As a viewer, Ms. Marvel felt like two almost completely disconnected series to me. The first half was this really warm and extremely well-observed teen dramedy about a kid from Jersey City, her family and her friends. The second was this huge sci-fi mythology spanning multiple generations and dimensions. The two never quite came together; while I loved Ms. Marvel’s first couple episodes, the ending was a bit of a disappointment.
Now I suspect some of that disconnect between those halves may have come as a result of logistical challenges brought about by creating this show during the pandemic. In a new interview with Variety, series creator Bisha K. Ali described how “a lot is missing” from the material they originally planned and developed for Ms. Marvel that involved Kamala’s backstory and her connection to the Clandestines, the mysterious otherworldly beings who are one of the sources of her powers.
Below, Ali describes some of the material that got removed or reduced during production:
There are, like, essays we’ve written about the Clandestines, the Noor dimension, the Red Daggers and about how it’s all connected to everything else. There are huge swathes of character arcs that for the purpose of being able to make this in the time that we had, with the situation that changed [due to] COVID — I think we miss out a lot on some of the parallels between the two different kinds of families. I think we’ve missed out a lot on some of the character development for the Clandestines. I wish I could have shown you more of what we had.
As a six-hour television show, Ms. Marvel was “never going to be able to have a universe completely subsumed by another,” Ali explained, which could be why the final conflict between Kamala and the Clandestines in Episode 5 felt a little anticlimactic. Instead, Ali said, she was focused on Kamala’s growth as a character and “how she’s going to deal with these difficult situations when things get spicy when she comes home.”
The full season of Ms. Marvel is now available on Disney+. Kamala Khan’s story will continue in The Marvels, a movie crossover with Captain Marvel, set to be released in July 2023.
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