NYCC 2020: ‘A Discovery of Witches’ Returns January 9th In The US

by Rachel Bellwoar

It’s amazing how startling it is now to watch a panel where the cast members are sitting in the same room. A Discovery of Witches is currently in the middle of filming season three, which is how Teresa Palmer, Matthew Goode, Edward Bluemel, Adelle Leonce, and Steven Cree were able to film this panel together. A tip of the hat to them for sitting socially distanced all the same.

But, yeah. People interrupting and talking over each other without the audio going out. You never think you’re going to miss that until it’s gone. Even without the novelty of the cast being in the same room, though, this was an amazing panel. While executive producer, Lachlan MacKinnon, and author, Deborah Harkness, would only confirm that the series was returning in January, a message at the end of the panel suggesting fans visit Sky TV’s Twitter page revealed that season two will be premiering January 9th in the US on Sundance Now and Shudder.
The UK will be getting it one day earlier on Sky One and ITV and no mention of when, or if, it will air on AMC and BBC America. Season one did and with Covid-19 creating a shortage in new content one can imagine it might eventually.

Biggest takeaways from the Season Two trailer:

  • Diana’s timewalking worked! Matthew (Goode) and Diana (Palmer) will be spending season two in the 16th century.
  • Nathaniel (Daniel Ezra) and Sophie (Aisling Loftus) had their baby.
  • Sheila Hancock will be playing Diana’s teacher, Goody Alsop.
  • Barbara Marten has been cast as Queen Elizabeth and, going by Palmer’s description, that dress in the final shot is her favorite costume she got to wear this season.

Season Two is based on the second book in Harkness’ ‘All Souls Trilogy’, Shadow of Night. It’s also going to be ten episodes instead of eight, as Matthew and Diana continue their search for the Book of the Life.
MacKinnon and Harkness talk a little about the show’s attention to detail. When asked by a fan, “What new character were you most excited to meet in season two?” MacKinnon’s first response is to say Philippe (James Purefoy), Matthew’s father. However, the question quickly becomes an excuse to talk about all the new cast members this season: Paul Rhys as Andrew Hubbard, Tom Hughes as Christopher Marlowe, Adelle Leonce as Phoebe Taylor, and Steven Cree as Gallowglass. Later Bluemel adds Jacob Ifans as Benjamin Fuchs but according to Harkness, “…now when I write… Gallowglass’ dialogue in my head… I hear Steven.”
Elizabethan London was recreated in a farmyard in Plas Machen and two and half episodes will be devoted to touching base with the characters in the present day. “…in the novels everything’s from Diana’s point of view…,” Harkness points out, “…but the adaptation really gave us the opportunity to delve into ‘yeah, but ok, what’s really happening at, you know — meanwhile at Sept-Tours — what’s actually going on?”
It’s really cool to see how much Harkness is involved in the series, and Palmer even says “direct access to the author” is her favorite part about working on an adaptation.
For other anecdotes, like Goode’s love of golf and Cree’s introduction to rowing, be sure to check out the full panel below:

A Discovery of Witches Season 2 premieres January 9th in the US on Sundance Now and Shudder.

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