BBC America Orders Terry Pratchett-Inspired Series The Watch

Terry Pratchett Discworld

The works of the late author Sir Terry Pratchett are set to begin flooding the small screen, as BBC America announces it has greenlit The Watch, a new scripted drama inspired by the Discworld series of books. Another of Pratchett’s work, Good Omens, his collaboration with fellow prolific author Neil Gaiman, is set to stream on Amazon later this year, as a (supposedly) limited series starring the likes of Michael Sheen, David Tennant, Jon Hamm, Mireille Enos, and more. 

Though Good Omens is more of a direct adaptation, one that’s being directly overseen by Gaiman, it looks as though BBC America’s plans for The Watch will take a more indirect approach, making use of the phrase “inspired by,” so as not to incite the ire of the Pratchett faithful in response to the news of this new series. What, however, that means for the conceit of the show is another matter altogether. Thankfully, however, BBC America has an explanation on hand. 

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The series is written by Simon Allen (The Musketeers) and executive produced by Hilary Salmon (Luther), and derives its concept from the ‘City Watch’ branch of the Discworld novels. You can read a full synopsis of the series below: 

The Watch is a punk rock thriller inspired by the legendary ‘City Watch’ subset of “Discworld” novels. This disruptive, character-driven thriller centers on Terry 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. Modern and inclusive, The Watch features many famous “Discworld” creations including City Watch Captain Sam Vimes, the last scion of nobility Lady Sybil Ramkin, the naïve but heroic Carrot, the mysterious Angua and the ingenious non-binary forensics expert Cheery together with Terry Pratchett’s iconic characterization of Death.”

It looks as though the series is fairly far along, with a list of main characters and descriptions of the roles they’ll play as the narrative unfolds. Though fans of Pratchett will likely want to know just how much the new series aims to capture the tone and spirit of the author’s work. Allen seems to have an answer for them when he says, “With events in our own world making the insanity of ‘Discworld’ seem outrageously familiar, there couldn’t be a better time to bring Terry’s fun, fire and fury back to the small screen.” With that being said, BBC America may well have a new genre hit on its hands. 

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The Watch does not yet have a premiere date.

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