If you’re looking for girl power on TV, HBO’s got exactly what you need!
Its newest six-episode series, “The Nevers,” premieres this April on HBO and HBO GO. Renowned creator of ground-breaking TV series such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel” and “Firefly” Joss Whedon served as its writer, director, executive producer and showrunner.
In the last years of Victoria’s reign, London is beset by the “Touched”: people – mostly women – who suddenly manifest abnormal abilities – some charming, some very disturbing. Among them are Amalia True (Laura Donnelly), a mysterious, quick-fisted widow, and Penance Adair (Ann Skelly), a brilliant young inventor. They are the champions of this new underclass, making a home for the Touched, while fighting the forces of… well, pretty much all the forces – to make room for those whom history as we know it has no place.
At Comic-Con 2018, Whedon explained the show’s title:
They, themselves are not called that [The Nevers] in the show. It’s a phrase that’s meant to evoke a sort of reaction to their oddity, to what is considered unnatural. The idea that you should never be like this, you should never have existed. Something is not the way it should be, and you don’t have the right to have whatever weird power or ability that you have. And that idea, that some people are not of the natural order, is fascinating to me. I don’t agree with it. But to me, it’s one of those things where you take something negative, and you wear it as a badge of honor, basically. Certain things could never happen – they’re happening. And the people they’re happening to are taking their place in the world.
The ensemble cast also includes Olivia Williams, James Norton, Tom Riley, Rochelle Neil, Eleanor Tomlinson, Amy Manson, Pip Torrens, Denis O’Hare, Zackary Momoh, Elizabeth Berrington, Kiran Sawar, Anna Devlin, Viola Prettejohn, Ella Smith, Nick Frost and Ben Chaplin.
Curious yet? Check out the episode synopses for what you can expect from this series.
Episode 1: “Pilot”
Monday, 12 April at 9am
Series premiere. London, 1899. Three years after an inexplicable event suddenly equips them with extraordinary abilities, Amalia True (Laura Donnelly) and Penance Adair (Ann Skelly) work to protect their kind from widespread, deepening antipathy. Meanwhile, police inspector Frank Mundi (Ben Chaplin) investigates a string of murders at the hands of a reportedly Touched and highly dangerous serial killer named Maladie (Amy Manson).
Episode 2: “Exposure”
Monday, 19 April at 9am
With the city reeling from Maladie’s (Amy Manson) opera debut, Mundi (Ben Chaplin) takes a personal stake in tracking her down, while Amalia (Laura Donnelly) launches an investigation of her own. Meanwhile, the charitable Lavinia Bidlow (Olivia Williams) seeks to destigmatize the Touched at a society event, Hugo Swann (James Norton) enlists Lavinia’s younger brother Augie (Tom Riley) to help monetize his illicit enterprise, and a deranged doctor (Denis O’Hare) conducts a series of experiments.
Episode 3: “Ignition”
Monday, 26 April at 9am
Penance (Ann Skelly) creates an amplifier to spread Mary’s (Eleanor Tomlinson) hope-inspiring song across the city – but first, Mary (Tomlinson) must find her elusive voice. As danger mounts against her group, Amalia (Laura Donnelly) propositions an unlikely ally and sets out to expand the Orphanage’s reach. Swann (James Norton) further entangles Augie (Tom Riley) and Mundi (Ben Chaplin) in his business affairs.
Episode 4: “Undertaking”
Monday, 3 May at 9am
While Mundi (Ben Chaplin) seeks justice, Amalia (Laura Donnelly) and her most trusted advisors make a list of potential enemies. Harriet (Kiran Sonia Sawar), Primrose (Anna Devlin), and the other Orphans attempt to decipher a message. Later, Amalia (Donnelly) exposes an unexpected threat.
Episode 5: “Hanged”
Monday, 10 May at 9am
As the city buzzes with anticipation over a pending execution, Penance (Ann Skelly) grapples with a moral calling at odds with Amalia’s (Laura Donnelly) plan. With the two women at a crossroads, the Orphans must decide whom to follow.
Episode 6: “True” (Part One Finale)
Monday, 17 May at 9am
After Amalia’s (Laura Donnelly) origin story is revealed, a long-awaited reunion crystallizes the Orphans’ mission.
While the series was created by Whedon, he announced that he was stepping down from the project in November 2020. In his statement after his departure, he wrote:
This year of unprecedented challenges has impacted my life and perspective in ways I could never have imagined, and while developing and producing The Nevers has been a joyful experience, I realize that the level of commitment required moving forward, combined with the physical challenges of making such a huge show during a global pandemic, is more than I can handle without the work beginning to suffer. I am genuinely exhausted, and am stepping back to martial my energy towards my own life, which is also at the brink of exciting change. I am deeply proud of the work we have done; I’m grateful to all my extraordinary cast and collaborators, and to HBO for the opportunity to shape yet another strange world. The Nevers is a true labor of love, but after two-plus years of labor, love is about all I have to offer. It will never fade.
On January 28, 2021, it was announced that British screenwriter Philippa Goslett, who wrote the Salvador Dali biopic “Little Ashes” will be the series’ new showrunner.
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Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.