Press Archive for 2021

A Discovery Of Witches Q&A —Matthew Goode On Playing A More Ruthless Version Of Matthew –  AMC Talk  July 14, 2021

 

A Discovery of Witches Q&A —Matthew Goode On Playing A More Ruthless Version Of Matthew

In A Discovery of Witches, Matthew Goode plays Matthew Clairmont, a cunning, mysterious vampire who finds love with a witch. Season 2 finds Matthew and witch-in-training Diana, in 1590 London, as they continue their search for The Book of Life. In this interview with amc.com, Goode talks about becoming a more ruthless version of Matthew, how Matthew really feels about Kit, and the magic of working with Teresa Palmer.

Q: It’s clear that the Matthew we meet circa 1590 is a different man. Not only in style and costume, but also in demeanor, and the way he carries himself. Can you talk a bit about transforming into this earlier version of Matthew? A: It’s 1590, so they were quite literally darker times. It’s medieval. I looked at paintings; they held themselves in a different way, just due to the nature of the clothing. Matthew has evolved up into the 21st century, so he knows that the man in the 16th century is a completely different Matthew. He was much more dangerous as an individual. He hated witches. There was much more warfare going on during those times. They were just much more dangerous times.So, it’s a part within a part. He has to play himself and it’s not a very easy thing for him to do. I mean, he’s always got pretty good posture, but I wanted him to feel a little more awkward and be a bit more rigid. We were able to give him a beard, and we played with the idea of just making him look like men that we’d seen in paintings.
Q: In speaking with Teresa about Season 2, she said one of the things that’s most difficult for Diana this season, was feeling distance grow between Matthew and her. What was it like working with Teresa on bringing their very complicated relationship to the screen? A: Working with Teresa—ever since day one of meeting—there was always an unwritten chemistry between the two of us. Yes, they do grow apart in Season 2. If you think about the timeline, they’ve only been together a month or something crazy like that by the time we’re in Season 2. I think he’s trying to hide a lot of his past. There are a lot of secrets. There’s a lot of depth to him, and he’s not ready to reveal that.I think there’s a bit of shame about the fact that he’s a torturer, and has to do all sorts of things for Cecil during Season 2. One has to look at what his reasoning for that is. Is it to protect her or is it to protect himself? That’s what’s always great with Matthew, is that there’s always a slight duplicity to his character. But, as ever, playing anything with Teresa was a joy. You get to a point after working with someone for so long, that there’s an unspoken relationship that exists that you don’t have to work at every day. You can come in and just play the scene, and she bats it back and it’s always been a pleasure.
Q: Matthew’s relationship with Kit is another tumultuous one! It’s clear to Matthew that Kit is not happy with Diana’s role in Matthew’s life, and once Kit’s distaste for Diana is clear, Matthew shuts him out. Why do you think he shuts him out completely like that?  A: He shuts him out like that because he’s a slightly untrustworthy character. So as much as it was fun when they were hanging around together back in the day, he’s not the same Matthew. One can understand why Kit is a little off-put at first. The minute Matthew turns up, he’s not the same Matthew that he’s used to, so he thinks that he has literally been bewitched. But he shows his true colors over the course of Season 2, and Matthew has to shut him out of his life because he doesn’t know who Kit’s going to talk to. One has to remember that he was also working for Cecil. When someone’s got loose lips, it puts not only his life in danger, but also Diana’s life in danger too. So that’s why he shuts him out.
Q: You and Tom Hughes have had the chance to work together before. What was it like crafting this contentious relationship with him?  A: It’s always lovely seeing Tom. He’s a really fine actor and what he did with Kit was great. There was a beautiful awkwardness and strangeness to this character, so I felt like I discovered Kit in a similar way to how Matthew would. It was lovely to see Tom again, and yet it wasn’t the Tom that I knew. Maybe Tom also thought, “Well, this is a character that I haven’t seen Matthew play,” so there was a wee bit of art imitating life—a fraction.We’ve got an incredible cast of loads of really terrific actors coming in every single day, so this job has always been an embarrassment of riches really. You have some beautiful casting. From Season 1 you have fantastic people like Lindsay Duncan, and to get Sheila Hancock to come in this season at the age of 85 was just joyous. She’s got a beautiful face, and to have that lived-in, intelligent face present, it just lifts characters. Sheila was a real highlight of Season 2, I thought.
Q: This season as Diana moves more into her powers, it becomes clear that she can fend for herself, and doesn’t necessarily need a man in shining armor. Matthew doesn’t seem to bothered by that, so in essence he is quite a modern man! What do you love most about playing Matthew?  A: That’s quite right! And yes, he’s evolved. What I like about Matthew is there’s always more than one thing going on in his brain. He’s a great planner, and when things aren’t going to plan, he has to be several steps ahead. So not only are you playing the line that you’re actually saying, but your thoughts have to be moving on. He has a great distrust that’s been built up over centuries. Not everything is going to go as I see it, so I need a plan A, B, C, and D. One may smile and smile, and yet be a villain. There’s a little bit of that with Matthew. I mean, you have to remember he’s killed an awful lot of people. He’s suffering from blood rage. He was the family assassin. He’s incredibly smart. He’s done nine jobs. He’s been a doctor, he’s been an architect. He’s so fully evolved. So that’s what’s great, is the fact that he’s done so much.  
Q: If you could timewalk, what era would you want to enter and who would you want to meet?    A: It would be great to get together Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and Arnie Palmer for a four-ball. Either that, or I would go back and hang out with David Niven in 1940s or 19450s Hollywood. That would be a lot of fun, because that was when Hollywood was probably at its most banging.
New episodes of A Discovery of Witches air on Sundays at 7/6c on AMC. Full episodes are available to stream now on amc.com, the AMC apps for mobile and devices, and on AMC+. The entire first season is available to watch now with AMC+, which is available through a variety of providers, including AppleTV, Prime Video Channels, DirectTV, Dish, Roku Channel, Sling, and Xfinity.Sign up for AMC+ to stream A Discovery of Witches now on amc.com, on mobile for iOS and Android devices, and on your TV streaming device with the AMC app, available for Roku, Apple TV, FireTV, Xbox One, Android TV, and Chromecast.
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First trailer for Downton Abbey star Matthew Goode’s new movie The Duke  28th May 2021 – Digital Spy

And it looks absolutely wonderful.

Downton Abbey star Matthew Goode is fighting for justice in the wonderful first trailer for new movie The Duke.

Based on an extraordinary true story, The Duke follows 60-year-old taxi driver Kempton Bunton who stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from London’s National Gallery in 1961.

It marked the first – and still only – theft in the Gallery’s history, and Kempton proceeded to send ransom notes declaring that he’d only return the painting if the government invested more in care for the elderly.

jim broadbent, the duke
PATHE/NICK WALL

Kempton was specifically interested in his long-running campaign for pensioners to receive free television – but it took 50 years for the full story to emerge and it was revealed he had spun a web of lies.

The only truth was that he was a good man, determined to change the world and save his marriage to Dorothy Bunton, and The Duke tells the story of how and why he used the painting to do just that.

Directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill), the movie stars acting legends Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren in the roles of Kempton and Dorothy, with Goode playing Jeremy Hutchinson, the barrister who defended Kempton in 1965.

matthew goode in the duke
PATHE
The Duke received its world premiere at last year’s Venice Film Festival where it received widespread critical acclaim, currently standing at the coveted 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

After we see him in The Duke, Goode will be reprising his role as Henry Talbot in the eagerly-awaited Downton Abbey 2. The sequel is filming right now and will be released in cinemas this Christmas.

He’ll also be seen in another movie based on true events in Sky original movie The Colour Room, alongside Bridgerton‘s Phoebe Dynevor.

The Duke is released in UK cinemas on September 3.

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Phoebe Dynevor transforms into pottery pioneer as she films The Colour Room with Matthew Goode… as Bridgerton co-star Regé-Jean Page reveals he WON’T return for series two – Mail On-Line – 3rd April 2021 [Extracts]

They recently began filming for the Sky Original drama, The Colour Room.

And Phoebe Dynevor and Matthew Goode looked almost unrecognisable as they chatted between takes, a day after Bridgerton co-star Regé-Jean Page revealed he WON’T return for series two.

The actress, 25, was seen taking a break from filming in the Midlands on Saturday as she joined co-star Matthew, 43, for some coffee.

On set: Phoebe Dynevor and Matthew Goode looked almost unrecognisable as they chat between takes of new drama The Colour Room on Saturday

Dapper: Phoebe's co-star Matthew Goode, 43, appeared to be in good spirits as he sported stone suit trousers and a matching waistcoat and sported brown brogue shoes

Phoebe … sported a white robe and comfortable black UGG boots as she strolled with Matthew between takes.

Busy day: Between takes Phoebe sported a white robe and comfortable black UGG boots as she walked on set

He added a further pop of colour with a bright yellow tie, and also sported smart brogue shoes.

The film tells the true story of Cliff, a pioneering ceramic artist who became a rising star in the pottery industry in Stoke-On-Trent in the 1920s.

Gushing about the production earlier this month, Phoebe said: ‘I am so excited to be joining the cast of The Colour Room, especially in the role as one of the nations most celebrated artists, Clarice Cliff. It’s truly such an honour to take on such a remarkable character.

Taking a break: The film tells the true story of Cliff, played by Phoebe, a pioneering ceramic artist who became a rising star in the pottery industry in Stoke-On-Trent in the 1920s

Between takes: Matthew looked dapper in a stone three-piece suit as he vaped on the set of the new drama

‘The script is a beautifully written contemporary take on the 20th century, and I feel proud to be working with such a strong female team, both in front and behind the camera.’

Phoebe, who was catapulted to stardom after playing Daphne Bridgerton in the Netflix hit, added: ‘I look forward to telling Clarice’s story and of course working with Matthew too.’

Matthew will take on the role of Colley Shorter, the factory owner who became impressed by Clarice’s work and helped stoke her talent.

All smiles: Matthew will take on the role of Colley Shorter, the factory owner who became impressed by Clarice's work and helped stoke her talent

Chatting: The stars appeared to have good banter between takes as they tucked into some snacks on set

Chatting: The stars appeared to have good banter between takes as they tucked into some snacks on set

Strolling: Matthew sported bottle green knee-high socks and added a further pop of colour with a bright yellow tie

Strolling: Matthew sported bottle green knee-high socks and added a further pop of colour with a bright yellow tie

Full article  – HERE

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From period drama to pottery! Bridgerton’s Phoebe Dynevor transforms into Clarice Cliff with brunette wig and wrinkled tights as The Colour Room filming begins  – Mail Online 31 March 2021 [Extracts]

Filming has begun on Sky Original drama The Colour Room, Phoebe Dynevor’s first major film since she starred in Netflix hit Bridgerton.

The actress, 25, was seen getting to work on set of her new project in Manchester on Thursday, and she joined her co-star Matthew Goode to film her first scenes.

Phoebe has traded the racy period drama for art as she transformed into real-life pottery pioneer Clarice Cliff by wearing a wavy brunette wig.

From period drama to pottery! Bridgerton's Phoebe Dynevor transformed into Clarice Cliff with brunette wig and wrinkled tights as The Colour Room filming began on Thursday

From period drama to pottery! Bridgerton’s Phoebe Dynevor transformed into Clarice Cliff with brunette wig and wrinkled tights as The Colour Room filming began on Thursday

Phoebe looked demure as she paired a black dress that had a colourful red, yellow and orange floral print with wrinkled tights.

