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‘The Watch’: BBC America Series Adaptation Of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Casts Adam Hugill As Carrot

The Watch, BBC America’s eight-episode series based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, has cast its first main character.

British actor Adam Hugill (Pennyworth) has landed one of the lead roles in the series, playing Carrot.

Described as a “punk rock thriller” inspired by the City Watch subset of Discworld novels, the character-driven series centers on Pratchett’s misfit cops as they fight to save a ramshackle city of normalized wrongness from both the past and future in a perilous quest.

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‘Game of Thrones’ Star Richard Dormer Cast in Terry Pratchett Series ‘The Watch’

Richard Dormer will lead the cast of “The Watch,” an upcoming BBC America series based on stories from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books. Dormer, who played Beric Dondarrion in “Game of Thrones,” will star as Sam Vimes, the captain of a band of misfit cops known as The Watch.

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Bunch of new actors announced! I'm not opposed to changing a character's sex or race. What I dislike is changes to their actual characters. "Throat, the city’s best snitch, with a gang of freelance henchmen at her beck and call." That sounds nothing like the CMOT Dibbler I know.

What I'd do, I'd start Throat off as the one we know, a many times failed entrepreneur. New scheme in each episode. Each one crashes and burns. Maybe the snitch role is the one that sticks.

Alternately, the other way around. The snitch is something that fails within the first couple of episodes, and she has to resort to selling sausages in a bun.

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8 hours ago, Anduin said:

Bunch of new actors announced! I'm not opposed to changing a character's sex or race. What I dislike is changes to their actual characters. "Throat, the city’s best snitch, with a gang of freelance henchmen at her beck and call." That sounds nothing like the CMOT Dibbler I know.

What I'd do, I'd start Throat off as the one we know, a many times failed entrepreneur. New scheme in each episode. Each one crashes and burns. Maybe the snitch role is the one that sticks.

Alternately, the other way around. The snitch is something that fails within the first couple of episodes, and she has to resort to selling sausages in a bun.

Aye indeed, everything I've seen so far about this show bears very little resemblance to the characters and situations I know so well - as if they've simply taken the names and places and a few basic story outlines from the entire Watch series and then jumbled them up to create something entirely new. And that isn't something I'm really interested in watching - I was hoping to see the books come to life. A hopeless mishmash will just frustrate me. 😞

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2 hours ago, Llywela said:

Aye indeed, everything I've seen so far about this show bears very little resemblance to the characters and situations I know so well - as if they've simply taken the names and places and a few basic story outlines from the entire Watch series and then jumbled them up to create something entirely new. And that isn't something I'm really interested in watching - I was hoping to see the books come to life. A hopeless mishmash will just frustrate me. 😞

Yes, it's odd. I wonder why. If I were asked to adapt something from one medium to another,  it probably wouldn't be 100%, but it would be more similar than this sounds.

Rhianna Pratchett is involved, she manages her father's production company. I'm interested to see if she says anything about these changes.

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15 hours ago, Anduin said:

We've got some official pictures! And, um... The official Pratchett account then linked to Ursula LeGuin's takedown of the miniseries based on her books. That's not promising.

 

And then Rihanna Pritchett retweeted the Ursula LeGuin thing. I wonder what on Disc has happened here, because it looks like something has gone so, so wrong, if she’s not happy with this thing either. I though she had some creative control. It was the only thing that was giving me hope

Also, how old is the actor playing Sybil? Because Vimes is an age appropriate 51 and she looks... young
Apart from her also being skinny batwoman now. I mean, I love the look but she looks more like how I imagined Angua. Are we still not allowed any cool overweight middle-aged women on screen as the hero’s love interest?

And on that note, is Angua an amalgamation of herself and Nobby? Because it kind of looks like it, and Nobby is missing so far.

Edited by Lebanna
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1 hour ago, Lebanna said:

And then Rihanna Pritchett retweeted the Ursula LeGuin thing. I wonder what on Disc has happened here, because it looks like something has gone so, so wrong, if she’s not happy with this thing either. I though she had some creative control. It was the only thing that was giving me hope

Also, how old is the actor playing Sybil? Because Vimes is an age appropriate 51 and she looks... young
Apart from her also being skinny batwoman now. I mean, I love the look but she looks more like how I imagined Angua. Are we still not allowed any cool overweight middle-aged women on screen as the hero’s love interest?

And on that note, is Angua an amalgamation of herself and Nobby? Because it kind of looks like it, and Nobby is missing so far.

Yep, it's strange. I would desperately like to know why the producers chose this direction. Will they talk about it honestly? Or will they just talk themselves up? "We know better than the fans" kind of nonsense. Of course, I'm trying to keep an open mind. It isn't going well, but I'm trying.

