Discovery of Witches: Meet the cast and characters of Sky One’s sizzling, supernatural hit series

Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer are back for witch and vampire action and they are joined by some famous faces as the cast expands for season two.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 1 January 2021 - 10.01am
Drama NOW

A Discovery of Witches

Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer in A Discovery of Witches season 2

Watch A Discovery of Witches season 2 on Sky One with NOW

Sky One’s A Discovery of Witches has built up a loyal legion of fans thanks to its magical blend of fantasy, sizzling romance and dark drama.

Based on the novels of Deborah Harkness and filled with vampires, witches and daemons, the show returns for a second season in a new location - Elizabethan London.

The shift in timelines means the show’s lead characters Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont, played by Teresa Palmer and Matthew Goode, will be joined by a collection of new characters.

Here is a quick guide to the lead cast of season two in their own words…

Who stars in A Discovery of Witches?

Matthew De Clermont – Played by Matthew Goode

Matthew Goode in A Discovery of Witches season 2

“In season two, Matthew reassumes the identity of Matthew Roydon. He was Lord Burghley’s right-hand man and, basically, 007 for the Queen. It’s a much darker season and I think we start to see Diana’s character become strong, not only with magic, but in a society that’s very patriarchal.

"It’s great getting the old gang back together even though we didn’t see a lot of them as they were filming the modern part of the story. James North has successfully knocked out a 1590s London town in a place called Plas Machen. Prior to arriving on set, I wondered how they were going to do it, and if it was just going to be a few pots, pans and beggars hanging around some cobbles!”

Diana Bishop – Played by Teresa Palmer

Teresa Palmer in Discovery of Witches

“At the start of season two, we see Diana and Matthew arriving back in time on the crazy streets of Elizabethan London. As a historian, this is Diana’s biggest dream – to finally experience everything she’s studied is mind-blowing.

However, Diana soon discovers the ramifications of their actions as she learns Matthew from season one was very different in Elizabethan times. He’s darker, edgier, more violent and he distances himself from Diana in certain ways so it’s quite isolating for her. Diana finds herself essentially alone in Elizabethan London, meeting people and finding her way in a land that she has only read about.”

Magic, sizzle and high drama

Kit Marlowe – Played by Tom Hughes

Tom Hughes in A Discovery of Witches as Kit Marlowe

“My character is Christopher ‘Kit’ Marlowe, the playwright and contemporary of Shakespeare. Kit is good friends with Walter Raleigh and Matthew.

“Kit thinks Matthew has gone off for a two-week jolly, but unbeknownst to him, the Matthew that returns is the Matthew we know from the present day. He is the same embodiment of the man but he’s different and his relationship with Diana is a whole new thing. Kit has a mercurial element to him. He has an obsessive streak and a petulance, but also there’s this intelligence.”

Phoebe Taylor - Adelle Leonce

Adelle Leonce as Phoebe Taylor in A Discovery of Witches season 2

“She works at an auction house as an art historian and she’s one of the only humans in the Discovery story.

“She’s hyper-intelligent and she loves her job. I have no idea about art, I don’t know where to start, but I’ve a friend who’s an art curator and we spent a day going around a lot of exhibitions and galleries to get a feel for it.

“She’s a bit geeky but she also has this air of confidence and sass. She’s this intelligent, feisty woman with so many complexities and that’s what makes her interesting. She’s wonderful to play.”

Philippe De Clermont – Played by James Purefoy

James Purefoy on the set of A Discovery of Witches season 2

“We are first introduced to Philippe at his French estate - Sept-Tours - in 1590. Matthew and Diana have been travelling a long while to get there, and finally arrive at Sept-Tours. They head up to Philippe’s war room where he is being implacable.

“Philippe and Matthew is a relationship that’s been going on hundreds and hundreds of years, so it’s complicated. It’s a complex, ambiguous, difficult relationship. If you take the average relationship of a father and son and multiply it by the difficulty they might have, and then multiply that by several hundred years, then you get entrenched positions. He’s used Matthew for some dodgy things in the past, like using him as an assassin, but underneath it all there is a profound sense of love.

“With Philippe, we see a man who appears to be stern and quite implacable - there’s not much he doesn’t know. He’s an interesting character, but his relationship with Matthew changes as Matthew and Diana’s relationship is revealed to him. His opinion is strong at the beginning but there is an arc of change that develops. As we get towards the end, there is a feeling of profound acceptance of their love.”

Gallowglass – Played by Steven Cree

Steven Cree as Gallowglass in A Discovery of Witches

“He’s Matthew’s nephew within the vampire family tree, which isn’t quite the same as the human one – it’s all about who bit you and made you a vampire! As such, he’s incredibly loyal to Matthew and to the de Clermont family, despite any misgivings he might have towards Philippe, Matthew’s dad, because of history. Gallowglass will do anything for Matthew. He’s a soldier of fortune – having been around for a few hundred years he seems to enjoy life. He’s a mix of a lot of different things.

“He’s gregarious and light-hearted. He’s the guy with the one-liner to diffuse the atmosphere. There’s a gentleness and a sensitivity to him but if things get difficult, he is incredibly fierce and has a fierce side to him, so he’s not to be crossed. People shouldn’t mistake his gentility for softness! Gallowglass is a big help to Matthew and Diana. Obviously, a vampire being with a witch is frowned upon, but Gallowglass is one of the only people who accepts them. He takes a shine to Diana and is more accepting of her than other characters.”

Goody Alsopp – Played by Sheila Hancock 

Sheila Hancock

“She’s a witch and she knows all the spells that other people don’t know. There’s this girl, Diana, who has the potential to be a very good witch but she’s from another era and I’m expecting her to come into our Elizabethan period on Hallowe’en, and indeed she arrives and I take her under my wing and teach her my ways because she doesn’t yet know how to use her powers. She’s a weaver, like Goody, and in fact she ends up being better than Goody. They are both very, very special witches. They’re far superior to the other witches. I think the reality of those sorts of women in real life is that they were old women who did the equivalent of what medicine is today.

“They’d be the chemists of the village. They’re good people and very wise. In our story they have a rivalry with the daemons but Goody gets on very well with vampire Matthew de Clermont which was lovely for me because I had one terrible day when I couldn’t remember my lines, and it was Matthew’s first day, and he was so unbelievably kind to me as I was groping for the words.

“He’s a lovely guy, funny and devastatingly attractive. I kept thinking that when I was younger, he was exactly the person I would have gone for!”

How can I watch A Discovery of Witches season 2?

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