“It begins with absence of desire.”
“It begins with blood and fear.”
“It begins with A Discovery Of Witches.”
“Once the world was filled with wonders, but it belongs to humans now. We creatures have all but disappeared. Demons, vampires, and witches hiding in plain sight, fearful of discovery, ill at ease, even with each other. But, as my father used to say, in every ending there is a new beginning.” – Matthew Clairmont narrates.
Let’s just say what we are all thinking. Is that an angel singing? Matthew Clairmont’s (Matthew Goode) voice is something we can listen to all day and every day. The introduction is masterfully written by the book’s author Diana Harkness. This episode was written by showrunner/author Deborah Harkness and writer Kate Brooke. The director is Carlos Juan Medina. The series begins in Oxford, England at the autumnal equinox. Where we are introduced to the very dark, sexy and mysterious Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode). We then see Matthew looking down over a bridge, at the passing Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer) rowing by. (Is he waiting for her?)
TED TALK TIME: I want to clear this up immediately! ‘A Discovery of Witches’ is a book and now adapted to into a T.V. Series. The target audience are lovers of romantic storytelling and those who crave supernatural stories. The series is encompassing all the beats of twin flame romance, mystery, intrigue, betrayal, friendships, and enemies. The key in which makes it work so well. Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer are irresistible together!
So, it begins: ‘Ashmole 782’.
Diana is opening ‘Ashmole 782’ at this exact time. We see an “alchemical child” upside down. The words are moving in the book. Suddenly, she feels all the words travel into her hand and up her arm. Her palm gets this burned seal on it. This started off a domino effect. Vampire Misconception #1: Matthew is in church and praying! He feels like there is a monumental shift in something… He gets a call from his lab partner, Miriam (Aiysha Hart).
“Is your blood boiling?” – Miriam
“YES!” Matthew exclaims
What I’m interested is in why there was a delayed effect. Gillian Chamberlain (Louise Brealey) a witch, her reaction comes a minute or so later, and she’s in the Bodleian! What exactly is the reason for this? Why did the vampires feel it immediately . Food for thought, everyone.
“Diana, are you alright?” Gillian asks Diana
I love how the series showcases the entire ensemble cast and stories umbrellas out. This is when we meet some supporting players. Gillian Chamberlain who pops out of nowhere after several years. (Suspicious yet? I am.) If another witch asks if you have your powers. Don’t ever tell them the truth. If anything, this show teaches you early on: “Do not to trust anyone!” (Well accept Matthew Clairmont.) It is not even a moment passed, we see “very nosy and intrusive Gillian” running after her. (I cannot get over the gall of Gillian!) Gillian is all up in Diana’s face asking questions. (It’s none of your business!) Matthew must have the best Spidey senses ever! He’s low key listening to Diana and Gillian’s conversation, while trying his best blending to blend into the scenery. Question: How could Diana just walk past this tall drink of water? Diana is obviously shaken to the core by seeing her dead father. Probably the main reason why she didn’t pay that gorgeous vampire any mind.
Marcus and his colleague James (Adam Stevenson) are leaving after a long night at the hospital. A tragic incident happens where James is run over by some despicable human being. Marcus tries to sire James, yet he dies anyway. Marcus as a vampire, has an amazing memory. He gives the police the license plate. Misconceptions of Vampires #2: Their hearing is impeccable. We learned this when Matthew was eavesdropping on Diana’s conversation. Matthew is none to pleased about Marcus drawing attention. They must always indiscriminately show their best discretion.
Calling Aunt Sarah and Auntie Em.
The series is shot in the most beautiful and picturesque locations. We are taken to Madison County, New York. (“Bridges of Madison County, anyone?! Ring a bell?) We meet Aunt Sarah Bishop (Alex Kingston) and Emily Mathers (Valarie Pettiford). Diana is traumatized! She calls her aunt and shares what happened when she opened this book. Diana calls home to tell her aunts what happened. “There were words moving all over the pages.” Aunt Sarah thinks the book is bewitched. Where she drops a bomb on them, “I think I saw Dad.” (I’d say so! ANVIL DROPPED! Seeing your dead father is a SIGN!) Aunt Sarah is in scold mode. Why did Diana return it, “She should want to embrace her magic!” We learn something here. Diana wants nothing to do with magic. “She’s a historian.” (Aunt Sarah, get real!) Diana abruptly hangs up. Em comforts Sarah.