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I'm afraid I've long since given all hope of this being good. Rhianna Pratchett distanced herself from the project quite some time ago. None of the press releases about the plot and characters bear any resemblance to Pratchett's work, and neither do these photos - Carrot is the only one I can pick out as looking vaguely as he should. This is not Discworld. These are not Pratchett's characters.

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I unfortunately went from being very excited at the announcement to not looking forward to this at all. Rhianna Pratchett has made it very clear that not only do she doesn't have any creative control, and is not involved with the show at all. She and the rest of those who managed Terry Pratchett's works seem unhappy with the direction BBC has taken - they are basically using the character names and whatever else they feel like and creating their own steampunk/cyberpunk take. Whatever this show ends up being, it has been very clear from the Pratchett estate that it will not be Terry's Discworld.  Discworld Monthly has an excellent breakdown of how the project evolved (or devolved, depending on the opinion): https://discworldmonthly.co.uk/terrypratchett_thewatchseries.php .

There was also a flare-up on Instagram this week after Simon Allen posted a self-congratulatory post that listed a bunch of people in thanks associated with the show, and neglected to mention Terry Pratchett's name at all. (Between their bio listing them as the creator of The Watch, and a line in the post about how they wrote the first words for The Watch five years ago, some felt it was a deliberate erasure of the fact that they are the creator/writer of an adaptation of Terry Pratchett's work, rather than the creator of it from whole cloth). They ended up shutting off comments to the post after about 200+ negative comments pointing out the error. 

Rhianna did post that there will be proper adaptations of his work with a different media deal (unfortunately, it seems not involving the Watch characters, apparently, due to this series): https://narrativia.com/ . Hopefully we'll see some decent productions come out of that.

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On 9/18/2020 at 3:19 PM, MsNewsradio said:

I unfortunately went from being very excited at the announcement to not looking forward to this at all. Rhianna Pratchett has made it very clear that not only do she doesn't have any creative control, and is not involved with the show at all. She and the rest of those who managed Terry Pratchett's works seem unhappy with the direction BBC has taken - they are basically using the character names and whatever else they feel like and creating their own steampunk/cyberpunk take. Whatever this show ends up being, it has been very clear from the Pratchett estate that it will not be Terry's Discworld.  Discworld Monthly has an excellent breakdown of how the project evolved (or devolved, depending on the opinion): https://discworldmonthly.co.uk/terrypratchett_thewatchseries.php .

There was also a flare-up on Instagram this week after Simon Allen posted a self-congratulatory post that listed a bunch of people in thanks associated with the show, and neglected to mention Terry Pratchett's name at all. (Between their bio listing them as the creator of The Watch, and a line in the post about how they wrote the first words for The Watch five years ago, some felt it was a deliberate erasure of the fact that they are the creator/writer of an adaptation of Terry Pratchett's work, rather than the creator of it from whole cloth). They ended up shutting off comments to the post after about 200+ negative comments pointing out the error. 

Rhianna did post that there will be proper adaptations of his work with a different media deal (unfortunately, it seems not involving the Watch characters, apparently, due to this series): https://narrativia.com/ . Hopefully we'll see some decent productions come out of that.

Makes me wonder who they think their target audience is, since there is no way they don't know they have alienated (and continue to alienate) the Terry Pratchett readership who might otherwise have flocked to watch this show. I mean, making sure to honour Pratchett's name in pre-show press like that Insta post is such a simple and obvious PR tool, it beggars belief that they aren't at least paying lip service to his memory. Why go to all the trouble of acquiring the rights to a hugely popular series in the first place if you aren't even going to use the author's name as an audience draw because you want your own name in lights instead?

Edit - I probably shouldn't be surprised it has gone this way, though. Just look what happened with the Dirk Gently adaptation - a single character name is the only resemblance it bears to the original novels. The Watch series is clearly cut from much the same cloth.

Edited by Llywela

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Rhianna gave an interview about publishing her first book, which is part of the long running Fighting Fantasy adventure series. Brief mention of the TV show:

Quote

But recently she has also shared her anger over The Watch, a controversial BBC America adaptation “inspired by” her father’s stories about Ankh-Morpork’s City Watch. When production wrapped last week, she called out the showrunner for failing to mention her father in his thank you message. “This should tell you everything you need to know,” wrote Rhianna, who is no longer involved with the show.

“I was very unhappy with Dad not being thanked,” she says, a few days later. “I don’t know why but it hasn’t been edited so it seems deliberate, unfortunately. But there we go.” Working with Motive, she says, pointedly, is about “creating things that are more faithful to the source material, because that’s very much what Dad wanted.”

They seem to be aiming for the casual scifi/fantasy fan that mostly consumes video games, TV, and movies and doesn't bother to read.

