A group of people, mainly women, in Victorian England, are embued with special abilities and try to survive in a society that is wary of their very existence.
Spoiler Level: Mild
A group of Victorian women in London, form a sanctuary for “The Touched”, people who were given extraordinary powers during an event three years prior. Victorian era Londoners are suspicious and superstitious and the “Touched” face constant persecution. Some believe that their abilities are from the Devil and brand them as witches. The first episode also exposes a new danger. Someone is hunting down the “Touched”, possibly for nefarious reasons, and to add to their problems, Maladie, an insane “Touched” woman has formed a group of misfits and is on a killing spree.
But there are those trying to help, as well, Lavinia Bidlow, a rich spinster, runs the sanctuary commonly known as “The Orphanage”. Her brother, Augustus, is a kind man who secretly is one of the “Touched”, and his best friend, Hugo Swann (James Norton), is a pansexual aristocrat who owns a private sex club. Amalia True (Laura Donnelly) and Penance Adair (Ann Skelly) lead those at the “Orphanage”, having also been given powers during the event, they use their abilities to track down and find those that need help. The government is concerned that the event was some sort of attack from an unknown entity and are therefore wary of the “Touched”. To complicate matters even more, True and Penance need to deal with “The Beggar King” played by the talented Nick Frost, who runs London’s criminal underground adding a bit more danger to their lives.
The event three years prior, gave each of the “Touched” unique abilities, and it seems to me, that their ability is an exaggerated extension of their personality. A woman who has no future, suddenly has flashes of the future, one who can improvise simple mechanical fixes, can suddenly design, and build devices far beyond the time. A doctor can suddenly heal wounds like magic, a girl who feels misunderstood, can suddenly speak any language, except her native tongue. A failed singer’s voice can now expose those that are “Touched”. A girl who feels small, or possibly was full of her own importance, is now a giant. It will be interesting to see how each of their powers fits into the plot and how new ones will be revealed.
I really enjoyed the pilot episode. It is refreshing to watch a show that is smart and witty. Like with most Joss Whedon shows, the characters are rich with multiple levels of complexity. The women are strong and independent, and not only intelligent, but can kick some ass, as well. The story is intriguing and multidimensional but flowed very well. Setting the show in Victorian England, lends a great aspect to the story. The treatment of women and class struggle is definitely highlighted by setting it in this time period. In addition, I love the “Steampunk” vibe, even if it is a bit subtle. The show clipped along with a good cadence. It moved quickly without feeling rushed or disjointed. Pilot’s often have a problem with showing too much exposition making the dialogue clunky and insincere, but this show gives you enough to know what is happening but leaving enough of the story for later episodes. The performances are wonderful with great chemistry, especially between True and Penance. Laura and Ann are wonderful in their respective roles.
Whedon stepped down as show runner citing various reasons for his decision in ”this year of unprecedented challenges”. It has been alleged that Joss can be difficult to work with on set. HBO commented that they have not had any complaints from the cast of The Nevers, Nevertheless, Whedon’s involvement was not acknowledged in the marketing of the series. It always saddens me when I hear that a personal hero is less then perfect. For far too long, Hollywood has allowed this behavior and it needs to stop! Creative genius is not an excuse to be a terrible person.
The Nevers: Welcome to Neverland!
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Acting - 10/1010/10
- Music - 9/109/10
- Production - 10/1010/10