"You're not even ready!" The Bastard Son And The Devil Himself cast discuss the Netflix fantasy - SciFiNow

“You’re not even ready!” The Bastard Son And The Devil Himself cast discuss the Netflix fantasy

We speak to the cast of upcoming Netflix fantasy series The Bastard Son And The Devil Himself about why this show stands out from the crowd…

“It’s a fantasy show that we’ve never really seen before because it’s so grounded in reality,” says Nadia Parkes, one of the stars of upcoming Netflix fantasy The Bastard Son And The Devil Himself. “I’ve watched quite a lot of fantasy shows and I really think that this is one of a kind.”

Executive produced by Andy Serkis, the show follows sixteen-year-old Nathan who is the illegitimate son of the world’s most dangerous witch, a ‘blood witch’. Fearing he will follow in his father’s footsteps, Nathan is constantly monitored but the ‘fairborn’ witches, who are the self-proclaimed ‘good guys’ of the world Nathan inhabits.

“When we find him at the start of the story he is very isolated, and lonely,” explains Jay Lycurgo who plays Nathan. “He’s a boy who lives in a caravan with his gran whom he loves deeply and his sister who hates him. His dad is the most evil witch on the planet. There’s a huge weight on his shoulders and it leaves him confused. But also he’s a very cheeky and charming boy at times and through the story, it’s just about him working out who he really is.”

As if potentially carrying on an evil lineage isn’t enough, things become more complicated for Nathan when he falls for Annalise (Nadia Parkes), the daughter of prominent fairborn council member, Soul (played by Paul Ready). Thinking that Nathan is corrupting Annalise (or does he have an alternative agenda of his own?), Soul gathers up an elite team to hunt him down and punish him.

Forced to be on the run and without anyone to turn to, Nathan and Annalise fall into the path of blood witch, Gabriel, who has been tasked to help the young pair out. 

“Gabrielle is a French Alchemist,” explains Emilien Vekemans who plays him. “His power is he can make potions and powders with magical powers. At some point in the story he meets Nathan and Annalise and he has this mission to bring them to his mistress/master, Mercury, who is also his adoptive mother. The character [is] really fun, really playful. Also there are things under the lines also that make you say ‘okay, he has this weakness…’”

Gabriel (pictured, played by Emilien Vekemans) has a mission to bring Nathan to his master…

As Nathan discovers more about not only his past, but of the past conflicts between the fairborns and blood witches, he starts to realise the boundaries between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fray aren’t quite so clear cut after all… 

“I think the main thing with Nathan is that he just doesn’t want anything to do with this huge war,” says Lycurgo. “He just wants to be a kid. He wants to be normal. That’s the main thing that he is fighting with. I think Nathan is angry at the two factions.”

Very firmly on one side of those factions is Nathan’s estranged sister Jessica, played by Isobel Jesper Jones, who joins the team to track him down. “She’s so complicated!” laughs Jones. “From quite early on you think maybe it’s just sibling rivalry between these two. Maybe they just rub each other the wrong way. Then quite early on, you realise… no, actually she’s incredibly cruel. I loved getting to excavate some of the layers of that. There’s a lot of pain and a lot of damage that’s gone on in her life. It’s a testimony to the writing that you’ve got a character there that is claiming to be so moral and is so the other way!”

Ah yes, speaking of the writing – complex characters, convoluted storylines, dark world-building, and all with a dose of humour and heart? Yep, this is a Joe Barton script alright. 

“The world is so wild, you can tell it’s come from the minds of Joe Barton and Andy Serkis,” says Jones. “Also, fantasy and magic aside, it’s tackling some really relevant issues with identity and characters that think they should be one thing or have been told that they’re one thing their whole life and actually, they’re not and that’s a really beautiful message to be putting out there. That actually you can discover who you are. That’s the more interesting story.” 

Nathan’s estranged sister Jessica (pictured centre, played by Isobel Jesper Jones) joins the team to track him down.

Barton is no stranger to weaving genre shows that offer up more than a few surprises, having written episodes of AI series Humans and this year’s high-concept sci-fi The Lazarus Project

“I love Joe!” enthuses Parkes. “I think he’s just so brilliant at writing story and characters. Everyone feels so real and so complex. It’s just an absolute treat to be able to work on his dialogue and work within the world that he creates so fully.”

“It was really nice how you can have something so dark and devastating but also very light and humorous,” adds Lycrurgo. “That’s the thing that really excited me.”

The story itself is based on the popular YA triology Half Bad, written by Sally Green and though some of the cast are big fans of the genre and got the chance to read the book before shooting (“I’ll be honest, I was a YA girl!” laughs Jones), some didn’t want to spoil their characters arc before hitting the set. 

“I had a conversation with the director where I spoke to him discussing whether or not to read the books because I wasn’t aware of them before I came onto the project,” remembers Parkes. “We decided that because it does differ in points from the book, I didn’t really want to take in information that might lead me astray from what Joe has so amazingly created in Annalise and the journey she goes on. 

“But I read the first book after we wrapped and it was fascinating to read our world versus the original springboard for what we’ve created!”

The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself
Annalise and Nathan (played by Nadia Parkes and Jay Lycurgo) are on the run…

Speaking of YA, as we’ve already heard, the cast are resolute that this isn’t another fantasy typical of the subgenre… 

“I’ve seen a lot of comments already on the trailer that say, ‘oh, it’s another fantasy YA show’ and I’m like, ‘no, you’re not even ready!’” says Lycrurgo. “These characters are so real. We really went for it, every scene. We really wanted to make sure that, as much as the world is fantasy, the characters are as real and as human as possible.”

“There’s so much complexity and depth to these characters,” agrees Jones. “I like the idea of how it deals with identity and this notion that it’s not a one-size-fits-all for everyone. These characters have so many layers.”

It’s clear the cast are passionate about their show. So it’s no surprise to hear they’d be keen for a Season Two…

“I would love for it to carry on if it does, just because I think it’s rare that you get these worlds that have so much potential,” enthuses Lycrurgo. “I think that’s what’s so fun. I feel like we’ve only told a tiny bit of these guys’ stories and where it could go and what the different dynamics are.”

“Give us more! When’s series two?!” laughs Parkes.

“I just want everyone to see it,” Lycrurgo continues. “These characters are so human and relatable, the show is very fantasy but I haven’t seen a show like this since Misfits

“I’ve watched the show twice now and I’m loving it. It’s just like my little baby and now I want you guys to take it and see how you feel…!”

We certainly will!

The Bastard Son And The Devil Himself launches on 28 October 2022 only on Netflix