A Discovery of Witches

8.3 / 10
44 min
Fantasy
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" gives "A Discovery of Witches - Season 1" a 8."
Written by on 1 May 2021.
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A Discovery of Witches - Season 1

Witches? One of my favourite fantasy topics! Needless to say, I was happy when I heard about an obscure British series that revolves around witches. It didn't take long to go through the eight episodes, and as you can tell by the grade, I enjoyed it greatly.

In the world of this series, three different kinds of non-human creatures live alongside mankind: witches, vampires and demons. These groups are not that fond of each other, but they have created all kinds of political constructions in order to ensure that their existence isn't revealed and to keep the peace. In the first season, we mostly experience increasing tension between these groups. There's a bit of a political theme going on.

The cause for this tension is our lead character, Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer). She is a historian who specializes in alchemy. She works for the University of Oxford. Next to that, she is also a witch. However, she has pretty much never used her magic, nor does she want to. During some scientific research, she stumbles across a book that has been missing for centuries. All of a sudden, everyone wants something from her.

This is how she ends up alongside a handsome vampire called Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode, The Good Wife). To briefly summarize, the remainder of the season shows how they start to love each other and how Diana embraces her witchy side. At the same time, she tries to ensure that the book doesn't end up in the wrong hands. But.... vampires and witches can't have a relationship, which means that there's quite a bit of political pressure attached to this particular one.

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As far as quality goes, it differs per episode. The first one is pretty good, but the quality diminishes during the second and third episode. Those particular episodes focus on the relationship between Diana and Matthew, but it just doesn't really work. It is cringy, clumsy and even a bit awkward to watch. Sometimes, you get the feeling that you're watching a Twilight rip-off. And let's be honest, Twilight wasn't that good either.

But after that, it becomes better. In the episodes thereafter, the relationship between the two seems to work and the focus shifts to other developments. The pace increases and more seems to happen. Every single time, you want to know what happens next. The remainder of the season is pretty solid.

It is pretty clear that a lot of effort has been put into this series. The special effects are good, the camera work is great as well. There are loads of beautiful shots at amazing locations that capture the darker vibe of the series. All of the aforementioned turns the series into a combination of a political drama and a forbidden relationship romance. Maybe a bit of feel-good as well, but with a sinister edge. I find it difficult to describe the exact atmosphere, but it works. This mix makes for a varied series, apart from the second and third episode.

I've enjoyed the series! I'm looking forward to the second season, which has already been released.
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