She completed her look by wearing simple brown heeled shoes and accessorised with an orange and brown scarf that clashed with her attire.

Matthew, meanwhile, looked dapper as he prepared to film a scene in a pair of blue linen pyjamas and a grey dressing gown.

The actress, who played Daphne Bridgerton in the Netflix show  will now take on the role of Clarice Cliff, a pioneering ceramic artist

The film tells how Cliff became a rising star in the pottery industry in Stoke-On-Trent in the 1920s.

Busy schedule: Phoebe filmed scenes alongside her co-star Matthew Goode who was also seen out on set for the first day of filming in Manchester

Busy schedule: Phoebe filmed scenes alongside her co-star Matthew Goode who was also seen out on set for the first day of filming in Manchester

Relaxed: Matthew, meanwhile, looked dapper as he prepared to film a scene in a pair of blue linen pyjamas and a grey dressing gown

Also staying safe: After filming scenes, Matthew donned a face mask

Relaxed: Matthew, meanwhile, looked dapper as he prepared to film a scene in a pair of blue linen pyjamas and a grey dressing gown

Later on, Matthew looked more put together as he donned a brown three-piece suit over a white striped shirt and a bronze tie.

His raven tresses were slicked back into a coiffured style and he also was seen wearing a face mask to protect himself at the studios.

Dapper: Later on, Matthew looked more put together as he donned a brown three-piece suit over a white striped shirt and a bronze tie

Phoebe, who was catapulted to stardom after playing Daphne Bridgerton in the Netflix hit, added: ‘I look forward to telling Clarice’s story and of course working with Matthew too.’

Matthew will take on the role of Colley Shorter, the factory owner who became impressed by Clarice’s work and helped stoke her talent.In real life, Cliff broke the glass ceiling to revolutionise the workplace during the 20th Century, and the film will see her take ‘more and more dangerous risks’ to bring her creations to life.

The artist went on to create the Art Deco ‘Bizarre’ range while apprenticing for renowned Art Designer Fred Ridgeway, played by David Morrissey.

Other actors set to join Phoebe, Matthew and David include Darci Shaw, Kerry Fox and Luke Norris.

Dressed to the nines: Matthew wore a red pocket square and brown brogues to complete his dapper look for the shoot

 

 Dressed to the nines: Matthew wore a red pocket square and brown brogues to complete his dapper look for the shoot

Support: Matthew will take on the role of Colley Shorter, the factory owner who became impressed by Clarice's work and helped stoke her talent

Support: Matthew will take on the role of Colley Shorter, the factory owner who became impressed by Clarice’s work and helped stoke her talent

Helping hand: Following Shorter's support, Cliff went on to create the Art Deco 'Bizarre' range while apprenticing for renowned Art Designer Fred Ridgeway, played by David Morrissey

 

Boost: Matthew carried a cup of coffee to set for the early morning shoot

Great cast: Other actors set to join Phoebe, Matthew and David include Darci Shaw, Kerry Fox and Luke Norris

Claire McCarthy is set to direct the film, which is based on the BAFTA Rocliffe-winning script by Claire Peate and is produced by Caspian Films, Sky, and Creative England.

Discussing the film, Peate said: ‘The story was inspired by a single image; a young factory worker leaving her grim, industrial reality behind her and stepping into the rainbow of the Colour Room – a world of joy and possibility.

‘It was thanks to the script winning at BAFTA Rocliffe and being performed on stage that it was picked up, and I’m thrilled to now be working with Phoebe and Matthew in bringing The Colour Room to life.’

Cosy: Matthew appeared relaxed as he strolled to set in costume, which alongside pyjamas also consisted of purple slippers

 

Helping out: A member of the crew was seen assisting Matthew while he walked

Cosy: Matthew appeared relaxed as he strolled to set in costume, which alongside pyjamas also consisted of purple slippers

Crew: Claire McCarthy is set to direct the film, which is based on the BAFTA Rocliffe-winning script by Claire Peate and is produced by Caspian Films, Sky, and Creative England

Origins: Peate said, 'The story was inspired by a single image; a young factory worker leaving her grim, industrial reality behind her and stepping into the rainbow of the Colour Room'

 

Bringing the story to life: 'It was thanks to the script winning at BAFTA Rocliffe and being performed on stage that it was picked up, and I'm thrilled to now be working with Phoebe and Matthew,' Peate added
Full article – HERE
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A Discovery of Witches star teases the upcoming final series: ‘Hopefully we end it well’ – Radio Times – 26th January 2021

Edward Bluemel, who plays vampire Marcus in the hit Sky series, lifts the lid on COVID-friendly series three filming – and what fans can expect from the end of the Deborah Harkness adaptation.

Discovery of Witches
“You know you start to feel the pressure of the fans, and everyone really wants it to come out, and you really don’t want it to miss the wave that series one was riding on,” Edward Bluemel, who plays vampire Marcus in the series, told RadioTimes.com.“So yeah, I’m thrilled that it’s finally been able to come out, and people seem to have really enjoyed it so far, which is fantastic to see. And it’s nice that, you know, all the fans have been patient with us and let it have the time it needed to be right before getting released.”

Happily, for fans this series seems to have been worth the wait – but with all 10 episodes binged, some are already turning towards what’s next. At time of writing A Discovery of Witches is currently deep into filming on its third and final series, which will conclude the story of vampire/witch lovers Matthew and Diana (Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer) and the characters surrounding them (including Marcus) as Sky adapts the final book in Deborah Harkness’ All Soul’s trilogy.

“We’re nearly done – three weeks or so left, I think?” Bluemel said.

“We’re all sort of coming to the end now and filming a lot of the last bits so yeah, it’s sort of winding down. But it’s gone well, it’s gone smoothly I think. I think we’ve made something that’s really good.

“I think we see the sort of results of [Marcus] gaining responsibility in series two, which is good. We see him take control, really fight his corner for what he believes in, and become a bit of a leader, really.”

Of course, current coronavirus guidelines mean that filming for the new episodes is rather different than the last time Bluemel played Marcus – though apparently, the restrictions aren’t quite as off-putting as we might think.

“You know what, it was much easier from my point of view than would be initially thought,” he told us. “It’s just that everyone’s wearing masks, they’re social distancing, you get tested twice a week. But other than that it’s actually worked quite well. It’s been obviously a big change, but everybody adapted to it very quickly.

Matthew Diana Discovery of Witches
Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer in A Discovery of Witches (Sky)

“The strangest part of it is, I don’t know what half the crew members’ faces look like. And occasionally I’ll see one of them having a sip of tea, or a cigarette on a cigarette break, and I’ll be like ‘Oh my God, I did not think your mouth looked like that!

“The other thing is, I’ve occasionally met someone who I actually know, and they’ve come on, and I haven’t realised that I’ve known them because I can’t see their face if they’re in like a hat and a mask – and that can be quite embarrassing as well.”

Still, despite any difficulties the cast are just happy to be making this last series at all – and apparently, hopes are high that they can pull off this last challenge.

Discovery of Witches
Matthew Goode and Edward Bluemel in A Discovery of Witches (Sky)

“I think there is definitely a bit of an edge to that as you film it, the other day we filmed a scene that will be I think one of the last scenes in the entire series, and that sort of had a strange last day of school feeling about it, even though it wasn’t the last scene we were filming in the whole thing,” Bluemel said.

“It will be sad. It’s been a big part of my life for over half of my acting career, really. I left drama school in 2015 I think, and got cast in this a year and a half later. So it’ll be strange to be back in the world as an actor without Discovery of Witches.

“Hopefully the way that we end it will end it well, and sort of do the books and the fans justice.”

He added: “I would hope it’ll come out more quickly than the last one, certainly!”

Sky original series A Discovery of Witches season two is streaming on Sky and NOW TV. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide.

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Discovery of Witches: Secrets from the Set – Sensual costumes, giggling and the best sets in the world – BT com – 25th January 2021 [Extracts]

The stars and creative team behind A Discovery of Witches season 2 reveal filming secrets from the hit Sky One series.

By Alex Fletcher
Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer in A Discovery of Witches season 2

Watch A Discovery of Witches season 1 and 2 on Sky One with NOW TV

Discovery of Witches fans have had a brilliant start to 2021 with the full second season available to binge on Sky One with NOW TV.

After the dramatic conclusion to season 1, the new episodes begin with Matthew and Diana hiding in time in the fascinating and treacherous world of Elizabethan London.

Enemies are everywhere, Diana’s unleashed magic has taken a dark and frightening turn and Matthew is struggling to re-inhabit the dangerous life he led over four centuries ago.

Danger is closing in on all sides, not least in the form of a vicious foe from Matthew’s past, one whom no one expected to see again.

As fans discover the twists and surprises of season 2, we look back at the making of the series and hear from the cast in their own words about the incredible journey they took to bring the show to life.

From modern fantasy to period drama

The biggest change for season 2 is the new locations and sets as Matthew and Diana head to Elizabethan England.

Brought to life by Production Designer James North, the focus of the action is now on the streets of London – which were built on a piece of land in Newport, Wales.

“Everything takes a fraction longer as inaccuracies are not as forgivable,” said Matthew Goode, who returns as Matthew De Clermont.

“Any period drama does, be it by the costume or the hair. Working on James North’s sets transports you as an actor. If those elements weren’t nailed, I wouldn’t have been able to slip into character as easily. Apart from that, you’re also just trying to get your lines and movement right.”

More on A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches season 2 key art - Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer in costume

Talking about the challenges of producing series 2, Teresa Palmer said: “One of the main differences is that in Elizabethan London, people looked different. For us actors, this meant longer periods of time getting ready.

“Hair and make-up usually take two and a half hours. My hair is curled, and then intricate pieces are woven into it, as well as a certain period make-up look. Then there are the dresses – most of the fabric that Sarah Arthur uses to create our costumes is sourced overseas. Sarah will travel to places like Prague and bring back beautiful patterns and fabrics.

“Then she has a team working around the clock to stitch them together. Even navigating people getting dressed in the morning takes longer. So, there have been some challenges but we’ve all really enjoyed stepping into this period.”

Getting the giggles

Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer in A Discovery of Witches

The on-screen sizzle between Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer is one of the essential ingredients to Witches success.

And it’s no surprise that chemistry between the pair continues once the cameras have finished rolling.

“It’s funny because Matthew Goode and Matthew de Clermont are so similar in so many ways that the line gets blurred a lot of the time,” said Teresa.

“Matthew just *is* Matthew de Clermont. The way he walks, talks, what he emotes – he’s just so brilliant as Matthew de Clermont.”

The Australian said: “Goody, as we call him, is just such a laugh. He’s a wonderful human with many layers and complexities, which serve the character well.

“The two of us are constantly giggling. Philippa Langdale, one of our directors, sent us a four-minute clip of the two of us laughing.

“We both have three kids, so we have a lot in common and we both turn up to set exhausted! He’s my partner in crime and we have each other’s back. It’s a beautiful collaboration.”

…..

Sensual costumes

The new time period gave costumer designer Sarah Arthur a new challenge for season two.

“I had a lot of direction, for instance Jane Tranter (Executive Producer) wanted a realism to the costumes and didn’t just want it stuck in 1590, she wanted it to be exciting for current day viewers,” said Arthur.

“Everything has been made for the main cast. With Matthew, a jacket he wears is similar to an original jacket but slightly earlier than 1590. I actually sourced everything, even down to the buttons and travelled far and wide to find all components.

