At long last, the BBC series ‘The Watch’ is almost here. Inspired by Terry Pratchett’s best-selling ‘Discworld’ book series, ‘The Watch’ follows a ragtag group of police officers that patrol the streets of Ankh-Morpork, the largest metropolis on Discworld, teeming with dwarves, trolls, the undead, and other mystical inhabitants. The officers sometimes struggle to maintain order with limited resources and lack of support.
In the books, and on the book covers, the inhabitants of Discworld have a more old-fashioned appearance with armor pieces and such, but for the TV show, the aesthetic has been modernized.
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In the beginning, The Watch was divided into the more refined Day Watch, and the ragamuffin Night Watch, headed up by the alcoholic Captain Vimes. Above, you can see Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion from ‘Game of Thrones’) as Vimes, alongside Marama Corlett (‘Blood Drive’, ‘Sick Note’) as Corporal Angua von Überwald, a vegetarian werewolf in the books, who is also the first woman to join the Day Watch. In the books, at least in the beginning, she seemed to be described as more of a bombshell, but for the show, it looks as though a more rough and tumble approach has been taken.
Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson’s arrival kicks off a chain of events in the books. Played by Adam Hugill (‘1917’), he is a human raised by dwarves, a difference he never realized, despite towering several feet over the rest of his people. His dwarf father feels it is a good idea for him to become familiar with his human side and sends him to Ankh-Morpork. Carrot is fastidious, old-fashioned, and somewhat awkward.
Jo Eaton-Kent (‘Don’t Forget the Driver’) appears as Constable Cheery Littlebottom, a dwarf in the novels. Cheery is the forensics specialist. On the show, Cheery has been changed to a non-binary human that was raised by dwarves.
The villains appear to be more evocative of the traditional fantasy origins of the books. Sam Adewunmi (‘The Last Tree’) as Carcer Dun, a major villain in the books, a serial killer with no conscience. His henchmen are plated up in classical suits of armor.
Meanwhile, Lara Rossi (‘Robin Hood’) co-stars as Lady Sybil Ramkin. In the books, she is a wealthy citizen of Ankh-Morpork who eventually marries and has a child with Vimes, but her role has been expanded on TV. She operates as a vigilante attacking the criminals that slip through the City Watch’s fingers.
There will be eight episodes of ‘The Watch’, written by Simon Allen, but it has not been officially classified as a miniseries, so if it proves successful, there could be additional seasons. BBC One has not announced when ‘The Watch’ will arrive, beyond later this year. It will be aired in the US on BBC America.