The Nevers vs The Irregulars: Which Do You Prefer?

Should these two shows even be compared? Both were released around the same time earlier this year, and both are about people with special powers in Victorian London. If that piques your interest, they’re both perfectly entertaining shows. But I look forward to season 2 of one show significantly more than the other.

The Irregulars follows a close-knit band of orphans, one of whom is developing special powers. When other people in London start gaining–and abusing–various powers as well, they’re hired by Watson (yes, of Sherlock Holmes) to investigate. It’s on Netflix.

And that’s mostly the show. Each episode is a self-contained mystery with little impact on the other episodes, which if perfectly fine. It’s classic TV. There’s plenty of drama between the characters along the way, as well as a few ongoing storylines, but it’s mostly episodic. Sometimes it refers to the inevitable collapse of London, but it’s such a backdrop to the mysteries and core characters that there isn’t any sense of greater stakes. Again, that’s fine, but I wish the show would be okay with remaining small–not every supernatural show needs the fate of the world as the stakes.

The Nevers follows a group of people–mostly women–who have been “touched” by a variety of special powers. It also jumps around to other power brokers around London, ala Game of Thrones. The stakes are very specific: How does the world respond to the idea that a select few people have special powers?

The first 5 episodes of The Nevers are very good. Each episode has a clear beginning and end, a story it wants to tell, but they each feel like a piece of a bigger puzzle. There are mysteries within mysteries within mysteries.

And then you get to the 6th and final episode, and you realize that there’s a much bigger mystery that you never even knew to look for. Wow. We just watched that episode last night, and it elevated The Nevers from a very good show to a great show that I desperately want more of. HBO hasn’t yet indicated any release schedule, but it’s looking like 2022 at the earliest.

I highly recommend The Nevers. If you don’t have HBO and you’re in the mood for some supernatural Victorian fiction, The Irregulars will suffice.

What did you think about the first seasons of these shows?

6 thoughts on “The Nevers vs The Irregulars: Which Do You Prefer?”

  1. I have not seen The Irregulars, but will check that out soonish.

    But yes, really enjoying The Nevers. Love Joss Whedon’s work, and this does not disappoint. Enjoyed a rewatch, picking up on small breadcrumbs that we glossed over on the first viewing.

    Technically, this is only part 1 of the first Season. Filming was interrupted early last year during COVID, but he/they didn’t want to air the first 5 eps, without ep 6, so it was on hold until October when they could finish shooting ep 6, and then do post production.

    • Thanks for sharing! I also think there were some unfortunate things revealed about Whedon that resulted in him being removed from the project (justifiably so, based on the reports), which also impacted the project. But I look forward to it continuing in the hands of others.

    • Wait, so episode 6 wasn’t the series finale? Frankly, I loved The Nevers until episode 6. We had a terrible time trying to follow it and initially wondered if we’d accidentally recorded the wrong show. It was nice getting some back story on the making of True and Maladie; I absolutely LOVE Penance, but jeez, it really switched gears without warning when it dropped us into the last episode. If there are even more episodes to follow, I’d love to hear any details of dates.

      We haven’t looked into The Irregulars. I guess that show’s previews weren’t quite as compelling as showing a scene of someone [presumably deserving of] getting taint-punched.

      The other one we liked very much was the mini series “Luminaries” which I thought wrapped things up nicely. Plus it had Eve Hewson who never disappoints.

      Hoping that Penny Dreadful comes out with another season soon too. So many possibilities!

      • I think it was intended as a half-season finale–I really hope it wasn’t the series finale! 🙂

        I agree that episode 6 was jarring, and we wondered if we were watching the same show. But once we realized what was happening, it really elevated my love for it. Thanks for the Luminaries recommendation!


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