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Week TV preview

Thursday preview: Agent Carter

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Marvel’s Agent Carter

Tonight at 9pm on FOX (CH 157)

Marvel’s Agent Carter

Looking like she’s stepped straight out of a black-and-white classic in the role of Peggy Carter, the incomparable Hayley Atwell returns as the fiercely driven secret agent and former squeeze of Captain America.

Superhero shows are great and all, but they are often lacking in the style stakes. Not in terms of costumes – goodness knows, the Flash has a pretty rad looking get-up going on – but in terms of general telly aesthetics. You know the drill when it comes to programmes about costumed crimefighters: generic glittering skyscrapers, glowing computer screens, sleek underground lairs, and a general vibe that can be summed up as CSI: Superhero. But this is where Marvel’s Agent Carter really set itself apart.

The makers of this Captain America spin-off have talked about taking great noir films like Chinatown and LA Confidential as their inspirations, and it really shows. This is a series with serious retro style, and Hayley Atwell is like a golden age movie queen, only with added contemporary edge. And things will be taken to a new level in season two, with Carter heading to Los Angeles in the wake of the, um, “unpleasantness” over in New York (Howard Stark going nuts and almost destroying the city would be enough to make anyone leave). So it’s a whole new beat for Agent Carter, but there will be familiar faces – including Stark’s butler, Edwin Jarvis.

What’s the verdict?

Totally embracing its period setting, Marvel’s Agent Carter is a refreshing departure from the usual comic book capers and a must-watch for fans of the Marvel universe. Look out for the Doctor Strange-related easter eggs in this season, too.