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HBO's THE NEVERS to air in April 2021

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Looking fun, but interested to learn more about the characters. I'm guessing the lady who laid the razor against her cheek is invulnerable.

They seem to be indicating the main thread of the antagonists -- some sort of anti-Touched element of society/the state, plus some sort of Touched violent radicals.

 

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HBO Max sent out a press release providing short descriptions of the first six episodes. Will put it in spoilers:

Spoiler

Episode 1: “Pilot”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, APRIL 11 (9:00-10:00 p.m ET/PT)
Series premiere. London, 1899. Three years after an inexplicable event suddenly equips them with extraordinary abilities, Amalia True (Laura Donnelly) and Penance Adair (Ann Skelly) work to protect their kind from widespread, deepening antipathy. Meanwhile, police inspector Frank Mundi (Ben Chaplin) investigates a string of murders at the hands of a reportedly Touched and highly dangerous serial killer named Maladie (Amy Manson).
Written & directed by Joss Whedon.
 
Episode 2: “Exposure”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, APRIL 18 (9:00-10:00 p.m ET/PT)
With the city reeling from Maladie’s (Amy Manson) opera debut, Mundi (Ben Chaplin) takes a personal stake in tracking her down, while Amalia (Laura Donnelly) launches an investigation of her own. Meanwhile, the charitable Lavinia Bidlow (Olivia Williams) seeks to destigmatize the Touched at a society event, Hugo Swann (James Norton) enlists Lavinia’s younger brother Augie (Tom Riley) to help monetize his illicit enterprise, and a deranged doctor (Denis O’Hare) conducts a series of experiments.
Written by Jane Espenson; Directed by Joss Whedon.
 
Episode 3: “Ignition”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, APRIL 25 (9:00-10:00 p.m ET/PT)
Penance (Ann Skelly) creates an amplifier to spread Mary’s (Eleanor Tomlinson) hope-inspiring song across the city – but first, Mary (Tomlinson) must find her elusive voice. As danger mounts against her group, Amalia (Laura Donnelly) propositions an unlikely ally and sets out to expand the Orphanage’s reach. Swann (James Norton) further entangles Augie (Tom Riley) and Mundi (Ben Chaplin) in his business affairs.
Written by Kevin Lau; Directed by David Semel.
 
Episode 4: “Undertaking”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, MAY 2 (9:00-10:00 p.m ET/PT)
While Mundi (Ben Chaplin) seeks justice, Amalia (Laura Donnelly) and her most trusted advisors make a list of potential enemies. Harriet (Kiran Sonia Sawar), Primrose (Anna Devlin), and the other Orphans attempt to decipher a message. Later, Amalia (Donnelly) exposes an unexpected threat.
Written by Madhuri Shekar; Directed by David Semel.
 
Episode 5: “Hanged”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, MAY 9 (9:00-10:00 p.m ET/PT)
As the city buzzes with anticipation over a pending execution, Penance (Ann Skelly) grapples with a moral calling at odds with Amalia’s (Laura Donnelly) plan. With the two women at a crossroads, the Orphans must decide whom to follow.
Written by Melissa Iqbal; Directed by Joss Whedon.
 
Episode 6: “True” (Part One Finale)
Debut Date: SUNDAY, MAY 16 (9:00-10:00 p.m ET/PT)
After Amalia’s (Laura Donnelly) origin story is revealed, a long-awaited reunion crystallizes the Orphans’ mission.
Written by Jane Espenson; Directed by Zetna Fuentes.

 

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Did not realize Eleanor Tomlinson was in it until now. "Hang on, I recognize that redhead..."

Slashfilm has a roundup on the reviews, which are about what you expect in some aspects. Focusing just on the commentary of the show itself rather than on its creator, pretty uniform praise for the cast, especially the leads (and Nick Frost!), for the production design and (most of) the effects. Main point of concern from critics is that it is stuffed with a large regular cast and a lot of sub-plots, and so feel unfocused. But it's the first half of a season, so hard to say how that resolves.

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This looks like it's going to be fun; I'm glad the reviews are promising. Looking forward to it plus Shadow and Bone.  There's been a dearth of fairly brainless adventure shows over the last few months. 

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Yeah, an embarassment of riches for SF/F fans this month, at least by the looks of it. We'll see how Shadow and Bone reviews come in, but as someone not at all interested in the novels, the trailers and teasers have made me quite intrigued.

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Nick Frost was outstanding in a more serious, action-oriented role in Into the Badlands and as a dramedy lead in Truth Seekers (though both characters did have a comic side as well), so he's certainly show a capability for less comedic roles over the years. 

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, AncalagonTheBlack said:

Anyone here watch this yet? Reviews are mixed (50/50).

Linda and I did, and we both very much liked it (but we're fans of all of Whedon's TV series -- well, except for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, but that was more his brother's and sister-in-law's show). 

