DIRECTED BY : JUAN CARLOS MEDINA
PRODUCED BY: BAD WOLF & STAR PRODUCTIONS
A Discovery Of Witches is an adaptation based on the first book of the trilogy – All Souls, written by Deborah Harkness. Season 1 is available on AMC Premiere and Sundance Now, for subscribers. Season 2 will stream on Netflix worldwide after its official release.
The first season takes the fans into the enchanting, thrilling world of witches and magic. Diana Bishop is a historian and a reluctant witch, by birth, who one day discovers an enchanted manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library.
The discovery of the manuscript pushes her back to the world of magic to unravel the hidden secrets about the witches and vampires, unknown to most of the beings of the world of witchcraft. Despite a history of mistrust between vampires and witches, she is accompanied by a mysterious vampire and geneticist Matthew Clairmont throughout her adventures. Together they discover the hidden secrets and mysteries of the world of enchantments.
– Shadow Of Night
Matthew Clairmont and Diana Bishop continue to be each other’s love interests in this season too. The plot of Season 2 is based on Deborah Harkness’s second novel of the trilogy – The Shadow Of Night. The release date of Season 2 is still kept as a surprise for the fans. The release of Season 1 took place in September 2018, so there are chances, fans will get to watch the trailer of the second season by the end of this year maybe.
The cast won’t go through any drastic changes, except for an addition of Micheal Jibson to the list. The fans will be reunited with their favourite characters from the show in the second season.
As in the previous season, Teresa Palmer will be playing the role of a witch and a historian, the protagonist – Diana Bishop. Matthew Goode is Matthew Clairmont – the Vampire, and Diana’s love interest on the show. For supporting cast, we have Daniel Ezra as Nathaniel, Alex Kingston as Sarah Bishop, Valarie Pettiford as Sarah’s partner, Edward Bluemel as Marcus Whitmore, Matthew’s son, Lindsay Duncan as Matthew’s mother and Owen Teale as Peter Knox, the same as Season 1.
It is said that the crew hasn’t shot much of the second season or the trailer yet, so it’s going to be a long wait for the viewers. But as we all know it’s an adaptation of Harkness’s second book of her trilogy, overly enthusiastic and curious fans can read the novel to know what will happen in Season 2, till the time the series isn’t released.
Cast And Characters
- Teresa Palmer
Diana Bishop, a tenured historian and a witch at Oxford. The protagonist of the series.
- Matthew Goode
Matthew Clairmont, a vampire and a geneticist. He and Diana are love interests on the show from the beginning.
- Edward Bluemel
Marcus Whitmore, Matthew’s vampire son and his lab colleague, partner.
- Louise Brealey
Gillian Chamberlain, a witch and Dianas friend at Oxford.
- Malin Buska
Satu Jarvinen, a Finnish witch after Diana for Ashmole 782.
- Aiysha Hart
Miriam Shephard, a vampire and Matthews friend and colleague at the lab.
- Owen Teale
Peter Knox, a witch.
- Alex Kingston
Sarah Bishop, Diana’s aunt.
- Valerie Pettiford
Emily, Diana’s other aunt, and Sarahs partner.
- Trevor Eve
Gerbert (Gerb) d’Aurillac, an ancient vampire.
- Lindsay Duncan
Ysabeau de Clairmont, mother of Matthew Clairmont, and wife of Phillippe de Clairmont.
- Daniel Ezra
Nathaniel Wilson, creator of the Demon chatroom.
- Aisling Loftus
Sophie Norman, Nathaniel’s wife.
- Elarica Johnson
Juliette Durand, Matthew’s past love interest.
- The Discovery Of Witches
EPISODE 1 : April 7,2019
Diana Bishop, the main lead of the show, is a historian. She has achieved tenure in Oxford where she gives lectures on alchemy. It’s a well kept, hidden secret that she is a witch by birth. The episode starts with Matthew Clairmont, a vampire and a geneticist watching the world around him while Diana comes in from a row on the river and a jog.
