To the very end, the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. producers were good sports about the knocks the show has taken over its seven-season ABC run.
Heck, executive producer Jeffrey Bell, while doing press for the Aug. 12 series finale, sported an “After a Rocky Start…” T-shirt — which he said was a nod to the left-handed compliment that seemed to open even the most laudatory of the show’s reviews over the years.
During said press tour, Bell and co-showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen were asked if there was anything they wish they could have done differently. As it turned out, S.H.I.E.L.D. director Mack answered that very question in one of the series’ very final scenes, when he alluded to “all those years in hallways.”
“I wish we didn’t live in so many corridors because we had no money,” Bell shared with reporters. Tancharoen concurred, saying, “Everyone’s like, ‘Why are they back in these gray halls?‘”
To be fair, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s 13-episode farewell run had a promising start on the “gray hallways” front, by taking the cast outdoors (!) to a New York City lot dressed for the 1930s. Subsequent early episodes found the agents staking out a sun-dappled 1950s diner and engaging in fisticuffs outdoors, in the daytime.
Even OG cast member Chloe Bennet had to hail the escape from drab corridors, telling TVLine in a season preview, “You’re telling me! Every day we were literally in those hallways, and if a scene was two minutes long we were there [filming] for seven hours. It was really, really exciting for the cast and the crew to get out of the stages and get out of the gray space hallways, because it does affect your mood.”
Alas, S.H.I.E.L.D. by midseason had largely relocated its agents to nondescript, endless corridors, whether back at the subterranean Lighthouse base in the 1980s, scurrying around the oh-so-gray Zephyr, or exploring an alien cruiser in the finale.
“The great thing about being in space is you don’t have to go on location,” Bell said, “because we can’t afford to go on location.”
That said, the EP did point out to The AV Club that the aforementioned Chronicom cruiser boasted “pretty, pretty sexy corridors.”