Steven Cree reveals how Outlander prepared him for A Discovery of Witches

The series newcomer plays Gallowglass in season two of the Sky One fantasy romance.

Gallowglass

A Discovery of Witches’ long-awaited second season is finally returning to Sky One this January, with the fantasy romance between a vampire and a witch (Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer) relocating the action to 1590s England after season one’s time-travel cliffhanger.

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Of course, a new time period means new characters including Tom Hughes’ Kit Marlowe and Barbara Marten’s Queen Elizabeth – but for many fans the most exciting new face comes in the form of Steven Cree’s Gallowglass, a vampire character who’s a fan-favourite in Deborah Harkness’ original books.

“He’s Matthew’s nephew, in vampire terms,” Cree told RadioTimes.com in 2019 on the set of season two.

“In that sense, he’s incredibly loyal to Matthew and the Clairmonts, despite perhaps not necessarily always agreeing with everything, particularly with Philippe. But he’s quite a bombastic type of guy, and enjoys having fun.

“When I was watching series one, I was saying that to my wife. I was like, ‘I’ve actually never gone into the second series of something with a part like this where I’ve been able to watch the whole first series, and see the actors I was going to be working with, and see the world.’

“It was just really exciting to join something that’s been so critically well-received, and that also I really love watching.”

Though Cree did also have another advantage in joining the cast of a fantasy romance adaptation (involving time travel) with some seriously dedicated fans – thanks to his years on Starz/Amazon hit Outlander he’d actually already been in one, and apparently the intense reaction to that series helped prepare him for the fan scrutiny that came hand in hand with Harkness’ All Soul’s trilogy.

“The thing about Outlander when I did Outlander – I wasn’t on social media at that point,” Cree told us.  “I didn’t know anything about the books.

“It wasn’t until kind of after Outlander came out, really, that I kind of learned more about that. And when I joined Twitter, I kind of understood it even more.

Outlander
Steven Cree and Laura Donnelly in Outlander (Starz, Amazon)

“It has a fanbase immediately in place before you even start on it,” Cree said of both shows. “Because of social media, I’ve been very aware of the expectations for Gallowglass. Whereas on Outlander, I had no idea.”

Though given Gallowglass’ central role in A Discovery of Witches, Cree admitted that he was feeling even greater pressure.

“The character I played in Outlander was different,” he told RadioTimes.com. “There was a different level of expectation, whereas Gallowglass seems to be a real fan-favourite in the books. I’m definitely aware of that.

“You’re never going to be able to please everyone all the time. So not necessarily feeling pressure, but you want to be… You want a job that will hopefully be representative of the character in the books, and also the TV show is just a different beast anyway.

A Discovery of Witches
Teresa Palmer as Diana Bishop, Matthew Goode as Matthew de Clairmont in A Discovery of Witches season 2 (Sky)

“But he is such a cracking character in the books. Hopefully the people who hold him close to their hearts will enjoy that.”

We’re sure that when fans finally get to see him in action, the Discovery of Witches fans will take Cree to their hearts just as much as the Outlander ones did.

Certainly, the actor himself seemed to be enjoying the experience.

“It’s nice,” Cree said. “Getting to play a character that seems so beloved, is a nice challenge, as opposed to something negative.”

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A Discovery of Witches comes to Sky One on Friday 8th January. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide.