True Blood was set in Louisiana and Twilight in the small American town of Forks, but Sky 1’s new vampire romance A Discovery of Witches is set a little closer to home — at Oxford University.
“The drama is centred around the Bodleian Library and the trigger is the opening of a book,” says executive producer Jane Tranter.
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The book in question awakens the magic of neophyte witch Diana (Teresa Palmer) and propels her into the arms of suave vampire Matthew, who is played by Matthew Goode.
Some scenes were filmed in Oxford, but the level of stunt work required for various magical battles meant the team ended up making their own version of the Bodleian in Cardiff, just a few months before shooting began in the same studios on another Oxford-set fantasy – Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.
“Actually, Philip Pullman visited when we had the Bodleian set up and he just said, ‘OK, that’s perfect,’” says Tranter.
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A Discovery of Witches begins on Sky 1 in September