Joss Whedon is readying his return to serialized television with his most ambitious story to date. The Nevers, his first outing with HBO and his first original series in over a decade, is an ambitious science-fiction epic created, show-run, scripted, produced and directed by Joss Whedon. The series is a period piece with a twist which re-imagines the superhero for the 1800s as a gang of Victorian women who take on the rapidly changing and revolutionary era of steam and steel with their superpowers and unique abilities.
In the last years of Victoria’s reign, London is beset by the ‘Touched’: people – mostly women – who suddenly manifest abnormal abilities – some charming, some very disturbing. Among them are Amalia True, a mysterious, quick-fisted widow, and Penance Adair, a brilliant young inventor. They are the 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.
While we don't know much about the story for season one beyond what's been shared in the official HBO press release, we do know that the series name isn't how the characters are referred to in the show.
"They, themselves are not called that in the show," said Whedon when speaking to IGN at 2018's Comic Con. "It's a phrase that's meant to evoke a sort of reaction to their oddity, to what is considered unnatural. The idea that you should never be like this, you should never have existed. Something is not as it should be, and you don't have the right to have whatever weird power or ability ... that you have."
Sounds like the job for a master storyteller and a network who supports long-form storytelling.
"We have long been fans of the incredibly talented and prolific Joss Whedon and we can’t think of a better project than The Nevers with which to welcome him to the HBO family," said President, HBO Programming Casey Bloys. "We’re honored that Joss chose HBO as the place to build his ambitious new world and we are excited to get started."
"The Nevers is maybe the most ambitious narrative I’ve created, and I can’t imagine a better home for it than HBO," said Whedon. "Not only are they the masters of cinematic long-form, but their instant understanding of my odd, intimate epic was as emotional as it was incisive," said Whedon. "It's been too long since I created an entirely new fictional world, and the HBO team offers not just scope and experience, not just 'prestige,' but a passionate collaboration."
Joss' work often explores the idea of power and helplessness and a person’s journey to power, and it sounds like those issues will be explored here as well.
"The idea that some people are not of the natural is fascinating to me. I don't agree with it. But to me, it's one of those things where you take something negative, and you wear it as a badge of honor. Certain things could never happen - well, they're happening! And the people they're happening to are taking their place in the world."
And kicking butt while doing it. This is a Joss Whedon superhero team after all and kicking butt (and in the coolest of ways) is what a Joss Whedon team does.