Updated: Sep 29, 2020
There's nothing better than whiling away the hours, with some close friends, discussing increasingly more elaborate and complex theories about your favourite fandom.
Whether it's R+L=J, Imaginary Ferris, or Calvin & Hobbes being a prequel to Fight Club, the more insane the thoery the more fun it is to spend hours plotting out its intricacies. It really doesn't get any better than that, does it?
Well, actually it does. There is one thing better. Namely, when a theory you came up with, turns out to be true!
And not to blow our own trumpets; but here at the Nevers Podcast, we've come up with some CRACKIN' theories, over the past year. And it just happens, that a couple of them are looking to be true!
So, I figured today we'd go deep down the rabbit hole. Go into detail on a couple of our theories that have strong evidence to support them, explain what they could mean for the seasons to come and then maybe take a second look at a theory that is still up in the air, to see if it has any merit.
When is an umbrella not an umbrella? When you're a master of Bartitsu!
The Theory: Many moons ago, in the hazy bygone era of 2019, I wrote an article about
potential physical powers, that The Touched could possess (If you've not already read it, shame on you! Read it here and pretend you read it back then).
One of the potential powers I suggested, was the period appropriate and Sherlock Holmes approved victorian combat system known as "Bartitsu". A bizarre blend of boxing, Jiujitsu and stick fighting, Bartitsu was very popular towards the end of the Victorian Era.
The Proof: A few months after posting that article, our producer and resident social media scout Culture Inject, noticed a rather interesting post, on Insta (read a detailed article on the post here).
In the post, Laura Donnelly (who is playing Amalia True), makes reference to her "Umbrella training". Now, this could just be us reaching, it's been a while since we've had any solid information and frankly we're going a little crazy, but I think you'll agree that the evidence is worth considering.
What this could mean, for the show: Joss loves to make shows about badass leading ladies. And once he has those leading ladies he loves to set up insane fight scenes. The problem is, in The Nevers Amalia won't be dealing with Vampires, Dolls, or Reavers, she'll be dealing with super powered nasties with a variety of dangerous powers. And she's not the Slayer, or an Operative, either. So she wont have their powers and training to fall back on. Plus, Victorian London was something of a nightmare, even before the super powered ne'er-do-wells showed up...
So how is young Amalia going to keep herself safe? Simple.
By mastering a form of combat that turns a common item, that most people wouldn't look twice at, into a deadly weapon with which she can kick all manner of super-powered ass. Bartitsu specialises in disrupting your opponent, forcing them off balance and then using the cane, and a number of brutal joint locks, to disable your target before they have a chance to bring their strength to bear on you. Not a bad idea, for a lady going against enemies with such a wide variety of powers.
Now, the big weakness of Bartitsu; while the umbrella makes a servicable weapon, it isn't designed for sustained, serious impacts. Especially a Victorian era umbrella, which wouldn't be made of tougher modern materials.
If only Amalia had a friend that was a brilliant engineer, able to construct her a super charged brolly, to defend herself with.
Just because you don't understand it, doesn't mean it's nonsense!
The Theory: Nothing has been a more constant topic of discussion, than those character bios! But one that slipped through the cracks somewhat was Viola Prettejohn, who will be playing Myrtle Haplisch. Who no longer speaks English... Or anything resembling speech! But what if she is speaking, just not in a language that the people of Victorian London can understand?
That's the theory that we floated on an episode of the podcast; what if Myrtle's power is that she can now speak any language, but due to not being able to properly control it, she's stuck speaking something that no one around her understands. Like Aramaic, or Latin.
Great theory, right?
The Proof: Guess who posted a story on Insta, talking about how much they love their new Latin teacher?
I'll give you a clue. Her name is Viola Prettejohn, and she's been cast to play Myrtle Haplisch.
It's the exact person that we theorised would be stuck speaking in Latin, due to her powers.
And it gets better. As I'd mentioned before, in the second of my articles on potential powers (Read it here, heathens), one of the powers I was most excited to see in The Nevers, is Omnilingualism. The ability to rapidly learn and speak different languages. Fun fact. When asked what super power he'd have, Joss said Omnilingualism would be his pick.
So, we have a character who is currently speaking an unknown language. We have an actress studying Latin. And we have Joss' favourite super power. The ability to speak all the languages. Sounds like a slam dunk, right?
What this could mean, for the show: The best thing about this theory, is that if it is true, it could mean pretty much ANYTHING. Myrtle being a polyglot opens up a whole host of doors. The first one that springs to mind, is that she may be the thread that connects Amalia and the residents of the Orphanage to Doctor Horatio Cousens (played by Zachary Momoh). After all, while Amalia and friends might not be able to speak Latin, a successful physician surely would.
Also, let us not forget one of the laws of The WhedonVerse: Anything written in latin is instantly cool, dangerous, or both!
Now, we leave the realms of the confirmed, and delve deep into the lands of speculation. Here, we have a theory that has absolutely no evidence to back it up, other than that I think it's cool and I want it to be true.
My Power is to give your power MORE POWER!
The Theory: It's quite simple, really. Amalia doesn't technically have any powers. She can't blow stuff up with her brain, she's not a super genius, she can't fly. She can kick ungodly levels of ass with her trusty brolly, but that's all her. No powers needed.
However! That's not to say she's not one of the Touched. Her ability is something far more powerful, and infinitely more dangerous.
Simply put, Amalia has the ability to increase the power of any of the touched that are in her surroundings. So if she's standing near to Annie Carbey AKA Bonfire, a Pyromancer, Bonfire would be able to create larger, and hotter, flames.
What this could mean, for the show: It's simple, really. The moment it becomes known that Amalia is able to amplify powers like this, she'll go from a nobody to the most important person in the city, maybe the whole world, instantly.
This is a WhedonVerse show, so there's going to be a Big Bad. And that Big Bad is going to have an evil plan. More than likely, that plan is going to involve the nefarious usage of one or more powers.
Now imagine that they find out Amalia is capable of taking any power and increasing it's effect tenfold. Suddenly, they're sneaking Desirée Blodgett into the houses of Parliment, and every MP in the House of Lords is forced to tell the truth. It would be utter chaos!
So I think making Amalia an Amplifier makes her suitably pivotal to the plot, affords the writers lots of opportunity to sow some chaos, all the while not succumbing to the Superman effect, where she becomes so powerful that all the drama leaves the show.
So that's a wrap, folks. I think you'll admit that those first two theories are looking pretty close to confirmation right now. Which of course raises the question: Are we just that good, and that attuned to the way Joss thinks, that we're able to predict what he's going to do with such startling precision, or is he listening in to the Podcast, and borrowing our ideas?
Either way, I can't wait to see how it all plays out in the show. And if it IS the second option, well, you know where to send the cheque, Joss!
As for the third one, while we have literally no evidence to support it, it IS pretty fun. So let's hope that even if it's not exactly right, it's close enough.