New TV series from creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer filmed in Knebworth
- Credit: Keith Bernstein/HBO
A new sci-fi drama series from an Avengers director and creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was partly filmed in Knebworth.
Joss Whedon's highly anticipated HBO original series The Nevers debuts this April on HBO and will be available to stream in America on HBO Max.
The series will be shown on Sky Atlantic in the UK later this year, starting on a date to be confirmed.
The first look trailer for the Victorian-era series was released last week, with Knebworth House featuring in the 90-second video clip.
Home Box Office's official teaser trailer has already been viewed more than 5.3 million times on YouTube, with people comparing the show to a female 19th-century version of The X-Men, with Penny Dreadful and Carnival Row vibes.
In the last years of Queen Victoria’s reign, London is beset by the 'Touched': people – mostly women – who suddenly manifest abnormal abilities, some charming, some very disturbing.
Among them are Amalia True (Laura Donnelly), a mysterious, quick-fisted widow, and Penance Adair (Ann Skelly), a brilliant young inventor.
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The show's synopsis reads: “They are the champions of this new underclass, making a home for the Touched, while fighting the forces of… well, pretty much all the forces – to make room for those whom history as we know it has no place."
As well as the central lead characters played by Laura Donnelly and Ann Skelly, The Nevers features a strong ensemble cast.
This includes The Sixth Sense's Olivia Williams, James Norton, who played Sidney Chambers in Grantchester, flame-haired Poldark favourite Eleanor Tomlinson, Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead star Nick Frost, and Ben Chaplin, who starred alongside Nicole Kidman in movie Birthday Girl, which was set in St Albans.
The Nevers is created and executive produced by Joss Whedon, who devised hit series Buffy the Vampire Slayer starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, and its spin-off Angel starring David Boreanaz.
Whedon also directed and co-wrote superhero blockbusters Marvel Avengers Assemble and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The Nevers is Whedon's return to the small screen, although he stepped away from the project in November.
As well as his creative input into the opening six episodes, the TV series is also executive produced by Bernadette Caulfield, Ilene S. Landress, Doug Petrie, Jane Espenson and Philippa Goslett.
Of the cast, Donnelly appeared as Jenny Fraser in TV series Outlander, and was Mabel Tolkien in movie Tolkien opposite Nicholas Hoult, who played J.R.R. Tolkien.
She leads the series as Amalia, the most reckless, impulsive, emotionally damaged hero of her time.
Ann Skelly appears as Penance, Amalia’s dearest friend, and one of the first women to join her cause as a gang of Victorian women find themselves with supernatural abilities.
She posted a picture from the series on Instagram with the words: "Hi this cutie pie is Penance Adair. She loves inventing & a tousled top knot.
"I’m legally not allowed to disclose more info but this should be enough to capture minds, bodies and hearts.
"Also I am too thrilled, I might eat a bunch of hobnobs. @hbo @nevershbo #hbo #TheNevers"
Olivia Williams plays Lavinia Bidlow, a wealthy spinster and champion of 'The Touched' who funds the orphanage where Amalia and many of them live.
Former Grantchester star James Norton takes on the role of Hugo Swann, the nefarious best friend of Lavinia’s brother Augie, and secret club owner who’s fascinated by 'The Touched'.
Playing Lavinia’s disarming younger brother Augustus 'Augie' Bidlow is Da Vinci's Demons star Tom Riley, while Ben Chaplin is the gruff and deeply moral Detective Frank Mundi, a man caught between the powerful and 'The Touched'.
Eleanor Tomlinson, best known for playing Demelza in Poldark, plays Mary Brighton in the six-part first season.
Also involved are The Crown's Pip Torrens as the unflappable Lord Massen, a former General who’s determined to protect the established order from these strange people, and Denis O'Hare.
True Blood and American Horror Story star Denis O'Hare plays Dr Hague, a gifted American surgeon.
Describing the series to a French website, he said: "It is a wild, Victorian X-Men meets Sherlock Holmes meets girls with superpowers mash-up. And I play a delightful scientist."
Nick Frost, who recently starred in Amazon Prime supernatural series Truth Seekers, is Declan Orrun, aka The Beggar King, a low-level crime lord.
The cast also includes Rochelle Neil, Amy Manson, Zackary Momoh, Sanditon's Elizabeth Berrington, Kiran Sawar, Anna Devlin, Viola Prettejohn, and Ella Smith.
The Nevers will debut later this year with six episodes on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV.