Joss Whedon’s The Nevers expands its cast, including Nick Frost and Olivia Williams

A Dollhouse alum joins Laura Donnelly and an impressive cast roster in Whedon’s new Victorian sci-fi drama.

Joss Whedon’s return to TV in HBO Sci-fi Series The Nevers is certain to garner lots of interest. And judging by the recent cast announcements (courtesy of Deadline), it is looking to be one of the most anticipated shows next year.

Following the confirmation that Laura Donnelley has been cast in the lead role, HBO announced 12 new castings for the series. Olivia Williams, who worked with Whedon on Dollhouse has been added to the series along with Nick Frost, James Norton, Ben Chaplin, Eleanor Tomlinson, Tom Riley, Pip Torrens, Denis O’Hare, Amy Manson, Ann Skelly, Zackary Momoh and Rochelle Neil.

The Nevers follows a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world. Whedon will direct, produced and server as showrunner on the series. He is also co-writing the series with former Buffy The Vampire Slayer writers Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie.

HBO have also released some character breakdowns of the people the new cast will be playing:

Laura Donnelly is set to play Amalia True, the most reckless, impulsive, emotionally damaged hero of her time. A menace to stuffy Victorian society, she would die for the cause and kill for a drink.

Olivia Williams stars as Lavinia Bidlow, a wealthy spinster and champion of the “Touched”, who funds the Orphanage where Amalia and many of the Touched live through her vast family fortune. She is stern and old-fashioned, but as strong-willed and clever as anyone she confronts.

James Norton portrays Hugo Swan, a pansexual posh boy whose charm has about five years left on its lease. He runs a secret club and a side trade in blackmail. He’s devoted to fulfilling everyone’s worst impression of him and fascinated by the Touched.

Tom Riley stars as Augustus “Augie” Bidlow, a sweet, disarming nerd and Lavinia’s younger brother. A keen ornithologist, Augie is happy to let his older sister take the reins of the family fortune. He finds the Touched unnerving but is drawn to them by his increasing infatuation with Miss Adair, and by the schemes of his nefarious best friend.

Ann Skelly plays Penance Adair, Amalia’s dearest friend, and one of the first women to join her cause. A devout – yet heretically progressive – Irish girl, Penance has a genius for invention. She is delighted by her power, and her default is love and acceptance. But she’s firm in her moral sense and will be guided by what’s right over what’s expedient every time.

Ben Chaplin portrays Detective Frank Mundi. Big, gruff, and deeply moral, Detective Mundi trusts no one, least of all himself: his reputation for sudden violence… and excessive drink… is not unwarranted. Frank finds himself caught between the powerful, who ignore the laws of the land, and newly empowered, who ignore the laws of physics.

Pip Torrens will play Lord Massen. Staunch, unflappable and merciless in his defence of the British Empire, this former General, now Peer, he may be the only man who sees clearly what havoc these few strange people can wreak upon the established order. Which he will protect, one way or another.

Zackary Momoh is Doctor Horatio Cousens. One of the few successful West Indian physicians in London. Married with a young son, Horatio’s fortunes took a dark turn when he met Amalia and discovered his own ability. Now he works with her, and with the Beggar King, those who don’t care who is or isn’t “different.”

Amy Manson will star as Maladie. Committed by her husband (and genuinely unstable), she’s been warped by a power she can’t understand, and tortured by doctors intent on finding its source. She now lives underground, runs a gang and is on an infamous murder spree. She affects a theatrical parody of a bedlam waif, but mad as she is, she’s a woman with a purpose.

Nick Frost stars as Declan Orrun, aka The Beggar King. Charismatic and brutal, Declan runs – or has a piece of – most of the low-level criminal activity in the city. He’s perfectly happy to help Amalia and her cause – and equally happy to sell them out. He backs winners, and the Touched are long odds.

Rochelle Neil portrays Annie Carbey, aka Bonfire, Annie is a career criminal who landed the ability to control fire and is happy to hire it out. Came up rough, stayed that way, but she’s neither impulsive nor cruel – just looking out for herself. No matter who she works with or for, Annie trusts only Annie, and the fire.

Eleanor Tomlinson will play Mary Brighton. Gentle but surprisingly resilient, Mary pursued her dream of singing on stage. A disappointing career and a broken engagement haven’t diminished her spirit. She’s going to be great. She’s going to be very surprised how.

Denis O’Hare stars as Dr. Edmund Hague. A gifted American surgeon, he uses his skills in the coldest, most brutal way possible. But it’s all in the name of progress!


The Nevers has been was given a straight-to-series order by HBO. An exact air date is yet to be confirmed but is likely to drop next year. Sky Atlantic should air the show in the UK due to their carriage deal with HBO.

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Updated: Jul 30, 2019

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