Diana is greeted by her old friend Gillian afterwards, discussing their research and how hard they have to work and that they don’t have any time left for anything else. She confesses later that her witch powers are a total mess and she barely practices them anymore. She had quit being a witch years ago, after the tragedy with her parents.
The same day, while searching for books, in the library she comes across an old, mysterious manuscript on Ashmole 782. On opening it, she feels more powerful, due to the enchantment. Words start to appear under the pages and move over and onto her skin, and then burn magic into her palm. But she’s not the only one who feels the power and magic of the book on her. Matthew and a few other witches feel that book has been opened. He is surprised to know that the missing book has been found.
Meanwhile, Diana calls her aunts after being freaked out by a dream she had, where she was covered with spider webs, the same night she found the book. She tells them she also saw her father shortly after she opened the book. The aunts are curious to know what was in it, and after she describes what happened in the library they confirm that the book was bewitched.
The town is filled with witches and vampires looking for the enchanted manuscript. Matthew and Marcus – another vampire are worried that vampires are no longer able to sire vampires, to which the answer lies in the Ashmole manuscript. The main worry was that if this secret gets out in the open, it would mean the downfall of the vampires.
Diana, empowered because of the book, is seen whipping a book off a shelf in the library with the help of magic, and intensity is very obvious. A power flare up causes a book to fly off its shelf, which Matthew catches just in time for Diana.
The very next day, they “accidently” meet again at a cafe. He then tells her about the magical book, and asks about its whereabouts. At last he warns her that there are people very close to her vicinity who would harm her in every way to get the book. But she was clueless.
After this encounter between the two, Matthew is never far from Diana. Once when she rowed out to a dock, in order to hide from him, he still found her, and told her how the manuscript happens to be the Book of Life which has been missing for centuries and it hasn’t ever come into the hands of anyone before her. Which he found rather odd and so did she. He continued demanding the book, exasperating her because he won’t just give up and believe her.
EPISODE 2 : April 14,2019
The fans see an obvious chemistry between Diana and Matthew. Matthew is very much drawn to her by the second episode and tries to get away from her, by leaving his estate and going for a hunt. Diana too is trying to draw her focus away from Matthew, and is trying to keep busy, and avoid people and creatures waiting for her to go back to the Ashmole Book. Diana is approached by Peter Knox, also a vampire, who is after the Ashmole 782. He asks her out to coffee where he reminisces about his time with her parents, and their friendship.
He tries to get out information about the book from her too. In return to which she questions the importance of the book. He tells her that it could finally help the witches know how vampires were created and how they could uncreate them. She refuses to be a part of this, and leaves.
Diana continues to have the spider dream, only it keeps getting weirder. This time she discovers a live spider under her covers and wakes up very puzzled and startled, trying to decipher the meaning of the spider and the dream, before it could reach her face.
After this scene, viewers see an appearance of a lot of witches and vampires, and get to know their story. There’s Satu, who confronts Diana, and when she doesn’t let him know the location of the book, he begins to cast a spell on her, but she runs away. Then there is a female vampire, Juliette Durand, who Matthew has had a few intimate moments with.
There is a chilling incident where Diana is introduced to a man at a gathering who is interested in occult sciences. The man turned out to be Peter Knox. After telling him that she isn’t interested in telling him about the book, she is about to leave when she starts to hear his voice in her head, threatening her that he can stay in her head forever, wherever she goes, if she doesn’t call up the book. She retaliates, tells him to get out of her head. Her mind power is so strong that it causes a window near Knox to shatter on his face, after which she runs away.
She goes to meet Gilian where she overhears her and Knox talking about her and the spell she used. And whether she had used magic in her career as well. Betrayed and scared, she thinks of Matthew who now seemed like a genuine well-wisher to her, and goes to see him. Scared and mortified Diana tells him about all those who’ve been after her for the book. He asks her if Knox is after the book as well, guessing the book must contain the witches’ first spells in it.
He then takes her to the laboratory where he is studying genetics of vampires, witches and demons along with Marcus and Miriam. He explains to her that vampires are losing their ability to sire, demons are getting prone to madness and witches are losing their magic. They then take a stroll and discuss the genetic changes happening in the supernatural world, and he shares how he’s worried that time is running out, to save them all. Diana is beginning to understand the depth of the situation as well.
“Two emotions keep the world turning. Desire and Fear” – Matthew.
The episode ends leaving the viewers eagerly waiting for something more to happen between Diana and Matthew. And Wondering how far Knox will go to get the Ashmole Book.
EPISODE 3 : April 21,2019
Matthew comes to the Oxford Library in search of Diana, but instead of finding her, he finds a lot of supernaturals there, waiting for her. He rushes to her apartment and offers to take someplace away from the supernaturals. He takes her to his house, where she gets to know a lot more about Matthew. She gets to know that he doesn’t stay in one place for long, because if he does, people will begin to notice that he doesn’t age, he’s more than a thousand years old and that he’s a vampire. She also gets to know that originally he’s from France. The intensity of heat between them is very obvious to the viewers by now.
During the much subtle romance between Diana and Matthew, in a small store, we see a pregnant woman called Sophie sketching the alchemical symbol that Diana saw in the Ashmole Book. She shows her husband Nathaniel, who created a chat room for Demons, a picture in a book of a queen which is quite similar to a figurine that’s been in her family for generations. The meaning of this is revealed later on the show.
The next morning, Marcus and Diana strike a deal, if she helps in the lab at Matthew’s, Marcus will tell her more personal stuff about Matthew. As part of her side of the deal, she gives her blood for their research. Stop for a moment and adore how Matthew wants to stay near Diana all the time! He’s obviously so attracted to her, as he tells Miriam later, when she confronts him.
The tension between Diana and Matthew intensifies, when they go out to dinner, and get closer to each other.
Juliette has been released from her imprisonment, and is given a task to find Matthew. After dinner the previous night, Diana goes out of her apartment thinking about Matthew, when her thoughts are interrupted by spotting an envelope at her door, containing photos of her dead parents inside.
She finally asks for the Ashmole 782 at the library, and while she’s waiting Knox and some other witches show up, including her best friend Gillian.
Diana knocks Knox away by casting a strong spell, strong even for her to handle. Matthew sensing that she’s making use of her magic, rushes to her aid, and ends the spell.
The episode ends with Diana and Matthew kissing and leaving for France to protect Diana from the supernatural creatures.
EPISODE 4: April 28,2019
Matthew took Diana to his house in France where his mother, Ysabeau Clairmont, is awaiting their arrival. Ysabeau is a cold, and emotionless character. Diana is exhausted from her rather long journey, so Ysabeau offers to make room for her, to which Matthew says that she’ll sleep in his tower.
Meanwhile, back at Oxford, Marcus discovers Juliette in Matthew’s apartment, looking for him. Marcus refuses to let out his father’s whereabouts and that he no longer thinks of her, to which Juliette reacts by attacking Marcus. Miriam appears, to help Marcus and they have a fight.
While leaving, after giving up, Juliette asks Miriam to let her know when Marcus returns.
“Eternity’s a long time to be chasing a man who doesn’t want you” – Miriam
At Matthew’s home in France, Matthew confronts his mother about his feelings for Diana, to which she replies by reminding him that it was the witches who killed his father.
Meanwhile, Diana’s aunts tell her about Ysabeau killing all the witches in South America, in the same region Diana’s parents were killed. She still is determined to warm up to Ysabeau and not give up on Matthew.
