A Discovery of Witches (TV series)

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A Discovery of Witches
A Discovery of Witches (TV series).png
Title card from the second series
Based onAll Souls Trilogy
by Deborah Harkness
Written by
Directed by
ComposerRob Lane
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series2
No. of episodes18 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
Production locations
  • United Kingdom
  • Italy
CinematographyPetra Korner
Running time45 minutes
Production companies
Original networkSky One
Original release14 September 2018 (2018-09-14) –
present (present)
External links
Production website

A Discovery of Witches is a British fantasy television series 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 eight-episode first series of A Discovery of Witches premiered weekly in the UK on Sky One from 14 September 2018. In November 2018, Sky One renewed A Discovery of Witches for a second and third series. The ten-episode second series was initially released in its entirety on 8 January 2021, and will air weekly on Sky One.


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[edit]


Recurring and guest[edit]


SeriesEpisodesOriginally airedAve. UK viewers
First airedLast aired
1814 September 2018 (2018-09-14)2 November 2018 (2018-11-02)1.28
2[a]108 January 2021 (2021-01-08)TBA

Series 1 (2018)[edit]

EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [11]
1Episode 1Juan Carlos MedinaKate Brooke14 September 2018 (2018-09-14)1.26
Diana Bishop is a witch who has rejected her magical heritage. She was raised by her aunts Sarah and Emily after her parents were killed by humans who feared their powers. An accomplished historian with a tenured position at Yale University, Diana is currently pursuing a research project at Oxford. While studying at the Bodleian Library, she catches the attention of witches, vampires, and daemons alike after summoning missing manuscript Ashmole 782, long thought to contain information on the origin of supernatural species. Biochemist Matthew Clairmont, a vampire, is drawn to Diana initially because of the book, but their repeated encounters spark something in both of them.
2Episode 2Juan Carlos MedinaKate Brooke21 September 2018 (2018-09-21)1.64
Matthew leaves Oxford to visit a daemon friend, Hamish, to hunt for a few days. Diana is approached by witch Peter Knox, who is also interested in Ashmole 782 and is even more persistent than Matthew. Diana soon finds herself stalked by Satu, a Finnish witch allied with Knox, and betrayed by her friend Gillian. With no one else to turn to, Diana seeks help from Matthew. He introduces her to fellow vampires Marcus and Miriam and reveals that they are studying the DNA of creatures to learn why all three supernatural species are in decline. Vampires are failing to sire, witches are much less powerful than their ancestors, and daemons are increasingly plagued by mental illness.
3Episode 3Alice TroughtonKate Brooke28 September 2018 (2018-09-28)1.42
As creatures continue to flock to the Bodleian Library in the hope that Ashmole 782 will come forth again, Matthew distracts Diana with a trip to his home. He tests her and confirms his suspicion that she uses magic instinctively, not consciously. A young daemon couple, Nathaniel and Sophie, are attempting to reach out to others of their kind online. Nathaniel's mother Agatha, a congregation member, cautions them about pushing for radical change. Diana invites Matthew over for dinner but unwittingly angers him. The next day she receives photos from the scene of her parents’ murder, a threat from Knox. She goes to confront him and his witch allies at the Bodleian, summoning witch wind, a powerful elemental force that she can’t control. Matthew comes to her aid and decides to take her away from Oxford to his family home in France.
4Episode 4Alice TroughtonKate Brooke & Tom Farrelly5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)1.15
Matthew and Diana arrive at Sept-Tours to a frosty welcome from Ysabeau, Matthew’s mother, who despises witches for their involvement in the death of her husband Philippe during World War II. The congregation adjoins for an emergency meeting where Knox accuses Matthew of kidnapping Diana. Baldwin, leader of the vampire sect and brother to Matthew, is caught unawares and calls Marcus, who is revealed to be Matthew’s son. Marcus tells Baldwin about Diana’s involvement in the summoning of Ashmole 782, also referred to as the Book of Life. Matthew, upon reviewing the photos sent to Diana, realizes that they were staged and that her parents were killed by fellow witches. Vampire Domenico arrives at Sept-Tours with an official warning from the congregation. He also sees that Matthew and Diana have grown close and accuses them of breaking the covenant, a rule which prohibits inter-species relationships. Diana tells Matthew she loves him, but he pushes her away and departs for Oxford after learning of a break-in at his lab. Diana's tears manifest with water, another powerful and rare ability.
