Among the many weird aspects of Marvel’s time-bending series “Loki” is Miss Minutes, the Time Variance Authority’s cheery, southern-accented cartoon clock that was specifically created for the show.
“Originally she was written in as this kind of ‘Mr. DNA,’ [from Jurassic Park],” director Kate Herron told TheWrap. “She was a very helpful tool for us to explain how the TVA came about and what their rules are, and that just helped with that world building.”
The TVA, the massively powerful — and even more massively bureaucratic — organization that safeguards the “sacred timeline,” looks as if it was ripped straight out of the mid-1980s (despite existing completely outside of time and space). Not many things are more ’80s than having your own cartoon mascot.
Herron added the inclusion of Miss Minutes, who is voiced by Tara Strong, was also a great way of showcasing the absurdist weirdness of “Loki” and the organization at the center of the Disney+ series.
“I remember reading [of] her in the early draft of that script and being like, oh this is so funny and weird, this southern-talking clock in the first episode,” Herron continued. “There’s a cartoon clock here. So everyone’s like, OK, that’s weird. It’s going to get weirder, I guess. She’s a good barometer for that.”
Along with “Mr. DNA” — who, coincidentally, also has a southern twang in his voice — Herron said she modeled Miss Minutes after old cartoon characters like Felix the Cat. It all plays into a running joke in the writers’ room that the TVA hadn’t updated any of their technology since the 1980s.
“I really like the idea that the people at the top of the tree were not using the most futuristic-looking technology,” Herron said. “They’re not in the past, and they’re not in the future.”
While the first episode made it appear as if Miss Minutes was just a character the TVA created for its own instructional videos, the second episode reveals that Miss Minutes is an actual living… uh…. thing. “She’s a real cartoon, a living cartoon character. It’s pretty weird, that’s why it’s great,” Herron said.
Initially, they were going to have her “jump” out of the screen when Loki is watching the video in the first episode, but “it almost felt too crazy” to throw that much at the audience within the first 10 minutes of the series. Herron says it worked better to have her jump around on Loki’s desk while he’s undergoing mandatory TVA training. “We really begin to dig into the TVA in the second episode and peel a bit more behind the curtain.