“We’ve made all our shirts, everything is hand stitched. We’ve had the hats made, collected lots of feathers from here and there. Not to mention, hand-made shoes, head gear, hand embroidered slippers.

….

She added: “With Matthew, we contoured the doublets to his body as he has a great physique and he’s tall. The other jackets, such as the leather and suede, we made for him are very fitted and from very soft skins. We did the black and then a softer brown, and that softened him when they got married.

“We went for the brown skins because they are a softer feel and then with his wedding jacket we decided on a lighter colour to get away from the darkness of London at the time.”

Watch A Discovery of Witches season 1 + 2 Box Sets on Sky One with Now TV.

Full Article – https://www.bt.com/tv/drama/discovery-of-witches-sky-one-now-tv-behind-the-scenes

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A Discovery of Witches: Cast says supernatural thriller is old-fashioned romance at heart – Daily Express – 15th January 2021 [Extracts]

MAGICAL television drama has kept millions of us grounded and provided escapism and solace during the pandemic lockdown, quite literally in the case of A Discovery of Witches. The thrilling supernatural drama, based on US author Deborah Harkness’ All-Souls trilogy, imagines a world where vampires, witches and demons walk the earth.

By ISOBEL JAMES
These natural enemies have been forced into an uneasy alliance to keep their existence a secret and, with their numbers and powers diminishing, must now unite further to save themselves from extinction. For those playing catch-up, the Sky One series began two years ago with Matthew Clairmont (a vampire and geneticist played by Matthew Goode) discovering that magical creatures were dying out. A book at Oxford’s Bodleian Library holds the key to solving the problem – but there’s a snag.

It’s been bewitched so only historian and reluctant witch Diana Bishop (Australian actress Teresa Palmer) can access it. Initially reluctant to connect with her witchy heritage, Diana eventually teams up with Clairmont to protect the book and solve its mysteries while dodging threats from those unhelpful supernatural creatures who aren’t keen on an inter-species glasnost.

Harry Potter it ain’t. But combining adventure, mystery and romance, the first series won a legion of fans, some no doubt drawn by the steamy love scenes between lead actors Goode and Palmer. Its all-star cast also includes Lindsay Duncan, Trevor Eve and Alex Kingston, as Diana’s aunt.

Fans have been waiting for the second series ever since and are now being rewarded with ten brand new episodes which see the duo hurled back through time to Elizabethan London.

Joining the new series are, among others, James Purefoy and Sheila Hancock, who plays Goody Alsop, a veteran witch who takes Diana under her wing to share her knowledge of spellcraft.

But according to Goode, things are “much darker” this time.

“It’s a very different series really because Matthew regresses into his past – and psychologically that really changes him,” the Exeter-born actor admits.

In the series one finale, Diana had finally embraced her magical side and agreed to travel back in time to 1590 to hone her training outside the confines of the present day.

When we meet her in season two, she is seeking “England’s most powerful witch” and a lost book which holds the promise of immortality.

Meanwhile, Clairmont is preparing for events that threaten the future of his family and, to cap it all, the danger of war looms. Which all means plenty of supernatural fighting, as well as some burgeoning “blood rage” – a vampire’s insatiable desire to hunt blood – from our vampire hero, while the romance between our hero and heroine continues to flourish, even if they face several bumps in the road on the way. But the course of true love never did run smooth, says Goode, 42.

“We have some things that come between us and some obstacles to overcome,” he confides.

Palmer, 34, adds: “I’m getting to know him again in this era. When we go back in time, the Matthew that she knows seems really different – he shifts into this darker version of who he is and at times it feels like he is a totally different Matthew, which really throws her.”

At its beating heart, the show is as much a traditional love story as a gothic thriller – albeit between a vampire and a witch.

As fans will testify, production values on the show are high with plenty of captivating magical sequences.

Elizabeth I

With this series set largely in 1590 – although there is some time travel back to the present day – the production team built an authentic Elizabethan village set around an old farmhouse a few miles outside Newport in south Wales.

Its meticulously-created medieval inn, cobbled streets and fortress walls are matched by equally detailed, multi-layered Elizabethan costumes – which proved something of a
challenge during summer filming.

“When we started filming it was in 35 degree heat, so that was fairly brutal,” says Goode, who also admits to feeling more than a hint of embarrassment at filming scenes where he shows his “blood rage”.

“There are a couple of big set pieces where blood rage comes to the surface. It’s embarrassing at first and then you go, ‘I’ve got blood rage’ and throw yourself into it,” he smiles.

The Tudor setting also enabled the introduction of real-life historical characters, including playwright Christopher Marlowe, played by Victoria star Tom Hughes, and Queen Elizabeth (Casualty’s Barbara Marten in a role she was clearly born to play) whose advanced years do not preclude her from flirting with Clairmont.

“I’m having it written into all his main scenes that women find me attractive,” jokes Goode.

… It’s a reminder of the fascination we have for witches, vampires and all things supernatural, which Goode finds unsurprising.

“I think you sort of hear those stories first when you’re children and they’re a little bit disturbing and magical and mysterious – and I think Harry Potter helped,” he reflects.

“But there’s something intriguing about that pagan past. And there’s something cathartic about getting a fright.”

With an intensely loyal fanbase behind the books, Goode was keenly aware that there were high expectations for its transition on to the screen two years ago.

Thankfully the reception for A Discovery of Witches proved incredibly positive from even the most die-hard fans of Harkness’s best-selling trilogy.

The series pulled in two million viewers when it first aired in 2018 and became Sky One’s most popular drama that year.

Now the cast are crossing their fingers for more of the same this time round.

“They are incredibly difficult books to adapt and so there are always going to be people who are huge fans of the book who are, if not disappointed, but wondering why things have been missed out,” says Goode.

“But we think we have made something so far that is going to appease both sides.”

As lockdown drags on, thank goodness dramas like this are keeping us spellbound.

Full Article here – https://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/1384616/sky-a-discovery-of-witches-cast-supernatural-thriller

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TV show review: A Discovery of Witches Season 2 – Daily Record – 14th January 2021

Journey back in time for follow-up run of bewitching show based on trilogy of books.

By Ian Bunting

AS anyone in a marriage will know, you sometimes get talked into doing something you’re not overly keen on by your other half.

One such example for me was watching the first season of A Discovery of Witches (I guess I couldn’t complain too much having dragged my wife along to football matches, among other delights).

She is a massive fan of the Deborah Harkness All Souls trilogy of books this Sky production is based on and, to be fair, I enjoyed the first run of episodes.

For this second season, our forbidden lovers witch Diana (Teresa Palmer) and vampire Matthew (Matthew Goode) are transported to 1590 London as they try to trace an ancient magical manuscript and avoid their enemies.

Diana is an unusual witch – a weaver – with the ability to control all four elements, but she needs to find a teacher in Elizabethan England to help her learn to control her untrained gifts.

Matthew also has to see his father again after losing him in WWII, which turns into a very daunting experience for him.

Series two introduces Queen Elizabeth (Barbara Marten), Christopher “Kit” Marlowe (Tom Hughes, who is used to periodical escapades after playing Prince Albert in Victoria), Walter Raleigh (Michael Lindall) and Emperor Rudolf II (Michael Jibson), which for any history buff is in interesting on-screen experience.

We also meet more of the De Clermont family including patriarch Phillippe (James Purefoy), cousin Gallowglass (Steven Cree) and Matthew’s unruly sister Louisa (Elaine Cassidy).

Palmer and Goode shine in their portrayals of their roles and cover a wide range of emotions as they explore the time period together.

This second season was every bit as enjoyable as the first – but I could have done without my wife’s constant analysis about what had been done differently and excited non-spoiler revelations about what was to come!

However her infectious enthusiasm however was bewitching.

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A Discovery of Witches 2: James Purefoy Interview – The Version – 11th January 2021 [Extracts]

The second series of A Discovery of Witches sees Matthew and Diana hiding in time in the fascinating and treacherous world of Elizabethan London. Here they must find a powerful witch to help Diana master her magic and search for the elusive Book of Life. Enemies are everywhere, the threat to witches is growing, and Matthew and Diana’s romance faces a barrage of new threats – from within as much as without. Diana’s unleashed magic takes a dark and frightening turn, while Matthew struggles to re-inhabit the dangerous life he led over four centuries ago.

They must overcome deep personal fears and jealousies, baring their darkest secrets to one another if they are to stay alive, stay together and find a way back to the present day. Back in the present, their reappearance is keenly anticipated. Diana’s beloved aunts, Sarah and Em, must take shelter with notorious witch hunter Ysabeau de Clermont at her ancestral home, Sept-Tours. Meanwhile, in Oxford, Marcus and Miriam take on Matthew’s mantle to protect daemons Nathaniel and Sophie, whose pregnancy is advancing. If news that her baby is a witch reaches their enemies on the Congregation, the consequences could be catastrophic. And Gerbert and Knox are determined to hunt down every clue they can as to Matthew and Diana’s disappearance, and the secrets their allies are keeping from them. Danger is closing in on all sides, not least in the form of a vicious foe from Matthew’s past, one whom no one expected to see again.

Newcomer James Purefoy tells us about joining the show.

What has it been like to join the second season of A Discovery of Witches?

It’s always interesting joining a show which has already had a season, because the rules have been established. So, you’re doing a bit of catch up in terms of understanding the parameters of a vampire and a witch, but also understanding where we are in the show. Everyone has been incredibly nice to me. I’ve known Matthew a long time, so I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s a beautifully shot and beautifully directed show.

Can you introduce the character and explain a bit about who he is?

I play Philippe de Clermont who is Matthew de Clermont’s father. He is a vampire who has been around for about three-thousand years. We are first introduced to Philippe at his French estate – Sept-Tours in 1590. Matthew and Diana have been travelling a long while to get there, and finally arrive at Sept-Tours. They head up to Philippe’s war room where he is being implacable.

Could you describe the relationship between Philippe and Matthew?

It’s a relationship that’s been going on hundreds and hundreds of years, so it’s complicated. It’s a complex, ambiguous, difficult relationship. If you take the average relationship of a father and son and multiply it by the difficulty they might have, and then multiply that by several hundred years, then you get entrenched positions. He’s used Matthew for some dodgy things in the past, like using him as an assassin, but underneath it all there is a profound sense of love. With Philippe, we see a man who appears to be stern and quite implacable – there’s not much he doesn’t know. He’s an interesting character, but his relationship with Matthew changes as Matthew and Diana’s relationship is revealed to him. His opinion is strong at the beginning but there is an arc of change that develops. As we get towards the end, there is a feeling of profound acceptance of their love.

….

What’s it been like working with Matthew and Teresa?

Matthew is a charm. I know him very well. Both have been wonderful. Teresa is very professional and a cool person to work with. Matthew has been wonderful, although quite frankly I think he looks far too old to play my son, and I even look younger than him in some scenes!

Who is your favourite character, other than your own?

Matthew’s character is great! He can run 200 mph and take out a stag with his own teeth – vampires are always cool. I don’t think there’s ever been a vampire that isn’t cool.

Full Article Here – https://www.theversion.co/the-version/2021-1-11-a-discovery-of-witches-2-james-purefoy-interview

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Teresa Palmer on ‘A Discovery of Witches’ Season 2, Diana’s Profound Journey, & Filming Season 3 – Collider – 10th January 2021 [Extracts]

BY CHRISTINA RADISH

Palmer also revealed just how much fun it is to work with Matthew Goode.

