Creator: Joss Whedon
Director: Joss Whedon
Starring: Laura Donnelly, Ann Skelly, James Norton, Tom Riley, Pip Torrens, Denis O’Hare, Amy Manson, Olivia Williams and Eleanor Tomlinson
On the 3rd August 1896, a strange and mysterious event takes place in London. The results of this strange occurrence mean a random group of ordinary people are given new abilities and become a new group of society know as ‘the touched’.
Welcome to the strange world of Joss Whedon’s The Nevers, a sci-fi adventure which follows people who have been touched by a strange event that no one can remember causing them to have new and strange abilities. Our focus is on a woman who we see in the first scene jumping into a river. Our protagonist known as the widow Amalia True (Laura Donnelly) is a very strong character, she is in charge of what is known as ‘the orphanage’ a home for women/girls who are a part of the touched and their families either don’t want them or can’t cope with the new change.
Before we continue, there are SPOILERS in this review of The Nevers Season 1 Episode 1.
SPOILERS FOR THE NEVERS SEASON 1 EPISODE 1
ALIENS IN VICTORIAN LONDON?
At the end of this episode of The Nevers, we get more of an understanding what happened three years earlier and why these women and few men are called The Touched. A strange, almost alien-looking spaceship is seen entering the atmosphere and from the engines, something is being left behind. It almost looks like dust or snow but some kind of strange particles which has hence given members of the public different abilities. It is clever that one no can remember this strange event happening but accept that something did happen to cause this sudden change in so many people.
DONNELLY AND SKELLY MAKE A FANTASTIC DUO
Our leading lady, Amalia experiences ‘rippling’s’ which are uncontrollable glimpses into the future. Thus, these rippling’s make Amalia know where she must go and where she needs to be but never knows why. In this episode, she is shown that she must go to the opera but she doesn’t know or what is going to happen but just knows she needs to be there.
Amalia’s right-hand woman who has now become an inventor is Penance Adair (Ann Skelly), she is kind and quite sweet yet so intelligent. I really enjoyed watching this character and I’m excited to see how this character may grow; I feel like Penance is a lot stronger than she may first appear. Penance is a very smart woman and her ‘power’/ability is that she can visualise and predict the flow of electricity and where it needs to go. We have seen and can expect to see her spend a lot of time inventing and creating new devices. Although like the car, it is clear that these inventions she is creating appear ahead of their time.
Laura Donnelly and Ann Skelly make a great duo and I’ve really enjoyed watching them in this first episode. Their characters are so different but they work so well together. Penance is very soft and light while Amalia is straight to the point and stern. Both performances are so strong and I look forward to more scenes with these characters together.
DONNELLY KNOWS HOW TO THROW A PUNCH!
However, I can’t take away how great Donnelly looks when fighting. Her fight scenes in this first episode are intense and full-on but they create such an impact. I think it is great we are seeing this woman who is so strong she is ready to take on anyone and does. Donnelly is great in the fight scenes and keeps our attention. These scenes look tiresome to actually do but watching them they have given off a lot of energy. Credit to Donnelly she really knows how to throw a punch!
A TERRIBLE NIGHT AT THE OPERA
There have been murders in London and the culprit is a touched woman named Maladie (Amy Manson). Maladie is on a killing spree and yet to be caught. Manson put on a good performance in this first episode, during the opera. Her monologue given at the opera is very long or feels very long, and I don’t know if it could have been performed better. I just felt like it went on for a while and didn’t really tell us much or didn’t tell us anything worth remembering. It did gives us an insight into the mind of Maladie but a part from that it wasn’t overly that enjoyable to watch. I feel like Maladie is going to be an enjoyable character to watch as she is the other side of the touched.
While everyone we have seen are trying to live a peaceful and safe life, she has gone to the other side and using this new power of hers for evil. Although I think it may be a mental thing with this character, she is the only character who really remembers what happened three years ago yet people think she is mad. Therefore, she might not be a bad person but whatever her past is that is causing her actions now?
A DOCTOR EXPERIMENTS ON THE TOUCHED
Not only have the touched been disowned by their families or accused of just pulling tricks. They are now in need of protection as they have become a result of hate crime and there a cruel doctor on the loose. Doctor Edmund Hague (Dennis O’Hare) is kidnapping the touched, so he can drill into their brains to see how they are different and what possibly what caused it. He appears as if he is trying to work out what happened with experiments but these experiments look more like torture.
THE TOUCHED ARE A THREAT TO SOCIETY?
This episode has a lot of action and has set up this world quite nicely. It has presented us with the characters we need to know about and the themes we can expect to see reoccur in this season. I think it is important that the question of what should society do about the touched is referred to quite a lot in this episode. There are lots of opinions about the touched, some think that it is just a few women playing tricks while others think this is a threat that may need to put a holt too.
