Warrior Nun (TV series)
|Created by||Simon Barry|
|Narrated by||Alba Baptista|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||10 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||37–50 minutes|
|Production company||Reality Distortion Field|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||July 2, 2020 –|
Originally developed as a feature film adaptation, the idea was re-imagined as a television series for Netflix when the service had given the production a series order for a first season. Filming takes place in multiple locations in Andalusia, Spain, such as Antequera, where the headquarters of the fictional Order of the Cruciform Sword was filmed.
The series is narrated and led by Portuguese actress Alba Baptista in the role of Ava Silva, a quadriplegic orphan who discovers she now has supernatural powers which force her to join an ancient order of warrior nuns. The series marks Baptista's English-language debut. The cast also features Toya Turner, Thekla Reuten, Lorena Andrea, Kristina Tonteri-Young, and Tristán Ulloa.
The series debuted on July 2, 2020, on Netflix, to generally positive reviews. In August 2020, the series was renewed for a second season.
Warrior Nun revolves around the story of a 19-year-old woman who wakes up in a morgue with a new lease on life and a divine artifact embedded in her back. She discovers she is now part of the ancient Order of the Cruciform Sword that has been tasked with fighting demons on Earth, and powerful forces representing both heaven and hell want to find and control her.
Cast and characters
- Alba Baptista as Ava Silva
- Toya Turner as Sister Mary / Shotgun Mary
- Thekla Reuten as Jillian Salvius
- Lorena Andrea as Sister Lilith
- Kristina Tonteri-Young as Sister Beatrice
- Tristán Ulloa as Father Vincent
- Olivia Delcán as Sister Camila
- Joaquim de Almeida as Cardinal Francisco Duretti
- Peter de Jersey as Kristian Schaefer
- Lope Haydn Evans as Michael Salvius
- Sylvia De Fanti as Mother Superion
- Emilio Sakraya as JC
- May Simón Lifschitz as Chanel
- Dimitri Abold as Randall
- Charlotte Vega as Zori
- Guiomar Alonso as Areala de Cordoue
- William Miller as Adriel
- Melina Matthews as Sister Shannon Masters
- Frances Tomelty as Sister Frances
- Fred Pritchard as Diego
- Alberto Ruano as Mateo
- Sinead MacInnes as Sister Crimson
- Oscar Foronda as Crusader Knight
On September 28, 2018, it was announced that Netflix had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of ten episodes. Simon Barry was set to serve as showrunner for the series. Barry is also credited as an executive producer alongside Stephen Hegyes with Terri Hughes Burton serving as a co-executive producer for the series. Production companies involved with the series are Barry's Reality Distortion Field and Fresco Film Services. The series premiered on July 2, 2020. On August 19, 2020, Netflix renewed the series for a second season.
Sometime after the series order announcement, it was confirmed that Alba Baptista, Toya Turner, Tristan Ulloa, Thekla Reuten, Kristina Tonteri-Young, Lorena Andrea, and Emilio Sakraya would star in the series. On April 1, 2019, it was announced that Sylvia De Fanti had joined the cast as a series regular.
Filming for the first season took place on location of Andalusia (Spain), in the town of Antequera (where the headquarters of the Order of the Cruciform Sword is located) Marbella, Ronda, Málaga, and Sevilla, from March 11, 2019 to July 5, 2019. The El Tajo Gorge was featured in one of the scenes. Pre-production for the second season began in late May 2021 and filming began in late July 2021 in Spain and will conclude in late 2021.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||"Psalms 46:5"||Jet Wilkinson||Teleplay by : Simon Barry||July 2, 2020|
|The episode begins with the events unfolding at a church where we find the corpse of Ava Silva and a team of nuns including the last Warrior Nun - Sister Shannon. Sister Shannon soon dies from wounds she received in a recent battle against armed mercenaries. When the armed mercenaries find them at the church, the nuns race to extract the holy object from Sister Shannon and hide it in Ava's corpse. Ava is soon resurrected and finds she is able to walk and is not a tetraplegic anymore. With her newfound abilities to walk and run, she explores the city. She later jumps into a pool and is saved by JC from drowning. JC introduces Ava to his friends – who are squatting at a mansion. When she goes to a party with the group, she sees a red, cloudy mist entity that no one else can see. Meanwhile, at the Church Father Vincent and the nuns find Ava's body (and the holy object) missing. Father Vincent searches for her at her orphanage and tries to track her down. Later, a Tarask from hell enters the church to find the holy object has been extracted from the body of Sister Shannon.|
