SPELLBINDING tale of witchcraft to give you the creeps on a Friday night. Based on the bestselling novel by Deborah Harkness, this is a fast-paced drama full of magic and mystery.
Teresa Palmer plays brilliant historian Diana Bishop, who is heading off to give a lecture on alchemy at Oxford University. All seems perfectly normal until her documents start to blow away in the wind and she ‘accidentally on purpose’ magics them safely back. Twist klaxon: she’s a closet witch.
Suddenly this all feels very Harry Potter. Plus we’re at the dreaming spires of Oxford University – as Hogwarts a setting as a film crew could possibly find.
Confiding in a witch friend about her accidental powers, Diana then admits:
“I’m still not comfortable around magic, not after what happened to my parents.” And there’s the back story klaxon.
Later on there’s a scary incident with a magical book in the famous Bodleian Library, involving dimming lights and possessed pages. And watch out for a disturbing scene with two young men, a car and an awful lot of blood.
Downton Abbey’s Matthew Goode plays Matthew Clairmont, a vampire who is desperate to get his hands on the book. And in thoroughly British style, the result is three well-spoken vampires down the local boozer wondering how to get hold of a dusty old book at the library.
Lots of jumpy moments make for tense viewing, but with a premise based on witches and vampires, it’s also a lot of fun – if somewhat deadly.