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Joss Whedon's HBO series adds more cast, reveals more details about its weirdness

Illustration for article titled Joss Whedon's HBO series adds more cast, reveals more details about its weirdness
Photo: Christopher Polk (Getty Images)

If it seems like only a couple of weeks ago that we were amusing ourselves by saying out loud the names of the new characters who would be populating the universe of Joss Whedon’s new Victorian sci-fi series The Nevers, that’s because it was. Actors like Olivia Williams, Nick Frost, and more were announced as the embodiments of roles like Lavinia Bidlow, Penance Adair, Dr. Horatio Cousens, and so on. Well, hopefully you enjoy delightfully overwrought names, because there’s a whole new batch of them that were announced today.


Variety reports a new round of actors has been cast in the HBO show, and while you probably haven’t heard of most of them, there’s plenty of fun to be had in hearing their character names and descriptions, which also help to continue illuminating just how weird this thing might actually be. (Which is fine: If there’s one thing Whedon has demonstrated, it’s that he makes very, very good TV shows—even the ones that start a little weak.) We know the basics—a group of Victorian women with extraordinary abilities called “The Touched” live in a mansion known as The Orphanage, bankrolled by a “wealthy spinster” (Williams), and find themselves caught up in a struggle against evil—and the previous character notes implied an outlandish army of supporting players and narratives swirling around them. So please enjoy these latest small clues about the world of The Nevers, which still doesn’t have the vaguest hint of a premiere date, damn it:

  • Kiran Sonia Sawar is set to play a young Scottish Sikh named Harriet Kaur who lives with the other women at the Orphanage but is also accepted by her family and the guy she’s marrying. So far, so normal.
  • Elizabeth Berrington is Lucy Best—again, very boring names thus far—a poor and streetwise former thief with a tragic past who has joined the Touched. Huh, maybe this will be more straightforward than we thought.
  • Ella Smart is Desirée Blodgett—a little more old-timey Brit-sounding, but still not too odd—a prostitute with the power to make men tell her anything they’re thinking, which would really be an unpleasant gift, most likely. (Also, the description says the men who visit her “come away relieved in more than one sense,” which, yuck.) She’s also got a mute six-year-old kid, who we’re going to go ahead and guess plays a key plot point at some time.
  • Viola Prettejohn has been cast as Myrtle Haplisch, which, now we’re talking, naming gods. She joins the Orphanage after losing the ability to speak in any kind of recognizable language, which is probably a very familiar problem to any hardcore followers of Jordan Peterson.
  • Anna Devlin is playing Primrose Chattaway (this is the shit we’re here for!), a 16-year-old who just wants to be a normal girl, but happens to be 10 feet tall. She is already our favorite character.
  • Lastly, Martyn Ford has been cast as Nicolas Perbal, a.k.a. Odium (nicknames! Now we’re really cooking with gas), described as the “quintessential henchman,” willing to work for anyone for the right price, but whose abilities leave him with a deeply unpleasant smell. Oh, right, because Odium, we get it now.

The Nevers will hopefully premiere on HBO sometime soon.

Alex McLevy is a writer and editor at The A.V. Club, and would kindly appreciate additional videos of robots failing to accomplish basic tasks.