualities. It’s not necessarily this hunk of a guy with a shield. It’s what’s inside.
Butters: But we also were sort of conscious of: let’s makes him different. Let’s make somebody she dates different that Steve. It’s not that she’s going to fall for the same guy all the time. So it’s fun to sort of think about who would that be.
Are there new elements you’re adding from the MCU or comic book canon?
Butters: We did one of them. There’s a thing called Darkforce that — Blackout was shown on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” He was sort of created by Darkforce. It’s part of the Dr. Strange universe. So that’s going to pop up and cause problems.
How is moving the setting to Los Angeles changing the DNA of the show?
Dingess: A lot, I thought. The show has a different vibe to it. We’re trying to embrace, a little bit, the elements of film noir.
Butters: Glamour. I would say that it changes the tone of some of it, but at its core, it’s still the same show. It’s still fun, and it’s still intriguing — part of what we’re looking at as touchstones like “L.A. Confidential” or “Chinatown.” What I love about those stories is you start with one little crime that doesn’t seem to be anything. And then as soon as you start to dig into it, you find this whole web of conspiracy. It just lends itself so great to ten episodes, and you really kind of get into some interesting places.
We know some of the men follow Peggy to Los Angeles, but will some of the women follow her as well? Like Angie or Dottie?
Butters: We can’t confirm. I will say we hope to see some familiar faces.
Stay tuned to CBR News for more on “Agent Carter’s” second season.