“She’s a witch… the academic I heard outside the Bodleian.” – Matthew
Matthew is checking Diana out on his laptop at work. Where he shares the details of this witch. Her name is Dr. Diana Bishop. She’s a historian. You must love how smitten Matthew already looks. This scene also includes the pub one. Nothing is more entertaining than watching 3 vampires having wine together. They are discussing Diana… She has access to ‘Ashmole 782’ and Matthew will get it one way or other. (Stop it now Matthew! Who are you fooling?) Matthew explains there is a problem. The key to their origins and other important things are in book. Hence, why Marcus could not sire James…
“What do you want, Professor Clairmont?” – Diana
“That’s a fair question.” – Matthew
Matthew accidentally bumps into Diana at a café near the university. Diana is checking out Matthew’s credentials. She finds research written by both Matthew and Miriam. I’ll be honest, I watched it a few times before I caught that. (M. Shephard, M. Clairmont.) I believe someone else is getting those “butterflies in their stomach” Diana…. Was this run in a well-timed event? I would say so. Matthew is trying to feel Diana out. He starts inquiring about “Ashmole 782”. Diana let’s Matthew know on blast. She left the book in the Bodleian. She would never take a book out of the Bod.
“Sean, I need a drink!”
After a long day at work, Diana and Sean (Tomiwa Edun) go for drinks. Sean of course wants to learn more about his friend. He asks her about her life. “My parents were murdered when I was a little girl. I went to live with my aunts.” Supposedly, these town people were very superstitious and thought her parents were witches? Sean cannot believe people still believe in that kind of stuff. We get a deeper look into why Diana is dead set against magic.
“Good morning.” – Matthew
Guess who’s back? You got that right, Matthew Clairmont in the flesh. We also saw Matthew search her room. (We saw you going through her draws. You weren’t only looking for the book.) He sees a picture of her parents. I would imagine her scent driving him insane. Matthew decides to show up and test Diana at the library. He already loves her sass and spunk. She is extremely intelligent and brave.
“Yours, I believe.” Matthew
“That’s a nasty burn.” Matthew
“You’re a vampire.” Diana
“I thought witches weren’t allowed to show their magic in public.” – Matthew
“I’m unlikely to forget you after that.” – Matthew
This scene really exposed Diana for who and what she really is a witch. She wanted the book so badly from the shelf, that she used magic. Diana senses that Matthew is a vampire. He comes up closer to her. Yet, she didn’t feel frightened by him. Diana’s reaction composed as she usually is. I wonder why… Could it be she is feeling what Matthew is already feeling? I would say a big hell yes to that. He clues her in on letting the creatures of Oxford know, she no longer has the book. Matthew is showing concern now for a witch, no less.
“Do you actually think it’s safe down here in the dark, Dr. Bishop?” – Matthew
Diana decided to go rowing at night. We’ll suspect not a very good idea. She tries to say, “Matthew is stalking her.” Girl, you know it’s not true. He is trying to keep your behind safe. These two are falling in love. Again, Matthew is stumped how a book he has been looking for ages for, appears to her. He then goes onto explain it’s key to creature survival. He finds it funny that it would appear to her, a witch who cannot control her magic…Diana isn’t afraid to back down from him. This is a definite attribute in a mate for Matthew.
“Rip my head off to get the truth out of me?” “I could, but it’s not how I operate.” – Matthew
“Walk past me slowly. No sudden movement. Go. But do not run.” – Matthew
This part was key. Diana was afraid, and Matthew knew it. Her scent was just too much for him to overcome this time. Yet, with every fiber of his being, he’s trying to control himself. All I have to say is: “I am hooked line and sinker!” Thank you writers.
Please watch ‘A Discovery Of Witches’ on demand. The show is currently in hiatus, until season 2. You can also check your cable channels. AMC, Shudder, Sundance and BBC America. Follow us at @tvserieshub for all your updates! Till next time, thank you for reading.