TV review: Loki
It is confession time.
Thanks to his many embarrassing talk show appearances, the name Tom Hiddleston conjures phrases such as "tiresome show-off", "overeager" and "not him again".
But it has to be said, Marvel really knows how to cast the right person for a role.
Loki is the third Disney+ series for Marvel after WandaVision and The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, and could well be the best of the bunch so far.
And yes, part of that is down to Hiddleston 100 per cent owning the role of the Norse God of Mischief.
It is even more of an achievement considering episode one was far from action-packed. In fact, a lot of it is Loki and his Time Variance Authority (TVA) case manager Mobius (Owen Wilson) sitting in a room and talking.
This Loki is not the reformed character who left us in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War but the arrogant enemy who escaped in 2019's Avengers: Endgame (technically, 2012's The Avengers), and he has a lot of catching up to do.
GOD MEANS NOTHING
Hiddleston gives us a run through the emotions as he realises what his future self is responsible for and that being a god means nothing to the TVA. (This also means we get some comically empty thrusts as he tries to get his powers to perform.)
But aside from the acting, this is another Marvel masterclass in design.
The offices of the TVA are a triumph of 70s kitsch and claustrophobia. An airless collision of brown, orange and beige under an oppressively low ceiling.
There are also some fantastic retro-style cartoons to sugar the elephantine exposition pill the first episode needed.
And in those 51 minutes, the balance of Wilson's laid-back assuredness and Hiddleston's need to be recognised makes this an even stronger pairing than Wanda and Vision or Sam and Bucky.
This series is already looking like the true catalyst for opening up the Marvel multiverse, so brace for twists galore. After all, was that Agent Peggy Carter being arrested in the background?
SCORE: 4/5 stars
STARRING: Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku
DIRECTOR: Kate Herron
THE SKINNY: Having escaped from the Avengers in New York, Loki (Hiddleston) is picked up by agents of the Time Variance Authority (TVA), an agency tasked with cleaning up time and avoiding a multiverse. While Loki attempts to negotiate his release, TVA agent Mobius (Wilson) offers the god of mischief a job he is especially suited for.
SHOWING ON: Disney+