Home Culture Books NYCC 2018: Deborah Harkness Talks ‘A Discovery of Witches’ Series

NYCC 2018: Deborah Harkness Talks ‘A Discovery of Witches’ Series


At New York Comic-Con this past weekend, author Deborah Harkness revealed that U.S. and Canadian viewers would be able to binge watch A Discovery of Witches on Sundance Now and Shudder this coming January 17, 2019.

Based on the first novel of her All Souls Trilogy, ADOW tells the story of alchemical historian Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer), a reluctant witch who discovers an enchanted manuscript at the Bodleian Library. She soon meets Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode), a geneticist and vampire who becomes her unlikely protector as other vampires, witches, and daemons seek her out for the mystical book.

During her NYCC panel, the Harkness talked about being on hand to preserve the authenticity of the novel.

“On of the things that I think helps us adults is to suspend our disbelief is a feeling of authenticity and grounded-ness, so even if it is about you know witches, demons, and vampires, it’s still set very much in our world and it needs to reflect that in a way.”

She also discussed the casting process and what she was looking for in her in the lead actors.

“For me the first thing was that they had to be phenomenal actors because I think that these roles, or really any roles that delve into the supernatural that again push the boundaries on what it means to be human whether it’s a superhero or a witch or a vampire. I think it’s so crucial that the actors themselves are able to take it seriously. I think as an audience member you sorta almost smell it if the magic is sort of held in a distance. And so that demands a really strong acting talent I think to be able to take that on and in the case of this cast it was just phenomenal to see them take on the characters and take on the material and then to run with it and expound it.”

For more on the panel, check out our video below:

Attendees were also treated to a screening of the first episode of the series which was an immense treat. As a huge fan of the books it was wonderful to see the world come to life with both Palmer and Goode standing out in their respective roles. The pilot beautifully captured the aesthetic and tone of the novel, with gorgeous backdrops and striking locations. The first season will cover the first book and is comprised of eight episodes. Currently the show is already airing in the UK on Sky One and streamed through NOW TV.

Filming was done at Wolf Studios Wales and on location in Oxford and Venice. Kate Brooke (Mr. Selfridge) penned adaptation for television and also serves as executive producer along with Jane Tranter (Doctor Who, The Night Of), Julie Gardner (Doctor Who, The Night Of), Lachlan MacKinnon, and Deborah Harkness. The series also stars Alex Kingston, Louise Brealey, Owen Teale, Valerie Pettiford, Elarica Johnson, Trevor Eve, Greg McHugh, Tanya Moodie, Lindsay Duncan, Trystan Gravelle, Aisling Loftus, Daniel Ezra, Malin Buska, Greg Chillin, Aiysha Hart, and Edward Bluemel.

Excited yet? Here’s the trailer to tide you over until January 17!

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