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The Nevers - Episodes 1 - 3 - Review

Right from the get-go, The Nevers has established itself as a wondrous television experience. Full of wit, energetic action, clever dialogue, and told with a visually stunning, steampunk aesthetic, it is hard not to be excited for what this HBO fantasy has to offer in episodes to come.

However, that does not mean this show doesn’t have its flaws. The Nevers does feel a bit overstuffed. We have a man who owns a brothel exploiting the Touched for his own gains; a mad scientist experimenting on the Touched; an unhinged super powered murderer on the loose; a ruthless gangster who controls the black market; a tough but broken detective; an aristocrat who is a skeptic of the Touched; a wheelchair bound spinster and supporter of the Touched with an evil scheme of her own; and said spinster’s brother, a rare Touched male whose power we have yet to see. This is all not to mention the variety of Touched we have been introduced to thus far, including our protagonist Amalia True who has some mysterious secrets of her own. Phew!

There is so much going on that we haven’t had a whole lot of time to take a breather and settle down with some of the more interesting characters like our main protagonist Amelia and the antagonist Maladie (whose pasts are more connected than we originally thought). Meanwhile, characters such as Hugo, detective Mundy, and the gangster Declan, though they have had their moments, they thus far feel irrelevant – the show would not miss a beat without them.

The Nevers, nonetheless, still manages to be a thoroughly engaging experience made possible by some fine performances. Nick Frost, usually portraying passive and comedic characters, takes a stab at bringing to life the very ruthless gangster, Declan, and is very believable in the role, despite it feeling irrelevant. Amy Manson as Maladie does as great of a job at portraying crazy as Emily Hampshire did in the role of Jennifer Goines in Sci Fi’s 12 Monkeys. I am in love with Ann Skelly’s Penance Adair, whose quirkiness is just so infectious and endearing. She contrasts well off Laura Donnely’s more resolute, Amalia True, a protagonist with some intriguing mystery while also being a complete bad ass.   

The story itself is interesting. Episode 3 felt like the closure of a first chapter. The scenes involving Mary Brighton (Eleanor Tomlinson) whose song touches deep the souls of the Touched, were just so beautiful to behold, which made it all the more shocking and devastating when she got shot and apparently died.

The main plot seems like it will revolve around whatever devious scheme Lavinda Bindlow (Olivia Williams) and Dennis O’Hare’s mad scientist is up to, as the Touched continually come in conflict with their army of robot beings.

Through all the fun there have been some beautiful photography. In episode 1, the concluding scene that revealed how the Touched got touched, was simply awe inspiring and evoked such raw emotions with the choice of music being played. The park scene, when Mary Brighton sung her song for all the Touched to hear, was as affecting to viewers as it might’ve been to the Touched hearing it in the show. And to close off episode 3, Bonfire Annie’s fiery tribute to Mary Brighton with a crowd of the Touched behind her was a profoundly emotional conclusion.

With time, once this massive cast of characters and the world get fleshed out more, The Nevers could potentially turn out to be something special. Three episodes in and it is already a thoroughly engrossing adventure while also hitting on some affecting emotional beats. 

 

About the Author - Kollin Lore
Kollin is a writer and a film and television freak, having grown up during the 90s and 2000s a dedicated fan of Buffy, and moreso, Angel, before Supernatural took up half his life. Kollin's nightly hours are occupied mostly by genre TV, in particular, sci-fi and fantasy with especial love for space operas and shows about things that go bump in the night.
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