They spend some quality, romantic time in France, getting to know each other, when one night they are visited by Domenico who tells Diana that the witches are waiting to question her about the book of life, and she must hand it over to them now. Matthew fights with him for her, when Domenico realises that he is in love with her, which means Matthew is breaking the Covenant, which prevents interspecies relationships because it was believed that interspecies mating could upset the balance of power, and it has never been broken before. A phone call interrupts them, informing Matthew that someone broke into his laband he must return to Oxford as soon as he can. Ysabeau promises to protect Diana, and they bid their goodbyes, Diana confessing in the end that she loves him, and Matthew ignoring her and driving away. Leaving Diana heartbroken.
EPISODE 5: May 5, 2019
The events of the night keep repeating themselves in a perfect order, in Diana’s head. She had started to think of Matthew as her person, as her home. Even though it was a rule that vampires and witches can’t be together, she was beyond caring. She wanted to be with Matthew, no matter what the Congregation thought of her decision.
Matthew meets Miriam and Marcus at the lab, Miriam being extremely sarcastic and salty, blaming the break-in at the lab on Matthew’s absence, and desire to be with Diana. She knew for sure that it was the witches that broke into the lab the night before.
Meanwhile, in France, Ysabeau talks to Diana about the brutal and infamous vampire hunting. While Ysabeau is out hunting, so is Matthew. He found out that it was Gillain who had broken into his lab. When confronted, she doesn’t confess it was she who was behind the lab being in shambles. She tells him that it makes her sick that Diana consorts with vampires. Swiftly. He grabs her and sinks his teeth into her neck, draining her and seeing everything she had done in the lab. Apparently, she had been searching for something and had found the blood Diana had given in the lab.
Ysabeau continues trying to push Diana away from her son. She tells her about his past. About Blanca and Lucas, his wife and son when he was a human. And how they were taken away from him when the fever struck around the village and he had laid stone for them. Ysabeau told Diana that Matthew hadn’t mated in 1500 years , in between which Diana jumps in promising she won’t ever leave him. Ysabeau unmoved by this tells her how a witch’s life is fleeting and of course she’ll leave Matthew. She told Diana that she had sired Matthew. He’d fallen from a bell tower or jumped, and she wanted to take his suffering away and also have a child of her own.
At the Congregation, Knox points out that Matthew attacked Gillian, but Baldwin (another witch) reminds him and all others that it was Gillain’s fault, she was on Vampire territory.
It’s still an order that Diana is brought in the Congregation for deep questioning about the book. Gerbert volunteers to bring her in this time, sarcastically adding that he can do better than Domenico. Baldwin bursts out saying he’ll go get her, as she’s in his homeland.
Matthew and Miriam test Diana’s blood, and they discover that she holds every quality of a witch he’s ever come across. He goes to see Diana and tells her about her blood tests, and what she had been dying to hear for a long time now.
” From this moment, we’ll always be one”
Diana and Matthew were happy, but Ysabeau was scared because now that Matthew and Diana had broken the Covenant, witches will come looking for Diana thinking she turned her back on them, and will kill them both.
They have a passionate night together, and the next morning Diana gets up and goes for a run around the Clairmont property when wind sweeps Diana up and away, marking the end of the episode.
EPISODE 6: May 12, 2019
The last scene of episode 5 left the viewers anxious to know who kidnapped Diana? Was it Juliette? Knox? Satu? Baldwin?
Turns out, it was Satu. She flew Diana to the ruins to meet Gerbert. Gerbert is shocked to see Satu and Diana fly for he hadn’t seen a witch fly in centuries. This episode reveals the long waited questioning session between Diana and the other witches, and Satu taking in consideration how powerful Diana is exactly. She is tormented and told that she was a disgrace to her parents for dating a Vampire. Satu begins to cast a spell on Diana, to make her reveal her secrets, but in vain as Diana has no clue what secrets Satu is looking for. Satu continues torturing Diana.
Meanwhile, Matthew is disturbed to find Diana missing, he catches Baldwin and threatens him to let out Diana’s location. Diana’s aunts sense that their niece is in pain and needs their help.
Satu spellbinds Diana which dampens her magical powers. But why?
