'Agent Carter': 7 Secrets From Marvel's Next Big TV Show

Agent Peggy Carter, reporting for duty.

For fans of Hayley Atwell's "Captain America" character Peggy Carter, the wait for ABC's "Agent Carter" has felt longer than the decades Steve Rogers was frozen in ice. But as of January 6, the mini-event -- the show runs for eight episodes during the break between new hours of "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." -- will finally be here.

Lucky us, we've already seen the first hour, and its pretty much everything Peggy fans have been waiting for. Here's every non-spoilery thing you'll want to know about the series premiere.

  1. This Ain't "Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D."

    Despite airing during the break, "Agent Carter" is a decidedly different show from "Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." Not only is the tone different -- Carter is far more melancholy, and is grappling heavily with issues of sexism and feminism in a post-war era -- but the look of the shows are different, too. Where "S.H.I.E.L.D." leans into a more modern action-thriller look, Carter embraces the post-war era and looks gorgeous doing it.

    The pilot starts, and peppers throughout a fair amount of flashbacks to "Captain America," and though there isn't a one-to-one comparison, pilot director Louis D'Esposito does a pretty bang up job of aping Joe Johnston's timeless look from the theatrical feature. It's fun, but it's also gorgeous to look at.

  2. Peggy Kicks Ass

    Though Agent Carter may no longer be fighting the War with Cap and the Howling Commandos -- and in fact has been relegated to a subservient role in the Strategic Science Reserve -- Atwell still gets to kick plenty of butt. Carter essentially does everything James Bond does... But backwards and in heels.

  3. Peggy Feels Feels

    Even though she's awesome in her fight scenes and spying scenes -- seriously, if you like "Alias," or to get real nerdy the excellent comic book series "Velvet" by Ed Brubaker, you'll love this show -- Carter also gets to portray a gamut of emotions. Mostly loneliness and sadness, as this takes place soon after Steve Rogers disappears in the ice. But Atwell is not just the plot center of the show, she's also the emotional center.

  4. Peg-vengers Assemble

    Even though she starts alone, a good deal of the pilot is spent building up Peggy's cast, which, let's be honest is more of her support staff. Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) leaves Carter his butler Jarvis (James D'Arcy) -- a name that should be pretty familiar to fans of the younger Stark -- to help out, and the stuffy man-servant gets the most fleshing out in the first hour. He's not only Carter's confidant and driver, he's also the lucky recipient of the show's funniest lines.

    Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) also gets a fair amount of screen-time as an agent who's own handicaps leave him sympathetic to Carter's current place in the world; and we're looking forward to finding out more about the staff of the Strategic Science Reserve as the series continues.

  5. It's That Guy

    Beyond the main cast, though, there's a stellar guest star and supporting cast in the first episode (and Atwell promised us over the phone in an interview that will go live on MTV News in the New Year that these surprises would continue) that will make you repeatedly say, "Hey, it's that guy!" It speaks to the power of Marvel as a brand, and the appeal of Agent Carter's antiquated setting that its attracted so many genre stalwarts. Speaking of which...

  6. A Marvel-ous Universe

    No way we're going to spoil any of the Easter Eggs and cameos from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in this piece. But one thing that makes "Agent Carter" stand heads and mutated tails over other spy shows is that its squarely set in a world where there's already been one man augmented by a super-soldier formula... So really, almost anything can happen. It adds an air of unpredictability and excitement to a show that is already pleasantly tweaking the tired spy genre... Plus, for fans of the Marvel movies, there are plenty of references that will make you freak out.

  7. The Secret Is Out

    Okay, fine one hint we'll give you. When we talked to "Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." producers Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon about their mid-season finale, the duo went off about how big fans they were of comics series "Secret Warriors." All we'll say is that though there's no overt connection between "S.H.I.E.L.D." and "Carter," it's clear by the end of the hour that the "Carter" producers are fans of that series, too -- and this show is only going to get bigger and crazier as it continues. We can't wait.