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Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ), a historian, has tried to deny her heritage as a witch. She discovers a long-lost manuscript much sought-after by demonic forces.
Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode - Watchmen ) is a vampire who happens to be a geneticist, or perhaps the other way round. He needs to find the magic book in order to solve its mysteries. The characters find it necessary to enter into a forbidden team-up.
This is based on the first book in the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness .
This starts in Venice. A tweenage boy hooks up with a mixed-race supermodel-looking girl - Juliette Durand ( Elarica Johnson ). Unfortunately one of them is a vampire. Is this fem-jep, or is the victim just a piece of meat that we have no compassion for?
Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode - Watchmen ) goes to visit a friendly demon who lives in the Scottish Highlands. The plan is to go deer-hunting, without a rifle. This allows some lovely helicopter footage of the landscape, which is a nice counterpoint to the spactacular photography of the medieval Oxbridge Uni buildings the show is filmed at.
Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ) is under pressure from the witches. They want the book so they can un-make the vampire species. However, Clairmont has discovered that all magical species are in decline. As illustrated in the previous episode, some Vampires are now incapable of siring new vamps.
The vampires of Venice have heard the rumours about Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode - Watchmen ) and his association with a witch. They send the sidekick from DaVinci's Demons to investigate.
Matthew has a not-a-date with Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ). All this does is invite unfavourable comparisons with other shows. It lacks the action-comedy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer , the more serious action of police procedural Ultraviolet , the romance of the Twilight series, and anything else that would make it exciting. A lack of interesting characters and plot mean it is barely watchable.
Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode - Watchmen ) takes Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ) to France. This is not a romantic getaway, although he does take her to meet his mother - Ysabeau de Clermont ( Lindsay Duncan ).
The Witches want the magic book for themselves, or at least to prevent Matthew and the Vamps from getting it. They make an official complaint to the Congregation, a secret council of vampire and witch elders, about his association with a witch. The Congregation's factions are divided by in-fighting, but they send the sidekick from DaVinci's Demons to investigate.
Matthew tells Diana that her parents were murdered by other Witches. Yes, now she has the Inigo Montoya motivation for a subplot.
The star-crossed lovers finally consumate their forbidden relationship. This completely ignores the age gap - she is about twenty-five, he is fifty going on two thousand. Also, there is their complete lack of chemistry to think about. This is the poor version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Twilight .
Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ) has been kidnapped by Satu, a witch someone so powerful she can fly. Satu is working with the villainous Venetian vampire, but the witch has first dibs on the interrogation.
Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode - Watchmen ) is willing to go to any lengths to get his lover back. He will fight anyone, even his own brother or the whole Congregation, and will start a war between vampires and witches if he has to. This seems less than logical, since he is supposed to be a strategic thinker thousands of years old.
Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ) takes Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode - Watchmen ) to help dig up her past. They visit Sarah Bishop ( Alex Kingston ), and Diana gets a flashback of her birth-mother ( Sophia Miles ).
Diana, now unbound, is the strongest witch imaginable. Her flashbacks are 3-D holograms that other people can see, and she can literally teleport. Yes, she is a one-woman force-field technology unit. Naturally the witches and the vamps are unhappy about this development. The sidekick from DaVinci's Demons stirs things up.
The storyline starts to move a bit faster. Matthew starts to train Diana, and gets passionate with her. They call in his lab assistants to help secure the ranch. However, they may be vamps but they are not warriors.
Matthew's ex-lover attacks his new lover. This was certainly not a smart move on the attacker's side. Vampires' powers are limited to Celerity (super-speed) and immortality. In comparison, Witches use flight, telekinesis and pyrokinesis. The bloodsuckers are completely out-matched!
Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ) has the power of teleportation. Now she discovers she can teleport not merely through space, but also through time. She and Matthew plan to go back in time together.
Satu is put on trial for her actions by the Congregation. This gives the vamps another opportunity to plot against each other and make alliances.
Reviewed in our special supplement
Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode - Watchmen ) has taken Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ) back in time with him to 1590. They hang out with his friend, the ill-fated playwright Kit Marlowe.