Adapted from Deborah HarknessAll Souls trilogy, the 10-episode second season of A Discovery of Witches follows Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode) and Diana Bishop (TeresaPalmer) as they hide out in Elizabethan London, which has its own set of dangers and threats. While there, Diana must find a powerful witch teacher to help her control her magic and Matthew struggles to overcome his own demons, in the hopes of getting back to the present day.

What does it feel like to know that you’re getting so close to the end of this story? Does it change how you’re approaching things? Does it feel like you’re trying to be more present in every moment that you have left with her?

PALMER: Yeah. I’ve had some moments, just looking around. I was looking at Matthew’s face, Steven Cree, Ed Bluemel, and Aiysha Hart, and we were just having a laugh. We all went quiet for a moment and we realized, “We don’t know when we’ll get to see each other again. This is it.” We’re coming to the final days of this family, and then we’re breaking up. There’s this bittersweet feeling, to say goodbye to these people who have been such an important part of my life. So, I’m trying to be as present as possible, but I’m also looking to the future and excited about what this means for my family and getting to spend more time in Australia. Also, I think the audiences are gonna feel so wonderful with how everyone’s story comes to such an organic, beautiful conclusion. I think everyone will be really happy.

You’ve talked about how much you enjoy working with Matthew Goode. What’s it like to work with him and to get to know him, as a scene partner? How does he most challenge you as an actor?

PALMER: He most challenges me, as an actor, when he gets the giggles, which happens all the time. If it’s the end of the day, and he’s been on the horses and he’s having a laugh and he gets the giggles, that’s it. I’m done. He makes me laugh so much. When I can just see the corners of his mouth start to go up, I’m like, “All right, guys, we have to cut. I need to have a moment to compose myself.”

One of the directors on Season 2 cut together all of the footage of Matthew and me, bursting out laughing in the middle of scenes. There were so many of those situations, but it makes it so fun and light-hearted. He also makes me dig deeper because he is the most brilliant actor. Everything he does, everything he touches in this show, is gold. He’s just so wonderful. The funny thing about Matthew is that it comes so easily to him. He’s not someone that has to work really hard at it. Of course, he works hard, but he’s just so gifted. He’s so talented. He switches into his character and he’s just a remarkable performer. I’m always in awe of that. I’m always trying to dig deep and I find it really challenging sometimes. A scene might be hard, but he just always shines.

Link to full article – https://collider.com/a-discovery-of-witches-season-2-teresa-palmer-interview/

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Sheila Hancock Interview in Radio Times – 9th January 2021 [Extract about Matthew]

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A Discovery of Witches season 2 cast break down ‘wild’ audition process – Metro – 8th Jan 2021 [Extract]

By Harry Fletcher

A Discovery of Witches is finally back this week, bringing a welcome dose of time-travelling fantasy in season two to provide the perfect lockdown distraction. The likes of Teresa Palmer, Matthew Goode, Trevor Eve, Sheila Hancock, Louise Brealey, Ed Bluemel and Owen Teale are all onboard for the show’s second run, as the series swaps modern day Oxford for Elizabethan London.

There are plenty of questions we can’t wait to be answered in season two, but we also want to look back at the very beginnings of the show, and see how some of the performers first came on board.

Who spent their entire audition ‘cracking up’, and who landed their part after their partner told them they were ‘sh**’?

Here, the A Discovery of Witches cast tell all.

Teresa Palmer (Diana Bishop)

‘I auditioned in Hollywood. I had been told that it was probably looking like it was going my way, but I had to do a chemistry read with Matthew Goode. He rocked up and straight off the bat, I realised we had such a similar sense of humor. We were just cracking each other up the whole time.

‘In fact, Kate Rhodes, the casting director, said: “You guys, we should actually film something. I know, we’re having giggles and we’re having laughs, but we should film something.” It was just great, it was wild. Matthew and I didn’t really know what we were doing. We just sort of threw some scenes down. I walked away not feeling 100% that it went my way. I sort of just like, left it up to the universe and said “If it’s meant to be it’s meant to be.” But I definitely knew I’d gotten on so well with Matthew and the whole point of the audition was really for a chemistry read, so that aspect I felt confident about.

Full article – https://metro.co.uk/2021/01/08/a-discovery-of-witches-season-2-cast-break-down-wild-audition-process-13860740/

 

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Discovery of Witches: Meet the cast and characters of Sky One’s sizzling, supernatural, hit series – BT TV – 8th January 2021 [Extract]

Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer are back for witch and vampire action and they are joined by some famous faces as the cast expands for season two.

By Alex Fletcher
Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer in A Discovery of Witches season 2

Sky One’s A Discovery of Witches has built up a loyal legion of fans thanks to its magical blend of fantasy, sizzling romance and dark drama.

Based on the novels of Deborah Harkness and filled with vampires, witches and daemons, the show returns for a second season in a new location – Elizabethan London.

The shift in timelines means the show’s lead characters Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont, played by Teresa Palmer and Matthew Goode, will be joined by a collection of new characters.

Here is a quick guide to the lead cast in season two in their own words…

Matthew De Clermont – Played by Matthew Goode

Matthew Goode in A Discovery of Witches season 2

“In season two, Matthew reassumes the identity of Matthew Roydon. He was Lord Burghley’s right-hand man and, basically, 007 for the Queen. It’s a much darker season and I think we start to see Diana’s character become strong, not only with magic, but in a society that’s very patriarchal.

“It’s great getting the old gang back together even though we didn’t see a lot of them as they were filming the modern part of the story. James North has successfully knocked out a 1590s London town in a place called Plas Machen. Prior to arriving on set, I wondered how they were going to do it, and if it was just going to be a few pots, pans and beggars hanging around some cobbles!”

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A Discovery of Witches star Teresa Palmer reveals cute nickname for co-star Matthew Goode – Hello Magazine – 8th January 2021 [Extract]

The actors are gearing up for the release of season two on Sky One

By Francesca Shillcock.

Discovery of Witches star Teresa Palmer and Matthew Goode have clearly built a great friendship from their time on the popular show, and the leading actress has revealed she has a funny nickname for her co-star.

Speaking to HELLO! ahead the launch of season two of the Sky One fantasy drama, Teresa gushed about her on-screen love interest. “I call him Goodie! He’s such a laugh, he’s a real character, very jovial and always just making people laugh,” she said.

“I think that’s a great thing about our cast, we’ve all become so close and everyone has a similar sense of humour, so much so that often times we’ll get the giggles on set and we just now can’t look at each other.”

The star also revealed how the pair struggle to film scenes due to constant laughter: “A lot of the times I’ll be doing my lines and Matthew’s chin or his neck will be a little lower down, and Ed Bluemel and Matthew will choose to do scenes side by side because they get the giggles, but it just shows what kind of energy it is filming on set together, we’ve just become a family.

The actress, who has also appeared in Hacksaw Ridge and Warm Bodies, plays the witch Diana Bishop while Downton Abbey and The Crown star Matthew Goode takes on the role of Matthew Clairmont, a vampire and professor.

Fans have been waiting almost three years for the second instalment of the drama, and Teresa told HELLO! why it’ll be worth the wait: “It’s completely different, it’s just elevated in every sense. The set pieces, the development, the story arcs, the history. Everything is just bigger and better and more complex. I‘m really excited about this season, I just can’t wait for the audiences to see it because I think there’ll be really blown away.”

The synopsis for season two reads: “The second series of A Discovery of Witches sees Matthew and Diana hiding in time in the fascinating and treacherous world of Elizabethan London.

“Here they must find a powerful witch to help Diana master her magic and search for the elusive Book of Life. Enemies are everywhere, the threat to witches is growing, and Matthew and Diana’s romance faces a barrage of new threats – from within as much as without.”

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‘A Discovery of Witches’: James Purefoy and Steven Cree on Living Up to Expectations in Season 2 (Exclusive) – ET – 7th January 2021 [Extracts]

By

British vampire romance A Discovery of Witches, based on Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy, travels Matthew (Matthew Goode) and Diana (Teresa Palmer) back in time to Elizabethan England for season 2, hiding out as they go on their latest mystical quest to control Diana’s magical powers and look for the Book of Life. But, in signature fashion, not all goes according to plan for the couple — as Diana struggles to manage her powers and Matthew has difficulty reinserting himself back to his past life centuries ago.

It’s in his trip back to Elizabethan London where Matthew comes face to face with his stepfather, Philippe (James Purefoy) and fan-favorite Gallowglass (Outlander‘s Steven Cree), his honorable and warrior nephew. As Purefoy, who is close friends with Goode, and Cree tell ET in a joint interview for the new season, joining a world as complex and beloved as A Discovery of Witches was both exciting and nerve-wracking. But getting the stamp of approval from Harkness was a big sigh of relief for the two actors.

With the new season on deck, Purefoy and Cree chat about joining A Discovery of Witches, how Purefoy’s real-life friendship with Goode (and The Wine Show) helped get him the part and why they hope they don’t “f**k” it up for fans of Harkness’ novels.

ET: James, you’re good friends with Matthew. How did you both come into the world of A Discovery of Witches?

James Purefoy: I hate to say it, but it was a little bit of a fix-up. Matthew and I were sitting in a bar in Portugal because we were shooting a show we do called The Wine Show. His phone beeped and I looked at the message over his shoulder because I’m a bit nosy, and it was from Jane Tranter, who produces the show. She was offering up three actors to play his father and did he have any strong feelings about any of these actors? We had a good laugh because I was one of the names. Of course, we reduced the other two actors to dust in our text back, said they were really way past their best, that their best work was very much behind them. But James Purefoy’s work, his best work, was clearly very much in the future. And so that’s what we did. We conspired so that I could play his dad. He loved the idea of me playing his dad. That appealed to his vanity, obviously. Then, Eduardo Ferreti, one of the producers, and Jane wrote to me and asked me if I would be interested in taking on this very important part, which is a central part within the Discovery of Witchesuniverse, the part of Philippe. Of course was delighted to because I sure did like working with Matthew. It’s the third job I’ve done with him and I enjoy his company.

….

Were you both familiar with the novels beforehand or did you do a mad dash to familiarize yourselves with the characters you were playing?

Purefoy: I wasn’t aware of it at all. I had absolutely no idea about it. I think Matthew had vaguely mentioned that he was going and shooting this show down in Cardiff, and it was about vampires. I’ve played a vampire, so it was at that point when he said, “We need a vampire, you know. How’d you like to play my dad?” I said, “Don’t be ridiculous, Matthew. Don’t try and pull that one on me.” But he said, “No, no, no. He’s 2,000 years old, so it doesn’t really matter about the age difference.” As I feel about 2,000 years old, it did seem perfect casting. And also, the idea of playing a vampire. Sadly, I didn’t get to bite anybody in the entire show… and I kind of feel like Matthew gets to do all the biting, doesn’t he?

…..

Certainly, for me, the important thing was, having watched the first season of Discovery of Witches, that nobody ever really gave Matthew a run for his money. He was just smarter, faster, stronger, better than anybody in the series. It felt like they needed to have somebody who comes in, who is a bit of a brick wall, who was not going to take his sh** and not going to take, necessarily, his crap. But there’d be somebody who’s going to stand up to him. And his stepfather is one of those people who’s going to stand up to him. I think Matthew and I enjoyed playing those early scenes because Philippe is quite dismissive of him and is tough with him and obviously needs to get one over. So the sense that he’s got to win something in order to move on from me is palpable in the books. They need to have some semblance of coming to terms with each other at the end of the story, that he can then gallop off into the sunset and continue his next adventure. So, yeah, I was very, very aware [of the pressure]. I know that [author] Deborah Harkness sent out a tweet that I was playing the part and my timeline on Twitter, it suddenly was fire. I woke up the following morning and I went, “Oh my god. What have I done? I should never have done this part. There are clearly too many people out there who think I shouldn’t be playing this.”

