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SYFY WIRE The Nevers

First teaser for HBO's The Nevers unveils a steampunk, female-fronted X-Men

By Don Kaye
The Nevers

Get ready to dive into Nevers-land: HBO has released the first teaser trailer for its upcoming fantasy series The Nevers, which is set to arrive this April on both the premium cable channel and its streaming counterpart, HBO Max.

The show, set in the last years of Victorian England (circa the end of the 19th century), will follow the emergence of the "Touched." Mostly women, these humans suddenly exhibit strange new powers and abilities that are both intriguing and unsettling.

Among the Touched are a "mysterious, quick-fisted" widow named Amalia True (Laura Donnelly) and an inventor named Penance Adair (Ann Skelly), who are, according to the official plot description, "champions of this new underclass, making a home for the Touched, while fighting the forces of — well, pretty much all the forces — to make room for those whom history as we know it has no place."

Take a look at the teaser:

The Nevers was created by Joss Whedon, who departed the project last November — after developing it for three years — amid the ongoing accusations leveled at him by actor Ray Fisher over the toxic climate Whedon allegedly fostered during reshoots on Justice League. Whedon has not responded to Fisher's claims. In announcing his exit from The Nevers, the filmmaker said he was "genuinely exhausted" by the physical challenges of mounting the show during the pandemic. Following Whedon's departure, Philippa Goslett took over as showrunner to oversee production for the second half of the first season. 

But judging by the teaser, the show still bears some of Whedon's unmistakable trademarks: an ensemble cast, socially repressive forces rallying against a new wrinkle in human evolution, and the themes of injustice and inequality inherent in that — this time with a decidedly feminist slant and a steampunk aesthetic. On first glance, The Nevers very much resembles a female-centric, period version of X-Men, complete with multiple powers, political intrigue, and lots of fighting.

The cast for the initial six-episode season also includes Olivia Williams, James Norton, Tom Riley, Rochelle Neil, Denis O'Hare, Ella Smith, Nick Frost, and others. While the show will debut in April, an exact broadcast/streaming date has yet to be confirmed.