|2||"Proverbs 31:25"||Jet Wilkinson||Terri Hughes Burton||July 2, 2020|
|Cardinal Duretti gives Father Vincent a day to find the halo, but Father Vincent wonders if the halo is meant to be with Ava. Mary tracks the mercenaries' bullets to their creator and then to their supplier, and it later becomes clear that the mercenaries are contracted to work for ArqTech. Ava worries that she doesn't fit in with JC and his friends, and they take her to sneak into a party at ArqTech. At the party, ArqTech's Dr. Salvius demonstrates that she can stabilize the Higgs field to create a quantum portal, but Cardinal Duretti recognizes that she has used divinium to do so and demands that the holy relic be returned to the church. Ava is attacked by the tarask, but Father Vincent and the nuns save and capture her.|
|3||"Ephesians 6:11"||Agnieszka Smoczyńska||Amy Berg||July 2, 2020|
|Father Vincent introduces Ava to the history of the Order of the Cruciform Sword, which was founded by Areala of Cordoba. Mother Superion cruelly trains Ava to draw out her cowardice and confronts her with the orphanage file's contention that she committed suicide, which Ava denies, but Father Vincent instructs Superion to give Ava a chance. Later on, Ava flees, leaving a note for Father Vincent: "I want my life." Mary interrogates Macready, leader of the mercenary group, who says that he didn't know what was in the crates the group was transporting for ArqTech and concludes that the rigged crate may have been meant to kill only Shannon. JC and his friends enter a new mansion to be confronted by Dr. Salvius, who's seeking Ava.|
|4||"Ecclesiasticus 26:9-10"||Agnieszka Smoczyńska||David Hayter||July 2, 2020|
|The nuns break into ArqTech and recover the shield, with Beatrice especially demonstrating her fighting skills. The Salviuses plan to hire the rest of Macready's outfit to deal with them, as they're now at war with the church. JC leaves behind his friends to join Ava in running away, but she leaves him at the airport, promising to return, to save Diego, whom she realizes Sister Frances is likely to kill, as Ava now realizes she was killed. Ava kills Frances when Frances tries to poison her, and then encounters Lilith upon leaving the orphanage. Lilith draws her sword, saying that she only needs a part of Ava, as Duretti had earlier told her that even a dire sin might be forgiven if the halo were recovered. Mary finds a bit of Shannon's habit in a crack in the wall, suggesting that she had a secret space only she could phase into.|
|5||"Matthew 7:13"||Sarah Walker||Matt Bosack||July 2, 2020|
|Lilith proves to Ava that she can hurt her with her divinium sword, but Mary saves Ava from Lilith's attack and continues to hinder Lilith throughout the episode to try to persuade her to give Ava a chance. Ava and JC take a ferry to Morocco but hide to double back on board to a different port, but fail to shake Lilith and Mary. At the end of the chase JC's about to leave Ava for not telling him the truth when a tarask appears to attack. Lilith is impaled by the tarask and vanishes with it when Ava strikes it with Lilith's sword. Ava flees from all of them afterward. Dr. Salvius presents the unfinished larger version of the portal to the press and accuses Duretti and the Vatican of heresy in refusing to share Heaven with the public. Duretti sends the shield to the Vatican but it's intercepted by ArqTech goons after Vincent shares the transport plan with Dr. Salvius in the hope that she will understand that they are at war with Hell.|
|6||"Isaiah 30:20-21"||Sarah Walker||Amy Berg||July 2, 2020|
|Mary catches up with Ava and they make their way to a village (unnamed in the show but filmed in Ronda) that was formerly the site of widespread demonic possessions, including the local priest Father Orozco, that Mary and the OCS addressed. Ava asks God to tell her what to do and a statue of a nun seems to cry, but it's just water dripping from the ceiling. Mary tells Ava that she suspects Durreti had something to do with Shannon's death. Ava sees signs of possession around a man and she and Mary exorcize the demon from him. Mary calls for a ride from the OCS and Beatrice picks her up. Ava stays behind, but Mary's convinced she'll rejoin them and gave Ava a divinium dagger before leaving.|
|7||"Ephesians 4:22-24"||Mathias Herndl||Sheila Wilson & Suzanne Keilly||July 2, 2020|
