BBC America Brings Pratchett’s The Watch to Life

Fans of Sir Terry Pratchett are vehemently protective of the worlds he creates. One, in particular, Discworld, is a place of mystical beings and magic. With trolls, imps, dragons and wizards, Pratchett wrote about social issues by using the world of fantasy to illustrate social injustice and classism, to name a few. Now, BBC America is bringing The Watch, one of the Discworld volumes, to life. Within this grimy world is a city called Ankh Morpork, full of corruption barely under control by the decrepit police agency The Watch led by Sam Vimes (Richard Dormer). He’s a gnarly, weathered captain who wants nothing but the comfort of the bottle and some peace, but that can never happen in a city run by thieves and assassins.

His is a story of regret. When they were both fresh new officers at The Watch, Vimes and his best friend Carcer are torn apart by betrayal, and Vimes thinks he is the cause of Carcer’s demise. When he sees what he believes to be Carcer’s doppelganger 20 years later, Vimes, along with a new constable and the motley crew of Watch misfits, search for the truth.

If you’re a fan of the wit of Dr. Who with a large helping of potty mouth (there are a few Dr. Who writing alumni working on this show), The Watch will be a fun ride. The AAFCA gave us critics a chance to chat with Lara Rossi, who plays Lady Sybil Ramkin, Vimes’ right-hand woman with her own agenda and dragons at her fingertips, and Samuel Adewunmi, who plays the mysterious and powerful Carcer. His character will provoke the most controversy because there is nothing to redeem with his ruthless nature in the book, but in the show, Adewunmi creates something more complex with Carcer and his tormented soul.

During the interview, Rossi and Adewunmi gave us insight on how they kept things light on set with the darker subject matter of betrayal and magic, their influences for the characters they played and what they wanted to do next. It was refreshing to hear about their process of creating and becoming such fantastical characters, and they both expressed how much the cast and crew enjoyed working together on the show. check out the interview here:

I thought the show was entertaining, and I loved seeing characters who break out of formulaic stereotypes. I loved Lady Ramkin, and Rossie gives us someone flawed but a woman we can get behind because of her determination and charm.  I haven’t read the books, so I’m not the best person to judge, but I found the plot engaging, and anything that gives POC and non-binary people a chance to shine and work with characters outside of the box is right in my eyes.

If you want to see wonderful creature makeup, gorgeous sets and darkly funny dialogue, check out The Watch on BBC America on January 3, 2021.

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