A special feature film from HBO’s “The Nevers” explains how they came up with the design for the Galanthi aliens. Joss Whedon created “The Nevers” for HBO, and the first six episodes of season one premiered in April 2021, followed by the second half of season one in 2022. The series is set in Victorian London and follows a group of people, largely women, who have developed supernatural talents, how they gained them, and what the capabilities signify for society. Amalia True (Laura Donnelly), a talented fighter who can see glimpses into the future, and Penance Adair (Claudia Black), an inventor who can detect energy patterns, lead a small group of these people who received talents known as the Touched.
After crash landing in Victorian London from a distant future Earth, the roots of the Touched’s talents are revealed to have come from an alien species known as the Galanthi. The Galanthi arrived to Earth with the intention of assisting humanity in restoring the planet; however, they were attacked and slain by humans upon their arrival, leading to the last Galanthi escaping once it became clear that Earth could not be salvaged. For the first time in the series, spectators get a complete look of the Galanthi in season one, episode six, “True,” introducing a stunningly designed alien to television.
Warner Bros. published a supplementary feature video on the Galanthi’s design process, which delves into the creature’s inspiration. According to VFX supervisor Johnny Han, the designers had an early notion of a creature that had the wisdom of an elephant, the otherworldly attributes of an octopus, and the ferocity and assertiveness of a T-Rex. These three elements were combined to create a creature who was knowledgeable and gentle while yet had the ability to intimidate. Physical characteristics of these animals were also blended, such as an elephant’s thick grey skin, an octopus’ semi-translucent tentacles, and a T-bi-pedal Rex’s stance and posture, to create a completely distinctive design. See the video below:
The Galanthi’s entrance addresses one issue addressed by the series, but it raises dozens more regarding the Touched’s future. The Galanthi was not the series’ principal enemy; the title was shared by numerous characters, including Lavinia Bidlow (Olivia Williams), Dr. Edmund Hague (Denis O’Hare), and Lord Gilbert Massen (Denis O’Hare) (Pip Torrens). Rather, the Galanthi becomes the focus of research and experimentation by Bidlow, who looks to be a Touched fan, and Dr. Hague. Despite the numerous threats to the Galanthi, it has Zephyr, whose soul was brought from the future and placed in the body and identity of Amalia True by the Galanthi.
The Glanthi made their first appearance in the mid-season finale, and there are a number of avenues for them to return in future episodes of “The Nevers”. True and the Galanthi have a strong bond, and as two people separated by time and space, their relationship appears to be a good place to start for future episodes. As the Touched become more common in London, individuals who see them as dangerous will perceive the Galanthi as well, implying a recurring encounter with the Galanthi, which might cause it to become aggressive or escape once more. Though it is evident that the Galanthi produced the Touched, the full scope of the Galanthi’s powers is unknown. As a result, it’s uncertain what the Galanthi will do to ensure its own survival, which could include destroying a world it already considers unsalvageable.