Literary works have always been a part of our culture. More so with many films and series such The Invisible Man and Enola Holmes finding their roots in the written source material. Following the success of the highly praised Good Omens series based on Neil Gaiman’s and Terry Pratchett’s novel of the same name; BBC America has chosen to adapt another bunch of Pratchett’s novels for the screen titled, The Watch.
The series is inspired by Pratchett’s Discworld novels (with 41 volumes in total). The show’s stars gathered at this year’s virtual New York Comic Con for a digital panel. We got to see them discussing the making of the series; a debut of the first teaser as well as a January 2021 premiere date.
The Watch series, dubbed as a Pratchett-style CSI, will revolve around a police force that’s helpless and is trying to save a corrupt world. It
The Watch follows an unlikely group of misfits, The City Watch, who are forced to find the guts to save the world, surprising even themselves in the process. The comedic yet thrilling series pits trolls, werewolves, wizards and other improbable heroes against an evil plot to resurrect a great dragon which would lead to the destruction of life as they know it.”
Lead writer and executive producer Simon Allen (The Musketeers) and executive producer Richard Stokes (Broadchurch) also joined in to give us more insights to the series and casting information. Allens notes that the show is not a canon of the books, but instead takes advantage of the fact that Prachett’s world exists in a multiverse and creates a backwater fantasy location set-up for it.
Starring in the series is a Game of Thrones reunion with Richard Dormer (Ser Beric Dondarrion) playing Sam Vimes, a film noir-esque grizzled detective; and Paul Kaye (Thoros of Myr) playing Inigo Skimmer, Duke of Stab. Ralph Ineson (Dagmer Cleftjaw) voices Sergeant Detritus, a huge troll made of stone.
Joining them are:
- Lara Rossi (I May Destroy You) as Lady Sybil, “the last scion of nobility”.
- Adam Hugill (1917) as Carrot.
- Marama Corlett (Blood Drive) as the mysterious Angua.
- Jo Eaton-Kent (Don’t Forget the Driver) as Cheery “the ingenious forensics expert”.
- Sam Adewunmi (The Last Tree) as Carcer Dun.
- Anna Chancellor (Pennyworth) as Lord Vetinari.
- James Fleet (Outlander) as The Archchancellor.
- Ingrid Oliver (Doctor Who) as Doctor Cruces.
- Ruth Madeley (Years and Years) as Throat.
- Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Dynasty) as Captain John Keel.
- Bianca Simone Mannie (Homeland) as Wonse.
Additionally, we have two huge talents lending their voices to two favourite characters. Matt Berry (What We Do In The Shadows) will voice Wayne aka.magical speaking sword. Wendell Pierce (Death of a Salesman) as Death, a dry, cynical Grim Reaper.
While countless film adaptations of literary works have been made, it can be quite saddening to see these replace the reading of the original text, especially if the adaptations have particularly disagreeable portrayals of beloved characters. So far there have been mixed reactions to the upcoming adaptation.
Pratchett’s own daughter Rhianna Pratchett (@rhipratchett) also took to Twitter to express her thoughts on the upcoming series.
She was also disgruntled by the fact that Terry Pratchett was allegedly left out of the list of people thanked for the series. Although, she does graciously remind fans that the series’ success or failures will be based off its own merits. And to not harass the actors who have put in huge efforts for their craft.
But all in all, the creators did say that the series is inspired by the novels and hence some creative liberty was most likely taken. And on whether The Watch succeeds in portraying the heart of Pratchett’s Discworld novels, we will have to wait for its release to find out so.