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Review: A Discovery of Witches Season 2 is Pure Magic – The Cool Table – 7th January 2021

By now, we are all used to the magic of the movies, and in this era of quarantine and streaming services, we expect no less magic from our television shows either. But when season one of A Discovery of Witches premiered, there was something more than just the magic of film-making; they had managed to adapt a very full and lengthy fantasy novel into a concise, engaging, romantic and faithful series in just eight episodes. Now, with A Discovery of Witchesseason 2 coming out in just a couple of days, they’ve exceeded those expectations. This is a season of television that beautifully mixes romance with pure magic.

Season 2 starts off where the time-walking cliffhanger of season one left us: Peter Knox (Owen Teale) and his Congregation cohorts are looking for evidence of where Matthew de Clermont (Matthew Goode) and Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer) have disappeared to. The couple pop in, quite literally, on the streets of the Blackfriars in 1590 London. Due to his status as a wealthy and connected immortal vampire, Matthew is able to step into his old life without much problem. In fact, in the early episodes the only problem seems to be his connection with Diana and his lack of beard and earring. (At least two of those problems get solved pretty quickly).

The magic of season 2 is in the ease with which we believe this time-traveling storyline. Gone are the genetic science talks and the speeding car trappings of the first season; we are now fully ensconced in neck ruffs and deference rules and witch hunts. The good(e) news is Matthew Goode looks even more excellent in a doublet and leather breeches than he does in blue oxfords.

It all works. The show is gorgeously Elizabethan: costumes, sets, tiny details and large scale historic events all line up to make this fantasy show an historical adventure one as well. Matthew’s best friend is a prickly jealous Christopher Marlowe (Tom Hughes), and his 16th century vocation is Queen Elizabeth’s spy. Diana and Matthew meet up with other important, but less historical, characters of Matthew’s past, including his nephew, Gallowglass (played expertly by Steven Cree) and his father, Phillipe (James Purefoy). These fan favorites are favorites for a reason, and their screen versions do not disappoint.

With ten episodes in season 2, there is more time to delve into the hunt for the Book of Life that Matthew and Diana embarked upon. And at least, in the first seven episodes that were made available for review, the series does this without getting too mired in the intricacies the past. The most potent of encounters comes with Sir Phillipe, as they work to get him to accept Diana, and as Matthew deals with coming face to face with the father he hasn’t seen in decades and from whom he will have to try to hide the truth of his future. The season does an excellent job of not falling into the pattern of An Adventure A Week With Time Traveling Creatures, but instead weaves a storyline that keeps punching and driving towards a conclusion that will, no doubt, leave us very glad that they are almost finished shooting season three.

 

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By Maureen Lee Lenker

James Purefoy and Matthew Goode have been friends and colleagues for years, but it was a round of negronis that led (in part) to Purefoy’s casting as Goode’s vampiric father on A Discovery of Witches.

The series, which returns to Sundance Now, Shudder, and AMC+ on Jan. 9 for a second season, follows vampire Matthew (Matthew Goode) and witch Diana (Teresa Palmer) as they embark on a forbidden romance and become embroiled in a mystery about the origin of magical creatures. Season 2 finds them traveling to 16th-century England in pursuit of the enigmatic Book of Life, as well as searching for a witch to help Diana master her powers.

Their journey brings them into the path of Philippe de Clermont (Purefoy), Matthew’s intimidating vampire father. Those that are fans of Purefoy or Goode might know they’ve previously worked together on both History miniseries Roots and travel series The Wine Show. But for Purefoy, it’s always been a case of one Goode gig leading to another.

“Matthew’s done my career no end of good, actually,” Purefoy tells EW. “We worked together first on Roots where we played brothers. We spent a lot of time walking around, going from bar to bar in New Orleans because we had a certain amount of time off on that show. He was looking at rushes for a show he had just done, which he was producing, which was The Wine Show that he’d done with our mutual friend Matthew Rhys.”

Purefoy admits he was envious of the great gig Rhys and Goode shared. But a year later, when Rhys was unavailable for a second season due to his shooting schedule on The Post, Goode called Purefoy to ask him to step in. That, in turn, led to their new relationship as father and son on A Discovery of Witches.

“We [were] on location on our second season in Portugal, and Matthew got a text message from [A Discovery of Witchesexecutive producer] Jane Tranter with three possibilities of actors they were considering to play Philippe,” he recalls. “I was literally standing next to him at the bar, and he barked out loud with a laugh. He goes, ‘Take a look at this.’ Here was my name and two of my bete noirs, my contemporaries who I’m often up against for parts.”

From there, the two friends conspired to get Purefoy the gig. “We had one or two negronis, [and] we concocted a text back that said, ‘Their career was finished and had been; they’d been around the block too many times. But James Purefoy, what a wonderful choice that would be,'” he laughs. “It was a set-up really. I’m hoping they’re happy with what I did. But we concocted that at a bar in Portugal one night.”

Purefoy admits playing Goode’s father was terrible for his vanity, but ultimately, their characters are both centuries old, so that softened the blow. Mostly, performing with Goode made him up his game. “Matthew is a mercurial and dangerous presence in a scene,” he reflects. “He’s really interesting, and he’ll go places that you don’t expect him to go. It’s like playing tennis with somebody. If you play tennis with somebody worse than you, you just get worse. If you play tennis with somebody who is good as you or preferably better than you, then you get better and Matthew is one of them. He makes you better.”

the wine show (screen grab)
CREDIT: OVATATION

Still, it was also an unexpected challenge, given their camaraderie. “There were moments where he was just literally laughing in my face on the other side of the camera,” Purefoy adds. “Because something I said or something I’d done made him laugh. He’s a terrible giggler. Terrible. Up there with the greatest gigglers of all…The biggest challenge [of the season] was trying to get through a scene with Matthew Goode without laughing.”

Even with his fond reminisces of his time acting opposite Goode and his love for the role, Purefoy does have one regret from the season. “Sadly, I didn’t get to sink my teeth into anybody’s throat,” he opines. “I did figure if I was playing a vampire, I might just get the odd chance to do that.”

But sometimes even the greatest jobs have aspects that suck.

A Discovery of Witches season 2 premieres on Sundance Now, Shudder and AMC+ on Saturday.

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Why A Discovery of Witches had to make some big changes to the book for season 2 – Radio Times 7th January 2021

By Huw Fullerton

The second season of the Deborah Harkness adaptation goes in a few new directions – but they had the author’s blessing, says star Matthew Goode.

Sky original drama A Discovery of Witches has found success in bringing the smash-hit novels of author Deborah Harkness to the small screen, with the team at Bad Wolf Studios working closely with Harkness to help her tale of warring vampires, daemons and witches come to life.

However, despite this close relationship the stars of the series have now revealed that some big changes from the text are in store for season two – with Harkness happily on board when it comes to the alterations.

“They’re incredibly difficult books to adapt, so there are going to be people who are huge fans of the book that might be like I am, where you’re not disappointed but you’re like, ‘Why isn’t that in there?’” series star Matthew Goode, who plays vampire Matthew de Clairmont, told RadioTimes.com on the set of season two, when we visited in late 2019.

“Obviously you have to make those changes and they can be occasionally quite broad. But we think we’ve made something so far that’s going to appease both sides.

“It can be a difficult story to follow. So we’ve had to change the order of events. We now go to see my father first and then head on to see the emperor, as opposed to coming back and then… you know.”

“We have massive modern threads,” Goode told us. “In the original – in the second book, it doesn’t go back to modern times. So we wanted people to know what was going on with those characters too.”

Such a change could have been controversial – but to Harkness, it was an easy request to say yes to. After all, in her mind it was really just an extension of what she’d been planning to do anyway.

“There’s definitely a contemporary storyline in the book too,” Harkness told RadioTimes.com during a streamed panel discussion for season two. “Those moments propel us towards series three, which was the purpose of them for me narratively.

“But they were really kind of touchpoints that were related to an anomaly where the past had suddenly bumped up against the present.

“Those were the places where the screenwriters had a lot more latitude, because it wasn’t on the page, to explain how we got from place to place.”

In other words, season two is able to fill in the gaps of what happened to the present-day characters while Matthew and Diana were living in the past, getting them to the point where Harkness picked up with them again in her third book. For example, episode four of the new series takes place entirely in the present day, following Edmund Bluemel’s Marcus as he faces a new challenge.

“Doing an adaptation is always a challenge, and tricky, because you have to stay within the bounds of what exists, right?” Harkness told us.

“But what was great, I hoped, with the contemporary lines is that it did give them a bit more latitude to play and invent.”

Matthew Diana Discovery of Witches
Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer in A Discovery of Witches (Sky)

“It’s all under the guise of Deb Harkness, which is great,” Teresa Palmer, who plays witch Diana, told us. “And Deb, she gives suggestions to make sure the world works within [her vision].

“Man, it comes with its challenges, absolutely. But knowing that she’s steering this ship, it takes the pressure off, I think, because the fans really look to her to dictate how the story goes, and what’s included, and what’s not.”

“Permissions have been sought,” Goode added.

Overall, it sounds like the new series will just add more to the world that Harkness created – and might even bring some surprises for her most dedicated of fans.

“Provided we still got from point a to point b to point c, how we got there was not established within the covers of Shadow of Night, which is the second book,” the author told us.

And we’re sure that how will be a big draw for viewers as A Discovery of Witches turns time upside down for season two.

Sky original drama A Discovery of Witches Series two is coming to Sky One and NOW TV on 8th January 2021, with all episodes available at once.

https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/fantasy/2021-01-07/discovery-of-witches-season-2-book-changes/

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A Discovery of Witches stars tease “elevated” and “immense” final season – Radio Times 6th January 2021

Teresa Palmer and Steven Cree offer some hints about the third season of Sky’s fantasy drama: “To pardon a vampire pun, the stakes are much higher.”

Disco Witches
And in a special BFI & Radio Times Television Festival online panel, Palmer and co-star Steven Cree (who plays vampire Gallowglass in seasons two and three) were happy to give a few hints for what fans could expect from the A Discovery of Witches episodes they’re currently making.Spoiler alert: it’s gonna be big.

“Everything feels very elevated,” Palmer told RadioTimes.com. “The danger is immense, the passion is immense, the tragedy immense. And there’s so much that we have to face and overcome.”

“Teresa’s really nailed that,” Cree said. “To pardon a vampire pun, the stakes are much higher in season three. Just wanted to get that in there.”

After time-walking back to the 1590s at the end of season one (and remaining in that time period for the second season), season three is set to return the action to the present day – but that doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of the new characters introduced this year.

“We’re back in contemporary times. I think it’s OK to say that,” Cree said.

“I think one of the more exciting things will be that there’s an amalgamation of some of those characters from 1590 with the characters from the contemporary time. So I think it’ll be exciting to see some of those characters coming together.

“From a personal point of view I’m 400 years older,” he added, “so a lot has happened and [Gallowglass is] a different person.”

Still, the happy reunions can’t last too long – because as fans know, author Deborah Harkness (upon whose novels the series is based) only wrote three books in her All Soul’s series, making this third season the end of Matthew and Diana’s story.

And according to Palmer, the experience of filming her farewell to Diana has been “bittersweet”.

“I love watching the journey of every character coming to such a beautiful, organic end,” she told us from the set of season three.