|The sisters hold a memorial for Lilith, which is interrupted by the arrival of Sister Crimson and other rejected applicants to the Order, now readmitted by Duretti despite Mother Superion's protests. Duretti also reassigns Beatrice and Vincent outside of the Order. Vincent tells Mary that Shannon came to him weeks before her death to say the Vatican was hiding something and that he urged her to speak with Duretti, so Vincent may be responsible for Shannon's death. Ava submits herself to testing by Dr. Salvius, who covertly tries to use her to power the portal, but the effort fails. Salvius then introduces Ava to her son Michael who is alive only because of divinium in his system and whom the "Ark" (portal) could send to a parallel dimension beyond pain. Ava decides to return to the Order and Mary persuades her to phase into Shannon's hidden room, where she finds a hoard of divinium and an ancient book that says that there is a secret buried under the Vatican that anchors demons to our world. In the end, Lilith appears from an evil-looking portal outside the church.|
|8||"Proverbs 14:1"||Mathias Herndl||David Hayter & Matt Bosack||July 2, 2020|
|Shannon's book is a diary of past Warrior Nuns that mentions a secret beneath the Vatican: the angel Adriel's bones, buried there after he gave up his halo and became mortal as a result. Shannon found, and Vincent has heard, that the church deliberately keeps the bones there to maintain people's need for the church. They fear that Duretti means to claim the bones' power. Ava trains to phase through a 20-foot wall with Beatrice's help, Vincent uses his past enforcer skills to acquire a map of the Vatican catacombs, and Kristian helps them with Vatican security procedures. Lilith claims not to remember anything and is cared for by Salvius. Ava promises that she will destroy the bones and be the last Warrior Nun.|
|9||"2 Corinthians 10:4"||Simon Barry||Terri Hughes Burton||July 2, 2020|
|Ava, Vincent, and the sisters enter the Vatican to find Adriel's bones, with Mother Superion shadowing them. Meanwhile, the Papal Conclave meets to choose the new Pope, during which Duretti notices his divinium ring glowing and realizes that Ava must be in the catacombs beneath. Duretti sends Sister Crimson and the rejects to waylay her, but Vincent and Mary, with unexpected help from Mother Superion, hold them off. At ArqTech, Lilith visits Michael, who says that Ava is "almost to the door." Lilith says that that can't happen and teleports to the catacombs in time to kill Sister Crimson, but then is calmed down by Mary before she can pursue Ava. Ava and Beatrice find the vault and Ava phases into it, encountering the divinium skeleton of a tarask en route, only to find not Adriel's bones but Adriel himself.|
|10||"Revelation 2:10"||Simon Barry||Simon Barry||July 2, 2020|
|Adriel's touch reveals to Ava, who sees herself in Areala's place, that Adriel was not an angel but a demon who stole the halo and then placed it in Areala to befuddle pursuit by the tarasks. Ava draws on the power of the halo to knock Adriel back and then Beatrice's explosives blow open the vault. When Adriel pursues the sisters as they flee, Vincent confronts him and reveals himself to be a servant of Adriel who killed Shannon and arranged the season's events to free Adriel and prepare a machine (presumably the portal) for him, but reminds him that he can't hold the halo himself. The episode and season close with Mary being swarmed by civilians possessed by wraith demons summoned by Adriel. Duretti, after being elected Pope, is confronted by Mother Superion, and turns out to have been worried only about the Order affecting his own reputation. Michael, desirous of ending his pain, enters the portal, which is briefly powered by Adriel and Ava's conflict, but Dr. Salvius is unable to follow him.|
On Rotten Tomatoes, the series has an approval rating of 68% based on 34 critic reviews, with an average rating of 6.5/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Though Warrior Nun's heavy handed set-up weighs it down, committed performances and excellent fight choreography may be enough for those looking for more pulp with their pulpit." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 62 out of 100, based on reviews from 7 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Roxana Hadadi of The A.V. Club wrote: "The script can sometimes lean too much on mythological and religious exposition... but the actors have such good chemistry that their various pairings work, and the smartly choreographed fight scenes are well-placed." Hadadi said that "Warrior Nun is undoubtedly familiar" influenced by the likes of Veronica Mars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Alex Garland's Devs, but that when the show really clicks it becomes "its own distinct experience rather than simply a derivative facsimile of those inspirations." She praised the performances, particularly Toya Turner as Shotgun Mary, and gives the show a grade B-. Nicole Drum of ComicBook.com gave the review 3 out of 5, and wrote: "Warrior Nun is a truly wild journey that manages to ask some tough questions while equally embracing its silliness, its action, and the absolute absurdity of it all. The show may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is one hell of a fun ride."
