Bill Paxton joins S.H.I.E.L.D

If only to help bump up the viewership, ABC have recruited Cameron-staple and “Big Love” alum Bill Paxton for a multi-episode arc on Marvel’s so-so small screen effort “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”.

The “Aliens” and “True Lies” star will play Agent John Garrett, a character likely familiar with those who’ve scanned the pages of the “Elektra : Assassin” comics.

Garett, who will show up in episodes (likely 4) airing February or early March, is a former field agent who has now secured level 7 access.

“We wanted to bring in a rough-and-tumble former cohort of Agent Coulson [Clark Gregg] with a little bit of attitude and cigar-smoking swagger,” says executive producer Jed Whedon. “When Garrett got his promotion to Level 7, he refused to sit behind a desk and doesn’t like the formalities of S.H.I.E.L.D. He’s going to help Coulson solve some mysteries and is not afraid to rig an explosive or two.”

“He is the type who wants to stay out in the field no matter how high-level he gets,” executive producer Maurissa Tancharoen tells TV Guide, who had the scoop on Paxton’s anointment to superhero-ville.

Though a big fan of the comic-book movie world, and anything it produces, I just haven’t been able to ‘get into’ “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” – and in fact I skipped the past couple of episodes. Bringing Paxton into it, however, might be enough for me to give it a second go – and I guess that’s ABC’s tactic here. Paxton’s always been good value; recent years he’s done some terrific work though – “Big Love”, “Hatfields & McCoys”, “”.. even “2 Guns”, in which he played the screwloose villain.