Which Buffy episode is the spiritual predecessor of Agents of SHIELD?

Joss Whedon reveals all, plus he takes us inside of the main villain of The Avengers: Age of Ultron... just as a new contender emerges for the Scarlet Witch. Steven Moffat drops some hints about Doctor Who's future. Terry Gilliam opens up about Zero Theorem. Plus True Blood, Arrow, and Teen Wolf hints galore. Spoilers now!

Top image from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Writer-director Joss Whedon explains his plans for the title villain:

“I knew right away what I wanted to do with him. He’s always trying to destroy the Avengers, goddamn it, he’s got a bee in his bonnet. He’s not a happy guy, which means he’s an interesting guy. He’s got pain. And the way that manifests is not going to be standard robot stuff. So we’ll take away some of those powers because at some point everybody becomes magic, and I already have someone [a new character, Scarlet Witch] who’s a witch… [I’ve got] to ground [the character] while still evoking that guy. As a character I love [Ultron], because he’s so pissed off.”

[EW]

While the part of Quicksilver appears to more or less belong to Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson at this point, it’s still an open question who will appear alongside him as the Scarlet Witch. The rumored original choice, Hanna and The Host star Saoirse Ronan, has reportedly passed on the role, and the new major contender is another young actress who has attracted similar critical acclaim: namely, Martha Marcy May Marlene star Elizabeth Olsen, who has some big-budget turns coming up in the latest Godzilla movie and the Oldboy remake. If Olsen did become the Scarlet Witch, she would reportedly need to affect a “European accent” for the role, which really does seem unnecessarily vague, geographically speaking. [Bleeding Cool]


Catching Fire

Here’s a new banner featuring Katniss and Peeta. [Coming Soon]

Which Buffy episode is the spiritual predecessor of Agents of SHIELD?


The Zero Theorem

With the universe apparently allowing him to actually complete a film, Terry Gilliam reveals the ideas behind his latest gloriously crazed vision:

"When I made Brazil in 1984, I was trying to paint a picture of the world I thought we were living in then. The Zero Theorem is a glimpse of the world I think we are living in now. Pat Rushin’s script intrigued me with the many existential ideas he had incorporated into his funny, philosophic, and touching tale. For example: What gives meaning to our lives, brings us happiness? Can we ever be alone in our increasingly connected and constricted world? Is that world under control or simply chaotic? We’ve tried to make a film that is honest, funny, beautiful, and surprising; a simple film about a complex modern man waiting for a call to give meaning to his life; about inescapable relationships and the longing for love, full of quirky characters and sparkling performances; raising questions without offering obvious answers. Hopefully, it’s unlike any film you have seen recently; no zombies, no caped crusaders or alien spacecraft. Actually, I might have lied about that last item. Having not worked with a budget this small for several decades, I was forced to work fast and instinctively, pressured only by time and money. We relied on the freedom to spin on a dime, to make outrageous creative leaps. The results surprised even me. I’m proud to have been part of The Zero Theorem."

And a poster is below. [First Showing]

Which Buffy episode is the spiritual predecessor of Agents of SHIELD?


Doctor Who

During a recent appearance at the AdLib Comedy event in Edinburgh, Steven Moffat took some questions from the audience. While he wouldn’t rule out the return of Georgia Moffet as the Doctor’s daughter Jenny—“The door is open, it's entirely possible”—he did say fairly unequivocally that neither Romana nor the rest of the Time Lords are coming back anytime soon:

“I have actually given no thought at all to Romana. The Time Lords are dead in my mind. They died.”

He also offered this response when asked about Peter Jackson, who has said on multiple occasions that he would like to direct an episode:

"He's serious about it. We talked at The Hobbit premiere - he just wants a Dalek. So we'll give him a Dalek and he'll direct an episode. I think he'd like to us to go to New Zealand. I think it's entirely possible."

