Updated: Jan 20
We've learned quite a bit about the cast of characters in The Nevers courtesy of the character descriptions released by Deadline. We know who most, if not all, of the major and supporting characters are and what their power sets are. We also know that at least one of the major settings in the series will be the orphanage.
The abilities that Amalia True will possess, however, remain a mystery as they were cleverly left out from the press release. But we may have just been provided with a peek behind the curtain to see what at least one of her skills might be.
"This faceless entity is very glad to be cradling the brain chambers of the greatest hero & madwoman of our times," Ann Skelly wrote alongside a picture of herself with series lead Laura Donnelly and Amy Manson.
"He didn't get my umbrella wielding. All that training..." Donnelly wrote in response.
Now, I acknowledge that I may just be an over zealous fan looking for anything Nevers related to sink my well-flossed teeth into. But, also ... maybe I'm onto something! Hear me out!
As an authority of sorts on the works of Joss Whedon, I've learned that Joss is a bit of a weaponry and gadgetry enthusiast; the more unconventional and fun the contraption is, the better! And with The Nevers set in a Victorian/Steampunk London, Joss is afforded the opportunity to free his mind and come up with all sorts of inventive hardware.
The idea of an umbrella being used as a weapon might not seem all that impressive at first. But when you consider it, an umbrella in the hands of a strong and skilled fighter is rather effective, not to mention exciting!
Believe it or not, the umbrella was a weapon of choice in the Victorian era, and not just with men. Self-defense classes, varying in techniques, continued to gain in popularity as women abandoned the myth of men as their protectors. As women ventured into the world without escorts the Victorian umbrella defense became a favorite and women were beating plenty-o-ass. From the late 1800s through the early 1900s, many women participated in everything from Victorian umbrella defense to jujitsu.
How would one wield an umbrella? There's quite a few ways.
One option is to hold it like a fencing foil, where one can use it for long thrusts at a distance. Or grasp it firmly with two hands which would allow you to use it in a similar manner to grasping a military rifle when performing a bayonet exercise. In the latter case, one has the ability to take out several assailants at close quarters.
An umbrella could be made an even more effective weapon by adding to it a concealed dagger: a spring dagger which consists of a short, strong knife in its handle. A sudden jerk or by touching a spring, and the blade is brought into play.
I can envision it already: Amalia is surrounded by a group of hooligans. Outnumbered, she's easy pickings. Or is she? As they close in around her for the kill, she takes a good grip on her umbrella and whips it up, catching her first assailant by surprise as it connects with the underside of his chin, sending him flying back and momentarily taking him out of play. She then moves onto the others, effortlessly picking them off one by one with the most impressive umbrella acrobatics that only my man Joss could deliver.
Still not convinced? Well, let's not forget the unconventional way that Buffy fought off a group of baddies in Sunnydale High's basement in 'Lessons', the season seven premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. How awesome was it watching Sarah perform those stunts with a simple bag of bricks? Now, just replace that bag with a strong, straight handled umbrella.
Clearly you can make just about any object a useful weapon as long as you know how to manipulate and wield it skillfully. So with Joss' loves of gadgetry, and Penance Adair's "genius for invention," it's very likely that he's come up with something fun for his "most reckless and impulsive..." lead to have fun with. In fact, he probably has something for everyone! I love it!
Of course, these remarks could be nothing more than a joke between colleagues, a reference to the photographer choosing to photograph the trio in 'landscape' rather than in 'portrait'. Maybe Laura was simply having fun with her umbrella on this particularly rainy day. Or ... Donnelly's closing remarks "All that training..." carries some weight to it. Personally, I think (hope) it's the latter; an umbrella wielding hero in a Victorian, steampunk sci-fi series really doesn't seem out of place to me - and is pretty's a cool idea.
Whether there's something to these remarks or I'm just reading way too much into them, I'm still comically excited with anticipation for The Nevers, and the sooner it arrives on all of our screens, the sooner I can un-clench.
In other Nevers news, actress Ann Skelly was recently photographed for future paintings which may be for the series. It's interesting to note that Joss was "in studio" at the time and photographed the session, suggesting that these portraits might, maybe, perhaps play a part in The Nevers. If they are, it'll be interesting to see exactly how they'll be used. Maybe the antagonist commissions paintings to hang on display once he/she has claimed the lives of one of the Touched. I hope not though, as Penance Adair is one of the characters I'm most interested in.
It seems as though the artist has been on set of The Nevers for some time now, so it would appear that she's playing a role, in some capacity, on the series. She's a wildly gifted painter, so here's hoping her works will make an appearance.
Anyhoo, that's all for now! Thanks for indulging me, Neverites. Leave your thoughts below and share your own theories with me. I'd love to have a dialogue with you!