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1 hour ago, Vermicious Knid said:

Rhianna gave an interview about publishing her first book, which is part of the long running Fighting Fantasy adventure series. Brief mention of the TV show:

They seem to be aiming for the casual scifi/fantasy fan that mostly consumes video games, TV, and movies and doesn't bother to read.

There's a picture in there, it's weird seeing Terry without his hat.

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The hell did I just watch. 

Well, damn. How did someone manage to get control of this IP and completely fuck it sideways?

I won’t be able to stop myself from watching some of it, but What. The. Hell. I thought people might just be being nitpicky about color and gender blind casting (I’d only heard a little), but in what universe was that Sam Vimes? Why is Sam Vimes wearing eyeliner?

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58 minutes ago, kieyra said:

The hell did I just watch. 

Well, damn. How did someone manage to get control of this IP and completely fuck it sideways?

I won’t be able to stop myself from watching some of it, but What. The. Hell. I thought people might just be being nitpicky about color and gender blind casting (I’d only heard a little), but in what universe was that Sam Vimes? Why is Sam Vimes wearing eyeliner?

I have no idea to any of that. Not only is it puzzling, it's frustrating!

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Oh, it's worse. Here's the virtual panel from New York Comic Con. I would have to quote paste the entire article to list everything wrong, so I will confine myself to this:

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"But what was clear from the first part of development was that none of the books individually lend themselves to an eight part series [...] So we had to do a sort of pick-and-mix of the best bits across the range of books, and invent our own series, invent our own world. And that’s where, with everyone’s blessing, Simon came in, who was able to do his own original take on the characters.”

With everyone's blessing. We already know that’s a lie.

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I just found out about this being made today and at first was all 'YAY"!!!!  I LOVE the Watch.  Sam Vimes is one of my very favorite fictional characters. 

And then I saw the pictures.  Ok, so I was pleased by the casting of Carrot, and the actor who plays Sam looks like he could be Sam.  I wasn't so sure about Angua, she does not look like the Angua in my head.  And then there is Sybill.  While I love the idea of them being color blind in casting, Sybil is a BIG woman.  That was like the one physical trait the book was clear about.  This actress is obviously younger and slimmer than Sybil.  She doesn't feel like Sybill.  Honestly she is closer to Angua in my head.

And then I saw the clip.  Holy shit stain that looks bad.  Who the hell decided Sam Vimes looked like that?  Eyeliner?  He looks more like how Nobby should look.  This is not the man that  Sybil describes as: "For as long as she'd known him, Sam Vimes had been vibrating with the internal anger of a man who wants to arrest the Gods for not doing it right."  Even in the first book when Sam was demoralized and drunk he wasn't an eye-liner-ed buffoon.

Speaking of Nobby...where is he? And Sgt. Colon? 

And finally the humor in the books is clever, sly and literate.  This looks like a desperate slaptick.

So disappointed!

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I only made it a few seconds into the trailer. As soon as I saw what they are pretending is Sam Vimes, I noped straight on out of there. This 'adaptation' is a travesty of everything that was worthwhile about those books. And yet it didn't have to be! It could have been so good!

And you could absolutely adapt each book individually if you really wanted to. They wanted to do it this way, that's all. This is what happens when you put people in charge of an adaptation who don't know and love the material, but simply want to gut it for its constituent parts while still claiming the name in hopes of drawing an established audience. But I can't see any way this adaptation can satisfy the existing audience - alienate, more like..

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Dafuq? Thats a BBC production?? I think I gonna have to curl up in a corner a cry for a bit.

Why take a story set in a very whimsical, distinct and rich world - a character in itself - and shift them towards the post punk, Apocalypse now? They're gonna disappoint a lot of people.

The show runners' creative ideas might be suited to the more modern world of Harry Dresden, but definitely not an old school, clever character like Sam Vimes.

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Burn!

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“Look, I think it’s fairly obvious that The Watch shares no DNA with my father’s Watch. This is neither criticism nor support. It is what it is,” wrote Rhianna Pratchett, a game designer and author, on Twitter.

Everyone seems to hate the trailer. The Guardian also quotes Neil Gaiman, who sums up the main problem.

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Fans, he pointed, out, like the source material, “so if you do something else, you risk alienating the fans on a monumental scale. It’s not Batman if he’s now a news reporter in a yellow trenchcoat with a pet bat”.

TBH, that sounds much more watchable. And better than the ridiculous, actual show about the Bat machines being alive and fighting crime.

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Oh man, if possible it gets even worse.  I went on twitter to "like" Rhianna Pratchett's post and made a comment about how disappointed I was but at least I liked the Carrot casting.  And I got this response (not from her).

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Sadly the Carrot writing is terrible. They've made him stupid not simple and given Cheery his back story

I mean... I mean....

Edited by DearEvette
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