Joss Whedon’s new HBO series The Nevers is one step closer to heading to the screen. In addition to the previously announced cast member Laura Donnelly (Outlander), the principal cast has now been revealed along with the characters they’ll be playing and their descriptions. It’s the best look at just what Whedon’s project will be about since it received a straight-to-series order from the premium network this time last year. Expect the “Victorian-era X-Men” story to start production soon.
As Variety reports, The Nevers is described as “an epic science fiction drama about a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world.” The newly announced cast features Olivia Williams, James Norton, Tom Riley, Ann Skelly, Ben Chaplin, Pip Torrens, Zackary Momoh, Amy Manson, Nick Frost, Rochelle Neil, Eleanor Tomlinson, and Denis O’Hare. But it’s the character descriptions for this impressive assembled cast that give us our first real feel for The Nevers.
Donnelly will star as Amalia True, “the most reckless, impulsive, emotionally damaged hero of her time. A menace to stuffy Victorian society, she would die for the cause and kill for a drink” as Deadline reported earlier this year. Variety has the rest:
Williams will play Lavinia Bidlow:
A wealthy spinster and champion of the “Touched,” Lavinia 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 will appear as as Hugo Swann:
Described as 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 is fascinated by the Touched.
Skelly will play Penance Adair:
Amalia’s dearest friend and one of the first women to join her cause, Penance is a devout – yet heretically progressive – Irish girl with a 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.
Riley will play Augustus “Augie” Bidlow:
A sweet, disarming nerd, a keen ornithologist, and Lavinia’s younger brother. 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.
Chaplin will play Detective Frank Mundi:
Described as big, gruff, and deeply moral, Detective Mundi 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 laws of the land, and newly empowered, who ignore the laws of physics.
Torrens will play Lord Massen:
A staunch, unflappable and merciless in his defense of the British Empire. This former General, now Peer, 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.
Frost will play Declan Orrun, a.k.a. The Beggar King:
Described as 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.
Momoh will play Doctor Horatio Cousens:
One of the few successful West Indian physicians in London and 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 will star as Maladie:
Committed by her husband and genuinely unstable, she’s been 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.
Neil will play Annie Carbey, a.k.a Bonfire:
Annie 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 will play Mary Brighton:
Described as gentle but surprisingly resilient, Mary pursued 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 will play Dr. Edmund Hague:
A gifted American surgeon, he uses his skills in the coldest, most brutal way possible. But it’s all in the name of progress.
Whedon serves as writer, director, executive producer, and showrunner with Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie writing and executive producing; Bernie Caulfield is also on board as executive producer.