With the new MCU-series now streaming on Disney+, you’ve probably got some of your Loki goodness already, or you’re about to because #LokiWednesdays are here to stay, well, for 6 glorious episodes!
On Tuesday night, we headed deep into the vaults of TATE Modern and it felt somewhat fitting, considering Tom Hiddleston’s Loki has also been taken somewhere beyond, that this would be our first experience of the new series, and what an evening it was! It wasn’t your standard screening, let alone the first for over a year, because we entered the room to see a giant four-sided screen that looked like the Tesseract and, after episode one, Mr Tom Hiddleston himself surprised us all with an appearance – as well as a series of room selfies!
As well as feeling incredibly lucky to be invited, it was also revealed that we were alongside over 40 NHS nurses, volunteers and guests who had continued to run the remarkable, vital film charity MediCinema during COVID-19, mainly from London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Disney+ invited them to thank them for their tireless work during the pandemic and taking care of patients at socially distanced film screenings in the hospital cinemas run by MediCinema. This is a charity I’m always in awe of, find out more about their outstanding work here, and they received a huge round of applause as a deserved ‘thank you’ from the rest of us.
After the opening Loki episode was screened, MTV UK’s Becca Dudley hosted a Q&A, where Tom considered his character’s progression since his inaugural bow all those years ago, and how pleased (and surprised) he was that they wanted a series for him, considering his timeline in Infinity War and Endgame. He was very graceful and charming in his answers, and just as overwhelmed as we were by a return to such an event. That wasn’t all though, because he was immensely proud to introduce us all to co-star Sophia Di Martino – who was absolutely lovely – and then they screened episode two!
So, after the joy, laughter and sadness of WandaVision, and the huge narrative and cultural discussions/leaps of Captain America and The Winter Soldier, I can confirm that Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is truly underway – but could Loki (the series) keep the invention coming?
Once again, they’ve reinvented the approach they’ve taken and *whisper it* even after the TWO episodes we’ve seen, it’s still packed with secrets and we know so little, but we have seen a huge shift in Loki’s character, as we go deeper into his psyche, even if he’ll always remains the God of Mischief. The distinction with this series though is that Owen Wilson’s Agent Mobius has his number, and so the world Loki knows isn’t the same to everything he’s seen before. He doesn’t have the same tricks to begin with because we’re in the world of the Timekeepers now.
If you haven’t seen Episode 1 yet, then there’s some slight spoilers here but – for me – it felt like one of those that sets us up for everything else to come. It broke down huge moments for the character, almost like a ‘Greatest Hits’ of Loki and sometimes the tone felt a little unsure, but I can promise you that once you get to episode 2 (and no spoilers here), it certainly settles into its pace for an even deeper and entertaining experience, as the chemistry flows effortlessly between the cast. If you’re a fan of Douglas Adams, Mad Men, Doctor Who and – yup – Jurassic Park (the cheery animation reminded me of Mr DNA!), then you’ll see echoes of those concepts within the new world of the Time-Keepers but there’s also unique, exciting and clever moments all their own – in only a way that the MCU can achieve.
Marvel have made it clear with their films and shows that these aren’t just superhero adventures and those of us who’ve stuck with it, and let’s be clear that’s almost everyone – right?! These are genre inventions of their own, this time with an aesthetic of the aforementioned Mad Men and the world of Douglas Adams, while the Time Variance Authority (that’s the TVA) offer up stylish bureaucracy for the era and also introduce us to the sacred nature of time-lines, and the reason Loki is here – because they’re not happy that he’s disrupted the natural flow of time – after he stole the Tesseract and leaped out of 2012 in the events of Avengers: Endgame. There are also great roles for Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Wunmi Mosaku, who are both vital to the story and I hope we get to see a lot of them and their place in the TVA world moving forward.
Yes, there’s a lot to take in here. Yes, there’s an evil Loki Variant they’re tracking but how? Why? What does this mean for everything else? What happens in Episode 2? Oh, you’ll get early answers, but I have a feeling we’ve got so much more to come, and it feels like those two together are absolutely huge in their own right! Loki’s got a new Glorious Purpose and, sure, we’re on board to see where Marvel take us this time…