Matthew tries to find Diana a mentor. First they meet with Mary Sidney ( Amanda Hale ), an alchemist. Then they are summoned to meet Father Hubbard, a vampire who has controlled the supernatural community in the City of London since the 1350s. Finally, the witches introduce Diana to Goody Alsop ( Sheila Hancock ) - the most powerful witch in England.
William Cecil orders Matthew to interrogate a male witch, Tom Caldwell, who has been accused of speaking treason. While Cecil wants a confession for a swift conviction, Hubbard and the Witches both claim Caldwell as their own. Can Matthew manage to avoid making enemies on either side?
In the modern day, the sidekick from DaVinci's Demons discovers that a serial killer is stalking the streets of Oxford. It looks like a vampire who feeds uncontrollably. This is a symptom of blood-rage, a disease that is rumoured to be prevalent in the De Clairmont family.
Matthew and Diana visit Dr John Dee, in the hope that the Book of Life is somewhere in his library. This proves unhelpful, although Diana's sessions with Goody Alsop ( Sheila Hancock ) are a lot more productive.
William Cecil somehow discovers that Matthew has married a witch. The couple are summoned to meet Queen Elizabeth. Her major concern is not the imaginary threat of a witchy uprising. She has heard rumours that Edward Kelley, a former associate of John Dee, has discovered the secret of the Philosopher's Stone and is sharing it with Emperor Rudolf Hapsburg in Bohemia.
Back in the modern day, Matthew has left Marcus Whitmore (Edward Bluemel - ) in charge of clearing up his mess. This includes visiting the local auction house to buy any evidence of the couple's presence in history. The good news is that Marcus gets on well with Phoebe Taylor ( Adelle Leonce ), the auction manager. The bad news is that obtaining the auctioned items, a pair of matching portraits of the couple circa 1600CE, is a lot more difficult and time-consuming than it should be.
Two storylines cross over when the auctioned items go missing. It looks like they have been taken by the blood-rage killer that the rival vampires have the sidekick from DaVinci's Demons looking for. Now Marcus has two reasons to find the killer, whose existence he was blissfully unaware of. While Matthew looks very young by human standards, he is meant to be two centuries old. However he seems incredibly immature for his age.
Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode - Watchmen ) and Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ) travel to mainland Europe. First they must visit Matthew's father Phillipe (James Purefoy - Solomon Kane ), then travel to Bohemia together. Not only are they on a mission for Queen Elizabeth, but Edward Kelley may have the Book of Life. Unfortunately France has a low-level civil war going on. Many aristocrats and peasants refuse to obey the Huguenot King, Henri II. Yes, the Huguenots are denied the same toleration that they offer to their oppressors.
Back in London, Kit Marlowe is joined by Matthew's sister Louisa ( Elaine Cassidy ). They paint the town red, so to speak. What could possibly go wrong?
Matthew's father Phillipe (James Purefoy - Solomon Kane ) tests Diana, in order to see if she is worthy. Worse, Matthew never got around to explaining his Blood Rage to her. It is a major part of this Season's storyline, but it did not feature in Season One.
In the modern day, Sarah Bishop ( Alex Kingston ) is staying with Ysabeau de Clermont ( Lindsay Duncan ) in the same castle that Phillipe lived in. They detect magical traces which indicate a subtle change in the timeline ... possibly a message left from four hundred years previously.
Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode - Watchmen ) and Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ) reach the court of the Holy Roman Emperor.
While Matthew distracts the Emperor, Diana tries to get the book back from Edward Kelly.
Back in the modern day, Marcus Whitmore (Edward Bluemel - ) tries to get back together with Phoebe Taylor ( Adelle Leonce ), the auction manager.
Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode - Watchmen ) and Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ) arrive back in London. However, Queen Elizabeth is not amused. She has Matthew arrested, and sends her henchman to locate the book so it can be returned to Emperor Rudolf.
Diana is sheltered by Kit Marlowe. However, she does not realise until it is too late that he is still under the sway of Matthew's jealous sister Louisa ( Elaine Cassidy ).
Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode - Watchmen ) and Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ) plan to return to the modern day. The book has been secured, and Diana's sessions with Goody Alsop ( Sheila Hancock ) have been productive.
Diana meets her birth father, a self-taught time-traveller.
Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode - Watchmen ) and Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ) arrive back in the modern day. Unfortunately there has been a tragic death.
Matthew's brother Baldwin turns up, looking like he is now played by a different actor. He is still an authoritarian, so Gallowglass floats the idea of Matthew forming a Scion. This would effectively split the De Clairmont family in two, but Matthew's half would have the freedom to do what they need.
Father Hubbard is still running the London underworld. He brings along an old friend, someone that Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ) made him promise to protect.
Matthew works out who the arch-villain is that has been tormenting them for the past couple of Seasons. It turns out that someone who popped up in one scene in Season Two is actually an important character who was never even mentioned before. Yes, there was no real foreshadowing as to the villain's importance.
Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode - Watchmen ) needs to gather new recruits for his scion. He goes to New Orleans, which (as in The Originals ) is the centre of vampires in the USA. Presumably the werewolves are all in Canada, like in Bitten .
The local vamps hold a grudge against Matthew, because he purged their numbers to prevent a Blood Rage outbreak. Although they should be sire-bonded to him, he still has to earn their respect.
Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode - Watchmen ) waits for the scientists to discover a cure for the Blood Rage. However, they discover the cause involves his human DNA. Yes, everyone who gets it has a genetic predisposition.
Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ) hunts down the final page of the book. She has other things to worry about, since she is nine months pregnant.
Peter Knox is on Diana's tail. Somehow he got his magic squishy-ball back, and he is dangerous because he has nothing to lose.
Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode - Watchmen ) and Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ) invite their friends to attend the twins' christening. Yes, vampires have no aversion to holy water or crucifixes. The problem with this is that the christening is therefore symbolic, since the Xian religion is shown as having no basis in fact. The vampires and witches are living proof that the Xian god is not real, since they can perform real magic while the Xian priests cannot ... So why bother with the christening?
While everyone (except Gallowglass) is in town, Matthew decides to do a recruitment drive for the Knights of Lazarus. Yes, they will at last build up their own private army. After all, there is about to be a terrible war and there are only two episodes left in the story.
Benjamin takes up a new hobby - kidnapping witches and trying to impregnate them. His stated objective is to duplicate what Matthew did with Diana. Of course, one of the witches easily escapes and makes her way to the De Clairmont family.
Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode - Watchmen ) goes after Benjamin alone, even though it is obviously a trap. It turns out that Benjamin's fortress is more recent than the others, and yet still has a terrible history attached. The layout is that of a nineteenth century artillery fort. We discover that, during the Second World War, it was used as a certain type of hospital by the Nazis. Phillipe was held prisoner there, and Benjamin was the torturer who broke him. Now he plans to do the same thing to Matthew.
Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ) returns to Oxford to collect the magic book. Peter Knox is waiting for her, although his well-organised interception of her is at odds with his somewhat bedraggled appearance. She has her foster-mother with her, who wants revenge for the fate of her lesbian lover.
Diana Bishop ( Teresa Palmer ) gets Benjamin's taunting message, so she goes off to rescue Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode - Watchmen ). Baldwin comes along, since he knows where Ben's fortress is. It turns out to be near Chelm, an Austro-Hungarian village in what is now eastern Poland. They take along Gallowglass and Matthew's childe, all their heavy hitters, into what is obviously another trap.
Gebert (Trevor Eve - ) visits Sept-Tours, to give his old friend Ysabeau de Clermont ( Lindsay Duncan ) a chance to surrender. Naturally she refuses.
Diana does not need a team of heavy hitters - she takes out the villains single-handedly. Well, she has spent three seasons building herself up but it all seems a bit anti-climactic.
The real climax is a bit of office politics. When Matthew's team uncovers the secrets of creature DNA, Diana must visit the Congregation and teach them how wrong they are. Gebert is in charge, apparently because he is an old white man. To challenge him, Diana seeks to replace him with someone who represents the unrepresented. Of course, she only gets her way because the rest of the council are women and poeople of colour. So much for the unrepresented!