A Discovery of Witches TV
News on the television adaptation of A Discovery of Witches and the All Souls Trilogy.Jane Tranter and Bad Wolf are producing the series. I am also serving as executive producer, and will write several episodes.
Cast and Production Gallery
Learn More About the TV Series
Jane and Bad Wolf represent my dream team for bringing the trilogy to life. Every conversation we have had about the books shows how thoroughly they understand the All Souls World and how deeply they’re committed to creating something very special with this series.
A glance at the projects they’ve been involved with—including the reboot of Dr. Who, Life on Mars, Waking the Dead, MI5/Spooks, Torchwood, David Copperfield, Silent Witness, Ashes to Ashes, The Way We Live Now, and Rome—makes it clear that they are drawn to compelling characters and storylines with twists that keep viewers tuning in for each new episode.
At the moment we are unable to confirm the involvement of a broadcaster, either in the US or the UK, though we hope to make this announcement soon. In the meantime, I know my readers will give Jane and her team at Bad Wolf full support and encouragement as they tackle this huge undertaking.
Alex Kingston (ER, Dr. Who): Sarah Bishop
Valarie Pettiford (The Blacklist, Fosse): Emily Mather
Tanya Moodie (Sherlock): Agatha Wilson
Lindsay Duncan (Sherlock, Dr. Who, Gifted): Ysabeau de Clermont
Our “meet the team Tuesdays” continue with the talented Alice Troughton, our director for the second block of shooting, i.e. episodes 3, 4, and 5.
What’s covered in these episodes? Let’s see…
Sept-Tours. Meeting Ysabeau. Witchwater. BUNDLING. Should I go on??
When I started this TV lark, I didn’t realize that directors on series changed at fairly regular intervals. That makes sense, in retrospect, because the directors are also the ones who do all the post-production editing (including working with sound and special effects). So while the first block director is finishing up with shooting this week, Alice is just starting with block 2. Then, as the first block moves into post-production, Alice will keep shooting the second block through the rest of this year before heading to the editing studio as the as-yet-to-be-named director for Block 3 takes the helm. Complicated, yes?
What’s not complicated at all is that Alice is a PERFECT choice to direct this show. She comes to us with credits that include directing Dr. Who, Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Merlin, Atlantis, and The Living and the Dead. Pretty impressive resume!
Once again, ladies and gentlemen, we are in very good hands. I know that you will all welcome Alice to the All Souls Family. You can follow her on twitter at @alicetroughton, and on Instagram @alicetroughton1408.
One of them is Matthieu Beny, played by British actor Freddie Thorpe. He’s in Venice this week for the final week of Block 1 (eps. 1 & 2) filming. Welcome to the All Souls Family, Freddie! We can’t wait for everybody to find out about your role in our story.
We’ll have more announcements over the next week as we segue into Block 2 (eps 3, 4, 5) so stay tuned here and on other social media so you don’t miss them!
From DP Suzie Lavelle’s instagram feed. She writes “Rigging day! Boats for trucks!”
It’s the final week of the block #1 (eps. 1 and 2) shooting schedule for A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES. That means director Juan Carlos Medina, First Assistant Director Helen Ostler, and Director of Photography Suzie Lavelle, with their cast and crew, are on location in VENICE.
No. I’m not there. Like you, I’m scouring Instagram for shots like these, and living vicariously through social media.
Wondering why we’re in Venice in episodes 1 and 2? Remember: the book is mostly from Diana’s point of view. The television show isn’t. That means while Diana is in Oxford meeting Matthew, some of our other characters are in Venice, plotting and planning…
Enjoy the photos, all taken by cast and crew members. Hop over to Instagram for more. While block #1 is shooting in Venice, block #2 starts on Monday in Wales. More to come!
View from the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. From Helen Ostler’s Instagram feed
Juan Carlos Medina, Helen Ostler, and Suzie Lavelle–high powered production meeting in progress!! photo from @adiscoveryofwitchestv on Instagram
Venice’s colors are like nowhere else on earth. Photo by @adiscoveryofwitchestv on Instagram
Director Juan Carlos Medina (far left), and DP Suzie Lavelle (center) at work in Venice. Photo from @adiscoveryofwitchestv on Instagram
“Passing by the dome of the Radcliffe Camera, where the undergraduates read their assigned books, and the medieval walls of Jesus College, I went shopping along the aisles of Oxford’s Covered Market.”