5Episode 5Alice TroughtonCharlene James12 October 2018 (2018-10-12)1.19
Matthew investigates the lab and recognizes the scent of the intruder. He confronts Gillian and drinks her blood, gaining access to her memories of the break-in. Back at Sept-Tours, Ysabeau takes Diana hunting to show her what vampires must do to survive, trying to discourage her from pursuing Matthew. She also reveals that as a human, Matthew had a wife and young son who died when a fever swept through the town. Matthew picks up his research and makes an important discovery when comparing Diana’s DNA to that of other modern witches. He rushes back to Sept-Tours and declares his love to Diana. He expects his mother’s rejection, but Ysabeau calls Diana her daughter and vows to take up their fight. Matthew shares the DNA results with Diana, revealing that she expresses every genetic marker they have discovered in witches. That night, they consummate their relationship. On an early morning run, Diana is suddenly grabbed from the air by an unseen person.
6Episode 6Sarah WalkerCharlene James19 October 2018 (2018-10-19)1.06
Diana’s captor is revealed to be Satu. She has conspired with Gerbert, one of the vampires on the Congregation who wants access to Diana for his own purposes. Matthew discovers that Diana is missing at the same time Baldwin arrives at Sept-Tours, demanding Matthew turn the witch over to him. Satu tortures Diana but it unexpectedly backfires on her, causing her to lose her powers. She throws Diana down a well. Gerbert shows Satu the witch whose head he keeps in a box, threatening her with the same fate, then leaves when he hears a helicopter approaching. Satu flees with the box and later releases the captive witch, Meridiana. Matthew and Baldwin arrive at the abandoned castle. Diana has been vividly remembering a story her parents told her, which holds the key to her escape. Hearing Matthew’s voice, she summons her full powers and flies out of the well. As she recovers at Sept-Tours, Baldwin prepares to take her to the congregation, but Matthew invokes his deeper loyalty to the Knights of Lazarus. The way in which Diana’s powers were released convinces Matthew and Ysabeau that she had previously been spellbound.
7Episode 7Sarah WalkerSarah Dollard26 October 2018 (2018-10-26)1.29
Matthew and Diana depart Sept-Tours and travel to the home where Diana was raised in upstate New York. It reacts to their presence and Diana explains that it’s haunted. Baldwin stalls the congregation, implying Satu still has Diana and questioning Gerbert’s absence. Diana confronts Sarah about being spellbound. Sarah is shocked, but Emily confesses that she knew and kept it secret. It was Diana’s parents, Rebecca and Stephen, who hid her powers to protect her from the congregation. Sarah tries to teach Diana to control her magic. Emily reveals that Stephen was a timewalker, a talent which Diana soon begins to manifest as well. In London, Agatha Wilson tells Hamish about Nathaniel and Sophie and their possible connection to Diana. Marcus and Miriam show up at the Bishop house, prompting it to deliver an envelope from Stephen that contains one of the missing pages from Ashmole 782. Diana is testing her magical ability to sense Matthew when she is suddenly confronted by vampire Juliette, Gerbert’s daughter and Matthew's former lover.
8Episode 8Sarah WalkerKate Brooke2 November 2018 (2018-11-02)1.21
Juliette attacks Matthew and mortally wounds him; Diana kills her with a bolt of witch fire. As Matthew lies dying, Diana calls on the Goddess and makes a bargain to save him. She cuts open her wrist with a ritual knife and lets Matthew feed from her arm, then her neck. Marcus saves Diana’s life with a blood transfusion. Matthew suggests he and Diana timewalk, hiding from the congregation until Diana learns to master her powers. She needs three objects from the time and place they wish to go. Hamish retrieves some items from Sept-Tours and brings them to the Bishop house, along with Sophie and Nathaniel. Sophie gives Diana her family heirloom, a statue of the goddess Diana. It is actually a chess piece that once belonged to Matthew. The congregation meets to decide Satu’s fate. Gerbert has convinced Knox to turn against Baldwin. They force a vote that ultimately goes in Baldwin’s favor, but he can no longer protect his brother. Matthew transfers leadership of the Knights of Lazarus to Marcus and makes arrangements for Ysabeau to shelter the others. Diana and Matthew prepare to timewalk on All Hallows' Eve, just as their enemies close in on the Bishop house.

