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The Watch (Terry Pratchett) [BBC America]

  • 11-09-2019 2:33pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 8,214 ✭✭✭ Sonics2k


    Yet another adaption of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, this time focusing on the Night Watch.

    I'm skeptically hopeful about this, though some of the casting seems odd.

    https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/richard-dormer-leads-watch-cast/

    Lara Rossi as Lady Sybil is the odd choice among the casting. For one, she's considerably younger than Richard Dormer and Lady Sybil is written as a large lady in late 40's and rather pompus.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 76 ✭✭ WengerOutIn


    Sonics2k wrote: »
    Yet another adaption of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, this time focusing on the Night Watch.

    I'm skeptically hopeful about this, though some of the casting seems odd.

    https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/richard-dormer-leads-watch-cast/

    Lara Rossi as Lady Sybil is the odd choice among the casting. For one, she's considerably younger than Richard Dormer and Lady Sybil is written as a large lady in late 40's and rather pompus.

    any idea who is producing it? Really brilliant books around the watch and Vimes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,963 ✭✭✭ TheIrishGrover


    I like the idea of them making a series of The Watch. it is probably the best angle to come at for a Discworld series. I have no real problems with the cast. No problem with them aging some of them down. But they are all awful pretty :)

    No, my biggest concern is the production values/cost. If done right, it could look amazing but be very expensive. If the budget isn't invested then it can look cheap and nasty.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,214 ✭✭✭ Sonics2k


    I like the idea of them making a series of The Watch. it is probably the best angle to come at for a Discworld series. I have no real problems with the cast. No problem with them aging some of them down. But they are all awful pretty :)

    No, my biggest concern is the production values/cost. If done right, it could look amazing but be very expensive. If the budget isn't invested then it can look cheap and nasty.

    I'm not sure about it. Part of the initial attraction between Sybil and Sam is the age they are. They're both considered past their prime, him a total drunk and a mess, and her a dragon obsessed spinster and considered to be the last of the Ramkin family.

    But then, I personally think they cast Rincewind too old in the previous Light Fantastic mini-series.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,059 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pixelburp


    Yeah, the Sybil casting is wrong, based on the books and my mind's eye. As said, she's meant to be a frumpy "of the earth" sort you get with English upper class clichés. The actor looks too elfin and, well, glamorous.

    Still, I'm amazed and excited this is actually happening at all. Seems like it was near permanently within the rumour mill for ages, and never really believed it would be adapted. I believe Pratchett's daughter is involved, or was last time I read about it (possibly '15). Guess with GOT, there's a bit of a gold Rush with fantasy IPs.

    Will be an interesting one to adapt, and not sure how well it might work. A lot of the humour was as much Pratchett's narration as it was the events in the novel, so hopefully some sense of that wry humour remains.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,762 ✭✭✭ Mark Hamill


    Isn't Carcer the villain from Night Watch? Thats the 6th Watch-centric book in the Discworld series, are they going to through them all in one series or are they changing the chronology around that much?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,322 ✭✭✭ Day Lewin


    Chrysoprase the troll, gang-master. Superb. Can't wait!


  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 30,951 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Mickeroo


    Isn't Carcer the villain from Night Watch? Thats the 6th Watch-centric book in the Discworld series, are they going to through them all in one series or are they changing the chronology around that much?

    Night watch wouldn't be a bad one to do first in fairness as it's basically Vimes' origin story to an extent.

    This has great potential as a series I have to say, though I'm concerned at the lack of Nobby in the casting, good luck getting a model to play him :D


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,059 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pixelburp


    Isn't Carcer the villain from Night Watch? Thats the 6th Watch-centric book in the Discworld series, are they going to through them all in one series or are they changing the chronology around that much?

    He is. I suspect he's going to be something of a Big Bad, and if the show has legs we'll eventually see an adaptation of Night Watch; there's no way they'll start with it, as the book necessitated the reader knowing the characters first as to appreciate "before they were famous" story.

    I'm also guessing that if Carcer is in this, they're not starting with Guards Guards, unless it's a very loose adaptation - starting with Vimes at rock bottom, but it's a serial killer and not a dragon that stirs him into a new lease of life.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,158 ✭✭✭ nullObjects


    Isn't Carcer the villain from Night Watch? Thats the 6th Watch-centric book in the Discworld series, are they going to through them all in one series or are they changing the chronology around that much?

    Yeah he's the main villain in that one

    They travel back in time and he meets a younger version of himself, maybe that's why the actors are younger than you'd expect the characters to be?