Finally, he tackled what is by far the most important question I have about Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor – specifically, whether he will speak with a Scottish accent. Moffat responded, “I’d be very surprised if he didn’t,” which doesn’t confirm that the new Doctor will sound Scottish, but the odds are good. Then again, what else was Moffat going to tell an Edinburgh crowd? [Blogtor Who]


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Joss Whedon explains that the off-screen presence of superheroes in the show’s world won’t be ignored – quite the opposite, perhaps:

“This is basically a TV series of ‘The Zeppo’ [episode of Buffy], which was a very deliberate deconstruction of a Buffy episode in order to star the person who mattered the least. The people who are ignored are the people I’ve been writing as my heroes from day one. There’s a world of superheroes and superstars, they’re celebrities, and that’s a complicated world — particularly complicated for people who don’t have the superpowers, the disenfranchised. Now obviously there’s going to be hijinks and hilarity and sex and gadgets and all the things that made people buy the comics. But that’s what the show really is about to me, and that’s what Clark Gregg embodies: the Everyman.”

[EW]


True Blood

Showrunner Brian Buckner explains how the mutated virus will shape season seven:

That's the work of next season. Specifically, viruses do mutate and that's part of why we gave ourselves a six-month time passage. This is a disease that, as Dr. Overlark (John Fleck) explained when he was injecting Nora (Lucy Griffiths), can be spread in any number of ways. It has spread around the world very rapidly. Bon Temps is a microcosm of what's happening out there in the world. The vampires who are infected, their appetite for human blood is increasing. They need to feed more often in order to survive this disease.

Have vampires essentially overrun the world at this point?
It's a major outbreak. You see how people got upset about Bird Flu and no one really had it. The idea here was to isolate Bon Temps to make it the town we know vs. the world so we don't have to leave Bon Temps in order to get story. They can only depend on one another; that's what Sam is talking to Andy (Chris Bauer) about. Andy obviously has his own feelings about vampires right now and whether or not they can be trusted. Sam's point is we don't have a choice but to trust them. Without their help, we can't protect ourselves. It's a very uneasy alliance. I don't want to suggest that it is conflict-free. Of course, we promised a pretty big payoff at the Bellefluer's bar.

He also discusses whether the coming season will fill in some blanks with respect to Alcide and Sookie’s courtship:

Whether or not there will be flashbacks, we don't know at this point. The writers will be back in the room starting September 3 and we'll start to figure this all out. I think there is fun in, "How did this happen?" but you will see what sparks flew. It's not like we're going to skip over all the Sookie-Alcide fun. In terms of going back and filling in those six months, that I don't think we'll be doing, but the audience will see what they want to see.

What does this mean for Bill next season? Will he seek redemption in order to get Sookie back?
Yeah, but I don't think it's manipulative. One thing that I've heard a lot online, and it applies to Bill too, is this idea that characters can change. Lettie Mae (Adina Porter) does not have a trick up her sleeve. It's genuine. People can feel incredibly ashamed of the way they've treated their children down the line. I know my mother does, right? Lettie Mae does not have Hep-V. She's not trying to infect Tara and trick her. There's not a plot thing behind every character motivation. To the same effect, Bill has truthfully seen the error of his ways. When Lilith left him, he lost his powers and all of his feelings for Sookie came rushing back. The real question is, yes, this season is about redemption for Bill, but can he be forgiven? We're establishing a new triangle — with Eric clearly unresolved, but not part of the picture in Bon Temps in the short term — the Sookie, Alcide, Bill triangle is going to be in play.

There’s still a ton more at the link. [TV Guide]

Elsewhere, Buckner previews what’s ahead for Tara and Pam next season:

“As the audience heard Pam say in Episode 1, life is long — especially for vampires. She also told Tara that this is not going to be a love story. But I would urge [fans] to be patient. Because if the show delivers on the audience’s expectation every week, that’s not storytelling. Where’s the surprise in that? These [story] threads can be picked up later. I want to be able to tell more interesting, circuitous stories at times and not always deliver on the junk-food promise of the show. “

[TV Line]


The Walking Dead

Referring to a wall that has pictures of all the show’s dead regular characters, executive producer David Alpert had this to reveal about season four:

"There’s going to be a whole bunch of people added to the wall. The great thing about this show is that literally every character is on the table... We have no one that is untouchable… I think we’re going to see an evolution in the walkers. There’s a whole bunch of new walkers — and we’ll see an evolution of the threat of human-on-human. Dangling the possibility of civilization will make people much more desperate and willing to do things that would have previously been unthinkable."

