Atwell On “Agent Carter” First Avenger Links

The first big new TV series of the year is Marvel’s “Agent Carter” which kicks off with a two-hour premiere on Tuesday. As we know, it’s a period piece set after the events of “Captain America: The First Avenger” and following Peggy Carter in the years immediately after she lost the love of her life – Steve Rogers (Chris Evans).

Doing press rounds for the show, star Hayley Atwell tells TV Line that a major element of her character revolves around that relationship with Steve Rogers and how she copes with life in the wake of his disappearance:

“(Much of who she is now) stems from her relationship with and her love of Steve Rogers. I think she found in him the love of her life, the greatest man that she’s ever known in terms of his character and his values.

And in that grief we see her own personal struggles and her own kind of exhaustion, but also the determination to carry on his work. You’re seeing someone who has her own demons and her own character flaws, and she’s having to struggle with that while keeping up this facade of a put-together, perfect agent who can cope with everything.

But there’s a cost to that. Everyone on the planet is only strong until a certain point, everyone has a trigger, and this season really shows that. [In Peggy] we don’t have someone who is superhuman in her abilities. We see her cry, we see her private moments, we see her loneliness. We see the emotional and psychological costs of the position that she’s in and the loss that she’s had of Steve.”

The show also deals with her finding Howard Stark’s ‘bad baby’ inventions before they end up in insidious hands. It’s something that could be a gimmick, ala the ‘Freak of the Week’ that many shows on The CW employ. However, Atwell says the limited eight episode run means there’s no filler and that this will be much more interconnected and even darker than you may expect:

“It’s not like, ‘Let’s find this ‘bad baby,’ now let’s find that ‘bad baby.’ It goes to a much deeper, darker place. I was absolutely shocked and delighted when I started to read the later episodes and see the direction we’re going in. That’s one of the advantages of having only eight episodes, is that it’s not diluted over 22. This has a very strong story and is essentially four films.”