"The Nevers": HBO, Joss Whedon's Victorian Era Female Super Team Gives Us Those Strong "Buffy"/"Dollhouse"/"Firefly" Vibes [OPINION]
There are very few things that get me as pumped as the news that Joss Whedon will be back for a new show. If you don't already know or maybe heard some rumblings, Whedon is the creator of a new show for HBO that was set to premiere "late 2020" (think more 2021) called The Nevers. The series focuses on a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world.
Growing up, my sister introduced me to Buffy the Vampire Slayer – knowing my early love for strong women who could seriously kick ass. While I loved Disney, I could never really relate to it because they were always missing the one thing I was looking for: a wonderful female role model who could beat evil and be smart without ever having to be a damsel in distress. If there is something Whedon has always brought into my life, it's great writing and wonderfully relatable human characters that are strong and flawed.
Later, the wonders of Netflix introduced me to Dollhouse, which I fell head-over-heels in love with. It will forever be one of my favorite shows, thanks to writing that always found a way to make the fantastic feel relatable – that it was in our world. Of course, there's Eliza Dushku—who was amazing as lead, Echo. Another show filled with strong female characters – I could not help but love it from the start.
And please don't get me started on my feelings for Firefly, it was a show with so many strong, diverse female characters that it made me feel not only proud to be a "geek" – but as a woman, feel that I have every right to be the "hero", too.
So when I heard Whedon will be back and this time with a period piece- Victorian heroines with abilities, promises to be the next Buffy… and let us not forget: there will be more Buffy coming out soon. I am very much looking forward to both shows. – though The Nevers gets the slight advantage since it is always fascinating to see Whedon experiment in new sandboxes.
"The Nevers": Cast of Characters
HBO and Whedon's The Nevers stars Olivia Williams (Miss Austen Regrets), James Norton (Grantchester), Tom Riley (Dark Heart), Ann Skelly (Death and Nightingales), Ben Chaplin (The Children Act), Pip Torrens (Preacher), Zackary Momoh (Seven Seconds), Amy Manson(Torchwood), Nick Frost (Fighting With My Family), Rochelle Neil (Death in Paradise), Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark), Denis O'Hare (American Horror Story), Laura Donnelly (Outlander), Kiran Sonia Siwar (Brexit), Elizabeth Berrington (Good Omens), Ella Smith (Hoff the Record), Viola Prettejohn (The Witcher), Anna Devlin (12 Monkeys), and Martyn Ford (Kingsman: The Golden Circle).
● Williams' Lavinia Bidlow is a wealthy spinster and champion of the "Touched" who funds the Orphanage (where Amalia and many of the Touched live) through her vast family fortune. She is stern and old-fashioned, but as strong-willed and clever as anyone she confronts.
● Norton's Hugo Swan is a pansexual posh boy whose charm has about five years left on its lease. He runs a secret club and a side trade in blackmail. He's devoted to fulfilling everyone's worst impression of him – and fascinated by the Touched.
● Riley's Augustus "Augie" Bidlow is a sweet, disarming nerd and Lavinia's younger brother. A keen ornithologist, Augie is happy to let his older sister take the reins of the family fortune. He finds the Touched unnerving, but is drawn to them by his increasing infatuation with Miss Adair, and by the schemes of his nefarious best friend, Hugo.
● Skelly's Penance Adair is Amalia's (Donnelly) dearest friend, and one of the first women to join her cause. A devout – yet heretically progressive – Irish girl, Penance has genius for invention. She is delighted by her power, and her default is love and acceptance. But she's firm in her moral sense, and will be guided by what's right over what's expedient every time.
● Chaplin's Detective Frank Mundi is big, gruff, and deeply moral. He trusts no one, least of all himself: his reputation for sudden violence (and excessive drink) is not unwarranted. Frank finds himself caught between the powerful, who ignore the the laws of the land, and newly empowered, who ignore the laws of physics.
● Torrens' Lord Massen is staunch, unflappable, and merciless in his defense of the British Empire A former General and now Peer, Massen may be the only man who sees clearly what havoc these few strange people can wreak upon the established order. Which he will protect – one way or another.
● Momoh's Doctor Horatio Cousens is one of the few successful West Indian physicians in London. Married with a young son, Horatio's fortunes took a dark turn when he met Amalia and discovered his own ability. Now he works with her, and with the Beggar King, those who don't care who is or isn't "different."
● Manson's Maladie was committed by her husband (and is genuinely unstable), warped by a power she can't understand and tortured by doctors intent on finding its source. She now lives underground, runs a gang and is on an infamous murder spree. She affects a theatrical parody of a bedlam waif, but mad as she is, she's a woman with a purpose.
● Frost's Declan Orrun aka The Beggar King is charismatic and brutal. Declan runs – or has a piece of – most of the low-level criminal activity in the city. He's perfectly happy to help Amalia and her cause – and equally happy to sell them out. He backs winners, and the Touched are long odds.
● Neil's Annie Carbey aka Bonfire is a career criminal who landed the ability to control fire and is happy to hire it out. Came up rough, stayed that way, but she's neither impulsive nor cruel – just looking out for herself. No matter who she works with or for, Annie trusts only Annie, and the fire.
● Tomlinson's Mary Brighton is gentle but surprisingly resilient, pursuing her dream of singing on stage. A disappointing career and a broken engagement haven't diminished her spirit. She's going to be great. She's going to be very surprised how.
● O'Hare's Dr. Edmund Hague is a gifted American surgeon who uses his skills in the coldest, most brutal way possible. But it's all in the name of "progress"…
● Siwar's Harriet Kaur is a young Scottish Sikh who lives with the Orphans but is accepted by both her family and her betrothed. She's determined to live her life as she planned, despite its increasing weirdness.
● Berrington's Lucy Best is a dirt-poor and streetwise woman who has given up thieving to live with the Orphans. Her wit and high spirits mask a tragic past.
● Smith's Desiree Blodgett is a prostitute whose power makes men tell her everything on their minds. What she's heard may get her killed, even though she doesn't listen to most of it. She's devoted to her 6-year-old son, who never speaks.
● Prettejohn's Myrtle Haplisch is a middle-class girl rescued from a family who can't understand her — literally, as she no longer can speak — and is thrilled to be at the Orphanage.
● Devlin's Primrose Chattaway wants to be an ordinary, proper 16-year-old girl — which is difficult, as she stands 10 feet tall.
● Ford recurs as Nicolas Perbal, aka Odium, the quintessential henchman who will do anything for anybody's money.
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