We have been closely following news of The Watch. This is the upcoming BBC adaptation of the Terry Pratchett Discworld novels that follow the Night Watch in the city of Ankh-Morpork. The series stars Game of Thrones alum Richard Dormer as Captain Sam Vimes. A motley crew of characters join Vimes to protect the streets of Ankh-Morpork. Recently a teaser for The Watch aired at the virtual New York City Comic-Con. Let’s take a look at the teaser and see what The Watch has in store for us.
The Watch Looks Like An Exciting Ride Through Ankh-Morpork
There has been some fan controversy surrounding The Watch since it was announced last year. BBC America describes the show as a ‘modern and inclusive series.’ The BBC says that the series is ‘inspired’ by Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. But we are still going to call it an adaptation, even though many feel that the show is deviating too much from Pratchett’s source material.
However, our first look at The Watch teases an action-packed fantasy story with a lot of comedic elements. And that definitely feels true to Discworld. It also looks like they took all the characters and turned them into punks, which is kind of a weird decision. But that is primarily an aesthetic choice. The show almost feels like a grittier Doctor Who, I kept expecting Jodie Whittaker to show up to help Vimes solve a mystery. (Honestly that would be a pretty cool crossover.)
Image via BBC America
The teaser for The Watch gives us our first look at the Night Watch in action. There is the badass Lady Sybil, played by actress Lara Rossi. She gets most of the action in the teaser, including an amazing moment where she wields a tiny dragon as a flamethrower. Jo Eaton-Kent plays the genderqueer dwarf, Constable Cheery. Actress Marama Corlett plays Corporal Angua, the fierce and beautiful new member of the group with a hairy secret. Adam Hugill plays the young and honorable Carrot, who doesn’t get much to do in the teaser other than blush. There is also a brief shot of a troll. This is presumably the character Detritus who is a member of the guard, but strangely there is no actor listed for this role.
“Inspired” By The Stories of Discworld
Author Terry Pratchett | Image via Wikimedia Commons
The presence of a dragon in the teaser for The Watch confirms at least one of the Discworld novels that will be adapted. And it is no surprise that the events of Guards! Guards! will be the focus of the series. This novel was the first Discworld story to focus on the Night Watch. It revolves around a plot by a secret society to overthrow the ruler of Ankh-Morpork. The dragon is summoned to instill fear in the citizens of the city, to make them easier to control.
Executive producer Richard Stokes spoke to the adaptation of the Discworld novels. He indicates that although the plot for the season appears to come directly from one book, there are elements of the other Discworld novels at play also. “What was very clear from the early part of development was that none of the books individually lend themselves to an 8-part series, which is what we were making.”
There is a whole series of novels about the Night Watch that follow the group introduced in Guards! Guards! The first season of The Watch is will run for 8 episodes. The BBC has not yet picked up a second season of The Watch. But the show has been designed to adapt more of Pratchett’s novels in the future. However, the upcoming adaptations from Pratchett’s company Narrativia could hinder plans for more seasons of The Watch. We won’t know for sure until the show premieres next years on the BBC.
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.