Dear Mr. Whedon,
First of all, let me welcome you to the ABC family. All of us here at the network are so excited to have you at the helm for our new series, S.H.I.E.L.D. The way you revitalized the Marvel franchise with The Avengers is widely admired, so who better to bring the expanded Marvel universe to the small screen? I understand you have run some other, “cult” television series in the past, and while I can’t say I’m too familiar with them, I’m sure with this new show you’ll finally be able to do something that people can get passionate about.
To get down to business, I have a few little tweaks for you about the rough cut of the pilot. There are just a few things that were a little confusing.
- During the meeting scene, when the secretary asks if they’re expecting the Captain to attend and the agent replies he’s on his way, let’s clarify for people who are new to these characters that we’re talking about Captain America.
- Why is the intern sent to go get suspenders as a welcoming gift for the Captain? Is it because he is from an earlier era? Clarify.
- I wasn’t really sure what to make of the yoga class scene where Coulson keeps winking at the camera every time the instructor instructs him to search for serenity. Is the yoga instructor a love interest you’d like to introduce? If so, I think that the innuendo could be stronger.
- Props note: In the third scene, when he looks at the map and says that it’s “shiny”, it seems to have more of a matte finish. Let’s use perhaps a shinier object for that.
- That long, lingering tracking shot of the wind blowing a leaf around while tears streamed down Coulson’s face was really beautiful. But what is he sad about? Does he miss the yoga instructor?
- Let’s revisit the design process for the Helicarrier. Right now it looks like a hunk of junk.
- Budgeting received an invoice from the costume department for several thousand dollars’ worth of brown coats. Are those for a future episode?
- The scene where they’re talking about possible moles in the organization is great, but it goes on a little long. I don’t think they need to go over so many files. Maybe even just the first three: Delta 5, Agent X, and Saffron.
- Just to make you aware, we’re making some changes to the security staff assigned to your set. A few of our officers have evidently developed some kind of stress or alcohol problem, since they’ve been filing reports of a haunted-looking teenage girl lurking in your air vents. When questioned, they said that she “was the studio”. We’re putting them on leave immediately, so you’ll be seeing some new faces around. I’m sorry for their unprofessional behavior.
- When the technician starts swearing at the malfunctioning computer, I can’t quite understand what he’s saying.
- When Coulson gazes at the sky, and says “I’m going to find you, serenity, if it’s the last thing I do,” it was a really nice callback to the yoga instructor plot. I’d love to see more of that.
Thank you for all of your hard work. I’m sure that you’re just dying to move on from those little cult projects of yours and are ready to do something more accessible and profitable. Welcome aboard!
Rod Pennyworth, ABC