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The Nevers is a psychic whirlwind of a show—and not just because it's a sci-fi steampunk fantasy set in Victorian England, where one of the protagonists is literally psychic. The new HBO series, which premieres April 11, is set in London in 1899, where a mysterious event has given people—mostly women—strange superpowers. Mrs. Amalia True and Miss Penance Adair are among these women, known as "the Touched," and together they work to find and protect new members of this growing class of people deemed misfits (or worse) by civil society. All the while, Maladie—a Touched One with a homicidal turn—is on a killing spree, terrorizing the city.
Joss Whedon created The Nevers and produced its first six episodes. He exited the show in November 2020, citing pandemic exhaustion, but his exit also came amid allegations of on-set misconduct and abuse (by Charisma Carpenter, Ray Fisher, and others). Despite Whedon's exit from the show, The Nevers is a little more than "touched" by Whedon's trademark tropes and conventions. Years ago, as a young Buffy The Vampire Slayer fan, I would have embraced a new Whedon show, especially one combining elements of Buffy (strong female characters fighting bad guys, quippy lines, etc.) with all those stellar Victorian costumes. Now, however, The Nevers is haunted by recent headlines about the filmmaker.
Here's the good news though: The cast of The Nevers—which features many familiar faces, like Denis O'Hare and Olivia Williams, as well as relative newcomers—is quite exceptional, and they give me hope for the show. Under the guidance of Philippa Goslett, who replaced Whedon as showrunner, The Nevers could earn its place as the new fantasy favorite on all our watch lists. Here's your guide to some of the cast bringing The Nevers to life.
Laura Donnelly as Amalia True
Fans will recognize Donnelly from her role as Jenny Murray in Outlander. The Northern Irish actress is also known for her award-winning performance in The Ferryman.
Ann Skelly as Penance Adair
Vikings fans will know the Irish actress from her role on the Amazon Prime show. You may also recognize her from the BBC miniseries Little Women.
James Norton as Hugo Swann
Norton stars as Hugo Swann, a wealthy playboy running a secret club. The British actor is known for his roles in Grantchester, Happy Valley, War & Peace, and more.
Eleanor Tomlinson as Mary Brighton
British actress Tomlinson plays Mary Brighton, an opera singer who is Touched. You might know her from her various television roles on shows like Poldark, or for her role in the absolute gem of a 2008 film, Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging.
Amy Manson as Maladie
Manson is a Scottish actress who's previously had roles in Torchwood and Once Upon a Fairytale, among others.
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