‘A Discovery of Witches’ TV adaptation in the works by ‘Doctor Who’ producer
A TV show adaptation of Deborah Harkness fantasy novel A Discovery of Witches is in the works, HitFix has confirmed. Deadline first reported the news. On the team developing it for TV is Julie Gardner — Whovians know her as an executive producer for Doctor Who and Torchwood.
Greenlighting its development makes sense after the early success of The Magicians (the Syfy series got a season 2 renewal today). Much like Magicians is adapted from a book that’s a darker, more adult alternative to Harry Potter, Harkness’ novels are the more mature answer to the YA vampire/supernatural craze.
Discovery of Witches has both the romance of stately old libraries — main character Diana Bishop is researching at Oxford — and the romance of forbidden love (Diana, a witch, falls for Matthew, a vampire — a big no-no in this world where vampires and witches have been enemies for generations). Harkness has also come up with some really cool stuff about witch and vampire genetics. Oh, and there’s time travel.
Diana’s story kicks off with her discovery of a long-lost, alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library — an unwelcome intrusion into her life, which she’s attempted to make as ordinary as possible despite her witchy powers. That discovery, along with her encounter with 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew Clairmont, forces Diana to the center of the threat of interspecies war.
Who alum Gardner’s Bad Wolf production company (which she launched last year with fellow former BBC executive Jane Tranter) is developing the show with plans to adapt all three books in the series. Harkness will write several episodes, along with Ashley Pharoah (Life on Mars, Wild at Heart).