“And to see Diana at the pinnacle of her magic and just leaning into her authentic self, is such a beautiful part of this season.

“It’s bittersweet – I’ll leave you with that, because obviously they’re based on Deb’s beautiful books, the trilogy. This is the third season, and I have about five weeks left of being with Diana.

“I have mixed emotions,” she concluded.

When season three does roll around, we’re sure plenty of fans will have similar difficulties – but at least they’re still got plenty of episodes to enjoy between now and then.

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Meet the cast of A Discovery of Witches season 2 – Radio Times – 6th January 2021 [Extract]

The fantasy romance returns with a stellar cast in tow.

By David Craig

Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer star in A Discovery of Witches
It’s been well over two years since the first season of A Discovery of Witchesconcluded, sending historian Diana Bishop and her vampire partner Matthew Clairmont hurtling back to the year 1590.That’s where the long-awaited follow-up picks up, which will premiere on Sky One this week and continue the saga originally plotted in the All Souls trilogy of novels by Deborah Harkness.Much of the original cast is returning but there are also several new faces to keep an eye on, including the legendary Sheila Hancock (Unforgotten) and Sex Education star James Purefoy.

Read on for everything you need to know about the cast and characters of Sky’s A Discovery of Witches.
Teresa Palmer in A Discovery of Witches (Sky, HF)

Who is Diana Bishop? Diana is a historian who tried to escape her lineage as a witch, but the supernatural world found her when she stumbled upon a bewitched manuscript in Oxford University’s Bodleian Library. She formed a controversial alliance with ancient vampire Matthew Clairmont which ultimately blossomed into love, risking her life to save his in the season one finale before travelling back in time several centuries to take refuge from their pursuers.

What else has Teresa Palmer been in? Palmer has starred in the main cast of several feature films including zombie comedy Warm Bodies, crime thriller Triple 9, horror flick Lights Out and war epic Hacksaw Ridge. Most recently, she played the lead role in Ride Like A Girl, the biopic about jockey Michelle Payne, first woman to win the Melbourne Cup in 2015.

Matthew Goode plays Matthew Clairmont

A Discovery of Witches

Who is Matthew Clairmont? Clairmont is an ancient vampire who forms an alliance with witch Diana Bishop, despite their species traditionally being at odds with each other. He is gravely concerned about the declining fortunes of vampires, witches and demons, all of whom are becoming less powerful in the supernatural world. His relationship with Diana eventually becomes romantic and he flees with her to 16th century London.

What else has Matthew Goode been in? Goode is a familiar face to fans of British telly, with recent roles in ITV’s Downton Abbey, Netflix’s The Crown and BBC One’s Ordeal by Innocence. Across the pond, he played Finn Polmar in legal drama The Good Wife and portrayed Ozymandias in the Hollywood adaptation of Alan Moore’s Watchmen.

A Discovery of Witches returns on Friday 8th January on Sky One.

Full cast introduction in full article here – https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2021-01-06/a-discovery-of-witches-cast/

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A Discovery of Witches season 2 cast: Who is in the cast of A Discovery of Witches? – The Express UK – 6th January 2021 [Extract]

A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES season 2 is coming to Sky One and NOW TV very soon but who is the cast of the new series?

By MOLLI MITCHELL

After more than two years of waiting, season two of A Discovery of Witches is finally here. The new series will premiere on Friday, January 8 at 9pm on Sky One and fans are curious to know more about the show’s cast. Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.

Who is in the cast of a Discovery of Witches?

Matthew De Clermont – Matthew Goode

Matthew Goode returns as the multi-talented Matthew De Claremont.

In A Discovery of Witches, Matthew is a poet, healer, scientist, spy, warrior and an assassin and in the new series, he will be attempting to reinhabit his life as Matthew Roydon, an identity he held in the 16th century.

Speaking about the challenges Matthew De Clermont will face ins season two, Goode said: “In season one, Diana was a bit of a victim of circumstance.

“In season two, she’s a lot smarter and as a historian, she thrives going back in time.”

“Diana also steps up in the relationship, looking after Matthew mentally because he starts to lose himself. It becomes a proper marriage based on equality.”

Goode is best known for playing Anthony Armstrong Jones in the first two seasons of The Crown on Netflix.

A Discovery of Witches season 2 cast: Matthew Goode

Whole article here – https://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/1380544/A-Discovery-of-Witches-season-2-cast-who-is-in-A-Discovery-of-Witches-series-evg 

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For Teresa Palmer it’s the season of the witch – Sidney Morning Herald – 6th January 2021 [Extracts]

In the fantasy series A Discovery of Witches, Australian actress Teresa Palmer plays a historian who delves into the world of magic and daemons while unlocking the secrets of a manuscript in the Bodleian Library.

For your role in A Discovery of Witches, how easy is it to tap into your inner witch?

It was challenging in some ways and not in others. I am a person who relies heavily on intuition and instinct, and Diana has that third eye, she’s deeply intuitive, so in some ways we are aligned. And in other ways it was completely making it up as you go. I have a movement coach, I call her my magic coach, and when I have a magic scene she sends me these 15-minute videos on how to use my hands, how to get my body to portray magic, what it might feel like having that pulsate through my body. She’s great, she works with all of us so there’s a consistency through all the witches and the vampires.

Is it particularly challenging filming through COVID?

It’s been challenging for the production as a whole, but Sky has these really amazing protocols in place to keep everyone safe. Every week on a Tuesday and a Thursday the entire crew gets tested for COVID. We have these separate pods, where each crew member belongs to a different pod, whether it’s lighting or grips or hair and makeup, drivers … so there’s a real separatism there. In some ways it’s hard because a beautiful part of filming is the relationships you have and the banter and interactions. There’s a lot less of that this year; everyone’s taking [COVID] very seriously, and the morale of the crew is high, and I’m so proud of everyone. They’re doing a really good job pushing through.

When you took the role of Diana, did you devour the source material (Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy), or did you think, no, I’ll do my own interpretation based solely on the scripts?

It was a bit of both. I definitely jumped headfirst into reading the books and getting to know as much about Diana and the fabric of who she is as possible, because it could only be beneficial. But at the same time letting go of any sort of control surrounding anything I’ve read. Because when you’re doing an adaptation you have to kill the darlings, you can’t include everything. So I’ve had to forsake all expectations, and know who Diana was, but know that the show was going to be its own vehicle and it was going to be different from the book. So it’s been sort of a mash-up. Every now and then I’ll be about to film a scene and I feel like I have to whip the book out to get a bit more context.

….

Matthew Goode: as sexy as he seems?

He is an appealing man. He’s so funny, my favourite thing about him is he’s so witty. He’s the funniest person. You would have a great drink of the very best red wine with him and laugh your arse off for hours and hours. That’s who he is, and he’s made this experience so much greater because we’re always having a laugh. And yes, of course he’s easy on the eye. There’s a group of girls on Instagram, his fans, called The Goode Gigglers, which is absolutely mortifying for him.
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A Discovery of Witches stars tease “much darker” second season – 5th January 2021

As Matthew and Diana find themselves in Elizabethan London, new challenges could lead them down a deadly path…

Matthew Diana Discovery of Witches
But anyone hoping for a happy reunion for their favourite characters may need to temper their expectations – because apparently, as Matthew and Diana find themselves trapped in 1590s London (having timewalked at the end of the last series) the new episodes take the characters down a dark path.“It’s much darker than the first season,” Goode told RadioTimes.com and other press from the set in 2019.

“We do have some things that come between us. There are some obstacles for us to overcome.”

The major source of this darkness? Matthew’s submersion into the more violent persona of his younger 1590s self, whose life he picks up as a disguise when the pair first arrive in history, as well as his continuing struggle with blood rage, a vampire disease hinted at in the series before.

“It is a lot darker,” Palmer told us. “There’s no violence that I see first-hand, obviously, but I know that he has violent tendencies, as does [his younger self] Matthew Roydon, and then I see blood rage for the first time. It’s a lot to process. So obviously there’s some conflict between the two of us.

“I’m getting to know him again in this time. It feels like a totally different Matthew in moments. It really throws her for a loop. And again, she feels quite isolated.”

“And Matthew’s father,” she added, referring to James Purefoy’s paternal vampire Philippe. “The treatment at the hands of his father that I cop – that also puts a little bit of a wedge between us too.”

“Like all fathers and their sons, really, it’s like: how much do you know them? How much have you given of yourself to them?” Goode said. “Or do you spend a lot of time not sharing a lot of yourself?

“So it’s all bound up in that, really. And obviously it’s more complicated because he’s going back to a time of 500 years before when Philippe is pretty bloody formidable, and in France.

“All in all, it’s a man seeking the approval and love of another man. And you’ll see how that pans out.”

In other words, things will be looking pretty fraught for Diana and Matthew as the series continues – even if behind the camera, things were brighter than ever as Goode reunited with “the wonderful James Purefoy” after working together before.

Matthew Goode Teresa Palmer
Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer in A Discovery of Witches (SKY)

“He’s his mate from The Wine Show,”Palmer told us, “which is quite funny. So they’ve been having lots of giggles on set.”

“I think we’ve had more laughter than season one – by quite a bit,” Goode said.

“Yeah, it’s been fun,” Palmer agreed.

Laughs and tears? Fun and doom? Like the series itself, it sounds like filming was a perfect balance of dark and light.

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Season Two of A Discovery of Witches is Bringing Shadow of Night to Life Impressively  – Marvellous Geeks Media – 5th January 2021

Copyright © Simon Ridgway, 2019 HART & CROWN – WATER LANE

Raise your hand if Shadow of Night is also your favorite book in the All-Souls trilogy–it’s certainly ours and we were already so thrilled by the series’ renewal that our expectations were high. And we’re happy to report that with what we’ve seen so far from season two, A Discovery of Witches is now even better than it was before.

While we are without question obsessed with the stunning coats Diana and Miriam were rocking last season since it served as inspiration for us in our own lives, Elizabethan fashion is working wonders in the second season and especially with Matthew. Not to get objective, but we’re here for it. We love nothing more than period pieces and Shadow of Night gives us just that with the time travel storyline allowing for the second season to do so as well.

We are two episodes into the series and we can confirm, without question, that we’re already certain this season is going to be better than the former. While so much was established then, it’s all more flushed out now, and the performers are showcasing their roles better than ever. As the relationship between Matthew and Diana has been strengthened now and representative of something so beautiful, the chemistry between Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer has improved as well. And that’s a rarity with already established fictional couples, so we love to see it, plus we commend them for it.

New characters and old, the casting department has done an exceptional job with this show–all the characters we have seen so far, are already a delight. Even when they…aren’t. They contributing to what making the new season so gripping. The new set design is riveting, and the storyline is just as captivating as we would have hoped.

A Discovery of Witches is a show based on an incredibly detailed book series; so much of it can’t be translated on to screen, but that is often the case with adaptations, and thus far, the decisions made in season two are ones we are thrilled with. The heart of this series is the love story. It’s a series that focuses on two complex individuals attempting to navigate the harrowing world around them and their own love lives, their own identities, and their own powers. Season two will explore these as it will explore the nuances of the mythology. While we’re generally not the biggest fan of adaptations done in the past, when it comes to A Discovery of Witches, Harkness’ historian input makes for a carefully constructed series. That said, gird your loins, because season two is about to move viewers gorgeously.

A Discovery Witches premieres on Sky One January 8 and on Shudder/Sundance January 9.