    Hope they give this the series it deserves, night watch is one of my favourites


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,458 ✭✭✭ donegal_man


    Some of the stuff coming from the people behind it would suggest it's going to be one of those shows "based on characters created by ..." It may start with an episode based on one of the books to attract fans then go off on its own as happened with the Dresden Files adaptation.
    AMC Network’s Entertainment Group & AMC Studios President Sarah Barnett says: “The Watch will be a very BBC America show. As with Killing Eve, we don’t go straight at an adaptation – we blur genres, undercut with humor, and hire the most genius writers and actors to create stories and characters that are both entertaining and very contemporary...”

    Lead writer and executive producer, Simon Allen says: “...It’s been such a privilege to work with our world-class director, producers and writers on building a television show that honors his legacy while striking out on its own in his name and spirit."... 

    Full article on BBC America


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,214 ✭✭✭ Sonics2k


    Richard Dormer is 49 years old, which actually seems like a good age for Vimes as I always imagined him as late 40's to early 50's.

    I can't find any age for Lara Rossi but she doesn't seem to be that age from what I can tell.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,059 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pixelburp


    Guards Guards was always a little bit of an outlier anyway IMO: future stories were more politically epic in scope, rather than the viscerally epic of a ruddy great big dragon terrorising the city. It became about Vimes slowly evolving into Discworld's Honest Broker, and could see that working better in serialised TV than a shallower "man slays dragon and personal demons" story.

    Besides, a CGI dragon, and the various action scenes involving it would cost more money, and I daresay it'll be expensive as it stands building Ankh-Morpork & its non-human denizens.


  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 30,951 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Mickeroo


    The lead writer's CV has killed my enthusiasm a bit.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,059 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pixelburp


    Yeah, very little pedigree when it comes to comedy writing, while the shows themselves are hardly standouts; his most involvement was with The Musketeers by the looks of things, which was fine. No great shakes, even if the show was fun in a throwaway kinda way.


  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 30,951 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Mickeroo


    pixelburp wrote: »
    Yeah, very little pedigree when it comes to comedy writing, while the shows themselves are hardly standouts; his most involvement was with The Musketeers by the looks of things, which was fine. No great shakes, even if the show was fun in a throwaway kinda way.

    That's the one that jumped out at me as an alarm bell the most tbh, I'd take New Tricks over that any day :o


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,059 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pixelburp


    Haha, different strokes I guess. Either way don't think either of us are blown away by the guy's CV. Nor does the director's at that. Filming to start at the end of the month, and TV tends to have a quick enough turnaround so perhaps it won't be long 'til we get some promotional material.

    It's got the backing of Pratchett's Estate (sidebar: :( that it's an 'Estate' now), though no word of Rhianna in the official announcement, and given her own previous work I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 484 ✭✭ Greyjoy


    Sonics2k wrote: »
    I'm not sure about it. Part of the initial attraction between Sybil and Sam is the age they are. They're both considered past their prime, him a total drunk and a mess, and her a dragon obsessed spinster and considered to be the last of the Ramkin family.

    But then, I personally think they cast Rincewind too old in the previous Light Fantastic mini-series.

    Dormer is a good pick for Vimes but it feels like the Hollywood cliche that they can't give the leading man a love interest similar in age but instead a much younger actress.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,777 ✭✭✭✭ Gbear


    Most of what I've heard about this is bad news and little more than piggybacking off a fantasy series good name, and pissing all over it in the process.

    Oh well. Given the number of fantasy series in production I shouldn't be too greedy.

    Sir Pterry can wait a little longer to get something worthy of being associated with him. He is not, after all, in much of a hurry these days.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,458 ✭✭✭ donegal_man


    Anna Chancellor as Lord Vetinari, Ingrid Oliver as Doctor Cruces and Ruth Madeley CMOT Dibbler! Anna Chancellor is the only one of them I'm really familiar with and think she would have made an excellent Lady Sybil.
    Full article on tor.com HERE


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,042 ✭✭✭ RedXIV


    Not quite sure how they are trying to sell this "gender neutral" casting but I've got to admit, I'm a little concerned as I don't know the cast well at all and how I've always had it in my head that each of the male characters was decisively male (probably a little less convinced with Wonse).

    I do think they nailed Vimes though


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,214 ✭✭✭ Sonics2k


    Why in the name of bouncy baby Jehova have they case Hakeem Kae-Kazim as Sergeant Keel?

