Sky-high viewer ratings and a two season renewal bode well for this British series based on the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness. When historian Diana discovers an ancient text that threatens the precarious truce between demons, vampires, witches and humans, she must confront a truth about herself to unlock the riddles in the text.
4 reasons you’ll be enchanted by A Discovery of Witches
Based on the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness, this spellbinding series of magic and romance on Showmax runs deep and true.
A Discovery of Witches is a modern-day love story, set in a world where witches, vampires and daemons secretly live and work alongside humans, hidden in plain sight.
Teresa Palmer (I Am Number Four, Warm Bodies) stars as academic and historian Diana Bishop, a witch denying her magical heritage until the discovery of an ancient manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library throws her into the heart of a dangerous mystery – and into the path of enigmatic geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode from The Good Wife, Downton Abbey and The Crown).
Here are four reasons to add it to your watchlist immediately:
1. It’s based on the bestselling novels by a historian descended from one of the Salem witches
When A Discovery of Witches was published in 2011, The New York Times labelled it as “Harry Potter for grown-ups”. Deborah Harkness, the author, is descended from a woman hanged in Salem for witchcraft; runs an award-winning wine blog; has a doctorate in the history of magic and science in Europe, and currently teaches European history and the history of science at The University of Southern California.
2. This witch and vampire will have you swooning
As The New York Times put it, “The idea of the vampire as the perfect lover is pretty old by now, but really, lovers don’t get much more perfect than the vampire aristocrat Matthew Clairmont in A Discovery of Witches. He listens so well he can hear your heartbeat rise, he’s so sensitive he can feel your heat, and he’s so passionate he can just barely stop himself from ripping into your throat. That he’s played by that tall drink of plasma Matthew Goode is just overkill…”
3. It’s a timely story about tribalism and interracial romance
In the world of A Discovery of Witches, for a witch to fall in love with a vampire is akin to a white woman falling in love with a black man during apartheid: it’s not just frowned upon but illegal, thanks to a centuries-old law enforced by The Congregation, a shadowy institution that keeps the peace between vampires, witches and daemons. But the heart wants what it wants…
4. The gorgeously shot locations are suitably magical
Filming took place in South Wales, Oxford and Venice. “The location budget seems to have been approximately $10 trillion,” wrote The Atlantic. “A Discovery of Witches just looks expensive. It’s as gorgeously shot and cinematic as a Bond movie, sweeping over the spires and cobbled streets of Oxford, the azure canals of Venice, and the various stately homes and ancestral châteaus that Matthew calls home (when you’ve been alive for more than a thousand years, the series hints, you acquire an extreme amount of real estate).”