Joss Whedon’s series features oppressed but powerful women

Ann Skelly and Laura Donnelly are the heroines of “The Nevers”. – HBO

  • OCS airs this Monday “The Nevers”, a fantasy drama of the Victorian era, created by Joss Whedon, the father of “Buffy” for HBO.
  • This series features women with extraordinary powers.
  • Why do fans of Buffy will they fall in love with The Nevers ?

After The Irregulars on Netflix or Carnival row on Amazon Prime Video, another ambitious fantasy drama from the Victorian era arrives. Ray Fisher’s accusations of Joss Whedon’s behavior on the set of Justice league have thrown a veil over the exit of The Nevers, fiction created, directed and produced by Josh Whedon for HBO, before leaving the series in October 2020 due to “physical fatigue” caused by “hardships”.

Powerful women, mysteries and occult forces… The creator of Buffy the vampire slayer seems to return to his first love with this series, broadcast in France this Monday at 8:40 pm on OCS City. Why do fans of Buffy will they fall in love with The Nevers ?

Women with superhuman abilities like Buffy

In Victorian-era London, some locals, mostly women, began to develop strange powers. They are called the “affected”. “It’s like in life, we know that we are surrounded by women and that they have superpowers”, laughs Ben Chaplin, who plays Inspector Frank Mundi, and that 20 minutes met at a panel discussion hosted by HBO.

These “affected” women are rejected and are seen as a threat to the established order of good society. Among their main detractors, Lord Masson. “The more he tries to control and reinforce patriarchal values, the more we realize that he is hiding something,” explains his interpreter, Pip Torrens.

Many find refuge in the orphanage, a home funded by the family fortune of Lavinia Bidlow (Olivia Williams). “There is a certain insolence in his relationship with Lord Masson. They enjoy duels, sword games, debates between them. You can learn from someone while you disagree with them, ”Olivia Williams analyzes. His enigmatic wheelchair character is reminiscent of Professor Xavier taking mutants under his wing to make them X-Men, but seems less altruistic than he seems. “The series hints at classic science fiction tropes, but it shakes the box and throws up new and original ideas,” says Olivia Williams. Some may also think of Miss Havisham in The great expectations by Charles Dickens. “

Fighting women like Buffy

Among these women with extraordinary abilities, the reckless Amalia True (Laura Donnelly, seen in Outlanders), “Who could die for the cause and kill for a drink” and Penance Adair (Ann Skelly, seen in Vikings), “Genius of invention”, manage the orphanage and protect the “affected” from their many enemies.

Modern versions of Buffy? “I have never seen a single episode of Buffy ! I should feel embarrassed because I hear a lot about similarities. When I discovered my character, I was told about a female version of Butch Cassidy and the Kid. I immediately saw the fun side of it, ”says Laura Donnelly. ” I watched Buffy at an age when I shouldn’t have! There are similarities between Buffy and Amalia in that they both become unwitting heroines with a mission on their shoulders for some reason. But it’s a different style, because it’s the Victorian era, ”adds Ann Skelly.

“Amalia is much more extreme than me in all areas,” laughs Laura Donnelly. Like Buffy, Amalia seems to have a predisposition for combat. “I had to train for six weeks before filming the first episode,” says the actress. The star of the show had to retrain himself on multiple occasions while the shooting was interrupted by the health crisis. “I love it, so it was good,” said the actress.

“Personally, I thank God for my role! Penance is more of a thinker than a woman of action. It protects me from all these crazy stunts, and it also preserves my energy, ”laughs Ann Skelly.

Among Amalia’s enemies, Maladie (Amy Manson), an unstable woman, perverted by power she does not understand and tortured by doctors eager to find its source. From her underground refuge, she leads a gang and engages in a series of murders. “I loved the fight scenes with Amy. We rehearsed a lot. There might have been a little accident. I think I nudged him in the chest at one point… but we didn’t have any injuries as such, ”adds Laura Donnelly.

A feminist subtext like in Buffy

“This story gives so many women the opportunity to be extraordinary and that’s something as an actress,” says Olivia Williams. The title The Nevers refers to “a group of people considered never to have been, who have an anomaly,” says Laura Donnelly. They are a minority, an oppressed group. “” The Nevers are those that should never have existed. They internalized this feeling of “I should never have been like this”, and it mirrored: “how should I be?”, “What is the alternative to what you are?”, Abounds Ann Skelly.

“We are stronger by being united. Many “affected” do not understand their powers. Some are wilder and crazier than others. They join forces to become stronger. The metaphor is that they represent a minority, ”says Amy Manson.

And it is no coincidence that HBO has entrusted the reins of this steampunk series created by Joss Whedon to a woman, Philippa Goslett. “I really enjoyed working with Josh and I think after he leaves Philippa is the perfect person to continue,” says Ann Skelly. “I had a wonderful time on set, and the vast majority of the crew will be back for the second half of the season. I can’t wait to find them. This time, we will be led by our new production manager, Philippa Goslett. I can’t wait to work with her and find out what more she will bring, ”concludes Laura Donnelly.

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