A few weeks ago, when we watched Captain America: The First Avenger, I thought it was a shame that they didn’t make one of those cheesy wartime movies for kids – or perhaps a chapter from one of those fifteen-part serials. Maybe it would have been too on-the-nose. There was actually a Captain America serial in 1942. I considered that it might be a little too easy a target for modern cinema. (Mind you, some of those serials were said to be pretty good. My father told me that he absolutely loved Columbia’s Blackhawk, which was released when he was a teenager in 1952.)
Anyway, while we haven’t got to see Chris Evans and a lot of deliberately lo-fi special effects, in this episode of Agent Carter we get the next best thing. There’s a running gag that everybody in New York and New Jersey seems to be tuned in to the Captain America radio thriller, where helpless “Betty Carver” is in constant need of rescue when she isn’t incorporating the sponsor’s advertising messages into the script. The real Peggy Carter is less than impressed.
The big climax of this story involves a completely fabulous fight on top of a dairy truck, with explosives filing the back and bullets blazing. Production-wise, I was very impressed by the stunt crew, and fiction-wise, I was impressed that Peggy doesn’t walk away from this unscathed. She’s still limping the following day, and that’s after Jarvis stitches up her leg, the kind of injury few superheroines are ever seen to suffer in teevee land.