Joss Whedon’s HBO Sci-fi Series ‘The Nevers’ Add Host Of UK Stars Inc. Oliver Williams, Nick Frost, James Norton, Ben Chaplin, Eleanor Tomlinson & More!
Joss Whedon has always had a love for the UK, and that is very apparent in the casting for his new HBO sci-fi drama ‘The Nevers’. Today the US broadcaster announced 12 new castings for the series which includes ‘Grantchester’ star James Norton, ‘Press’s Ben Chaplin, Eleanor Tomlinson from ‘Poldark’, ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ Tom Riley, Olivia Williams who previously worked with Whedon on ‘Dollhouse’, and the legendary Nick Frost. Also joining the drama are Pip Torrens (‘The Crown’), Denis O’Hare (‘This Is Us’, ‘Big Little Lies’), Amy Manson (‘Once Upon A Time’, ‘Atlantis’), Ann Skelly (‘Vikings’), Zackary Momoh (‘Seven Seconds’, ‘No Offence’), and Rochelle Neil (‘Episodes’). They all joined Outlander’ star Laura Donnelly, who was previously announced as the lead.
‘The Nevers’ is an epic sci-fi drama which follows a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world. Whedon will direct, produced and server as showrunner on the series. He is also co-writing the series with fellow ex-‘Buffy’ writers Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie.
Along with the casting announcement, they have also released some character breakdowns of the people the new cast will be playing:
Laura Donnelly is set to play 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. Along with starring as “Jenny” Fraser Murray in ‘Outlander’, Donnelly has also appeared in Sky Atlantic’s ‘Britannia’ in which she played Hella, and has popped up in episodes of ‘The Fall’, ‘Missing’, ‘Casualty’ and ‘Merlin’.
Olivia Williams stars as Lavinia Bidlow, 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. Williams has most recently been pulling double duty as Emily in brilliant sci-fi series ‘Counterpart’. She previously starred in Whedon’s ‘Dollhouse’.
James Norton portrays Hugo Swan, 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. Norton is probably best known as Rev. Sidney Chambers on ITV’s ‘Grantchester‘, and as Tommy on ‘Happy Valley’.
Tom Riley stars as Augustus “Augie” Bidlow, 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. Riley is best known for playing Leonardo Da Vinci in ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’, but has more recently starred in ITV crime drama ‘Dark Heart’.
Ann Skelly plays Penance Adair, Amalia’s dearest friend, and one of the first women to join her cause. A devout – yet heretically progressive – Irish girl, Penance has 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. Ann Skelly is known for her roles as Ethelfled in ‘Vikings’ along with appearing in mini-series ‘Death and Nightingales’, and Irish drama ‘Red Rock’.
Ben Chaplin portrays Detective Frank Mundi. 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. Chaplin has been in a host of dramas including both the UK and US versions of ‘Mad Dogs’, miniseries ‘Moonfleet’ and most recently, as tabloid boss Duncan Allen in the BBC series ‘Press’.
Pip Torrens will play Lord Massen. Staunch, unflappable and merciless in his defence of the British Empire, this former General, now Peer, he 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. Pip Torrens has appeared in films such as ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, ‘The Danish Girl’ and ‘The Iron Lady’, along with tv shows such as ‘The Crown’, ‘Versailles’, ‘Preacher’, ‘Deep State’ and ‘Poldark’.
Zackary Momoh is Doctor Horatio Cousens. 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.” Momoh is probably best known for his roles in mini-series ‘Seven Seconds’, along with playing Manni Attah in ‘No Offence’.
Amy 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. Manson will be known to UK audiences for her roles as Merida in ‘Once Upon a Time’ and Medea in ‘Atlantis’. She has also starred in ‘The White Princess’, ‘Outcasts’ and ‘Being Human’.
Nick Frost stars as Declan Orrun, aka The Beggar King. 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. I don’t think I really need to explain who Nick Frost is to anyone, but you, of course, know him from the “Cornetto trilogy” with Simon Pegg, along with series such as ‘Into the Badlands’ and ‘Sick Note’.
Rochelle Neil portrays Annie Carbey, aka 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. Neil appeared in ‘Episodes’ as Jessica, and has also popped up in shows such as ‘Death in Paradise’, ‘Doctors’ and provided the voice of Faye for the video game ‘Anthem’.
Eleanor Tomlinson will play Mary Brighton. 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. Tomlinson has, of course, been starring as Demelza in ‘Poldark’. She has also appeared in ‘The White Queen’, ‘Death Comes to Pemberley’ and is due to star in the BBC’s ‘The War of the Worlds’ mini-series.
Denis O’Hare stars as 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! O’Hare’s huge list of credits include shows such as ‘American Horror Story’, ‘The Good Wife’, ‘True Blood’, ‘Big Little Lies’, and ‘This Is Us’.
‘The Nevers‘, was given a straight-to-series order by HBO. They have yet to give a release date, but we would presume it’s not going to arrive before 2020. When it does, it should automatically air on Sky Atlantic due to their carriage deal with HBO. We’ll let you know when we hear more!
Dave has over 20 years experience in the digital industry, and is founder and editor of Geektown. Obviously a huge geek himself, he can often be found in front of the latest tv show or movie, on various video games, or with his head in a comic book.