Marvel's Agent Carter, or simply Agent Carter, is an upcoming American television series, based on the Marvel One-Shot short film of the same name. It features the Marvel Comics character Peggy Carter, with Hayley Atwell reprising the role. Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it will be produced by Marvel Television and air on the ABC network. The series was officially ordered on May 8, 2014, and will debut during the season 2 mid-season break of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
In 1946, Peggy Carter must balance the routine office work she does for the Strategic Scientific Reserve, while secretly working with Howard Stark on missions.
By September 2013, Marvel Television was developing a series inspired by the Agent Carter One-Shot, featuring Peggy Carter, and was in search of a writer for the series. Actress Hayley Atwell, who portrayed Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the Agent Carter short film, expressed interest in returning as the character. In January 2014, ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee confirmed that the show was in development, as well as confirming Atwell's involvement. He added that Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas would act as the series' showrunners and a script for the pilot had been written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, writers on the Captain America films.
In March 2014, Markus and McFeely stated that, while the series had not been greenlit, Atwell remained interested and added that Howard Stark would be a recurring character, contingent on Dominic Cooper's involvement. The series, which they envisioned as a limited series of approximately 13 episodes, would be set in 1946, occurring in the middle of the timeline established in the One-Shot, and would focus on one case for Carter. Additional seasons would then advance a year and examine a new case.
By April 2014, there were indications that the series would be ordered straight to series, bypassing a pilot order, and would air between the late 2014 and early 2015 portions of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., if that series got a second season renewal. On May 8, 2014, ABC officially ordered the series, and later confirmed that Agent Carter would air between the 2014 finale and 2015 premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Later in May, Atwell stated in a interview that the series would consist of eight episodes.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 97% approval rating with an average rating of 7.9/10 based on 33 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Focusing on Peggy Carter as a
person first and an action hero second makes Marvel's Agent Carter a winning, stylish drama with bursts of excitement and an undercurrent of cheeky fun". Metacritic, which uses a weighted
average, assigned a score of 74 out of 100 based on 25 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
Brian Lowry, reviewing the two-part premiere for Variety, felt that giving Atwell her own television series was "a pretty smart bet" by Marvel, and he called the episodes "considerable fun". He noted the period setting as contributing to this, and positively mentioned the score by composer Christopher Lennertz. Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly felt that "the show isn’t as retro-stylish as it thinks it is ... the first hour of Agent Carter feels like an above-average episode of Young Indiana Jones Chronicles", noting that it tonally aims for His Girl Friday, Dick Tracy, and Alias ("A tough tonal mixture on a weekly broadcast budget, but also an ambition worth pursuing"), but praised Atwell's performance, calling her "a delight" and "firing on all cylinders". Franich was negative about what he saw to be common MCU tropes, notably "Somebody named Stark invented something dangerous; everyone wants an All-Important Glowing Thing; there’s an implicit promise that nothing will be solved for weeks/years to come." Though he was wary about the series being forced to contribute to the rest of the MCU, he did note that "Agent Carter feels pleasantly segmented off from the greater Marvel Machinery".
Eric Goldman of IGN gave the first season an 8.8 out of 10, saying, "Agent Carter didn’t need to succeed by setting up something to pay off in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – it just needed to be an entertaining, involving show. And boy, was it." He also praised the Peggy/Jarvis dynamic, the MCU tie-ins and connections the series included, such as the Black Widow program, and the strong portrayals of the season's supporting characters.