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Author Topic: The Watch  (Read 1915 times)
Reg
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on: October 13, 2020, 08:19:03 AM

This is a BBC America adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Night Watch. Airing in January 2021. They have the right to adapt other disc world stories so I hope they do this one justice.

https://comicbook.com/tv-shows/news/the-watch-trailer-bbc-discworld-series-tv-show/
Khaldun
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Reply #1 on: October 15, 2020, 05:41:19 PM

By all accounts, they don't--there are tons of people who are pissed off and it doesn't seem an entirely Twitterish annoyance. Among other things, they went out of their way to remove any credit to Pratchett himself, which just seems churlish.
Quinton
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Reply #2 on: October 15, 2020, 06:31:06 PM

The books centered on The Watch arr most of my favorites of Pratchett's discworld stuff and based on the trailer and various reporting, they seem to have radically departed from the source material in a number of ways.  It's possible this might still be a fun show, but i suspect it's not going to get a lot of love from people who are invested in the original books.
NowhereMan
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Reply #3 on: October 16, 2020, 04:35:38 AM

I have to say that it looked like a pretty radical departure from the Sam Vimes I had in my head. Likewise Carrot seems to look more like how you'd stereotype him from how he acts - which kind of misses the point that he's meant to be a red-haired classically handsome hero character who just happens not to be the main character. I always pictured him as basically Ankh Morpork Captain America who behaves like an awkward nerd.  Making him a lanky geek kind of loses that fun contrast.

"Look at my car. Do you think that was bought with the earnest love of geeks?" - HaemishM
Reg
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Reply #4 on: October 16, 2020, 05:07:08 AM

I pretty much agree with all of you. I'll still give it a chance though. How did they try to take credit away from Pratchett? And Vimes isn't at all the way I envisioned him either.
Phildo
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Reply #5 on: October 16, 2020, 08:36:40 AM

No Nobby and Colon?  Boo.
Khaldun
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Reply #6 on: October 16, 2020, 08:44:49 AM

Pratchett's daughter tweeted about it--that the credits have the showrunner as "creator of The Watch", apparently his Instagram is even more aggressive about not even mentioning Pratchett at all.
Reg
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Reply #7 on: October 18, 2020, 05:25:21 AM

That's truly offensive. If I'd known that I never would have even brought up the show here. I guess Neil Gaiman is the only one who can do Pratchett shows with any degree of respect or accuracy.
DevilsAdvocate25
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Reply #8 on: January 04, 2021, 02:11:15 PM

I watched the first two episodes this past Sunday. I liked them. I haven't read the books, just the first two in the Discworld series.

The title sequence says that it is "loosely based" on characters created by Terry Pratchett, so he does get credit.

The main characters are:

Sam Vimes - Human street rat, turned cop then Captain of the Watch
Augra - Small woman who is a Werewolf
Carrot - a human raised by Dwarves, new recruit, dedicated and a quick study
Cheery - a trans person, head of forensics (the internet says Cheery is a Dwarf, but she is taller than pretty much everyone except the Troll and doesn't have a beard)
Detritus - a Troll, sergeant of the watch
Lady Sibyl Ramkin - a human with a tiny pet dragon, offered membership in the Watch to help solve the initial crime.

The main villain of the first two episodes is Carcer Dun, a friend turned foe from Sam's past.

It is showing on both BBC America and AMC+.
Khaldun
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Reply #9 on: January 04, 2021, 02:55:30 PM

Probably a response to the outcry--the "loosely based" is also likely a response to how much is changed from the books.
Reg
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Reply #10 on: January 04, 2021, 03:31:11 PM

Well cool I'll check them out.
NowhereMan
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Reply #11 on: January 04, 2021, 05:16:41 PM

If you get any confusion about internet descriptions of characters, it's probably due to the deviation from the books. I'm not sure if I want to try this or not, I kind of feel that I'm just going to be annoyed by many of the changes from the books.

For reference - in the books Dwarves are basically mono-gendered (they all have beards and wield axes, males/females are not meant to be discussed they're just all dwarves). It's an obvious satire on Tolkein style dwarves where women are never mentioned and when I read it originally I assumed it was a feminist thing but reading it today it comes off as a trans character done through fantasy tropes. I'm not even confident if it was intentional (because intentionally writing trans well rounded trans right stuff in the 90s would be... pretty ahead of the woke curve). That said it addresses gender as distinct from sex and the difficulty of expressing your gender (although in this case it's expressing a gender that goes with your biological sex against a weird fantasy gender norm). So I think it was probably unintentional but I doubt Pratchett would have had a problem with that reading.

I guess arguably it could also be a First>Second wave feminism thing in fantasy tropes. Either way the series clearly wanted her to be trans and didn't want to deal with the confusion of having the Dwarf stuff in there as well.

The Sam Vimes character design also just really rubs me the wrong way. I don't want to judge it for being something it isn't trying to be but I'm not confident I can avoid it.