While the majority of critics praised the choreography of the series, some took issue with the pacing of the plot and the extensive exposition of the plot. Robyn Bahr, of The Hollywood Reporter notes, "Thematically, Warrior Nun is nothing you haven't seen before, and aesthetically, nothing you ever want to see again... Bleak, dour and trudging, the series contains none of the kitschy, blasphemous fun of its title." Critic Steve Murray notes that Warrior Nun has "both potential and problems in equal measure"; supposing that the series is trying to recreate the feel of Buffy the Vampire Slayer but with less witty dialogue and creativity. Reviewer Danielle Broadway of BlackGirlNerds states that, although the program has good intentions, Warrior Nun "fails to live up to expectations". Broadway says the elements of a good series are there, but "if the plot, pacing, and character development (don't improve), there will be no resurrection for Season 2".
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- Maas, Jennifer (August 19, 2020). "'Warrior Nun' Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix". The Wrap. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
- Andreeva, Nellie (March 19, 2018). "'The I-Land' Starring Kate Bosworth, Natalie Martinez & Alex Pettyfer Among 3 Sci-Fi Series Ordered by Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
- "Netflix will debut series with the Portuguese Joaquim de Almeida and Alba Baptista" (in Portuguese). New In Town. March 18, 2019. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
- "Netflix adds three new series to thrilling sci-fi drama slate including THE I-LAND, OCTOBER FACTION and WARRIOR NUN". Netflix Media Center. September 28, 2018. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
- Petski, Denise (March 18, 2019). "'Warrior Nun': Alba Baptista To Star, Toya Turner, Tristan Ulloa, Thekla Reuten Among Six More Cast In Netflix Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
- Booth, Kaitlyn (December 2, 2018). "Game of Thrones Production Company Preps Avatar's 'Warrior Nun' Netflix Series". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
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- Jensen, Erin (June 24, 2020). "New on Netflix in July 2020: 'Kissing Booth 2,' 'Baby-Sitters Club,' Charlize Theron". USA Today. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
- Petski, Denise (April 1, 2019). "'Warrior Nun': Sylvia De Fanti Cast In Netflix Drama Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- Smith, Charlie (December 1, 2018). "Game of Thrones company shoot new 10-part Netflix series on Costa del Sol". The Olive Press. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
- Simon Barry [@SimonDavisBarry] (March 10, 2019). "Countdown to March 11, first day of shooting Warrior Nun for Netflix and Netflix Content so here are some of the sisters of legend that came before our Ava. Beautiful art by Lukasz Trzcinski" (Tweet). Retrieved July 13, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Simon Barry [@SimonDavisBarry] (July 5, 2019). "The final day/night of shooting Warrior Nun season 1 - our 6 month journey ends in a beautiful location surrounded by beautiful people. Thank you SPAIN and the amazing Spanish production team, artists & technicians who made this special show" (Tweet). Retrieved July 13, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Hayter, David [@DavidBHayter] (May 20, 2021). "I can't speak to the MG:S movie, but I am currently in Spain for the next six months, producing Season Two of Warrior Nun for @netflix ..." (Tweet). Retrieved June 1, 2021 – via Twitter.
- Hayter, David [@DavidBHayter] (May 31, 2021). "Sneak peek at #WarriorNun season 2" (Tweet). Retrieved June 1, 2021 – via Twitter.
- Bradley, Bradley (July 26, 2021). "'Warrior Nun' Season 2 Officially Begins Filming at Netflix". Midgard Times. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
- Radulovic, Petrana (June 17, 2020). "Netflix's Warrior Nun is full-blown goth magical girl action". Polygon. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
- Signh, Avinash. "Warrior Nun Season 2 Release Date And Who Is In Cast?". PopCultureTimes.com. Pop Culture Times. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
- "Warrior Nun Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
- "Warrior Nun: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
- Roxana Hadadi (July 2, 2020). "Warrior Nun—Netflix's spin on Buffy—makes demons out of Catholicism". The A.V. Club.
- Nicole Drum (June 29, 2020). "Warrior Nun Review: A Wild and Frequently Thoughtful, Super Catholic Adventure". Comicbook.com.
- Bahr, Robyn. "'Warrior Nun': TV Review". HollywoodReporter.com. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
- Murray, Steve. "Streaming in August: "Baby-Sitters Club," "Unsolved Mysteries" reborn on Netflix". Artsatl.org. Aerts ATL. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
- Broadway, Danielle. "Netflix's 'Warrior Nun' Fails to Meet Expectations". BlackGirlNerds.com. BGN. Retrieved August 18, 2020.