On Sunday I was so excited to see the first episode of A Discover of Witches on BBC America. Once I heard the show was coming to TV, I had to look it up online, of course. Most of the reviews were positive and it turns out this show has been on streaming online for some time. Now it was time for me to join in on the fun. I got my snack, my favorite beverage, and settled in for a good time.
It has been awhile since I read the book, which is ideal because there is less comparing what was written to what is on the screen. The show has a great cast of talented people. The production value of the show was excellent in my opinion. The first part of the show is set in Oxford, England and it looks like they filmed at least some parts in Oxford. This is a nice touch; I hate when shows say they are somewhere and the viewer can tell they are really on a cheap set. Not this show; if they were not in Oxford, they were at one of the older European Colleges.
The show starts out by giving the viewer a good idea of who Diana is and what makes her tick. In fact, one thing that the show does up front that the book does not do is show Diana giving a lecture. The reason this was a good idea is because it lets another character give an introduction like they do at lectures. This lets the people in the story know about her but also the viewer. What took a few pages in the book quickly happens in the show.
As I was watching, there were a few things that happened that made me think, “did this event happen this way in the book”, or “didn’t that happen much later in the book.” They also dropped a few hints of things to come. The hints do not ruin show but if you read the books it is a nice nod to the reader.
One thing the book did better than the show has done, thus far, was explain the different creatures that populate the world. We know Diana is a witch and Matthew is a Vampire. What the show does not do is explain daemons and how they fit in the world. I hope they clear this up soon because it will become important to the story.
Most of the first episode is dedicated to Diana unintentionally finding the elusive book Ashmole 782. Many people have been looking for it for years and she just asks for it at the library desk and it magically appears in the archives of the library. This discovery sets off a chain of events that will dominate the rest of the show/book.
Matthew and other creatures know Diana has discovered the book and they want it. Imagine their disbelief when they find out she just gave it back to the library. Literally, they do not believe her and now Diana is getting a lot of attention, though at this point she does not know why
Overall, I found the show to be very entertaining. So much so that I decided to go back and read the book again.