Witches and vampires in TV series and movies

Tremble, the witches are back … and they are not alone, because from 29 Januaryevery Wednesday at 9.15 pmwill be in the company of vampires and other supernatural beings in A Discovery of Witches – The Witches Manuscript (look at the first photos), the new series on TV premiere on Sky Atlantic.

A Discovery of Witches – The Witches Manuscript starring the Australian Teresa Palmeralready seen in films such as Wolf Creek, Warm Bodies And The Battle of Hacksaw Ridgehere in the shoes of Diana Bishop. This is, despite her reluctance, A witchbut in “everyday life” works as a historian.

When one day Diana comes into possession of an ancient manuscript, realizes that she cannot evade her fate as a witch and so decides to get involved in first person to reveal the secrets of the book. There will be help Matthew Clairmont (interpreted by Matthew Goode), a professor biochemistry expertwhich incidentally is also a vampire.

Vampires and witches, in recent years, have become increasingly popular, both in books and in movies and TV series. But, to be honest, they’ve been around… pretty much forever. These figures in fact, they appear in the human imagination already in ancient times and in a certain sense it can be said that they have always been part of our history, accompanying man step by step in his evolution.

Especially this is true for witchesof whose alleged exploits traces or allusions are preserved in documents of ancient Egypt, Assyrians and Babylonians. Women dedicated to the magical arts to achieve illicit purposes or to serve dark gods (such as the Mesopotamian Lilith), witches have occupied a prominent place in the folklore of many different civilizations. Such success at the expense of male colleagues is perhaps to be found in the prejudices against the female sex rooted in almost all human societies.

Even in ancient Greece and Rome these figures were furious and even later, in the Middle Ages, tales and legends around evil witches were widespread. The Catholic Church itself, worried by the phenomenon, gave impetus to persecution of women in the odor of witchcraft. If in fact the stories about witches were the fruit of fantasy, the consequences of these rumors were, for many unfortunates subjected to torture and not infrequently sentenced to death, very real.

Over the centuries the figure of the witch emerged as enchantress and deceiver able to brew magical potions, devoted to licentious activities and servant of the Evil One. And conversely there witch hunt reached peaks of unexpected ferocity as in the case of the famous trial at Salem witches.

No wonder then if in popular folklore witches have often been presented as the bad guys, committed with their malefics to hinder the hero of the situation in completing his mission. And a similar negative view is also present in many recent books and films, just think of Rosemary’s Baby by Roman Polanski o Suspiria by Dario Argento.

But over the course of the twentieth century there has also been one re-evaluation of the figure of the witchsometimes presented in a positive way, as in the Disney film Brass knobs and broomsticks. And in the last few decades, as wrinkled old women they were, television and film witches they gradually turned into good-looking young peoplesee the protagonists of the tv series Witches, or even in saucy teenagers like the young Sabrina. We can therefore say that, in their own way, the witches have had their own revenge.

Also vampires have an ancient birth, given that the imagery of numerous ancient civilizations is populated by beings with similar characteristics, from Mesopotamia to Rome. But the figure of the vampire as we know it today is more recent and has its origins in Balkan and Eastern European folklore of the eighteenth century.

The literary debut of the modern vampire is usually traced back to the tale The vampire by John Polidori, even if the inevitable reference point is the legendary Dracula by Bram Stokertrue godfather of all today’s bloodsucking monsters.

The novel helped to outline the general characteristics of the vampire, to which new details were added over the years. To be immortal that it feeds on blood of human beings, the vampire is endowed with strength and supernatural powersbut it also has weaknesses: for example, it does not tolerate daylight and can be killed by an ash stake.

The image of the glamorous vampireable with his charisma to seduce people, even if the cases in which the alternative figure of the monstrous and deformed vampire prevails, as in the Nosferatu the vampire by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Blade, Underworld: cinema and TV have been “fed” several times on the blood of vampires, and in recent decades their popularity has skyrocketed. Furthermore, like witches, these beings too have become more and more “glamorous”starting with the characters played by Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in Interview with the vampire up to the emo teens of Twilightpassing through those of TV series such as True Blood.

A Discovery of Witches – The Witches Manuscript represents the meeting of these two beloved figures, thus condensing two of the great popular “obsessions” of recent years into a single TV series. The success of this “sinister mix”, therefore, can only be guaranteed: the appointment is every Wednesday on Sky Atlantic!

Witches and vampires in TV series and movies