Back in 2018, Joss Whedon, the beloved creator of series like Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, partnered with HBO to create his newest television show The Nevers. Recently, HBO has been aggressively courting fans of science fiction and fantasy. Joining the ranks of HBO shows like Watchmen and Lovecraft Country, The Nevers will meld familiar elements of human history with splashy supernatural twists. Whedon will serve as the writer, showrunner, director, and producer of The Nevers. He will be joined in the production and writing of the series by Doug Petrie, Jane Espenson, and Bernadette Caulfield. Notably, Epenson and Caulfield were also involved in the writing and production of Game of Thrones.
Those who are familiar with Whedon’s work know that he is fond of creating narratives that foreground complex ensemble dynamics against inventive premises. The Nevers is no exception. According to HBO, the series is “an epic science fiction drama about a gang of Victorian women, known as ‘The Touched,’ who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that could change the world.”
HBO has been busy populating the world of The Nevers. Last summer, Deadline reportedthat HBO cast a total of eighteen actors for the series. The Nevers boasts a talented, largely female cast who seem well-prepared to bring Whedon’s feminist fantasy series to life. Among them, HBO tells us that
Laura Donnelly (Outlander, Tolkein) leads the series as Amalia True, the most reckless, impulsive, emotionally damaged hero of her time. Nick Frost (Fighting With My Family, Into the Badlands) portrays Declan Orrun, aka the Beggar King, a low-level crime lord who’s perfectly happy to help Amalia and her cause — and equally happy to sell them out. Denis O’Hare (HBO’s Big Little Lies and True Blood) plays Dr. Edmund Hague: a gifted American surgeon who uses his skills in the coldest, most brutal way possible.
It sounds like Whedon has created a rich world with a varied cast of characters. According to an interview with Whedon in 2019, he’s excited to work with HBO on his new project: “The Nevers’ is maybe the most ambitious narrative I’ve created, and I can’t imagine a better home for it than HBO.” In a more recent interview, he suggested that the production of the show continues to be rewarding: “It’s been hard, but yes, it’s been restorative.”