    He's a fantastic actor, but isn't that going to cause some severe with the entire damn plot of Night Watch or is Richard Dormer just going to black face his way through it?


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,059 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pixelburp


    I wasn't hugely stoked by the news they'd gender flipped The Patrician, mostly because the books were always quite definitive about his appearance; if there's one saving grace it's that Chancellor at least LOOKS like a female version of Vetinari, so that's something at least.

    More annoying has been turning Lady Sybil into a political rabble-rouser (beyond changing her noted frumpy appearance), and CMOT into a snitch: the above tor article doesn't mention it, but the BBC America article states: "[Throat]... will portray the wiry Throat, the city’s best snitch, with a gang of freelance henchmen at her beck and call"

    That's NOT who CMOT Dibbler is; I get the Arthur Daly / Derek Trotter stereotype is a bit stale these days, but he was never a snitch. Definitely more concerned about the flippancy with which they're just tinkering with characters. I remember reading an interview with Pratchett where he said his main aversion to adaptations was studios' desires to just arbitrarily change characters. Going by Throat & Sybil, it feels like his Estate hasn't heeded his words :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,045 ✭✭✭✭ bucketybuck


    Get woke go broke.

    The casting is a load of **** and a clear sign of the mentality behind this "adaptation". I'm not one for internet boycotts or any of that but I have no interest in a college diversity project.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,214 ✭✭✭ Sonics2k


    pixelburp wrote: »
    I wasn't hugely stoked by the news they'd gender flipped The Patrician, mostly because the books were always quite definitive about his appearance; if there's one saving grace it's that Chancellor at least LOOKS like a female version of Vetinari, so that's something at least.

    More annoying has been turning Lady Sybil into a political rabble-rouser (beyond changing her noted frumpy appearance), and CMOT into a snitch: the above tor article doesn't mention it, but the BBC America article states: "[Throat]... will portray the wiry Throat, the city’s best snitch, with a gang of freelance henchmen at her beck and call"

    That's NOT who CMOT Dibbler is; I get the Arthur Daly / Derek Trotter stereotype is a bit stale these days, but he was never a snitch. Definitely more concerned about the flippancy with which they're just tinkering with characters. I remember reading an interview with Pratchett where he said his main aversion to adaptations was studios' desires to just arbitrarily change characters. Going by Throat & Sybil, it feels like his Estate hasn't heeded his words :(

    Absolutely agree, though I think it's important to state that his estate (namely Rhianna Pratchett herself) is not involved in this. Its all BBC America.

    https://twitter.com/rhipratchett/status/1172096652603248641

    I'm always up for doing a Gender Swap now and then, but in this case it's just being badly done, along side some incredibly pointless character background changes.

    It strongly feels like nobody involved in the making of this show actually cares about the source material.

    Another rumour I heard is that Cheeri will not be a Dwarf!


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,059 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pixelburp


    Sonics2k wrote: »
    Absolutely agree, though I think it's important to state that his estate (namely Rhianna Pratchett herself) is not involved in this. Its all BBC America.

    https://twitter.com/rhipratchett/status/1172096652603248641

    I'm always up for doing a Gender Swap now and then, but in this case it's just being badly done, along side some incredibly pointless character background changes.

    It strongly feels like nobody involved in the making of this show actually cares about the source material.

    Another rumour I heard is that Cheeri will not be a Dwarf!

    Huh, I had read that the Estate had signed off on this, so I'm just confused now. The absence of Pratchett herself is noteworthy though; those Tweets of her do give off an air of "don't look at me, I didn't have anything to do with it", not exactly a ringing endorsement from her that's for sure.

    Like I said I'm not overly pushed about the gender-flips, even if there are so many & so arbitrary it's hard not to think it's intentional, but more concerned about changing up the characters themselves. CMOT is a pretty beloved side-character, so suddenly becoming this Fagan-esque snitch is lame. If the writers are that flippant about the basic foundation of a character, then presumably they're not bothered about keeping them on their paths form the books.

    But the director/writer combination looked crap from the outset, so casting decisions or not this had always got off on the wrong foot.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,214 ✭✭✭ Sonics2k


    pixelburp wrote: »
    Huh, I had read that the Estate had signed off on this, so I'm just confused now. The absence of Pratchett herself is noteworthy though; those Tweets of her do give off an air of "don't look at me, I didn't have anything to do with it", not exactly a ringing endorsement from her that's for sure.