[Den of Geek]


Arrow

Executive producer Marc Guggenheim previews the second season:

Ah, let's see, what can I tease… well, I'll tell you, the show has actually gotten bigger. Which, quite frankly, if you'd asked me last year if I thought that was possible, I'd have told you "No", because we were really straining at the bit just to produce the show given the time and budget that we have, but everyone's come back and we're really firing on all cylinders. The second season I think is bigger and it's a bit more focused in terms of the storytelling. We've made a variety of different character changes; Tommy's death, and also the various changes we've made to Laurel's status quo, and Thea's status quo, will basically connect those characters more to Oliver's world. Same thing is true for Felicity, so that everything is revolving around Oliver in a much tighter way than it was last year. Last year we would occasionally end up with characters siloed off in their own stories, either Thea and Moira, or Tommy and Laurel. And this year, the narrative of the show has gotten a lot more focused. And I think it's made for stronger, better episodes.

[Ain’t It Cool]

Here’s an interview with Willa Holland, who plays Thea.


The Vampire Diaries

And here’s an interview with costar Michael Trevino.


The Tomorrow People

Here’s an interview with costar Aaron Yoo.


Orphan Black

Here are some descriptions of possible scenes in the second season, courtesy of SpoilerTV:

In casting sides for Orphan Black season 2 (episode(s) not specified), Sarah and Kira are hiding at Cal’s cabin in the woods (Cal is a new recurring role being cast). A policeman who is a friend of Cal's stops by asking about shoplifters he's looking for (a little girl, her mother, and a man) but Cal says he hasn't seen them. Cal and Sarah become lovers. Later, Cal kills someone in order to protect Sarah and Kira, and the three of them go on the run. Paul wasn’t specifically mentioned in these scenes involving Cal/Sarah/Kira, and neither was Mrs. S. (Sarah’s foster mother Siobhan) or Felix, so I don't know whether the "man" seen with Sarah when she was shoplifting was either Felix or Paul. The casting sides also didn't reveal how Sarah gets Kira back.

[SpoilerTV]


Teen Wolf

Creator Jeff Davis talks some more about what to expect from the second half of season three:

[Scott] He certainly is going to be alone for a little bit and he needs to be a leader of his own pack. Derek, in his own way, has ended a chapter here. For me, the theme of Derek for this season was the idea that his power is truly to endure. You can throw anything at him – and that’s why we put the flashbacks in – you can throw anything at Derek and he will survive. He endures. He always endures and I think he really becomes a hero in this last episode. And when he says, No, he won’t kill Deucalion it seems like such a good moment for the character. He’s a predator but he doesn’t have to be a killer. His mother’s words, which he repeated to Scott, actually, in the first season. It feels like we’re ending a chapter of his story as well and he now has the capacity to put aside his moral ambiguity and become a true hero in a way. Where Scott had to learn how to become a true Alpha, Derek had to learn and become a true hero.

We see them holding hands together at the end but are Ethan and Danny going to be together for awhile?
We have some very interesting stuff [in 3B]. Their relationship definitely evolves and you begin to see some dramatic conflict grow out of it, yes. I would not give up on that. I’m very happy with that scene in the motel [in episode 306] and the way it came out. I thought they had real chemistry, a spark. That last moment [in the finale] when they’re holding hands in the hallway…which is a scene I directed. Sometimes on the shoots we have to split up second unit work and that was one of the scenes it was nice to direct in the finale. I remember panning from Lydia and Aiden to Ethan and Danny and I was selling it as completely normal for the world.

[The Backlot]


Additional reporting by Katharine Trendacosta and Charlie Jane Anders.