‘Tom Swift’: Ashleigh Murray Joins ‘Nancy Drew’ Spinoff

    The list of reasons to be excited about Tom Swift grows (besides what we’ve already seen in the backdoor pilot on Nancy Drew).

    Ashleigh Murray (Riverdale) will star alongside Tian Richards (who plays the titular character), Deadline reports. Her character, Zenzi Fullerton, is described as “efficient and effervescent, but nobody’s fool.” As Tom’s best friend since childhood, Zenzi considers him family. She’s also “one of the few people who can keep up with Tom and read him for filth when necessary.”

    Richards was introduced as Tom Swift in the Season 2 episode of Nancy Drew, “The Celestial Visitor,” which aired May 12, 2021. (That same episode also introduced us to his brilliance and inventions.) A few months later, on August 30, the CW gave the spinoff a straight-to-series order.

    The series follows the gay billionaire inventor’s serialized adventures. Following the shocking disappearance of his father, he ends up in a world of sci-fi conspiracy and unexplained phenomena. (He already got a glimpse at some strange things while in Horseshoe Bay.) When he hits the road to find the truth, he’s without “the comforts of his usual moneyed lifestyle, all while fighting to stay one step ahead of an Illuminati-scale group hell-bent on stopping him,” the CW teases. “Tom’s missions will require his genius and flair for innovation guided by love, romance, friendship and the mysteries of the universe yet-unsolved.”

    Tom Swift was co-created by Melinda Hsu Taylor, Noga Landau and Cameron Johnson. Joining them as executive producers are Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, and Lis Rowinski.

    When the spinoff was only a possibility, Richards told TV Insider, “Tom has a very specific mission with his father, so essentially we’d get to see a good father/son, love/hate story kind of happen. A good back and forth. His group, we call it the “Swift Squad,” would go on a very cool mission to figure out that relationship. And we’d explore a lot of his own internal stuff because Tom is somebody that does exist so much in his persona and what he’s able to be. But when he’s actually forced to take a look inward and do some deep introspection, we’ll see what that looks like. Again, going back to what we were saying before about identity and pride and feeling, being who we are in the world, that is just beautiful.”

    In addition to Riverdale, Murray played Josie McCoy in the spinoff Katy Keene.

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