Attn: fans of Deborah Harkness’s 2011 fantasy novel trilogy A Discovery of Witches: the Oxford-set tale will be adapted as a television series courtesy of Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner’s Bad Wolf production company. (You’ll recognize those names as two of the TV producers responsible for resurrecting Doctor Who with Russell T Davies back in 2005).
With A Discovery of Witches set to be headlined by Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer, the supporting cast to this more sophisticated take on the YA/sexy-monsters genre is starting to become clear. Expect a contemporary love story wrapped in an examination of “science, magic and being ‘other’ in the modern world” says Sky’s head of drama Anne Mensah. Filming occurred last fall in locations such as Oxford, Venice and at Wales’ new Wolf studios.
A Discovery of Witches Trailer
The first trailer for A Discovery of Witches has arrived, introducing us to its world, in which a fantastical array of supernatural species such as witches, vampires and demons hide, having ceded the world to humans. However, when scholar/historian/reluctant-witch Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer) and vampire Matthew Clairmont search for a powerful ancient witch tome in Oxford, it the floodgates of potential war amongst the magical species becomes unleashed. While there’s potential to break their ancient laws that severely punish miscegenation, it also bears deadly implications for everyone.
Kate Brooke (Bancroft, Mr. Selfridge) wrote the script for A Discovery of Witches and serves as showrunner. Original novel author Deborah Harkness is onboard as an executive producer, joined in that capacity by Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner of production company Bad Wolf. Pertinently, Bad Wolf is also the production company developing Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy for television.
A Discovery of Witches Release Date
A Discovery of Witches will premiere in the U.K. on Sky One later in 2018. Its U.S. home, platform and release date are still unknown.
A Discovery of Witches Cast
A Discovery of Witches is headlined by the duo of Matthew Goode (Watchmen, The Imitation Game) and Teresa Palmer (Hacksaw Ridge, Warm Bodies), showcasing a forbidden romance between Palmer’s alchemy professor Diana Bishop and Goode’s vampire Matthew Clairmont. The plot involves the discovery of a mysterious manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library, which throws Diana and Matthew together and threatens to unravel the world as we know it.
Back in September, author Deborah Harkness unleashed a deluge of casting reveals for A Discovery of Witches. While there’s quite a lot to unpack from her post (seen below), two notable names came up amongst this group that should please peak television enthusiasts.
Louise Brealey will play Gillian Chamberlain, an American witch who attempts to recruit Diana (Palmer) into her coven, hoping to uncover the secrets she possesses. Brealey, an English actress, is best known from Sherlock as the morgue specialist Molly Hooper, whose sheepish advances toward the title character are awkwardly rebuffed regularly. She’s also fielded TV runs on Back, Clique and Ripper Street and has been seen in films such as Victor Frankenstein and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Owen Teale will play Peter Knox, a witch and expert in all things occult, who also serves as a consultant to the police. He’s motivated by a search for a powerful book called Ashmole 782, which contains secrets he believes should only be kept by witches; something that makes him an antagonist to Diana. Teale, who hails from Wales, is best known from his role from Game of Thrones as the bullying, recalcitrant Night’s Watch Master-at-Arms Alliser Thorne, who famously lead a stabby mutiny against Jon Snow. His 30+ year career is prolific, with recent television runs on Pulse, River, Stella and Line of Duty.
The cited supporting cast will also consist of names such as Malin Buska, Aiysha Hart, Edward Bluemel, Trevor Eve, Gregg Chillin, Elarica Johnson, Aisling Loftus, Greg McHugh, Dustin Demri-Burns, David Newman, Adam Stevenson, Sadie Shimmin and Michael Culkin.