Agents of Shield

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Agents of Shield (S.H.I.E.L.D.) is a Marvel Sci-fi/Sci-fantasy TV series that first aired in 2013.

Transhumanist Elements

Season 1

Season 1's main transhumanist element is the re-animation of Agent (Phil) Caulson after he was killed in the first Avengers movie. This is achieved using some Science fiction and Science fantasy elements. The main Fantasy element being the use of Kree (an alien race) blood. Kree blood is also used later in the series to stop Skye (later Daisy) from dying.

Season 2

[update needed]

Season 3

Season 3 sees the emergence of the Inhumans as main characters.

Later in the season, we're introduced to a new character named Dr. Radcliffe who is explicitly stated as being a Transhumanist.

Season 4

Season 4 began to air on the 20th of September 2016. The 4th season was split into 3 main storylines which Marvel called "pods", each one with its own main story elements. Pod 1 focused on Ghost Rider, a science fantasy character, Pod 2 featured the rise of AIDA (a type of Android), and the LMD (Life-Model Decoy) storyline, and Pod 3 focused on Hydra and the simulated reality created by Dr. Holden Radcliffe called "The Framework".

Pod 1 - Ghost Rider

Pod 1 focuses largely on the emergence of the character known as Ghost Rider, but some transhumanist elements are also present including:

  • The introduction of Aida, a life model decoy (LMD) who is a cybernetic robot with human appearance created by Dr. Radcliffe (A transhumanist as mentioned in season 3) with the help of Fitz. The Dr. also mentions the events that took place in Avengers: Age of Ultron and that AI is banned. He also says Aida is mimicry technology and not Artificial Intelligence. Aida potentially passing the Turing test is also mentioned.
  • We also learn that the new director of Shield is said to be an Inhuman.
  • Pod 1 leaves us with a cliffhanger that Aida has seemingly become self-aware after reading a book that is known as the "Darkhold".
Pod 2 - LMD

Pod 2's Transhumanist Elements are as follows:

  • The story arc of Aida becoming seemingly self-aware is picked up again in pod 2 where it is hinted that Aida has created an LMD version of agent May, killed a SHIELD agent, and begun a quest to regain the Darkhold book.
  • The Darkhold is also said during the episode to be able to show man "how to live forever" and Dr Radcliffe says; "man could once and for all break the bonds of his mortal restraints". It is later revealed that Dr. Radcliffe tried to use Aida to retrieve the darkhold for himself.
  • It is also he who makes an LMD of agent May which he sends in to shield as he keeps the real agent May hostage. The LMD of agent May seems to think she is in fact herself, this may mean that Dr Radcliffe has found a way to either transfer a person's consciousness into an LMD. Episode 10 confirms that LMD May had her memories implanted from real May, this is by what is shown as "memory upload" rather than consciousness transfer. Real agent May is also placed into a simulation. It is also revealed that Dr. Radcliffe has created an LMD of himself.

When the framework is up and running, the woman whom AIDA was designed to look like (Agnes) is uploaded into it in order to save her consciousness when her biological body dies. It is not made entirely clear whether or not this is a transfer of consciousness, or merely a copy that lives on inside the framework. Agnes is later killed inside the framework by AIDA, seemingly bringing an end to her life both physically and digitally.

Dr. Radcliffe is also killed by AIDA and uploaded into the framework.

Pod 3 - Agents of Hydra

Other Future Tech

Many future tech elements are also featured during season, some of them include:

  • AR - In the form of Glasses the Shield agents use.
  • VR - Before the framework is operational, Gemma uses a headset that creates a realistic Virtual or Simulated reality. But it isn't yet calibrated properly at that point.
  • Agent Coulson also gets a new prosthetic hand that has an x-ray vision like capability.

Points of interest

Many references (Easter-eggs) are made to science fiction movies during the season including The Lawnmower Man and Terminator.