Series 2 (2021)[edit]

EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air date [a][12][13]UK viewers
(millions) [11]
9Episode 1Farren BlackburnSarah Dollard8 January 2021 (2021-01-08)TBD
Diana and Matthew arrive in London on All Hallows’ Eve, 1590, slightly off course from where they planned. They enter Matthew’s London home and are confronted by Kit Marlowe, who instantly distrusts Diana, recognizing that she is a witch. Diana realizes in turn that Kit is a daemon. Matthew introduces Diana as his wife. His identity in this time period is Matthew Roydon, a member of the School of Night, and Diana soon discovers that he is also a spy for the English crown, reporting to William Cecil. Diana encounters a witch who looks like Sophie Norman and realizes this must be her ancestor. However, the witch refuses to teach Diana, fearing both her unpredictable powers and Matthew’s reputation. When Jack, a street urchin, attempts to steal Diana’s purse, she brings him home and feeds him. Jack tells Diana that rumors are being spread about her, which Matthew traces to Kit. Diana and Matthew reveal their secret to Kit, but Matthew warns him against another betrayal.
10Episode 2Philippa LangdaleSusie Conklin15 January 2021 (2021-01-15)TBD
Matthew’s loyalties are tested when he is ordered by Cecil to interrogate a witch, Thomas Caldwell. This puts Matthew in conflict with Andrew Hubbard, a vampire who rules over all of London’s creatures and has an uneasy truce with the de Clermonts. Matthew also attempts to mend his relationship with Kit, indulging in a belated celebration of All Souls’ Day. Diana finds the witch Susanna Norman again and convinces her to come to the house while Matthew is out. Susanna agrees to introduce her to England’s most powerful witch, Goody Alsop. Goody identifies Diana as a weaver, a very rare kind of witch, and determines that her father was one too. She also tells Diana that her arrival was prophesied. Goody seeks approval from the witches’ council to teach Diana. With witch trials underway in Scotland, the council is concerned about exposure, but Diana's honesty wins them over. After Matthew kills Caldwell to save him further torture, Hubbard sends a message to Philippe.
11Episode 3Philippa LangdalePolly Buckle22 January 2021 (2021-01-22)TBD
12Episode 4Farren BlackburnPete McTighe29 January 2021 (2021-01-29)TBD
13Episode 5Philippa LangdaleLisa Holdsworth5 February 2021 (2021-02-05)TBD
14Episode 6Jonathan TeplitzkyPete McTighe12 February 2021 (2021-02-12)TBD
15Episode 7Farren BlackburnJoseph Wilde19 February 2021 (2021-02-19)TBD
16Episode 8Farren BlackburnPete McTighe26 February 2021 (2021-02-26)TBD
17Episode 9Jonathan TeplitzkyMichelle Gayle5 March 2021 (2021-03-05)TBD
18Episode 10Farren BlackburnSusie Conklin & Pete McTighe12 March 2021 (2021-03-12)TBD


Filming of A Discovery of Witches in Cardiff in November 2020

Warner Bros. purchased the film rights to A Discovery of Witches in 2011.[14] 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.[15]

British entertainment channel, Sky One, bought the rights for the books, to adapt them into a television programme.[16] 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.[17] Much of the work was filmed in Wales, on location and at Bad Wolf Studios in Cardiff.[18]

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.[19][20] A first look at Series 2 was released in September 2019.[21] 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.[22] During the New York Comic Con's virtual event in October 2020, it was reported that Series 3 was filming at Wolf Studios in Cardiff.[23]


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.[24][25] From January 2019, the series became available on AMC's subscription services Sundance Now, Shudder, and AMC Premiere.[26][27][28]

It was announced by AMC Networks at the TCA press tour that the show would be making its American television debut on 7 April 2019 on AMC and BBC America, being paired with Killing Eve's second season.[29][30]

The second series was initially released in its entirety on 8 January 2021, consisting of ten episodes, and will continue to air weekly on Sky One.[31][32][10]


Critical reception[edit]

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."[33] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 66 out of 100 based on 10 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[34]


In October 2018, A Discovery of Witches was nominated in the longlist for Best New Drama in the National Television Awards.[35] In January 2019, it was announced as a nominee for the shortlist of Best New Drama series nominees at the 24th National Television Awards.[36]


  1. ^ a b The second series was initially released in its entirety, and will air weekly on Sky One between 8 January and 12 March 2021.[10]


