Joss Whedon’s upcoming HBO series The Nevers has revealed its full cast, including Olivia Williams, former star of Whedon’s Dollhouse. Set during the Victorian era, The Nevers is about a group of women who "find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world." Additional cast members include James Norton, Tom Riley, Ann Skelly, Ben Chaplin, Pip Torrens, Zackary Momoh, Amy Manson, Nick Frost, Rochelle Neil, Eleanor Tomlinson, and Denis O’Hare. Laura Donnelly is the previously-announced lead of the series, which began filming earlier this month.
The Nevers is Whedon’s first new series since he helped launch Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, leaving Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen to guide it after the pilot episode. He will serve as the showrunner on the series, working with Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie, whom he worked with back during the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel days. Espenson and Petrie are writing with Bernie Caulfield.
The full cast list and their characters are:
- Williams will play Lavinia Bidlow, a wealthy spinster and champion of the “Touched.” Lavinia 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.
- Norton will appear as as Hugo Swann, described as 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 is fascinated by the Touched.
- Riley will play Augustus “Augie” Bidlow, described as 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.
- Skelly will play 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 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.
- Chaplin will play Detective Frank Mundi. Described as 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 the laws of the land, and newly empowered, who ignore the laws of physics.
- Torrens will play Lord Massen, described as a staunch, unflappable and merciless in his defense of the British Empire. This former General, now Peer, 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.
- Frost will play Declan Orrun, a.k.a. The Beggar King. Described as 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.
- Momoh will play Doctor Horatio Cousens. One of the few successful West Indian physicians in London and 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.”
- 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.
- Neil will play Annie Carbey, a.k.a 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.
- Tomlinson will play Mary Brighton. Described as 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.
- O’Hare will play 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.
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