The casting of several of its important characters for fantasy crime series The Watch has announced. The series is based on several of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, a saga of mostly standalone comedic fantasy novels set on a flat world that sits atop the backs of four elephants who stand on the shell of a turtle.
The fantasy alt-reality of the Discworld series is one that simultaneously plays straight and subverts the traditional tropes of the genre, involving the likes of heroes, villains, witches, wizards, dragons, magic, barbarians and monsters, the humor of which is often used as an allegory to explore a wide range of social issues. The Watch books are one of the major subsets of the series, following the adventures of the ever-expanding City Watch of hopelessly corrupt metropolis Ankh-Morpork, and the TV series will see how the titular misfit group of lawkeepers cope when crime in the city is legalized.
According to THR, casting for the series consists of Richard Dormer (Game of Thrones’ Beric Dondarrion) as central character Sam Vimes, the Watch’s working-class captain, a cynical drunk and self-professed bastard; Adam Hugill as Carrot Ironfounderson, a human raised by dwarves and a naive new recruit with idealistic views on what being a watchman will entail; Marama Corlett (Blood Drive; Sinbad) as Corporal Angua, a woman who hides a secret and is tasked with training Carrot and preventing his cluelessness from getting him killed; Jo Eaton-Kent as Constable Cheery Littlebottom, a non-binary dwarven forensics expert; Lara Rossi (Robin Hood) as Lady Sybil Ramkin, the city’s last remaining claim to nobility, who attempts to fix the city’s crime problems via the chaos of vigilantism; and Sam Adewunmi as Carcer Dun, a ruthless criminal intent on taking control of the city and extracting revenge on a perceived wrong inflicted upon him.
The brief details revealed about the characters make it clear that the series will be its own thing rather than directly adapting the novels in sequence. Angua being the one to train Carrot is a significant departure, since when she was introduced in the second Watch novel Men at Arms, Carrot was already a corporal, having made his debut in the initial entry Guards! Guards! Likewise, the criminal Carcer is the primary antagonist of Night Watch, the sixth in the Watch series that was published some 13 years after the first.
The Watch novels are generally some of the more (relatively) serious of the Discworld books since their plots primarily deal with crime, but through the filter of a genre medium also tackle issues such as morality, prejudice, racism, sexism and identity. When the TV series was being developed before Pratchett’s death in 2015, the man himself described it as “Pratchett-style CSI,” while a statement from Narrativia, a production company set up to handle the rights to all of Pratchett’s works, described it as a “punk rock thriller.” Although the casting details reveal that some changes are being made in the adaptation of The Watch, the character descriptions assure fans that the series will still fundamentally be the same beast that they have come to love over the years of reading the books.