‘Downton Abbey’ star will play a vampire in ‘A Discovery of Witches’ adaptation

Sky has announced a major new TV adaptation of Deborah Harkness’ bestselling book, A Discovery of Witches.

Published in 2011, Harkness’ novel is a contemporary love story set against the backdrop of Oxford academic life, but in “a world where a handful of witches, vampires and daemons live and work unseen amongst humans, hiding in plain sight.”

A Discovery of Witches will be adapted for television by Mr Selfridge writer Kate Brooke.

Teresa Palmer (Hacksaw Ridge) will play brilliant academic and historian Diana Bishop, a reluctant witch denying her heritage, alongside Matthew Goode (Downton Abbey) as enigmatic geneticist Matthew Clairmont, who is secretly a vampire.

The official synopsis reads: “As Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the secrets of an ancient 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 witches, vampires, daemons and humans.”

Author Deborah Harkness commented: “Teresa and Matthew perfectly capture my characters – I’m so excited by the casting and how they will bring the books to life.”

Showrunner 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.”

The book is available to buy on Amazon.

A Discovery of Witches begins filming this month in Wales and Oxford.