The overwhelming success of Netflix original series Bridgerton has made one thing clear: people love a period drama that does not skimp on the drama. But the popular Shonda Rhimes series is far from television’s last journey back in time. HBO has already has a new show lined up that explores similar social themes of that time with an exciting twist: magic.
Set in Victorian Era (mid-1800s to early 1900s) London, sci-fi period drama The Nevers follows a group of people whose lives are forever changed after a mysterious supernatural event grants them special abilities. During a time where being different (read: a person who is poor, unmarried, not white, a feminist, or has the ability to shoot fire from their hands) is frowned upon, these powers lead to the creation of a new type of social discrimination against the “Touched.” If exposed, individuals with powers are deemed outcasts and face numerous dangers from the local government.
“The touched are not a threat,” a woman explains emphatically in the action-packed trailer.
“We don’t consider ourselves afflicted,” asserts another.
As part of the Touched, “champions of the underclass” Amalia True (Outlander‘s Laura Donnelly) and her friend Penance Adair (Red Rock‘s Ann Skelly) push back against the caste system that seeks to oppress and even eliminate the rest of their kind. However, our heroines aren’t just battling problematic social conventions and systemic injustices; there are also some Touched who are using their new abilities to wreak havoc on the world. The Nevers will follow the women’s fight against the many powers that be using their street smarts, the fists, and a host of cool steampunk-era gadgets.
Set to air this spring, The Nevers was created by Joss Whedon, but the director recently stepped away from the project citing "exhaustion" amid the pandemic. (It's of note that Whedon has been at the center of controversy as of late, with several allegations claiming that the filmmaker was abusive on the set several major projects including the 2017 blockbuster Justice League). Philippa Goslett has since been hired to step in as the showrunner. Both HBO and HBO Max will air the first six episodes of The Nevers (filmed under Whedon’s direction) in April with the rest of the series to follow after a brief pre-production hiatus for the following episodes.
Get ready to fill the Bridgerton-sized hole in your heart.