EPISODE 7: May 19, 2019
After Diana’s face to face with Satu, Diana and Matthew leave for his house in France to visit Diana’s aunts in Madison, New York.
Diana needs to know about her being spellbound, a secret kept by her aunts. Aunt Em told Diana that as a child, her parents Rebecca and Stephen spellbound her. The magical house Diana grew up in, worked to keep Knox away from her too. This flashback was the same recurring dream Diana was having again and again, since the start of the season. Em explained that Knox was desperate to see if Diana had her mother’s powers or not. Shortly after, her parents left Diana with her aunts and never returned. We already know they were murdered by Knox because he was in love with Rebecca, but he was in love with her powers most. In shock, Diana runs to the wood, Matthew behind her, where she sees her mother’s ghost smiling at her, while she and Matthew later embrace.
Matthew vows to train her and teach her magic and witchcraft so that she can protect herself from Knox or Satu.
In Venice, Domenico runs into Satu and chases her. He asks Satu to come with him, because Venice is not a place for a magic-less witch alone. Satu surrenders.
Domenico goes to meet Baldwin, who asks about Satu. Domenico is surprised to see Baldwin more interested in Satu rather than Diana. Baldwin, afraid to risk his true identity in front of Domenico, asks him what he wants from him. He says he’ll let him know soon.
The episode continues with Diana’s training. One day while training, Diana senses a vampiric presence around her, and she realises it’s not Matthew like she thought but Juliette!
EPISODE 8 : May 26, 2019
At the end of Season 7, Diana meets Matthew’s ex, Juliette. Matthew sensing her presence, rushes to the two women. Juliette expresses how betrayed and heartbroken she feels because of him mating with Diana. In a rage, she jumps at him, rips his throat open and digs her nails into his chest.
Diana is enraged and her hands erupt in a magical flame , forming a bow which Diana shoots at Juliette who goes flying across the barn. Juliette dies after this. There is a sure chance, so will Matthew. She receives the answer to how to save him by the goddess who puts a blade in her hand and tells her to give him a life. She cuts her wrists open, offering them to Matthew. The goddess helps Diana throughout this life saving act. Matthew bites into her neck , drawing blood from her after which Diana faints.
Matthew decides that the Congregation won’t let the two live together, so he suggests a time-walk to 1590 London.
The aunts, Nathaniel and Sophie are going to stay with Ysabeau in Sept-Tours. The Book of Life isnt even a whole, and Matthew hopes that it might be a whole where he’s headed with Diana. He promises to find it and bring it back.
Baldwin is accused of protecting Diana and Matthew (He’s Matthew’s brother) and is asked to step down from his high ranking post in the Congregation. Marcus is given the title of Grand Master of the Knights of Lazarus, which was earlier carried by his father.
The season comes to an end with Matthew and Diana vanishing into thin air to their desired destination, leaving the audience craving for the next season!
Viewers Reviews And Ratings
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 84%
IMDb – 8.1/10
The show was described as spellbinding, heart throbbing and full of adventures throughout. There were no dull moments in the first season. It was heavily complemented by being called a “Perfect Blend of history, myths, fiction and romance” and not just another magic and supernatural story.
The viewers loved the production, actors, the shots, and the fiction. It grabbed and gripped audience attention all through the first season and the audience expected no less from the second and the third season as well.
The maybe disappointing part of the show for some fans of Deborah Harkness’s Trilogy is that the show isn’t exactly similar to the novel. The writers of the show appear to have done injustice to the adaptation, and haven’t paid attention to detail, as they should have. Yes the basic storyline is the same, but the details seem a little unfamiliar to the readers. Many pointed out that the research hasn’t been upto the mark, unlike in Harkness’s novels, which are very well researched and written.
But as a separate show, looked at as just an entertainer and not as a research documentary on witches, it’s very gripping and has mostly got all positive reviews, proving its popularity among the audience. A recommended watch for all age groups.