Loki director Kate Herron is no stranger to episodic TV, having directed the critical hit Sex Education a couple of years ago. Still, some homes and a high school do not a whole separate universe make, so it’s a fair assumption that she—like nearly anyone tasked with the role—could face a fairly steep learning curve when it came to tackling the level of world-building necessary in creating a Marvel project. And yet, as Herron told us for the video above, it was a fairly simple transition. As she relayed:
Before this, I done a show called Sex Education, which is like a drama comedy. In that, we were almost setting up a world because it’s this heightened teen world. So there were definitely things that I learned on that that I took to Loki— even just basic stuff. Like I remember saying to my producer “we’re going to need at least three hallways that we can film on,” just so it looks like different levels....In my pitch, I made a massive document where I broke down everything from look to design to story to characters, and I just came in with questions.
Herron’s quest for world-building extends beyond just flashy sets and cool outfits. With the production team, she thought about the implication of props and technology, with some of the ideas not making the cut:
I think for me, with the world building—it’s even basic stuff, right? Like the technology. Within the TVA, I had a very specific idea of “I think it’d be cool to have this retro-futuristic look” to it. But at the same time, how does that technology connect? Like our TemPad, for example, is sort of the main bit you see our characters use across the show. But originally there was a thing called a Time Twister that used to be a separate thing. Me and Russell Bobbitt, who did the props, we were like, “Actually, let’s just combine those and make it one because it’s a lot more slick. Blocking-wise, it’s a lot easier to capture someone pulling one thing out.
So it was very new things like that. And then obviously the bigger thing was “what is this office like that exists outside of space and time?” That was exciting to me and it meant taking inspiration from the comics. They had these amazing rows of infinite desks in the comics that go into the horizon. I basically was like, “I want to pay homage to that and have that idea in there.” But then also, I love sci-fi and I just wanted the show to be like this big love letter to it. So we’ve got references scattered across the whole thing to different sci-fi movies that hopefully fellow sci fi nerds will enjoy.
New episodes of Loki stream every Wednesday on Disney+.
Image credit: Marvel Studios