    Like I said I'm not overly pushed about the gender-flips, even if there are so many & so arbitrary it's hard not to think it's intentional, but more concerned about changing up the characters themselves. CMOT is a pretty beloved side-character, so suddenly becoming this Fagan-esque snitch is lame. If the writers are that flippant about the source, then presumably they're not bothered about keeping them on their paths form the books.

    But the director/writer combination looked crap from the outset, so casting decisions or not this had always got off on the wrong foot.

    I was legitimately excited for this show, Night Watch is up there among my favourite Discworld books, and I've longed dreamed about who I'd cast in various roles from Guards! Guards! onwards.

    Frankly I was hoping to see Charles Dance returned as Vetinari, as I felt he nailed it in Going Postal.

    I saw images recently of Ankh Morpork being re-imagined as some sort of dystopian city, which put in me mind of the god awful Super Mario movie.

    I've always been a firm believer in casting the right actor for the part, but this is honestly one of those times where I feel like they really are pushing the diversity thing and just altering characters.

    Sybil is supposed to be an eccentric, overweight, aging Socialite and the richest person in Ankh. It's the characters very definition and part of what makes her interesting.
    Cheeri is a Dwarf who openly admits to being a female.
    CMOT is a petty crook with an awful sense of venture capitalism. At absolute best the closest he'd have to a Henchman is Detritus or maybe his nephew Saul.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,777 ✭✭✭✭ Gbear


    If you're looking at something very well trodden like Hamlet or Othello, then there's plenty of room to adapt it any way you like. There's been race swapped versions of Othello (with Patrick Stuart possibly?), there's that Baz Luhrmann Romeo and Juliet. So many others on screen and on stage. That's totally fine. Especially if the original author is so old as to be dead hundreds of years, no harm can be done, and if it sucks, it'll only reflect on a bad production.

    But in this case, there hasn't really been any successful adaptations, and worse his family (and to a lesser extent, legions of fans) have known and loved him, and are still around to be hurt by disrespecting the source material in such a way.

    I honestly think it just reflects very poorly on those producing the show. It shows such an arrogance that I find difficult to grasp. Whether or not the show is well made is bedside the point. They have taken something of someone else's and that requires a duty of care, IMO, and they appear to have completely abandoned that.

    That's leaving aside the sheer wankery of gender bending the cast of an author who was as progressive, and had such an amazingly rich and diverse cast of women as Pratchett had. It's infantile.


  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 30,951 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Mickeroo


    I'd generally have no issue with gender swapping characters for adaptations and the like but they're committing a much bigger crime with this in that they have no idea about what made those characters appealing or what they were about in the first place. It's not like Discworld is short on diverse characters either so it seems even more pointless.

    The most frustrating thing is the Watch have amazing potential for a TV adaptation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,214 ✭✭✭ Sonics2k


    Gbear wrote: »

    That's leaving aside the sheer wankery of gender bending the cast of an author who was as progressive, and had such an amazingly rich and diverse cast of women as Pratchett had. It's infantile.

    I think this is actually the part that bothers me the most.

    Pratchett was famed for writing great female characters, even the Subreddit /r/menwritingwomen praises him because he wrote them as actual people, and not sex objects

    https://i.redd.it/eajdr4pkp6n31.jpg

    So what's the point of forcing in new female characters when there's already a great range of them in the cannon?


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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,059 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pixelburp


    Mickeroo wrote: »
    I'd generally have no issue with gender swapping characters for adaptations and the like but they're committing a much bigger crime with this in that they have no idea about what made those characters appealing or what they were about in the first place. It's not like Discworld is short on diverse characters either so it seems even more pointless.

    The most frustrating thing is the Watch have amazing potential for a TV adaptation.

    I wonder if the clue here is that it's BBC America producing the show: because above all else, Pratchett's Ankh-Morpork was a distinctly English-British beast: Lady Sybil as the frumpy, ruddy-cheeked, wellyboot wearing faded socialite was a potent image we (as cultural neighbours) could easily relate to and picture. Sybil was the quintessential lower rung of nobility that had seen better days, but putting that land to good use.

    BBC America, looking probably at a more American or international audience, may have seen that cliché and decided nobody would get it, instead keeping her class but making her a wrong-righting vigilante in some misguided belief it added agency to her character...

    .. Wait, superheroes are in, right? Oh god I just realised: they have turned Lady Sybil into Batman:

    "... Lady Sybil Ramkin, last scion of Ankh-Morpork’s nobility, who’s trying to fix the city’s wrongs with her chaotic vigilantism"

    http://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2019/09/richard-dormer-leads-bbc-americas-next-original-series-the-watch


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