I’ve just returned home from Oxford. I joined the cast and crew during their week filming in the city of dreaming spires. We saw lots of fans, and it was magical to be there at exactly the right time of year.
Here are some pictures taken by me and other members of the crew that refer back to the sentence above to help put you in the mood for Matthew and Diana’s romantic dinner.
Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer) out and about Oxford.
Photo of the Radcliffe Camera captured by a member of our fabulous crew, Jake Pope. (jakep5552 on Instagram). Only a professional could have captured this glorious shot!
“Racks of white and yellow boats greeted me inside. There were big, eight-seated boats for the first men’s crew, slightly leaner boats for the women, and other boats of decreasing quality and size.”
The fact is, I really did row at Oxford. Between 1991 and 1993 (while I was researching my PhD dissertation as a Fulbright Scholar) I was a member of the Keble College Boat Club, and competed in the Women’s Second Eight and the Women’s First Eight. For a few weeks I was even in the Women’s Blue Boat Development Squad–but a combination of my academic obligations and my status as a non-matriculated student put the brakes on that plan! Rowing really did save my life during some pretty stressful years, when it would have been all too easy for me to stay in the library or my room and never go outside. In the boat club I got exercise, mental space, and the comradeship of some extraordinary women and men I still call friends more than two decades later. (KEEEEE-BULLLLLE)
Teresa Palmer, our Diana, has been in training for the rowing scenes in A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES, and we have been out and about scouting locations in Oxford. Rowing is a beautiful sport, and we can’t wait to bring it’s beauty and power to the screen!
It’s never too late to start rowing, by the way. Check your local area for rowing clubs and boat houses that offer lessons. It’s a fantastic, low-impact sport that improves cardiovascular function, muscle strength, balance–and teamwork.
After last week’s big announcements, I wanted to start introducing you to the production team for the A Discovery of Witches television adaptation. First up is Kate Brooke, our showrunner and head writer.What is a showrunner, you ask? Kate wears a hundred hats, but her most important one has to do with keeping a steady hand on the creative rudder of the entire show. That’s a big job, and it takes a formidable set of skills. First, she has to be an excellent writer, because the showrunner is the head writer for the project. In this case, Kate is scheduled to write half of the episodes for our first season including the first and last episodes. Second, she has to be a great manager, because she oversees the writers’ room. Television shows are seldom written by one person; instead there are lots of writers at work, and they move in and out of the project. The showrunner, however, is a fixture for the whole season. At the moment, Kate has three writers in the room, as well as a script editor (you’ll meet them all here one day!). Kate makes sure all the scripts are consistent in tone, manages work flow, and makes sure that all the other departments involved in the production have what they need to do their particular jobs.
Kate is an experienced screenwriter and showrunner with a background in English literature. For the curious, yes, she did graduate from Oxford so she knows Diana’s world and the city very well. Since her time at university, Kate has done impressive work for several broadcasters in the UK. Her most recent success was as writer and showrunner for Mr. Selfridge, the hugely popular period drama that was screened on ITV and PBS. Kate also wrote for many other television films and series including Case Sensitive, The Making of a Lady, The Ice Cream Girls, and The Forsyte Saga.
I’ve learned so much about screenwriting working with Kate, and its been such a privilege to have her on the project. Kate has an amazing ability to grasp character and to imagine creative ways to bring a character from page to screen. Take Diana. In the books, Diana shares a lot of her journey with us through reflection—something that doesn’t work so well on tv or in film unless most of what you see has a voice over! Kate is able to bring Diana’s transformation to vivid, visual life by placing her in new situations, sharpening dialogue so that we can hear what Diana is thinking, and leaving enough room in the scripts for the director and actors to do their part in making the words come alive with emotion and power.
In addition, Kate and I have had many, many conversations about how we can enrich the viewing experience of the television show while still remaining faithful to the spirit of the book. After all, the books are mostly told from Diana’s perspective. We only know what she knows, with a few exceptions. Adapting the books for television allows Kate to develop other perspectives—whether it be what Knox was doing before he comes to Oxford and meets Diana, or what Miriam and Marcus are doing in the lab, or what Sarah and Em are eating for breakfast in Madison. It’s been enormous fun to bring a wider view to the screen, and to work with Kate to share what I knew was happening elsewhere when Diana and Matthew were getting to know each other in Oxford.
You can follow Kate on Twitter at the handle @KateBrooke2 if you want to welcome her to the All Souls family.