  1. ^ a b c "A Discovery of Witches (TV Series)". Film Affinity. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Romano, Nick (22 November 2017). "A Discovery of Witches TV series summons first trailer". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Lenker, Maureen Lee (11 September 2017). "A Discovery of Witches adds Sherlock and Game of Thrones actors". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "Meet the cast of A Discovery of Witches". Radio Times. 17 September 2018. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Carr, Flora (5 September 2019). "Sky One releases first-look and star-studded cast for A Discovery of Witches season 2". Radio Times. Retrieved 12 Dec 2020.
  6. ^ Shanapy, Kelly (6 June 2019). "A Discovery of Witches: Adelle Leonce cast as Phoebe Taylor". ShowSnob. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
  7. ^ Fullerton, Huw (2 August 2019). "Tom Hughes joins the cast of Sky's A Discovery of Witches". Radio Times. Retrieved 12 Dec 2020.
  8. ^ Hussaini, Fahadullah (26 January 2020). "Mike Jibson Joins A Discovery of Witches Season 2". Dankanator. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  9. ^ O'Keefe, Meghan (9 January 2021). "Teresa Palmer Takes Us Inside the Sexy, Nerdy World of 'A Discovery of Witches' Season 2". Decider. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  10. ^ a b Gough, Owen; Goodacre, Kate (8 January 2021). "A Discovery of Witches is back for season 2, and here's how to watch". DigitalSpy. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Four-screen dashboard". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.
  12. ^ "Shows A-Z - discovery of witches, a on sundance now". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  13. ^ ""A Discovery of Witches" Season 2 Exclusive North American Premiere on Sundance Now and Shudder on Saturday, 9 January 2021". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  14. ^ Brown, Phil (21 July 2011). "Warner Brothers Acquires A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES". Collider.com. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  15. ^ Eisenberg, Eric (10 Jan 2012). "Deborah Harkness' A Discovery Of Witches To Be Adapted By David Auburn". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  16. ^ Andrew, G.G. "What We Know About the 'A Discovery of Witches' TV Show So Far". BookBub. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  17. ^ "ADiscoveryOfWitchesTV on Instagram: "That's a wrap!! Keep following us for flashbacks, throwbacks and even the odd witchwednesday to our incredible 6 months filming season 1...."". Instagram.
  18. ^ "When is A Discovery of Witches released on Sky One? Who is in the cast, and what's going to happen?". RadioTimes. 30 August 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  19. ^ White, Peter (2 November 2018). "Sky Hands Supernatural Drama 'A Discovery Of Witches' Bumper Two-Season Order". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  20. ^ "A Discovery of Witches seasons 2 AND 3 confirmed by Sky". Digital Spy. 2 November 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  21. ^ Megan Davies (2019-09-05). "A Discovery of Witches - Sky releases season 2 first-look picture". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2020-04-14.
  22. ^ "'A Discovery Of Witches' Season 2 Filming Wraps In UK". International Business Times. 30 December 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  23. ^ A Discovery of Witches Season 2 | Behind The Magic. YouTube. New York Comic Con. 10 October 2020. Retrieved 8 December 2020. ...as well as a Q&A with key cast Matthew Goode, Teresa Palmer, Ed Bluemel, Adelle Leonce and Steven Cree who will gather from the set of the infamous Congregation - in Wolf Studios Wales - where witches, daemons and vampires meet and where they are also filming Series 3.
  24. ^ "Sky Corporate". Sky. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  25. ^ "A Discovery Of Witches". bad-wolf.com. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  26. ^ "A Discovery of Witches - All Episodes Available To Stream Ad-Free". SUNDANCE NOW.
  27. ^ "Watch A Discovery of Witches on Shudder". SHUDDER.
  28. ^ "What's on".
  29. ^ "A Discovery of Witches will make its US Television Debut on BBC America and AMC on April 7th". BBC America. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  30. ^ "A Discover of Witches will Air on AMC and BBC America". Collider. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  31. ^ Mello, Louisa (7 August 2020). "A Discovery of Witches Series 2 Confirmed to Air in January 2021". DenOfGeek. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  32. ^ Webb Mitovich, Matt (10 October 2020). "A Discovery of Witches Season 2 Gets Premiere Date, 'Power'-ful Trailer". TVLine. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  33. ^ "A Discovery of Witches: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  34. ^ "A Discovery of Witches: Season 1". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  35. ^ "Here are all the nominees for the National TV Awards 2019, including Strictly, Doctor Who and Ant & Dec". Deadline Hollywood. 16 October 2018. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  36. ^ "Ant and Dec up against Holly at NTAs". BBC News. UK: BBC. 7 January 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2019.

External links[edit]