Agents of SHIELD Tears Status Quo Apart with Move to Space


Like Sheryl Crow once told the world, sometimes a change would do you good. And that looks to be the case for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which moves to the unknown (to the show, at least) territory of outer space for its soon-to-debut fifth season.

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Though much remains to be revealed about exactly how and why the S.H.I.E.L.D. team has found itself in cosmic terrain, the new setting has been clear since this past May's season four finale. For Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. executive producer Jeffrey Bell, who has been with the series since season one, it's a whole new world for the show -- since it's literally left the world, at least for the first part of the season.

"It's a way to put our team together, because they've been so fractured over the last season," Bell told reporters earlier this week at a press event in Los Angeles. "It's a way for us all to come together and solve something together. Hopefully they'll leave the place a little better than when they found it."

For show executive producer and Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb, it's another way to reinvent the series that's managed to evolve multiple times since debuting in 2013 (remember how Captain America: The Winter Soldier caused that abrupt turn in the middle of season one?).

"My favorite line from the first episode is when Henry [Simmons] says, 'Space. Of course. It's the only thing we haven't done,'" Loeb told press including CBR. "It takes us into different environments, it enables us to change up the dynamics between the characters. You would think we've done every pattern. We'll put this person with this person and see what happens along the way, and yet they always seem to find a, 'Oh, that's interesting, let's pair these two up and see what happens.' But it all starts, begins and ends with the concept that this is a family that is trying to figure out how to survive doing their job and still get home safely so they can be together."

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Clark Gregg, as the beloved Phil Coulson, has seen plenty of change over the years for both the show and his own character (especially dating back to Coulson's debut in 2008's Iron Man). Not only does he admire the show's ability to shift -- and its latest move to the final frontier -- he acknowledges it's been key for its continued existence, which has surprised those who have been skeptical about its long-term prospects.

"Even after our most successful season by most accounts, in season four, just tear the whole thing apart and just take us to an entirely new universe," Gregg told reporters. "It reminds me of comics, when one rolls over it's a whole new ballgame, and it's really thrilling because I think if we were still basically doing the same thing as we were doing in our first 10 episodes, we'd probably be a little bored by now."

Season 5 of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 on ABC.

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