A Discovery of Witches (TV series)
|A Discovery of Witches|
|Based on||All Souls Trilogy|
by Deborah Harkness
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Running time||45 minutes|
|Original network||Sky One|
|Original release||14 September 2018 –|
A Discovery of Witches is a British television programme based on the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness, named after the first book in the trilogy. It is produced by Bad Wolf and Sky Productions, and stars Teresa Palmer, Matthew Goode, Edward Bluemel, Louise Brealey, Malin Buska, Aiysha Hart, Owen Teale, Alex Kingston, and Valarie Pettiford. The first series of A Discovery of Witches premiered in the UK on Sky One on 14 September 2018, and consisted of eight episodes. In November 2018, Sky One renewed A Discovery of Witches for a second and third series.
Diana Bishop, a historian and reluctant witch, unexpectedly discovers a bewitched manuscript in Oxford's Bodleian Library. This discovery forces her back into the world of magic in order to unravel the secrets it holds about magical beings. She is offered help by a mysterious geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont. Despite a long-held mistrust between witches and vampires, they form an alliance and set out to protect the book and solve the mysteries hidden within while dodging threats from the creature world.
Cast and characters
- Teresa Palmer as Diana Bishop, DPhil., a witch and tenured historian at Yale studying alchemy and science at Oxford
- Matthew Goode as Matthew Clairmont, a vampire and Professor of Biochemistry
- Edward Bluemel as Marcus Whitmore, Matthew Clairmont's vampire son and lab colleague
- Louise Brealey as Gillian Chamberlain, a fellow witch and academic alongside Diana at Oxford
- Malin Buska as Satu Järvinen, a Finnish witch and a Congregation member
- Aiysha Hart as Miriam Shephard, vampire and Matthew's scientific colleague in Oxford
- Owen Teale as Peter Knox, a high-ranking witch and a member of the Congregation
- Alex Kingston as Sarah Bishop, Diana's aunt
- Valarie Pettiford as Emily Mather, Sarah's partner
- Trevor Eve as Gerbert d'Aurillac, an ancient vampire and a Congregation member
- Lindsay Duncan as Ysabeau de Clermont, mother of Matthew Clairmont and wife of Philippe de Clermont
Recurring and guest
- Tanya Moodie as Agatha Wilson
- Daniel Ezra as Nathaniel Wilson
- Freddie Thorpe as Matthieu Beny
- Greg McHugh as Hamish Osborne
- Aisling Loftus as Sophie Norman
- Elarica Johnson as Juliette Durand
- Gregg Chillin as Domenico Michele
- Trystan Gravelle as Baldwin Montclair
- Adetomiwa Edun as Sean
- Sorcha Cusack as Marthe
- Chloe Dumas as Meridiana
|No.||Episode||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||UK viewers|
|1||Episode 1||Juan Carlos Medina||Kate Brooke||14 September 2018||1.26|
|2||Episode 2||Juan Carlos Medina||Kate Brooke||21 September 2018||1.64|
|3||Episode 3||Alice Troughton||Kate Brooke||28 September 2018||1.42|
|4||Episode 4||Alice Troughton||Kate Brooke & Tom Farrelly||5 October 2018||1.15|
|5||Episode 5||Alice Troughton||Charlene James||12 October 2018||1.19|
|6||Episode 6||Sarah Walker||Charlene James||19 October 2018||1.06|
|7||Episode 7||Sarah Walker||Sarah Dollard||26 October 2018||1.29|
|8||Episode 8||Sarah Walker||Kate Brooke||2 November 2018||1.21|
Warner Bros. purchased the film rights to A Discovery of Witches in 2011. The film was in the early stages of development, with few details released beyond the signing-on of playwright David Auburn to pen the screenplay and producers Denise Di Novi and Allison Greenspan.
British entertainment channel, Sky One, bought the rights for the books, to adapt them into a television programme. Teresa Palmer was cast as Diana Bishop and Matthew Goode was cast as Matthew Clairmont. After six months of filming, it was completed on 16 February 2018. Much of the work was filmed in Wales, on location and at Bad Wolf studios in Cardiff.
On 2 November 2018, Sky One renewed A Discovery of Witches for a second and a third series before the first series finale was broadcast. A first look at Season 2 was released in September 2019. In December 2019, it was announced that the filming for the next series was completed in the UK, and the rest of the filming would take place in Italy.
The programme premiered in the UK on Sky One on 14 September 2018 with its first series of eight episodes. Streaming on NOW TV also started on that date after each episode was broadcast. The international distribution of the programme is handled by Sky Vision. From January 2019, the series became available on AMC's subscription services Sundance Now, Shudder, and AMC Premiere.
It was announced by AMC Networks at the TCA press tour that the show would be making its American television debut on April 7, 2019 on AMC and BBC America, being paired with Killing Eve's second season.
The programme received positive reviews from critics, who praised the adaptation, the production and the performances of the cast. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 94% approval rating with an average rating of 7/10 based on 32 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "A Discovery of Witches smartly grounds its flights of fancy with a lived-in authenticity and harnesses the chemistry between its two star-crossed leads to make for a promising foray into the occult." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 66 out of 100 based on 10 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
In October 2018, A Discovery of Witches was nominated in the longlist for Best New Drama in the National Television Awards. In January 2019, it was announced as a nominee for the shortlist of Best New Drama series nominees at the 24th National Television Awards.
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