Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches – DVD Review
By Karl Hornsey
Our obsession with the supernatural is clearly destined to be a never-ending one, and the latest two series to stoke these fires have been hard on the heels of each other, with both of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire and Mayfair Witches being released recently.
The duo form part of the Immortal Universe franchise, with the former recently broadcast on the BBC and the latter now released on DVD by Acorn Media after a run on AMC. For many, the film version of An Interview… is their most-known and original reference point, along with Rice’s hugely successful novels, but with Mayfair Witches already commissioned for a second series, maybe that is about to change.
“A fine cast”
This is a rich and glossy series that, irrespective of anything else, looks stunning, but also avoids the trap of simply being all style and no substance. Much of that is, of course, down to the strength of the source material, with Rice serving as an executive producer on this series, but also due to a fine cast that brings that material to life.
While the episodes can sometimes err on the safe side, rather than the shocking and surprising, the fact that a second series is in the offing brings hope that it can build on this strong start and establish its own identity. Leading that cast is Alexandra Daddario, who stars as neurosurgeon Rowan Fielding, and discovers that she’s the heiress to a family of powerful witches. With that premise as the starting point, Rowan must learn the lessons of her ancestors and their history, while managing her new-found powers for good – rather than the temptations of evil that lie in wait.
That battle between good and evil may not be a particularly new one, but it’s usually a winner, and Daddario is totally believable in her role, torn between the past and the future, and she receives great support from the likes of Harry Hamlin, Jack Huston and Tongayi Chirisa. With eight episodes in the series, this definitely falls into the binge-worthy category and is best consumed, as so many series these days, in just a couple of sittings.
While it may be a lavish production, there’s still plenty of concentration required at times and the modern audience seems to have lost the ability to wait as long as a week between episodes, as used to be the norm. A third instalment in the Immortal Universe franchise has already been given the green light, as well as a six-part series that takes its inspiration from Rice’s The Queen of the Damned, creating even more reasons to dive into the Mayfair Witches while it’s still fresh.
‘Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches’ Season One is available to buy on Blu-ray and DVD now. Each episode will also be available to purchase on digital 24 hours after its transmission, courtesy of Acorn Media International.