For the first time since the cancellation of ‘Dollhouse’ in 2010, Joss Whedon is returning to the medium that many would argue is his first, best destiny: television.
Dubbed ‘The Nevers’, the series is described as “an epic science-fiction drama about a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities” by HBO, which beat out Netflix and a variety of other networks to host the show. Whedon himself describes ‘The Nevers’ as “maybe the most ambitious narrative” that he’s attempted in his career to date.
But what about that name? ‘The Nevers’ – it almost sounds like it could be a team name, especially if you have a few long boxes full of comics in your basement. But that’s not the case. And as Whedon explained to IGN at San Diego Comic-Con following the show’s formal announcement, there’s more going on with the title than might be immediately apparent:
“They, themselves are not called that in the show. It’s a phrase that’s meant to evoke a sort of reaction to their oddity, to what is considered unnatural. The idea that you should never be like this, you should never have existed. Something is not the way it should be, and you don’t have the right to have whatever weird power or ability that you have. And that idea, that some people are not of the natural order, is fascinating to me. I don’t agree with it. But to me, it’s one of those things where you take something negative and you wear it as a badge of honor, basically. Certain things could never happen – they’re happening. And the people they’re happening to are taking their place in the world.”
Whedon also clarified the show’s connection to ‘Twist’ – the Dark Horse comic series that was announced at SDCC a few years ago and has yet to materialize. That series, which was said to follow a “female, Victorian Batman” has yet to materialize, and fans were quick to note the similarities between it and ‘The Nevers’. So what is the connection? In short, there isn’t one. Whedon explained that the similarities are more a result of his own interest in the Victorian period and the fin de siècle paradigm it represents – a world on the cusp of sudden, massive, and irrevocable change.
As for ‘Twist’ itself, the book remains in limbo, with Whedon himself admitting that he’s not entirely sure what’s going on with the project at this point.
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on ‘The Nevers’ and other upcoming Joss Whedon projects as it becomes available.