"Look at my car. Do you think that was bought with the earnest love of geeks?" - HaemishM
Khaldun
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Reply #12 on: January 04, 2021, 06:12:18 PM

Vimes' story arc is a bit like Bronn's in Game of Thrones--drunken bloke rises to nobility through a complicated history of service. He isn't described physically in Guards! Guards! but Pratchett said in interviews that he should be a rougher-looking older man.
NowhereMan
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Reply #13 on: January 05, 2021, 09:14:19 AM

Well the other thing about Vimes is he's an almost supernaturally fair and just man. He's grumpy and disillusioned with the world in general and the Watch as a force for good in particular when we first meet him but his arc is very much someone who's potential is known to Vetinari and rises to prominence because he's a good man who does the right thing and crawl through broken glass to do so.

I feel I should watch it to be fair in criticism but Jack Sparrow is not what I imagined Vimes as, much more Gene Hunt.

"Look at my car. Do you think that was bought with the earnest love of geeks?" - HaemishM
NowhereMan
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Reply #14 on: January 09, 2021, 03:06:30 PM

Well I watched this (or at least watched episode 2) and it's... ok? It actually wasn't hard ignoring the Pratchett influence because none of the characters seem much like I'd imagine apart from the head of the Assassin's guild (who's in it for 10 seconds) and maybe the Arch Chancellor? Otherwise it's an ok urban fantasy thing with Dr. Who low budget episode special effects and looks very by the books in terms of style and tropes. I don't think I could muster the energy to hate it, I might even watch it if I just can't think of anything else to do and lockdown in the UK stretches into March. I'll probably have forgotten it existed by August in that case.

"Look at my car. Do you think that was bought with the earnest love of geeks?" - HaemishM
Tebonas
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Reply #15 on: January 10, 2021, 05:19:28 AM

If you ignore that these people have the same names as Pratchett characters, its an ok show to watch in the background.

If you are a Prachett purist and think this is a Discworld adaptation your blood vessels burst after a few minutes and you are most likely dead.
Phildo
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Reply #16 on: January 10, 2021, 09:19:04 PM

Just watched the first two episodes as well and my biggest takeaway is that it's way too serious and dark.
rattran
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Reply #17 on: January 14, 2021, 12:58:14 AM

Episode 3 is a bit too silly. It's all over the map.

I'll watch some more, but it's certainly not Pratchett, and I'm not sure if it's good. Maybe it'll hit a stride, and settle in.
Teleku
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Reply #18 on: January 15, 2021, 08:52:03 AM

Ugh, based on the trailer and everything you guys are saying, I know I'm not really going to like this.  But I'm a huge Watch fan, so I feel obligated to at least view one episode to see the characters on screen.

Having said that, how the fuck are you guys watching this?  BBC is not really making it clear for streaming options, asking about who my cable provider is....  Is it on any streaming service I can use?  Since, you know, Myanmar and all that.

"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants.  He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."
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DevilsAdvocate25
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Reply #19 on: January 15, 2021, 02:09:47 PM

Ugh, based on the trailer and everything you guys are saying, I know I'm not really going to like this.  But I'm a huge Watch fan, so I feel obligated to at least view one episode to see the characters on screen.

Having said that, how the fuck are you guys watching this?  BBC is not really making it clear for streaming options, asking about who my cable provider is....  Is it on any streaming service I can use?  Since, you know, Myanmar and all that.

I watch it through Sling on BBC America. BBC America also advertises that the show is on AMC+. You may be able to get an app to watch it that way.
rattran
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Unreasonable


Reply #20 on: January 15, 2021, 11:10:01 PM

Hoist the Black Flag, matey.

It's not the Watch. It's some of the same character names/places/other stuff, but it isn't the Watch. If you go in expecting anything like that, you'll hate it.
NowhereMan
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Reply #21 on: January 16, 2021, 04:45:09 AM

Yeah, I cannot stress enough that I love the Watch books and even with all the names being the same I kind of 'forgot' this was meant to be those characters. None of them are like the visions of the characters I had in my head (of the main cast) except maybe Carrot, who still has some of that earnestness about him but the Vimes/Carrot relationship is basically Gene Hunt/Sam Tyler only Gene Hunt is now Capt. Jack Sparrow.

"Look at my car. Do you think that was bought with the earnest love of geeks?" - HaemishM
rattran
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Unreasonable


Reply #22 on: January 16, 2021, 09:53:40 AM

Trying to be grimdark and comedy at the same time has made my wife give up after episode 3.
Reg
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Reply #23 on: January 16, 2021, 06:45:04 PM

I just finished episode 3 myself. And like your wife - I'm out.
MahrinSkel
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Reply #24 on: January 16, 2021, 07:39:25 PM

Dark humor works. Grimdark humor, not so much.

--Dave

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slog
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Reply #25 on: February 02, 2021, 07:49:21 PM

Did anyone watch after episode 3? 

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Phildo
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Reply #26 on: February 02, 2021, 08:20:00 PM

Yeah, it's still strange but at least they did the Sam Vimes Boots Theory of Economics Unfairness.
DevilsAdvocate25
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Reply #27 on: February 03, 2021, 01:21:21 PM

I'm still watching it. I like it. It's absurd and silly with some drama elements. I really like the way Vimes talks.

Our favorite character is Cheery. This last episode had some explanation about beards and dwarves and some back story for Cheery. It also had a "Born This Way" message and a dance video scene.

I thought Angua had the best beard though.

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