Loki is well and truly underway with episode 1 now on Disney Plus. And it certainly sets up a wild ride: we've been introduced to the Time Keepers, the TVA (that's the Time Variance Authority for the uninitiated), and the concept of the Sacred Timeline – and that's just the start of it.
The Marvel show sees Tom Hiddleston reprise his role as Thor's troublesome brother from the movies, and events start right after he steals the Tesseract in Avengers: Endgame. Loki is then reprimanded by the TVA, the people in charge of monitoring the timeline of the universe and making sure everything is in order (except "Loki" and "order" don't often go in the same sentence). Teaming up with the TVA's Mobius M. Mobius, played by Owen Wilson, can Loki help clean up the Sacred Timeline – or is he about to make everything a whole lot worse?
GamesRadar+ and Total Film spoke to Kate Herron – director and executive producer on the show – about what's in store for the rest of the season.
So, with the Time Keepers, you're playing with universe makers in the series. Was there ever a chance you could have broken the MCU? Did Kevin Feige have to rein anyone in?
Kate Herron: Honestly, I think the great thing was that Kevin Feige always was kind of like, everything's on the table if it works for the story, and if it works for the story, we'll work it out. And I assume that means the ramifications it would have across the other projects, but no, the timekeepers and the TVA were already in the project when I joined. But I think for me, it was just honestly really exciting. Because we're getting to set up this whole new part of the MCU. And across the show, I think, honestly, that it was always like, go weirder or be very ambitious with the story. I mean, they just wanted us to tell the best story we could for Loki.
Episode 1 clarifies a lot regarding the timeline and how the TVA keeps it in check. So basically, the multiverse is coming. How weird can we expect things to get in Loki? And how many timelines and multiverses will Loki jump through?
KH: I would say in terms of the weirdness, I don't want to spoil stuff for anyone, but on the weird, we have a talking Southern clock in the first episode, and that's like the status quo. So that's our status quo, and so things are gonna get pretty weird.
Fair enough. And I mean, speaking of weird – Loki is D.B. Cooper. Are there any more surprising moments in history that Loki is part of, or perhaps was nearly part of as they didn't make the final cut?
KH: I know that Marvel, in the early days, I think they were sort of throwing around ideas. Like, there was a disco Loki running a club. But there were all these different routes they were going down. But I think for us, it was more like you said, there's that really fun moment in episode one where we see Loki as D.B. Cooper, which I thought was genius. And then beyond that, I think it's really just, what are the most interesting, what unexpected moments in time he could go to? So I hope that we've delivered on that and people enjoy that.
The rogue Loki variant is sort of positioned as the big bad of the series at the moment. How explosive can we expect the battle between Loki and Loki to get?
KH: I would say stay tuned. And yeah, I think there's gonna be a lot of fun to be had, for sure.
Can we expect to see any more Loki variants?
KH: I'd say for now, just the ones in question. But yeah, I'm excited for everyone to kind of dig into that story with us and see how it all unfolds.
And I mean, speaking of the talking clock and things like that, there's that retro aesthetic of the show. Were you inspired by anything in particular with that?
KH: Yeah, so I wanted the show to be like this big love letter to sci-fi because I love sci-fi. And I'd say I was pulling from lots of different movies like Blade Runner, Metropolis, Brazil, the book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Jetsons. But I think honestly, like, I grew up in southeast London, and it's sort of near where A Clockwork Orange was filmed. And there's a lot of brutalist architecture where I grew up and I thought the idea of taking that for the Time Keepers, they're like this godly-like presence, but then also marrying that up with this Midwest kind of Mad Men-style, I thought was just always really interesting because the TVA is very heroic. So I think for us, honestly, for me and the whole team, we were excited about those two styles melding together.
And then I also just liked the idea of this kind of retro-futuristic look as well, like, we have a lot of the technology and some of that, obviously, is inspired by films like Brazil, but I also used to work as a temp in a lot of offices before I got my job in film and some of those were institutions. And I just remember the computers were really old and like, everything was still on paper. And I just thought that was fun to me for the TVA, just that, you know, they're not necessarily in the future or the past. But I love the idea that the people controlling our destinies were maybe on an older computer but with a kind of futuristic slant on it. So, yes, I think that was a lot of fun to kind of dig into all of that.
While we wait for the next episode of Loki, make sure you're up to date with the MCU with our guide to Marvel Phase 4.