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The Nevers Season 1 Part 1 Blu-ray Review

“The Nevers” is too cluttered at the moment.

In the 6 episode season 1 part 1 of HBO’s “The Nevers,” the Victorian London set sci-fi series revolves around the character of Amalia who runs an Orphanage for The Touched (super powered individuals). While the series does deal with The Touched characters like Beth, Mary and Myrtle, the main storylines involve a serial killer named Maladie, a UFO which may be linked to The Touched, Lavinia (a secretive and wealthy supporter of the Orphanage), and a Doctor (Hague) experimenting on The Touched. The criminal kingpin Beggar King, club owner Hugo Swann, and Inspector Frank Mundi also have their own key subplots. 

Created by Joss Whedon (who later left the series), “The Nevers” is an ambitious sci-fi/steampunk series with a lot of promising concepts. One might say the show is too ambitious for its own good. The series contains a ton of characters, many moving pieces, numerous subplots, lavish production values, and a big sci-fi element. Alas, the show hasn’t quite found its footing yet and I’m not entirely sold on it. Perhaps when the back half of season 1 debuts next year the show will start to gel more under a new showrunner (Philippa Goslett). As is, the series feels like Joss Whedon’s greatest hits mixed with “X-Men,” “Heroes,” “Downton Abbey” and “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children.” All the usual Whedon staples are here- Super powered individuals, female heroine, a deranged villain (Maladie), witty dialogue, you know the drill. 

What’s really lacking in this series is character which is odd since that’s usually Whedon’s strong suit. Penance (breakout star Ann Skelly) and Amalia (Laura Donnelly) are both likable leads and are indeed the best part of the series, but the massive cast of supporting characters are largely dull or downright irritating (I’m looking at you Frank Mundi). Given how many talented folks are in the cast like Olivia Williams, Nick Frost, and Denis O’Hare one would think the characters would be better, but they just feel underwritten at this point. Also, several characters feel defined by their power and their place in society as opposed to fully fleshed out people. Again, this could change, but right now it’s a problem.

One element that does shine here is the production values. HBO clearly spared no expense with the sets, costumes, special effects and that nifty auto-carriage. The series is nothing if not a visual treat.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does the series look? The episodes look sharp in hi-def.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? In a word, layered.

Extras:
* Digital copy
* Character profiles for Amalia, Penance, Mary, Bonfire Annie, Detective Frank Mundi, Augie Bidlow and Hugo Swann.
* “Introducing The Nevers”- A quick featurette that sells the series.
* “A New Age Of Power”- A bonus feature about The Touched.
* “A Touch Of Power: The Themes Behind The Nevers”- Self-explanatory.
* 6 “Creating The Nevers” featurettes titled “A Night At The Opera,” “A Charitable Event,” “Walking On Water,” “Confrontation And Translation,” “Shock and Awe,” and “Telling Time” about the Opera, Gala, lake action, Massen and Amalia confrontation, the hanging, and Amalia’s past sequences.
* A “Villains Of The Nevers” featurette.
* “Accustomed To The Impossible: The Making Of The Nevers.”
* 3 “The Craft” spotlights on editor Lisa Lassek, VFX Supervisor Johnny Han, director Zetna Fuentes.

October 14, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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