Very strong production values, gorgeous costumes, strong score, fun action sequences... and a very large, ensemble cast that all seem to be doing very well indeed in their performances in that first episode. The most consistent negative remark from reviewers (who saw the first 4 episodes) was that the large cast and many sub-plots could feel overstuffed, and that they were left uncertain about how the series was going to go... but they're not even half way into it yet, so I don't know, are they supposed to know how the storylines are going to develop? The writing is... well, Whedonesque, but if you are a fan of Whedon's dialog and humor style, this is a feature, not a bug. It does occasionally overshoot, but lands a lot more often than I expected given the critiques. It was a very self-assured first episode in a way that I don't think any of Whedon's prior shows ever managed.

The critical response on the point of the large cast actually reminded me most of critiques of Game of Thrones in its first season where a number of critics thought that the audience would get lost with the expansive cast and many story threads. (In fact, I notice some familiar names among the sharper critics of The Nevers and the first season of Game of Thrones.)

Edited by Ran

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To discuss some episode and future details in spoilers....

Spoiler

Some mysteries stuck out:

What exactly is going on with Amalia True and her "turn"? I had thought at first that her fighting skills were actually because she 'sees' events slightly into the future as well as occasionally much further into the future (minutes, hours), but her knowledge of Chinese now makes me wonder if it's not part of her background. OTOH... we have the juxtaposition of the Event causing the death of what I assume is Lord Massen's daughter, and Amalia waking to life after having thrown herself into the Thames. One possibility that comes to mind is that besides her future-seeing ability, she may have absorbed the ... souls, or minds, or something, of other Touched who were killed by the Event itself. This could explain her remark (assuming it was seriously meant rather than something to mess with him) when the Beggar King threatened to cut her face that it was not in fact her face, and perhaps also her odd turn fighting some random drunks and seeming a bit confused. Contra that, she seemed to have no particular recognition of Massen, but maybe it's more subtle. Will be interesting to see if more powers reveal themselves.

The Event... obviously, that looks like an alien spaceship. But is it possible it's actually a human craft from the future? Some of its looks seemed not dissimilar to the steampunk aesthetic of Penance Adair's contraptions. 

Hmm... alternative explanation for Amalia: is it the mind/soul/whatever of an alien/future timetraveller that's in her head?

Promo for next episode sure seems to suggest we're going to learn (a little) more about that craft -- pretty certain that glowing chunk of stone was from the ship.

Finally, I wonder what Hugo Swan intends to do to his friend Augustus? Nothing good, I assume. Quite liked the interplay between James Norton (Swan) and Tom Riley (Augustus).

Putting the owner of the "orphanage" for Touched women in a wheelchair was a pretty obvious nod to Professor X. Make me want to re-read Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run.

 

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Posted (edited)

Apparently it matched Lovecraft Country and The Undoing in viewership on HBO, and was the biggest debut on HBO Max specifically since the service started last year. Pretty good start, especially given the lack of any big stars and what seemed like much less advertising.

ETA: Here's that 2nd episode promo I mentioned in the previous post. Like the use of the Clash's "London Calling":

 

Edited by Ran

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1 hour ago, Maltaran said:

It doesn’t start in the U.K. until May 17

That's so weird! Is it that it falls under the deal with Sky or something, and they've pushed it?

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

That's so weird! Is it that it falls under the deal with Sky or something, and they've pushed it?

It’s on Sky Atlantic, but no idea why the delay

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34 minutes ago, Maltaran said:

It’s on Sky Atlantic, but no idea why the delay

It's like they are testing how many people choose to pirate it/watch via VPN.

Doesn't seem to be any logic behind which shows are released on the same day vs those released weeks/months later. HBO shows cover all those options.

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I watched the pilot last night. It feels like a good SyFy show with a bigger budget. I've never actually read a full Wild Cards story, but that reveal at the end made me think Whedon drew some inspiration from the Wild Cards universe.

Anyone versed in Victorian history and culture - what were those ministers doing with the hourglasses? I think they were hourglasses.

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2 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

I watched the pilot last night. It feels like a good SyFy show with a bigger budget. I've never actually read a full Wild Cards story, but that reveal at the end made me think Whedon drew some inspiration from the Wild Cards universe.

Spoiler

Hah. I sort of thought the same for a moment, but I think it's a superficial similarity. Similarly, some people pointed out that J. Michael Straczynski's Rising Stars had something similar in which an alien craft's appearance leads to people developing powers... and then at the end of the series, someone launching a craft to a new planet ends up causing powers to develop in the inhabitants of that world, creating a cycle. We don't know if there's any actual time travel involved with this craft, of course, but in any case, it feels to me like concepts that could easily be hit upon independently.

2 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

Anyone versed in Victorian history and culture - what were those ministers doing with the hourglasses? I think they were hourglasses.

I wondered the same. My one thought was that maybe turning your glass meant that you were giving the person speaking continued time to hold the floor.

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