On this episode of “Doctor Who”—wait, no, wait, it’s actually “Loki,” sorry, sorry. And I guess “Doctor Who” has yet to do a buddy sci-fi action flick where the Doctor is paired with a gender reversed version of himself. Or herself. Or themself. Though let’s not give the BBC too much credit. (Wow, “Loki” must play differently if you haven’t seen “Doctor Who;” maybe not better but less derivative).
But this episode has Tom Hiddleston teaming up with his enchanting “Variant” (variants are something like time traveling duplicates but it’s not clear yet), played by Sophia Di Martino. They fight and bite and fight and bite, bite, bite and fight, fight, fight. Until the episode decides it’s more fun to have them bicker and moon over their dead moms. They have different dead moms because of how the variant thing works. Will it be explained? Will Rene Russo do a cameo? So far unclear.
But if Russo does show up and meet Di Martino, I’m sure she’ll find Di Martino enchanting. Emphasis on the enchanting. Lots of enchanting going on. (Are people familiar with Thor comics getting the enchanting thing, I don’t want to be too spoiler or assume they’re going to do something big since they played their big cop out already on “WandaVision”).
It’s fine? Like, definitely the best episode. Because of Di Martino. And the strange planet of humans she and Hiddleston find themselves on. It’s the year 2077 and humans are interstellar miners. One assumes they’re not humans from Earth… it’s more of that lazy Marvel movie space stuff. So it helps when Hiddleston and Di Martino aren’t around any of the nameless supporting players. Plus there’s a good cliffhanger.
Though it’s only a good cliffhanger because the episode’s too short and paced so as to distract from being too short.
No sign of Owen Wilson in this episode except the recap; Gugu Mbatha-Raw pops in for very Judge Dredd-y scene but it’s literal seconds before Hiddleston and Di Martino are on the run through time again. Their gadget breaks and they don’t have a Waverider, a Tardis, or a Ziggy so they’re in trouble on this doomed planet.
There’s some decent fight scenes—definitely director Kate Herron’s best action directing in the series so far—but only for Di Martino. Hiddleston’s fight scenes are still bad. So when they’re fighting, it’s uneven. But Di Martino’s butt-kicking scenes are great. There are some truly terrible CGI composites again (seriously, do they not buy Autumn Durald the right plug-ins for Adobe Premiere or whatever) and the production design suggests Kasra Farahani really liked Joel Schumacher’s Batman movies… but… it’s better than ever before.
Thanks to Di Martino. Having her be so much more charming, so much more enchanting than Hiddleston’s ever been… kind of weird.
Also, kudos for enthusiastic bi pride (academic at this point, but still very enthusiastic).