Friday, March 11, 2022

Series Review: A Discovery of Witches Season 3

Finally, after a long wait, fans like me finally got to see the third and final season of the TV series A Discovery of Witches. Based on the All Souls books by Deborah Harkness, the season follows the story of witch Diana Bishop and her husband, the vampire Matthew Clairmont as they travel back to the present day from Elizabethan England to learn the secrets of the Book of Life. 

In this final season, there are only seven episodes, as opposed to the original 10 from the first season and 8 for the second. It was explained that the budget for the 8th episode was used for COVID protocols, which is understandable during these pandemic times. I’d rather have one less episode than not have it at all. 

It was bittersweet to be watching the show knowing that it was the last season, which was to be expected as this would end the story of Matthew and Diana as it did in the books. It was exciting to see this part of the story come to life but at the same time, it felt a bit like saying goodbye to all these characters that I know and love.

The cinematography and the effects, as always, were perfect. The acting is still as good as it has been in the previous seasons. I think the difference with this season compared to others was that there was more time and focus made on the ensemble cast than just Matthew and Diana. I liked that there were moments that focused on these supporting characters because I did enjoy reading about them in the books as well.

I was very pleased with the casting of Toby Regbo as Jack. At first I was skeptical because I had my own idea of what Jack would have looked like. I have also seen Toby’s other roles and wasn’t sure if I could picture him as Jack. But, being the good actor that he is, he pulled it off. I’ve always enjoyed the way he acts, there is something about him that seems so subdued and yet impactful.

As someone who has read the books, there were several parts that were changed in the story. Given the limited time they had to share the story, I understood that changes would have to be made to move things along faster. Still, there were critical scenes from the books that made it and I loved watching them, clapping happily at how good they were executed. 

Fans of the show would notice that the actor who plays Baldwin has changed due to scheduling conflicts with the original actor. Peter McDonald did a good job being Baldwin. It was a bit of a different take on the role but he still exuded that power that the character had. In fact, I felt that I could sympathize with the character more when he played Baldwin. There was a softer, redeemable side that I saw in him more than with the first actor. 

The final episode was very beautifully made. It was nice to be able to say goodbye to each of the characters and to the books themselves with the way the ending scenes were presented. I know that the story ends here but I would love to be able to see spinoff shows featuring the other characters, even those who don’t have detailed back stories in the books yet. Fans of the books know that there is a book about Marcus and Phoebe, but I’d love to know more about Marcus’ children in New Orleans. I feel like they have this whole different dynamic there that would be interesting to watch.

As a Toby Regbo fan, I’d love to see a show about him as Jack and how he has struggled in the years without Matthew and Diana. And, as a Gallowglass fan, I would love to see more about the character as well. Maybe not so much about the years he was pining for Diana, but maybe about how he moves on from there. I know that Deborah Harkness confirmed that a book on Gallowglass is in the plan, but she’s not quite there yet. I hope we get to see that book or maybe an authorized spinoff sometime in the future.

So sad to say goodbye to this show….I loved every minute of it and I wish there were more! Thank you to the cast and the production for bringing Deborah Harkness' books to life! This fan is very grateful!


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