Joss Whedon’s The Nevers casts Laura Donnelly as series lead


It’s been months since it was announced that Buffy the Vampire Slayer mastermind Joss Whedon would be returning to TV with the sci-fi drama The Nevers, and now the upcoming series has a star in Outlander’s Laura Donnelly.

Laura Donnelly has been cast as Amalia True in the HBO drama, reports DeadlineThe Nevers centers on a group of women in Victorian times who learn they have strange abilities. The realization brings them enemies as well as a world-altering mission.

Donnelly’s character is the most reckless, emotionally damaged of the group. As a result, she’s considered a menace to buttoned-up Victorian society but she’s also deeply committed to the group’s cause.

Of the casting news, Whedon said:

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"Laura Donnelly has charisma, wisdom and an anarchic precision that not only captures Amalia but defines her. She’s fierce and she’s funny – and I need both for the journey ahead."

The series scored a straight-to-series order from HBO and is being co-written by Whedon and former Buffy writers Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie. Whedon will serve as a showrunner for the series and executive produce with his co-writers and Bernie Caulfield.

Donnelly hails from Northern Ireland and is likely better known to UK audiences than those in the US. She’s best known in America for her recurring turn as Jenny Fraser on the Starz series Outlander. She will also soon be seen in the feature film Tolkien.

In addition to her screen credits, Donnelly is an Olivier Award-winning stage actress. She’s appeared the play The Ferryman, which was helmed by Sam Mendes, an Oscar winner for American Beauty. She also starred in the play The River in the UK opposite Dominic West and on Broadway opposite Hugh Jackman.

Since Buffy first came out, Whedon’s claim to fame has been crafting strong female characters. The Nevers will continue that tradition. Although based on the description, Amalia True will come with a lot more baggage than Buffy Summers did.

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For Whedon’s fans, the prospect of having a new show he created on TV after he took a long hiatus to work in movies is exciting. And the news that Buffy alums Espenson and Petrie are on board too makes The Nevers even more tantalizing.

Check back with ShowSnob for the latest news on The Nevers as it’s announced.