The Watch heads to BBC iPlayer this July
James R | On 23, Jun 2021
The Watch has found a UK TV home, with BBC Two bagging the rights to the Terry Pratchett adaptation.
From lead writer and executive producer Simon Allen, the modern and inclusive series is inspired by characters from Pratchett’s Discworld universe, including the captain of The City Watch Sam Vimes (Richard Dormer), the last scion of nobility Lady Sybil Ramkin (Lara Rossi), the naïve but heroic Carrot (Adam Hugill), the mysterious Angua (Marama Corlett) and the ingenious forensics expert Cheery (Jo Eaton-Kent) together with The Watch’s own idiosyncratic depiction of Death (voiced by Wendell Pierce).
The Watch follows this unlikely group, The City Watch, who are forced to find the guts to save the world, surprising even themselves in the process. The comedic yet thrilling series pits trolls, werewolves, wizards and other improbable heroes against an evil plot to resurrect a great dragon which would lead to the destruction of life as they know it.
The eight-part series will air on BBC Two this year, but before then will be released on BBC iPlayer as a box set on Thursday 1st July.
The Watch is available on BBC iPlayer until June 2022
The Watch: First trailer lands for BBC America’s Discworld series
10th October 2020
The first trailer has landed for BBC America’s Discworld series The Watch, and it’s not the Discworld fans may recognise.
The Watch follows an unlikely group of misfits, The City Watch, who are forced to find the guts to save the world, surprising even themselves in the process. The comedic series pits trolls, werewolves, wizards and other improbable heroes against an evil plot to resurrect a great dragon which would lead to the destruction of life as they know it. From lead writer and executive producer Simon Allen, the series is inspired by the characters created by Sir Terry Pratchett, including the captain of The City Watch Sam Vimes (Richard Dormer), the last scion of nobility Lady Sybil Ramkin (Lara Rossi), the naïve but heroic Carrot (Adam Hugill), the mysterious Angua (Marama Corlett) and the ingenious forensics expert Cheery (Jo Eaton-Kent).
The cast involved is certainly impressive, with Wendell Pierce now confirmed as playing Death and Matt Berry cast as Wayne, a magical speaking sword. Paul Kaye will also play Inigo Skimmer, aka. The Duke of Stab, a member of the Assassins’ Guild whose long and distinguished career is jeopardized when he runs into The City Watch, while Ralph Ineson (Chernobyl) will voice Sergeant Detritus, a huge troll made of stone and a member of The City Watch. They join Sam Adewunmi (The Last Tree) as Carcer Dun, Anna Chancellor (Pennyworth) as Lord Vetinari, James Fleet (Outlander) as The Archchancellor, Ingrid Oliver (Doctor Who) as Doctor Cruces, Ruth Madeley (Years and Years) as Throat, Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Dynasty) as Captain John Keel and Bianca Simone Mannie (Homeland) as Wonse.
But regardless of the talent involved, the question most Pratchett readers will be asking is how faithful it is to the books. Stokes spoke at New York Comic-Con – watch the panel here – about that expectation, saying: “The books are incredible, but what was very clear from the early 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.”
BBC America will debut the series in the US and announced at NYCC that it will premiere on 3rd January 2021. There’s no word yet on a UK broadcaster, although it’s likely to follow Killing Eve and head to the BBC in the UK too. In the meantime, here’s the trailer to see what the end result will look like:
BBC America’s The Watch expands cast
20th November 2019
Anna Chancellor, James Fleet, Ingrid Oliver, Ruth Madeley, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, and Bianca Simone Mannie have joined the cast of BBC America’s disruptive original series, The Watch, premiering in 2020.
Co-produced by BBC Studios and Narrativia, The Watch is inspired by Sir Terry Pratchett’s bestselling Discworld novels. Set in a fictional city where crime has been legalized, The Watch is a genre-busting series that follows a group of misfit cops as they rise up from decades of helplessness to save their corrupt city from catastrophe. Uniquely anarchic and thrillingly entertaining, the character-driven drama follows several of Sir Terry Pratchett’s best-loved creations on a riotous and emotional odyssey.
Anna Chancellor (Pennyworth) is set to star as Lord Vetinari, The Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, and architect of the city’s normalized wrongness and ramshackle system of governance. James Fleet (Outlander) will play The Archchancellor, a wizard, magical advisor, and the Head of the Unseen University. Ingrid Oliver (Doctor Who) stars as the Head of The Assassins’ Guild, Doctor Cruces. Ruth Madeley (Years and Years) will portray the wiry Throat, the city’s best snitch, with a gang of freelance henchmen at her beck and call. Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Dynasty) will play Captain John Keel, former leader of The Watch and mentor to Sam Vimes, determined to save the corrupt and chaotic city. Bianca Simone Mannie (Homeland) stars as the cunning Wonse, a wizard hopeful in waiting that is frequently underestimated.
Chancellor says: “It’s been so exciting to join such a wonderfully creative team – from writer Simon Allen to the stunning production design and a truly talented group of actors – to help realize Terry Pratchett’s brilliantly anarchic yet strangely real and moving world. With the combining characteristics of Dracula and Elvis – Lord Vetinari has sprung to life in the most alarmingly joyful way.”
Fleet says: “I’m delighted to be playing the Archchancellor. I think the writing and design catch the spirit of Terry Pratchett’s work and create a world of jeopardy and humor.”
Oliver adds: “It’s a joy to be part of The Watch and take on the role of Doctor Cruces. She’s such a fascinating character and pretty badass.”
Madeley comments: “I’m so excited to be part of a world that Sir Terry Pratchett created. The character of Throat was male in the original books so for the team to cast me was extra exciting. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Throat develops and what mischief she can bring.”
The stellar line-up will join the previously announced cast of Richard Dormer (Captain Sam Vimes), Adam Hugill (Constable Carrot), Jo Eaton-Kent (Constable Cheery), Marama Corlett (Corporal Angua), Lara Rossi (Lady Sybil Ramkin), and Sam Adewunmi (Carcer Dun).
Also joining the cast are Brian Kelly (Outlander) and Emma Sullivan (Doctor Who) have joined Craig Viveiros (Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None) as directors for the series. The show’s lead writer is Simon Allen (The Musketeers).
The Watch: Richard Dormer to play Sam Vimes in BBC Discworld series
13th September 2019
Richard Dormer has been cast as Sam Vimes in the new BBC America series based on the Discworld novels.
The irascible police chief in the fantastical city of Ankh-Morpork has long been a fan favourite among readers of Pratchett’s books. Now, he’s being brought to life by the man who gave Sky’s Fortitude its own gruff, dubious sheriff, and Game of Thrones the grizzled fighter Beric Dondarrion.
Captain of band of misfit cops in a city where crime is legal, Vimes will lead The Watch, an eight-episode series that follows the force as it rises up from decades of helplessness to save the city from catastrophe.
“I’m so thrilled to be part of this brilliant madness and mayhem,” Dormer said in a statement. “I was immediately drawn to the multitude of layers to Sam Vimes, and I find the dynamic between him and his band of disenfranchised comrades very compelling.”
Joining Dormer are Adam Hugill (1917), Jo Eaton-Kent (Don’t Forget the Driver), Marama Corlett (Blood Drive), Lara Rossi (Crossing Lines) and Sam Adewunmi (The Last Tree).