Disney+ original series “Renegade Nell” is a swashbuckling show set in the 17th to 18th centuries, similar to “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The series is filled with swordfights, corsets, magic, and magnificent hats, including one worn by a poodle. The show is set in Stuart-era England, with wood-panelled sets at Ealing Studios in West London, where period details abound, and characters like Lady Eularia Moggerhangar, played by Joely Richardson, come to life.

The protagonist of “Renegade Nell” is Nell Jackson, played by Louisa Harland, known for her role in “Derry Girls.” Nell is a highway woman with superhuman strength, who challenges gender norms by wearing male disguises. The show focuses on Nell’s adventures and her fight against patriarchy and classism. Harland underwent a horse-riding crash course to prepare for the role, alongside co-stars like Frank Dillane, who plays Charles Devereux.

Filming for “Renegade Nell” took place in the U.K., amidst inclement weather that included lightning storms and heatwaves. The cast, including Richardson and Harland, had to endure the challenges of wearing period costumes in extreme temperatures. Richardson describes the costumes as detailed and elaborate, transforming the actors into 17th-century characters. The outfits, which include corsets, petticoats, and wigs, were painstakingly sourced from around Europe by costume designer Tom Pye.

The character of Lady Eularia Moggerhangar, played by Richardson, is inspired by mid-noughties Lady Gaga, with vibrant and extravagant outfits that reflect her extroverted personality. The costumes and makeup, including corsets and wigs, were uncomfortable for the cast but added to the authenticity of the period drama. Despite the challenges, the cast found joy in dressing up and bringing their characters to life in elaborate costumes.

Beyond the costumes and elaborate sets, “Renegade Nell” also carries a message of female empowerment, as Nell fights against societal norms and injustices. The show also explores themes of slavery and racism through characters like Rasselas, played by Enyi Okoronkwo. Creator Sally Wainwright, known for female-led shows like “Happy Valley” and “Gentleman Jack,” infuses the series with a strong female protagonist who aims to create a better world for her sisters.

The series blends adventure, fantasy, and historical drama, offering a fresh take on traditional period dramas by centering on a powerful female lead character. The cast, including Harland and Dillane, commend the show for its portrayal of a strong and independent woman like Nell, who challenges the status quo and stands up against injustice. Through sword fights, magic, and daring escapades, “Renegade Nell” showcases a tale of resilience, empowerment, and fighting against oppressive systems.

Overall, “Renegade Nell” combines elements of fantasy, historical drama, and adventure to create a compelling and entertaining series on Disney+. With a talented cast, intricate costumes, and an engaging storyline that tackles important themes, the show captivates audiences with its portrayal of a fearless heroine who defies expectations and stands up for what is right. In a world of swashbuckling heroes and magical escapades, Nell Jackson shines as a beacon of strength and courage in the face of adversity.

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