A Discovery of Witches: Lesbian witch show air date, cast, what to expect

People are getting hyped for a new TV show that features Doctor Who star Alex Kingston as a lesbian witch.

It’s been 16 years, 4 months and 7 days since Buffy the Vampire Slayer dramatically parted iconic lesbian witch duo Willow and Tara, and there’s finally a new game in town.

TV drama A Discovery of Witches, which debuts in the UK this evening, introduces a new lesbian witch couple we just can’t wait to meet.

What is it about?

Based on the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of Witches follows witch and historian Diana Bishop as she seeks to unravel the secrets of the magical world, crossing paths by mysterious vampire Matthew Clairmont.

The “reluctant witch” was raised by her aunt Sarah Bishop, a witch who lives with her long-time partner and fellow witch Emily Mather. The pair taught Diana how to use her powers to fight in a centuries-old struggle between supernatural beings.

A synopsis explains: “A Discovery of Witches is a contemporary love story set in our world, but one which humans share with the declining species of witches, vampires and daemons – creatures existing and working amongst us, but hiding, unknown to most humans, in plain sight.

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“The discovery of a manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library throws Diana into the heart of a dangerous mystery – and into the path of enigmatic geneticist Matthew Clairmont, an ancient vampire hiding dark family secrets.

“As Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the significance of the mysterious manuscript and as their relationship develops and their heritage comes in to play, events threaten to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between humans, witches, vampires and daemons.”

Who is in the cast?

The show is headed up by Warm Bodies star Teresa Palmer, who plays Diana Bishop, and Matthew Goode of The Crown fame as Matthew Clairmont.

Alex Kingston as Sarah Bishop (Sky)

Doctor Who, Arrow and ER star Alex Kingston is set to play Sarah Bishop, while Valarie Pettiford will play Emily Mather.

The cast also includes Lindsay Duncan as Ysabeau de Clermont, Tanya Moodie as Agatha Wilson, Louise Brealey as Gillian Chamberlain, Owen Teale as Peter Knox, and Trevor Eve as Gerbert D’Aurillac.

When is it on?

The first episode is set to premiere in the UK on Sky One. It airs at 9 PM on 14 September 2018.

Valarie Pettiford as Emily Mather (Sky)

Episodes will air weekly on Friday until November 2. The show will also be available on NOW TV. The international distribution rights for A Discovery of Witches will are being handled by Sky Vision.

Is there a trailer?

Yes! Check it out here:

Tell me about the lesbians!

The show’s website explains: “Diana’s aunt, Sarah Bishop is descended from the first witch executed at Salem. Sarah is proud to be a Bishop and enjoys a respected place among witches because of her name and blood lineage.

“She has a temperamental nature, a famously short fuse, is intensely loyal and has a long-standing addiction to coffee. Her prize possession is the Bishop grimoire, the family’s ancient spell book. Where her partner Emily is thoughtful and measured, Sarah is a firecracker who says exactly what’s on her mind, consequences be damned.


“Sarah’s long-term partner, Emily Mather is maternal, nurturing and deeply insightful.

“A witch with a talent for scrying and visions, Em is often the peace broker in the house, her honesty and compassion encouraging Sarah and Diana to face difficult truths. Em has a family secret she has kept since the death of Rebecca, her best friend. She uses that knowledge to understand Diana’s unlikely relationship with Matthew and to guide her. But when the secret comes out – and it must – there are explosive repercussions with Sarah, and their relationship is tested to its limits.”

What do some people say about it?


Anne Mensah, Sky’s head of drama, said: “A Discovery of Witches is a proper love story for grown-ups.

“However, the fact that it also examines science, magic and being ‘other’ in the modern world makes it a must watch. Kate Brooke and Deborah Harkness have given us a drama that packs both an emotional and thought-provoking punch.

“With the breathtaking vision of director Juan Carlos Medina and the Bad Wolf team, I feel very confident we are offering our customers something truly magical.”

Screenwriter Kate Brooke added: “The show is a relationship drama, grounded in emotional truth. Diana and Matthew, like all couples who meet and fall in love, at times struggle to understand each other and come to terms with their differences. And if you’re a vampire and a witch – those differences are huge.”

Jane Tranter, Executive Producer, Bad Wolf added: “A Discovery of Witches is a bold contemporary love story beautifully adapted by Kate Brooke from the books by Deborah Harkness. We can’t wait to introduce fans of the novels to our cast and to bring in a whole new audience to these extraordinary stories.”