New Joss Whedon Series 'The Nevers' Casts 'Outlander' Star Laura Donnelly As Lead

The new Joss Whedon series has found its lead. The Avengers director is making his highly anticipated return to TV with The Nevers, a sci-fi drama about a group of Victorian women with unusual abilities. But a Joss Whedon show is not complete without a great female lead, and The Nevers cast has found that lead in Outlander's Laura Donnelly.

Laura Donnelly has been cast as the lead in The Nevers, the HBO sci-fi series co-written by Whedon and Buffy the Vampire Slayer alums Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie. Deadline broke the news of Donnelly's casting in The Nevers, which will be Donnelly's most high-profile role yet.

The Outlander actress has starred in a string of both genre and historical series, appearing in supporting roles in Britannia, The FallMerlin, and more. So she seems well-suited for The Nevers, an epic sci-fi drama about "a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world."

Donnelly will play Amalia True, the "most reckless, impulsive, emotionally damaged hero of her time," according to Deadline. "A menace to stuffy Victorian society, she would die for the cause and kill for a drink." Whedon praised Donnelly's casting, saying in a statement:

"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."

Whedon directs and serves as showrunner for the series, which he executive produces alongside Espenson, Petrie and Bernie Caulfield. The Nevers, which Whedon has described as his "most ambitious narrative I've created," serves as his lauded return to television after eight years, the last being the short-lived Fox sci-fi series Dollhouse.

Whedon may be best known for shepherding the Marvel Cinematic Universe to its current glory, but his best work remains on the small screen, with groundbreaking series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly leaving indelible marks on the TV landscape. All of his series tested the boundaries for genre storytelling, and I can't wait to see what he has to offer with The Nevers, which will see him returning to longform storytelling, an area he has always excelled in. While Whedon's brand of feminism may seem like it's badly aged these days, I still hold to his talent as a writer and hope that with this series, he can grow with the times. Never mind that it's set in the Victorian ages.