Before the MCU’s new Disney Plus series Loki was even released, everyone knew it was going to be a success. And it was. Fans of the charming and morally questionable character were overjoyed to see her story unfold in a longer form. People were also incredibly excited when the series appeared to be the first to solidly explore the idea of an MCU multiverse.
Fans have suspected this kind of scenario for many years, and the buzz around it has especially increased after the events of Avengers: Endgame, where the team manipulated time and space to defeat Thanos. Loki has so far built a ton on the concept of delays within the MCU, and what happens when beings do things they’re not supposed to do. The rules are set and new things about the universe are introduced in each episode.
It’s a kind of science fiction that you don’t see often. Time travel and multidimensional travel is a difficult thing to explore in art. However, it has certainly been done before. One of the most successful and longest-running sci-fi shows of all time actually uses time and space travel as the fundamental plot of its series. This show even shares a few other similarities with Lokiincluding a charming track that takes many forms, the existence of a very useful companion, and just general vibes. Of course, the show is none other than Doctor Who.
Doctor Who is nothing less than a phenomenon, and certainly an iconic spectacle. It is a British production, broadcast by the BBC since 1963, making it the longest-running sci-fi show of all time. The show tells the story of the Doctor, an alien who is the last of their race and who appears to be human. They travel through time and space in their spaceship named TARDIS which looks like a blue phone booth. Throughout the series, 13 actors have starred with the first woman to do so, Jodie Whittaker, reigning as the current Doctor. Doctor Who is really a fairly important part of British culture and has maintained a great popularity, with a cult of Whovians across the world as well.
The first and most notable similarity Loki has with Doctor Who besides the general plot is the main character. Loki as a person is in many ways similar to the Doctor, and not just because of his British accent. A key element of The Doctor is that they always change form, including gender, which is something explored a lot in Loki with the main character. While the exact story of why there are many different forms of the Doctor compared to many different forms of Loki is quite different, the effect is almost exactly the same. And the characterization of these leads is similar as well, with the two often relying on a lot of wit and charm to get them through certain situations.
The existence of a companion in Doctor Who is absolutely an integral part of the show. The Doctor is never without a close friend (usually a woman) and a partner to help him on his missions. Although this is not explicitly stated in Loki, this has often been demonstrated. Loki has had two main “companions” in this series who have a similar goal: Sylvie and Mobius. Mobius is of course the wisest member of TVA who sees something different in Loki compared to the other variations, and Sylvie is actually a different form of Loki himself. They are quite different characters, who serve a similar purpose. They give Loki ideas and give him information about himself. They also serve as a friend, or maybe even a romantic interest. This is exactly what a companion does, in Doctor Who.
Finally, the vibrations and visuals of the shows are a bit alike. It’s not a bad thing, and there’s no accusation of plagiarism or anything like that here, but it’s true. From the first trailers to almost every episode, many fans of Doctor Who and Loki similarly have noticed the similarities. The two series somewhat fulfill a similar role and occupy a similar place in the lives of viewers. This seemed especially noticeable in episode three of Loki when Sylvie and Loki were traveling together and talking. Their dialogue and setting, and even the images and effects, made it seem like it could easily have been an episode of Doctor Who.
Fans of Doctor Who and Loki will inevitably overlap. Superhero fans often love science fiction as well and vice versa. If someone has been a huge fan of one show and still gave the other a chance, it could be a big mistake. The shows have enough differences to stand on their own, but the similarities are glaring and hard to ignore. Even at the level of tone and general use, these two series fit together wonderfully and all comparisons are well justified.
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