We are dealing with Victorian England thus during this time woman are seen as lesser to men, as a result they should have less power. The touched who at the moment appear to be mainly women in London have been granted power they shouldn’t have. The touched are being presented as an attack on society but really it is because they are different that the men in power are scared because they can’t control them as easily. They are speaking up and demanding to be treated fairly, which really everyone should be treated equally.
LORD MASSEN VS LAVINIA BIDLOW
Lord Massen (Pip Torrens) is defiantly anti-touched yet it is curious why considering his daughter could be one from what we saw in the final scene. Or the effect of being touched had a sadder fate for his daughter. It all unknown and too early to say but we can conclude we will eventually find out why he is so against the touched and it will defiantly have something to do with his daughter. If this is the case then maybe Massen is hiding his emotion so we can’t see the impact this has had on him.
While on the other side we have heiress Lavinia Bidlow (Olivia Williams) who helps the touched and helps to keep them safe by putting a roof over their heads. Yet her brother, Augie Bidlow (Tom Riley), is a character to watch. He comes across as confused on the whole touched situation but it is revealed at the end, he is one of them however he doesn’t know it. I think it is going to interesting to see how he comes to terms with this revelation and how he responds to it all in The Nevers.
MARY HAS A MUCH BIGGER PART TO PLAY THAN JUST SINGING
Mary (Eleanor Tomlinson) I believe will be another character to watch but for different reasons. Mary sings and her song reveals the touched to one another, some didn’t even know they were one. The song brings all the touched together and calms them. Mary is powerful therefore she is important and must be saved. A big emphasis has been made already on how important she is so it’ll be really exciting to find out why and how is she is much more powerful than the others.
The Nevers isn’t a simple show it has many subplots following alongside its main story. Originally, I was confused why a subplot about a sex club for the super-rich involving Hugo Swann (James Norton) was created but it seems like the touched are going to be involved, in not the nicest way at some point, from hints suggested from trailers. James Norton adds another element to this show, Hugo doesn’t care about anything except making money and sex. His desires are very simple and he lives a very expensive and thrilling life. Although Hugo isn’t dumb, he is clever as he is blackmailing Frank Mundi (Ben Chaplin), the police inspector who is after Maladie. However, alongside all of this, it is already hinted that there may be some sort of feelings there for Mary too. So, it’ll be fun to see how all this plays out.
LOTS OF CHARACTERS EQUALS LOTS OF SECRETS TO DISCOVER
Every character we have met in The Nevers Episode 1 is hiding something or seems like they are hiding something but really, we need more time to understand them and their history. The issue I think we may have with this show is that so many characters were introduced so early on that we may have trouble remembering some or won’t have enough time to learn more about them. When you have a big cast there should be a reason for having one but we, as an audience, must be given time with all these characters to be able to understand them and create some form of connection. Otherwise, we will question what is the need for introducing so many characters, especially in the first episode if they don’t add anything to the plot and are just there for show.
A lot of information is thrown at us in just one episode and that is due to the show needing to set the scene and attempt to explain or hint at what happened and why the world and people are the way they are. Whatever happened isn’t a simple explanation so at the end we are shown a scene that tries to explain but really it gives us more questions than answers.
SET IN THE PAST BUT A SUBJECT THAT IS STILL RELEVANT TODAY!
The touched are made to be any group of people that don’t fit in with society and even with this show set in the past, that notion is still relevant today. Even in these modern times, there are groups of people who feel like outcasts for various different reason and these groups are sometimes made to seem the cause of events. The touched haven’t done anything wrong except try to live their lives, yes Maladie has taken things too far but she doesn’t appear mentally stable which could be a result of what happened to her three years ago when she got her new abilities.
The real question is who is the real bad guy in The Nevers? The doctor performing the most horrendous and painful experiments, Maladie who is turning on her own kind as well as normal people or Lord Massen who appears to be wanted rid of the touched for an easier life.
THE NEVERS SEASON 1 EPISODE 1 ASKS US SOME IMPORTANT QUESTIONS AND LEAVES US WANTING MORE!
What this first episode is asking us all about is the class system and how do we as a society respond when there is a disturbance in the hierarchy. We see a scene of important men having a debate on where the PM should stand on the issue. Hence making the touched a controversial issue.
Episode 1 is very full-on and we are thrown straight into this strange world and time period. I feel like this is going to be a very clever show and with all our characters are hiding secrets it’s going to be fun viewing discovering everything and how it all links together. There is so much to discover and such a talented cast we can expect great things in the oncoming episodes of The Nevers.
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