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A Discovery of Witches’ Second Season Is a Lush, Magical Period Adventure – CBR – 4th January 2021

In its long-awaited second season, A Discovery of Witches journeys into the past, leading to a satisfying, evocative story.

The couple’s journey to the past leads to the introduction of a number of new characters, many of them from English history, including Queen Elizabeth I (Barbara Marten) and Christopher Marlowe (Tom Hughes), who the narrative contends was a daemon. For the purposes of the story, however, the most interesting additions are Philippe de Clermont (James Purefoy), Matthew’s vampire stepfather who is dead in the present-day timeline, and Gallowglass (Steven Cree), Matthew’s nephew and a fan-favorite character from the books. Purefoy does a masterful job in his brief appearance as Philippe, bringing the best and worst sides of the character to life with equal conviction. Meanwhile, Cree appears to be well-cast as the likable Gallowglass, although in the seven episodes made available for review, his screen time was fairly limited.
Giving each member of its sprawling cast of characters enough attention is an issue A Discovery of Witches suffered from in its first season and continues to struggle with in its second. This is especially true for characters like Diana’s aunts, Sarah (Alex Kingston) and Emily (Valarie Pettiford), and Matthew’s vampire mother, Ysabeau (Lindsay Duncan), who are living together in the de Clermont home in France but are only given a few scenes in the episodes made available for review. On the other hand, the series also devotes an entire episode to what’s happening in the present in Diana and Matthew’s absence that also serves as a compelling introduction to Phoebe Taylor (Adelle Leonce), Marcus’ (Edward Bluemel) paramour.
For the most part though, this is Diana and Matthew’s story and Palmer and Goode’s performances feel even more lived in and nuanced in the second season. While the first season’s (and book’s) tale of their falling in love always felt a little thin and derivative given the plethora of stories about handsome vampires falling in love with mortals, now that Diana and Matthew’s commitment to one another has been established, the second season is able to make their relationship distinctive — and far more adult than other often teenage-focused forbidden vampire/mortal love stories. This makes the couple far more interesting both together and as individuals.
Goode seems right at home in the Elizabethan trappings of Season 2, which enables him to bring out new shades of Matthew that range from an intense darkness, to perhaps more surprisingly, a bit of levity. Meanwhile, as Diana grows further into her power, Palmer makes her more assertive and confident. Diana’s a stand-out central character who isn’t solely defined by her relationship or her identity as a witch and can express her desire for Matthew while retaining her independence.
Of course, Season 2 wouldn’t be complete without its lush costumes and sets. No matter where a scene is set, the costume and production design help evoke a sense of place and personality, although it’s the Elizabethan period design that is especially exciting to see onscreen.

All of this combined ultimately makes A Discovery of Witches more magical in its second season. The journey into the past enables the show to better distinguish itself from other vampire love stories while also introducing some fascinating historical elements, providing a plethora of elements to satisfy viewers. This bodes well for the already-filming third season, which will wrap up the series. In the meantime, this middle season is an enchanting adventure that will leave fans eager to see what’s next for Diana and Matthew.

A Discovery of Witches Season 2 stars Teresa Palmer, Matthew Goode, Alex Kingston, Valarie Pettiford, Lindsay Duncan, Edward Bluemel, Aiysha Hart, Daniel Ezra, Aisling Loftus, Trevor Eve, Owen Teale, Malin Buska, Gregg Chillin, Tom Hughes, James Purefoy, Steven Cree and Adelle Leonce. The first episode of the season will be available to stream on Saturday, Jan. 9 on Sundance Now and Shudder, with new episodes available every Saturday.

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Prepare to be bewitched by Diana and Matthew in “A Discovery of Witches” season 2 – The Tempest – 4th January 2021

The show’s sophomore season truly outdoes itself with its adventures of time-walking, forbidden love and supernatural feuds.

The first new character we meet is English playwright Christopher Marlowe, played spectacularly by Tom Hughes, who brilliantly captured Kit’s duplicitous nature and daemonic essence. Kit is Matthew’s best friend, and he is also the first to openly doubt and reject Diana, setting a hard-to-break pattern of hostility that she will face in 1590.
Diana is little more than a refugee in this time and place, with no possessions or connections save for Matthew. It’s clear from the first that her success depends on her partner and on her ability to quickly adapt to and accept societal standards. It certainly isn’t easy for a proud outspoken 21st-century feminist to be thrust in that world, and the outward sexism wearies Diana faster than you can say France.

I was infinitely glad that the slights and limitations that a foreign woman such as Diana would suffer in 1590 were, for the most part, established implicitly, rather than with pitiful speeches on misogyny, because how could Diana, a professor of history, expect anything different from the 16th century? What’s better, we are reminded that Diana actually has it easier than most, as a beautiful woman married to a rich, influential, and fearsome man.

She is warned time and time again that Matthew wouldn’t be the same once in a different context. He does regress to his 16th-century self in front of Diana’s eyes and together with her we discover more of his (seemingly endless) secrets and an even darker side of him. Soon enough, he starts displaying more territorial and vampire-animalistic behavior that Diana doesn’t tolerate for one second, giving the audience no chance to misinterpret possessiveness for romanticism. No, she meets him headfirst beat for beat until he relents.

The two share a lot of incredibly sweet and tender moments too, but the season isn’t without their fights, which I appreciated in equal measure. Despite what 1590 might want of her, Diana will never be a passive housewife. She confronts and provokes Matthew when necessary and she always does what she needs to get her way.

The undeniable chemistry between Teresa Palmer and Matthew Goode – together with the spectacular writing – is the reason why the show works so well, easily translating into the best on-screen supernatural couple I’ve ever seen. Their scenes feel even more spontaneous and genuine than in their freshman season.

Palmer has clearly grown in her role in tandem with Diana herself. The only funny note I have is that as an Australian actress playing an American pretending to be English, Teresa’s Aussie accent came through a couple of times, but it only served to make me smile, like in the instance where somebody asks her where she hails from and she hesitantly replies “Cambridge, my lord… well, perhaps somewhere to the west of Cambridge.” However, she delivers every demanding scene spectacularly.

Matthew Goode’s already flawless performance is required to step into divine levels as his character gains even more layers, and Goode will shock you with mind-blowing results. I do not say this lightly, but he will be robbed of an Emmy if he doesn’t win one.

Diana Bishop might have a hard time adjusting to being Mistress Roydon, but the 16th century presents Matthew de Clermont with a more daunting challenge: to face and battle with his past, his old self and the decisions he has taken, with his conscience much heavier. He is nearly eaten by remorse because he cannot stop or undo everything wrong that happened the first time around. The stakes are much higher now, and his actions have more dangerous repercussions both on the past that now surrounds him, and on the future.

Old wounds reopen in Matthew, almost to the point of choking him. He’s caught between loyalties (to his father, to his master, to his God) but he never lets that interfere with his love for Diana. No, because every moment of every day he chooses her against the conflicting interests of his past and present self.

It was marvelous to witness a more vulnerable side of Matthew, with Diana being his guiding light, his anchor, his strength, in a poetic role reversal from last season. The heartbreaking scene where we see him unravel might be my favorite of the series.

But Matthew isn’t reduced to a broken man. We see different sides of him, in contrast to his stoic presence of season 1. In 1590, Matthew can be playful with his friends, tender with his lover, aloof with his family, assertive and persuasive with great potentates, caring with children… after all that, it’s uncanny but hilarious to see him be chastised by his father like a schoolboy.

On this note, if Diana underwent a sort of generational conflict in season 1, coming to terms with her late parents and their questionable secrets, now we witness multiple characters struggle with accepting their fathers’ legacies and stepping out of their shadows. Matthew and Baldwin have to come to terms, in different ways, with the future/past loss of their larger-than-life father Philippe de Clermont; similarly, Matthew’s revolutionary son Marcus is forced to grapple with the responsibilities brought about by his new role as Grand Master of the Knights of Lazarus that he gained in his father’s absence, and what that means for him and for the world.

As Diana and Matthew prepare for a journey within their journey that sets in motion unexpected events in the future, chaos and uncertainty ensue in present-day Venice, Oxford, and Sept-Tours. While a good 75% of the action is focused on the main couple, we do check in on the other characters, even if not as much as fans might hope (missing my fave Miriam!). Matthew and Diana’s storyline is so full of complications, with unexpected obstacles at every turn, that it needs to take center stage; the events in the present are allowed to move at a much slower rate.

The source material to cover is massive and mostly told from Diana’s point of view, except for a couple of sporadic chapters to keep us updated on the present. In the show, we simply have to follow more characters. I know more casual watchers will lament the convoluted storyline that might be perceived as compressed, but as a fan of the book, I guarantee the producers did nearly everything in their power to save time without making too important changes. Almost no character in the huge cast is erased (just the one, sigh) but they cleverly altered the timeline and inverted the order of certain events to condense. The only way they could’ve adapted Shadow of Night better is if they’d been granted a longer season.

Before we conclude, a word on certain characters I have not yet mentioned. Gallowglass is everything I wanted him to be. Painfully loyal to Matthew and quickly fond of Diana, he brings in a comedic and vibrant energy from the first moment the camera sets on him. Steven Cree portrayed him perfectly, just as every book fan might hope.

Matthew’s mother Ysabeau never fails to deliver elegant sass mixed with intensity. She had me in tears in episode 6. Newcomer Phoebe Taylor might shock some, but I was enraptured by her character and Adelle Leonce’s performance.

Having seen the first 7 episodes of season 2, I can certainly say the show succeeded in capturing the essence of Shadow of Night. The writing has only become more powerful, the world-building and atmosphere always inviting me to get lost in ADOW’s world. Books fans will enjoy many Easter eggs — pay especially close attention to the murder cases and other crimes happening in modern-day Oxford and the early mentions of blood rage.

Every single detail in the show is perfect and full of meaning. The crew who worked on the sets and costume departments deserves multiple awards for recreating Elizabethan London buildings and costumes from scratch, a feat that sounds easier than it is. Just an example of the exquisite cinematography: I couldn’t help but notice that as the School of Night is talking about the changes in Matthew, a golden “MUTATIO” is engraved on the wall behind Kit. It’s a minuscule detail, but isn’t there where the devil lies?

Behind the familiar feuds between witches, vampires and daemons, this story truly strives to find the answer to one proto-Hamletic question, “why are we here?”, investigating humanity even within the supernatural.

A Discovery of Witches is the best fantasy show on air. Season 2 will leave you on the edge of your seats and begging for more when it premieres on January 8.

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‘A Discovery of Witches’ 2  – Episode 1 Advanced Review: A New Journey – Fangirlish – 4th Jan 2021

A Discovery of Witches S2 on Sundance Now_Teresa Palmer as Diana Bishop & Matthew Goode as Matthew Clairmont_1

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Tom Hughes: ‘I find the whole class system crazy and outdated’ – The Independent – 3rd January 2021 [Extract]

By Charlotte Cripps

The star of ITV’s hit drama ‘Victoria’ talks to Charlotte Cripps about his latest incarnation as a daemon in Sky’s second season of ‘A Discovery of Witches’ and how he craves emotional honesty in his roles.

after he left Rada in 2008, and was cast in his first lead role as the lairy but deeply wounded rebel in the 2010 film Cemetery Junction, acting took over. His latest role is as a daemon in the second series of the fantasy series A Discovery of Witches, which is on Sky One from 8 January. It’s not long into the first episode that we meet Hughes’s mercurial character – Christopher Marlowe (Kit), the Elizabethan playwright – who speaks in seductive hushed tones from the shadows. His beloved friend, the vampire Matthew Clairmont (played with brilliant iciness by Matthew Goode), whom Kit is in love with, has returned after a few hundred years. Much to Kit’s horror, he’s with his new wife, an untrained witch called Diana.

