The Nevers is a steampunk fantasy period drama created by Joss Whedon. Entitled “Touched”, the pilot episode of The Nevers – also written and directed by Whedon – introduces the basic premise and characters of the story, which is set during the Victorian era.
Simply put, the premise of The Nevers revolves around a group of individuals ‘touched’ by special abilities who fight for peace and equality between normal humans and the ‘touched’ in a world where bigotry against the ‘touched’ is fierce and widespread.
Actually, that is the premise of The X-Men and we just replaced the word ‘mutants’ with ‘touched’. Which is the main problem with The Nevers, it is unoriginal and grossly derivative. When one considers that the parallels can also be expanded to include The Doom Patrol, Whedon’s blatant rip-off becomes even more disgusting.
To Whedon’s credit, he reveals that he is in on the in-joke, when halfway through this pilot episode of The Nevers, we are introduced to the benefactor of the ‘touched’ – Lavinia Bidwell (Olivia Williams) who is – we shit you not! – wheelchair-bound! Yes, exactly like Professor X and the Chief – Whedon is so full of his own ego that he thinks he can get away scott free with this kind of lazy creative theft!
Well, maybe Whedon (and HBO) believe that most casual viewers would not be too familiar with this clichéd superhero trope to notice and be taken in by the social justice tokens thrown their way. Like the diverse cast of protagonists and the old white male villains. Not to mention the main character of Amalia True (Laura Donnelly) being a ‘Mary Sue’ stereotype – kicking and punching her way through the episode like an action hero dressed in a big, long skirt and a corset (!) Utterly ridiculous! A big thumbs down for The Nevers.
… still there’s more …