... Really rather enjoyed that - despite the fact I'm going to be learning that Channel 4's Online catchup service pales in comparison to the iPlayer, ughhhh. Spoilery thoughts beyond the cut.

It was a pretty serviceable pilot, introducing and setting up the characters swiftly enough that you get their 'deal', as well as a few plot points (they're totally going Life Model Decoy with Coulson, right? Or that at least a Coulson died in The Avengers, and this is another version?) and themes to pick up as the series progresses. Also, surprise Ron Glass! SHEPARD BOOK, CAN WE GET SOME MORE SHEPARD BOOK IN THIS SERIES, PLEASE.

Anyhoo, yeah, accursed Channel 4 On Demand or otherwise, I'll keep watching. It's kinda like Torchwood but pre-watershed and less welsh (and, honestly, at least comparing it to series one, less prone-to-awfulness). Bullet point thought rundown:

  • There was enough Whedon smart-alec-ness from all the characters that it made for a quick, enjoyable script, but not enough that it was just clever sexy people standing around being clever and sexy. It was something I was slightly worried about watching the trailers, but the balance was good.
  • Kinda depressing, but funny, that when they show Mike's kid looking at the Avengers toys in the shop window, everyone has their Marvel Diamond Select figure... except for poor Black Widow, who's represented by her wee 3.75" Marvel Universe figure (it's not even the movie version!). I just want a Diamond Select-quality Black Widow figure, dammit.
  • It's genuinely enjoyable to see a genre show like this that has a strong female presence in the cast. None of the female characters so far feel ancilliary or 'there for the dads' or anything, so far they all seem interesting and capable. Not surprising from Joss Whedon, I guess, but still, I liked that it wasn't just a bunch of manly men running around with a token lady. And, despite reading some contradicting posts after the US launch, it didn't feel like it was just 'the Agent Coulson show featuring Agent Coulson, and friends who are not Agent Coulson!' - it felt like we got to see the team, rather than just him specifically, even if he does have a prominent role.
  • I do not like Agent Ward (he probably has a first name, but I didn't catch it) though. He just seems so... bland. Asshole-ishly boring. Sure, they're setting him up as the grunt of the team and he's got a dark past and whatever, but I dunno. He didn't feel remotely likeable. I'll give him some time to mellow out now that he's surrounded by his new team, but for now, no me gusta.
  • This show needs about 90% more Colbie Smulders. I know she probably won't show up much more in this season, because of HIMYM, but I want her to, so bad. If this gets to season 2, I'd love for her to become a more permanent cast member.
  • One thing that bugged me - how was the actual plot thread resolved? What did the fancy alien gun do (Fitz and Simmons said something earlier in the episode about what the gun did, but it was so quick, and they were talking over each other, I had no idea what it was!) that incapacitated Mike, rather than having Agent Bland sniping him? Why didn't Mike blow up? Where did Ward's Sniper go? If they had the option to use the alien gun, why didn't they just give him that straight away rather than have him set up with a normal, lethal rifle? I sort of got what they were going for (whatever Fitz and Simmons cooked up, worked), but it felt very muddled and unclear.
  • FLYING LOLA. Loved it. It was cheesy, it was very comic-booky, but I don't care. Just the right amount of Cheese I want from a series like this.