Where Was 'A Discovery Of Witches' Filmed? The Sky One Series Has Some Seriously Atmospheric Locations
The fantasy-drama series A Discovery Of Witches is currently airing it's first series on Sky One, and the show is captivating viewers with it's re-telling of the original novel. The story begins at the University of Oxford, where historian Dr Diana Bishop (Theresa Palmer) and Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode) are introduced and set out on their supernatural adventure, but where was A Discovery Of Witches filmed?
The contemporary love story takes place in the English city of Oxford, and the iconic Bodleian Library acts as an important backdrop to much of the historical-fantasy. According to the Express, the library is the second largest in Britain and one of the oldest in all of Europe, which is probably why, as the Express reports, so many major film productions including Harry Potter and The Golden Compass were filmed there previously. A Discovery of Witches, however, shot most of the episodes in Cardiff, as the series is produced by the Welsh production company Bad Wolf. Some of the show's scenes were indeed filmed on location in Oxford, however the Radio Times reports that the vast majority were shot at Wolf Studios in Cardiff Bay.
Despite not being entirely on-location, the Sky One series has followed the contents of the original book, penned by author Deborah Harkness, pretty closely, which will surely please fans of the All Souls trilogy.
A Discovery of Witches is the first part of a book trilogy that also includes follow ups Shadow of Night and The Book of Life. The first book in the series, and its TV adaptation show, follows the story of reluctant witch and professor of alchemy and science, Diana Bishop. Despite efforts to distance herself from her identity as a witch, the professor becomes caught up in a dangerous mystery alongside fellow professor, and vampire, Matthew Clairmont — in spite of an ancient distrust between witches and vampires. As a forbidden romance begins to blossom, the pair face many supernatural threats, and Clairmont attempts to discover why his own species of bloodsuckers appear to be dying out.
During any page to screen adaptation, there's always a worry that a film or TV show won't accurately capture the magic of the original story, and according to the Radio Times, A Discovery of Witches fans have nothing to fear. During a visit to the set of the Sky One series, show-makers made it clear to the publication that very little was being cut from Harkness’s novel. Instead fans can look forward to enjoying more than expected, as the eight-episode series will actually extend some of the thrilling storylines featured within the book, in particular those which surround Louise Brealey’s character Gillian.
Production of the series was completed back in February, and actress Alex Kingston, who portrays Sarah Bishop in the show, commented on her experience filming on the various sets. During a panel discussion at San Diego Comic Con, she actress commented, "When you see the interior of the house, just know that’s a set, not a real house, it’s amazing". And the mastermind behind the original book also praised the sets of the adaptation, when she revealed that they were so believable the whole cast and crew would hang out in the living room of the Bishop home between takes, according to the Express.
As a viewer it's interesting to see how A Discovery of Witches is being brought to life onscreen, and with two potential follow ups already published, fans will hopefully be seeing a lot more of this gripping fantasy tale.