The couple have time-travelled into Elizabethan London from the modern day to find a lost manuscript and to find a witch tutor for Diana, but Kit’s jealousy bubbles away until he plots to kill her.

“I guess I made a choice after Victoria to try a new genre, then this thing came along; witches, daemons and vampires,” says Hughes, putting an elastic band in his hair to keep his fringe out of his eyes. “I thought it was the perfect opportunity. I have been drawn to roles that have been based on some form of social realism – it doesn’t mean to say everything has been Jimmy McGovern stuff – but I wanted to know what it felt like to step into pure escapism. But, equally, the fantastic thing about the part is that Kit is a real person.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/tom-hughes-interview-discovery-of-witches

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A Discovery of Witches season 2 preview: Compelling, escapist fun – and addictive – Radio Times 2nd January 2021

Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer return in the glossy vampire/witch love story.

Discovery of Witches
Devotees of fantasy romance A Discovery of Witches have had to be more patient than most TV fans, with over two years passing between the airdate of season one’s final episode and season two’s premiere in a delay that even a long-living vampire might think was a little steep.Still, after all that waiting season two is finally here (with season three currently in production), and for fans of the Sky One series it’s sure to have been worth the wait – though as you step back into the world of Deborah Harkness’ All Soul’s trilogy (adapted for screen by His Dark Materials studio Bad Wolf) you’d be forgiven for thinking no time had passed at all.In fact, despite a quick recap at the top of season two even the most ardent of viewers might find themselves a little discombobulated by A Discovery of Witches’ new season, which throws viewers right back into the complex story with little fanfare or chance to recall exactly what went down in autumn 2018.

Before watching, I’d recommend reminding yourself of season one by revisiting old episodes (or just reading summaries online), but for now the shorter version is this: A Discovery of Witches takes place in a world where vampires, witches and demons (spelled daemons like in His Dark Materials, confusingly) are real, and live in an uneasy truce ruled over by a multi-species group called The Congregation.

However all three species are also declining, turning to madness or dying out, with various figures trying to discover what’s causing this degradation and halt it before it’s too late. One such person is vampire Matthew de Clairmont, a centuries-old bloodsucker with a penchant for standing in shadowy corners and being suave, and another is spellbound (i.e. unable to perform magic) witch Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer), and the pair form a romantic attachment as they search for a crucial book that could help them solve the mystery.

Thrills, chills and spills ensue, and at the end of season one Matthew and Diana “time-walked” into the past to escape the Congregation (who forbid inter-species relationships) and find Diana a magic teacher – which is exactly where season two picks up as the pair land in 1590, at a time when a younger Matthew was terrorising Elizabethan London.

A Discovery of Witches
Teresa Palmer as Diana Bishop, Matthew Goode as Matthew de Clairmont in A Discovery of Witches season 2 (Sky)

Apart from a short catch up with the Congregation back in the present day, this opening episode takes almost entirely in 1590, and the series benefits hugely from this focus. While later episodes do return to the season one storyline and contemporary side characters (most notably episode four, which centres solely around Edmund Bluemel’s likable vampire Marcus) there’s so much for Matthew and Diana to discover in the 16th century that it’s no harm to streamline things to begin with.

Watching Matthew (who has only hazy memories of his time in the 1590s) bluff his way through this time period and pose as his earlier self is great fun, even as “wearing the cloak” of this darker identity causes him to slip into some bad, murderous habits. Meanwhile Diana is thrown even more on the back foot in a world of new allegiances and dangers, even as she learns more about her magical powers and how best to use them.

If there is a criticism of this time-travel storyline it’s just how complicated it gets, with a host of new characters (most notably Tom Hughes’ Kit Marlowe), subplots and objectives even as the already-stuffed plot of season one continues to play out alongside it.

A Discovery of Witches
Matthew Goode as Matthew de Clairmont in A Discovery of Witches season 2 (Sky)

Notably, Deborah Harkness’ original novel Shadow of Night (upon which season two is based) focused exclusively on Matthew and Diana’s journey to the past, excising the present-day story altogether. Despite this, it was still critiqued by some as having too many secondary characters and plot elements – so a TV version that also keeps the present-day storyline going alongside this risks becoming almost too sprawling.

Still, A Discovery of Witches just about holds it together, with the world-building and performances compelling enough to pull you through the new complex web of spies, witches, religious vampires and historical figures to focus on Matthew and Diana’s story.

Because as ever, this series is only as strong as its leading couple. Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer’s chemistry is as palpable as ever in season two, and those who watch this series for their romance alone won’t be disappointed.

A Discovery of Witches
Matthew Goode as Matthew de Clairmont, Teresa Palmer as Diana Bishop in A Discovery of Witches season 2 (Sky)

Overall, A Discovery of Witches season two is compelling, escapist fun, and eminently addictive even for the most casual of viewers. After planning to watch an episode or two ahead of time, I ended up burning through four in one sitting, and if that’s not a sign of just how enjoyable this series can be I don’t know what is.

So tuck in, All Soul’s fans – you’ve waited long enough.

A Discovery of Witches returns to Sky One on Friday 8th January. 

https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2021-01-02/discovery-of-witches-2-review-preview/

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A love that spells trouble: Mail Online – 1st January 2021

By KATHRYN KNIGHT FOR WEEKEND MAGAZINE

A witch and a vampire fall for each other in Sky’s supernatural thriller A Discovery Of Witches – but there are bumps along the way as they travel back to Tudor times in series two

  • A Discovery Of Witches is based on Deborah Harkness’s All Souls book trilogy
  • First series pulled in two million viewers an episode when it aired in 2018
  • New episodes see loved-up duo hurled back through time to Elizabethan London

Based on Deborah Harkness’s All Souls book trilogy, the first series following the adventures of historian and reluctant witch Diana Bishop and her vampire companion, biochemist Matthew Clairmont, pulled in two million viewers an episode when it aired in 2018, making it Sky One’s most popular drama that year.

Fans have been waiting for the second series ever since, and two years on they’re being rewarded with ten new episodes which see the duo hurled back through time to Elizabethan London.

A Discovery Of Witches is based on Deborah Harkness's All Souls book trilogy and the first series pulled in two million viewers an episode when it aired in 2018. Pictured: Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer as Matthew and Diana

A Discovery Of Witches is based on Deborah Harkness’s All Souls book trilogy and the first series pulled in two million viewers an episode when it aired in 2018. Pictured: Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer as Matthew and Diana

Part love story, part thriller, part mystery, the series follows them as they endeavour to hunt down a magic text that could save both their peoples from extinction, and according to Matthew Goode, who plays Clairmont, it’s much darker than its predecessor. ‘It’s a very different series because Matthew regresses into his past – and psychologically that changes him,’ he says.

There is certainly plenty of supernatural warfare on show, alongside some nascent ‘blood rage’ (a vampire’s insatiable urge to hunt). The burgeoning romance between our hero and heroine continues to flourish though, albeit with bumps in the road on the way.

‘Diana’s getting to know him again in this era,’ explains Australian actress Teresa Palmer, who plays Diana. ‘When we go back in time, the Matthew Clairmont she knows seems really different. He shifts into this darker version. It feels like he’s a totally different Matthew at times and this really throws her.’

The first series was named after the opening book in Harkness’s trilogy and set in a world where ‘creatures’ – witches, vampires and daemons – are at odds with each other but are united in keeping their powers hidden from humankind.

‘Diana is certainly not in control of her magic’

We met Diana as she discovered a bewitched manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Forced back into the world of magic to unravel its secrets, she formed an alliance with Clairmont, and despite the usual mistrust between vampires and witches the duo set out to protect the book while dodging threats from other creatures.

Initially reluctant to connect with her witch heritage, by the start of this series Diana has grown more confident in her powers and is on her way to becoming the most powerful witch in the world. ‘She spent so many years denying that part of herself, but her mindset is changing and, in fact, she’s starting to embrace this part of who she is,’ says Teresa.

Ten new episodes see the duo hurled back through time to Elizabethan London. Pictured: Steven Cree as Gallowglass

Ten new episodes see the duo hurled back through time to Elizabethan London. Pictured: Steven Cree as Gallowglass

‘She’s still got a very long way to go and she’s certainly not in control of her magic, but she has to embrace who she is and delve further into it.’

That means lots of captivating magic sequences for viewers. ‘She harnesses all the power she’s discovered so far, like witch-wind that can blow people away and witch-water, the power to control rain.

‘But she builds upon those and she starts to realise that a part of one of her gifts is she can bring life into things,’ she says. ‘So there are sequences like the one where she’s looking at someone’s shoe with a snake embroidered on it and she brings the snake out of the shoe, a live snake.’

With the majority of the action based in 1590 (although there is some time travel back to the present), the cast had to deal with the challenges of full Tudor costume, a particular issue for Teresa who was breastfeeding her daughter Poet during filming.

‘I had to have front-opening corsets, so just the logistics were complex,’ she laughs. ‘But they’re so gorgeous and the intricate detail and the amount of effort put into making these beautiful costumes is unbelievable.’

The Tudor setting also enables the introduction of characters from history, including real-life Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe (played by Victoria’s Tom Hughes) alongside the then 57-year-old Queen Elizabeth (Casualty’s Barbara Marten), whose relatively advanced years do not preclude her from flirting with Clairmont.

‘I’m having it written into all his main scenes that women find him attractive,’ laughs Matthew. ‘Their relationship is quite touching actually, even when she’s being ghastly because there’s something deeper at the centre of it all.

He worked for her father, Henry VIII, and so he was a confidant who probably helped her while she was growing up. I would imagine there was a frisson while she was a teenager and then a young queen, but he does love her very much and respects her hugely.’

Also joining the cast is Outlander’s Steven Cree, playing Clairmont’s nephew Gallowglass, a towering warrior fierce in battle but unafraid of revealing his soft heart around family. Gallowglass accepts Diana as part of his extended family, becoming one of only a handful of people she trusts.

‘He’s incredibly loyal to Matthew and the Clairmonts despite perhaps not necessarily always agreeing with everyone, particularly Matthew’s father Philippe [played by James Purefoy],’ says Steven.

‘He’s quite bombastic yet he can be quite sensitive as well – but when it comes to the crunch he’s a fierce warrior who will destroy anyone or anything that gets in Matthew’s way. Because of his loyalty to Matthew, he then becomes incredibly protective of Diana as well.’

With an intensely loyal fanbase behind the books, all the stars admit they were aware there were high expectations for their transition onto the screen. ‘This show had a huge fan base before we even started, and because of social media I’ve been aware of the expectations for Gallowglass,’ says Steven Cree.

‘When I filmed Outlander I wasn’t on social media and I had no idea – and also the character I played in Outlander was different, whereas Gallowglass seems to be a fan favourite in the books so I’m definitely aware of that.’

It’s a sentiment echoed by Matthew Goode, who says he’s glad that – so far at least – the reception has been incredibly positive even from the most diehard fans of the books.

‘They’re incredibly difficult to adapt and so there are always going to be huge fans of the books who are, if not disappointed, wondering why things have been missed out,’ he says. ‘But we think so far we’ve made something that’s going to appease both sides.’

A Discovery Of Witches, Friday, 9pm, Sky One.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-9095793/A-witch-vampire-fall-Skys-supernatural-thriller.html