The cast and creators of the TV adaptation of Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches arrived at Ballroom 20 during San Diego Comic-Con to talk about the new TV series on UK's Sky TV.
The panel consisted of cast members Teresa Palmer (Diana), Alex Kingston (Sarah), Valerie Pettiford (Emily), and Owen Teale (Peter). They were joined by the books' author Deborah Harkness and executive producer Lachlan MacKinnon.
A Discovery of Witches takes place in a world where witches and other mythical creatures are the norms. The story revolves around Diana Bishop, a history professor at Oxford who, after finding a lost manuscript, is forced to return to her roots as a witch, also entering into a romance with vampire Matthew Clairmont.
Harkness talked about the origins of the series. "I would look at all these vampire books at the bookstore and I kept thinking all of these books suggested that these people were everywhere. I thought people made up these stories about these mythical creatures to cover the fact that they are just the people next door." Teale added, "These characters never lose their connection to the human race. Everyone is worried about their survival. The imagination of the human race is being dumbed down by the technology of the world, which can cause these beautiful creatures to lose their powers."
On the subject of diversity and discrimination within the series, they focused on the relationship between Diane and her surrogate parents, her aunt Sarah and Emily. When asked about how an LGBTQ relationship was addressed in the series, Kingston said "This is what I found interesting in the books. The racism in this world is between the mythical races, not against skin color or orientation, so it was something we really didn't have to worry about. it's normal in this world, as it should be."
Theresa then talked about her character and how her connection to her was instant. "I fell in love with her bravery, her commitment. She is a beautiful person." That doesn't mean she is without her fears. "She doesn't want to be different. She pretends she doesn't have powers. She wants to deny her heritage, much to her aunt's dismay."
By normalizing the fantastic, A Discovery of Witches will be able to address many of the issues occurring in our world today, but through a very unique lens.
A Discovery of Witches will premiere on Sky Vision in the UK on September 14, and on Sundance Now and Shudder in the US on a date to be confirmed.
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