My Top 10 Moments from the first episode of A Discovery of Witches – review

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My Top 10 Moments from the first episode of A Discovery of Witches.

Finally! A Discovery of Witches is accessible to all and the wait was worth it. The season premiere aired tonight on AMC and BBCAmerica at 8pm central.

When I watch a show or movie that has been adapted from a book, I try very hard not to compare the two. It’s not an easy task, but I believe it’s important to fully enjoy the show or movie. The key word here is ‘adaptation’; we must remember that it is an adaptation, not a word for word copy of the book. As I review the show, I will make comments about the book and what I might have liked to see, but I will do my best to keep those comparisons to a minimum.

1. Ashmole 782 was not a disappointment. I had wondered how it would be portrayed in the show. It’s such an important part of the story that we only see once. As time goes on we learn more about it, but this is the only time we see it. The hand written notes in the front are important. The way the words began to float off the page and onto Diana’s hand was a perfect way to display the fact that the book has magic. I also liked the way the creatures in the area all felt when she opened the book.

2. Diana rowing. I don’t know much about the sport, but I thought that Teresa looked like she was as experienced as Diana is. Her rowing was believable to me. I do wish that we learned why she rows and runs as much as she does.

3. Satu is frightening, cold and unpredictable; this is exactly how I pictured her. Peter Knox is just the way I expected him to be, he was also scary but he was calculating. When they arrive in Oxford and confront Gillian and force her to give them Diana’s name, it was very clear that Diana was in danger.

4. Aunt Sarah is a little shrill to me. This will likely not be a popular opinion considering how much we all love Alex Kingston. But Valerie Pettiford’s portrayal of Emily is perfect, she is sweet and calm. Of course that difference between them is why they are such a perfect couple.

5. When Marcus attempts to turn his friend, we learn that there is a problem with vampires; their ability to turn new vampires is less and less successful. If this continues there will be fewer and fewer vampires and they will become vulnerable to other creatures. We learn that Matthew has been searching for the book for 150 years. He believes it tells how vampires began. They are very worried that witches will get it and destroy them. This is all important information for the story and I’m glad it was made clear.

6. Miriam is not what I thought she would be. I know that appearance isn’t really the number one thing casting directors look for. They look for talent and chemistry. But I am having a hard time with her being so tall. Miriam is supposed to be very petite.

7. Bodleian library is gorgeously done. Here is a time lapse video that A Discovery of Witches posted on twitter showing how they built the library.


8. The spiders and webs around Diana when she sleeps need to be explained. I’m concerned by this because this is fundamental to why Diana has some of the issues she has with her magic. I’m not sure how this will affect the show later.

9. Running into her father who has been dead for years. Was it a coincidence that she saw him right after she saw Ashmole 782?

10. We first hear Ashmole 782 called The Book of Life when Matthew approaches Diana while she is putting the boat away after she finished rowing. Calling it the Book of Life adds to its importance and helps us understand why the creatures are all so concerned with finding it now that they know it has been recalled.

Bonus! Seeing Deb Harkness in the audience during Diana’s lecture.

 

I am looking forward to episode 2 of A Discovery of Witches next Sunday April 14 at 8pm central time.

 

 

 

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Alyson Bailey