Some time ago I was surprised to read about a TV show being produced based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series of novels. As a big fan of Terry’s writing (particularly the Discworld series), I was both excited and apprehensive about this. Excited because I’d enjoyed previous adaptations of Discworld novels, and apprenhensive because this new show was being produced after Terry’s death, and previously he’d been closely consulted on TV adaptations.
My apprehension only rose further when I read that the series “The Watch” was essentially only a Discworld story because it shared the names of characters with some of the Discworld novels. Terry’s daughter Rhianna went so far as to say that the show shared no DNA with her father’s books. That, along with other criticisms of the show, dampened my enthusiasm to watch it. Still, when it became available on Stan I thought I’d watch the first episode to see what I thought of it.
My first impression is that it is indeed nothing like the material it is inspired by. There have been changes, some quite drastic, made to the characters and setting, and the story line is a bizarre mishmash of existing Discworld novels, where it follows anything from the books. Having said all that, I have actually been enjoying it, despite the radical changes.
In fact, I think that the changes are a good thing, as I’m not sitting there comparing it to the source material constantly, and being disappointed when it is inevitably wrong. Rather, I am (mostly) delighted by a little nod to the books thrown in here and there. The exception to this is some dialog which uses lines straight from the book, which seem wildly out of place.
Honestly, I think the best way of thinking about “The Watch” is to consider it a trip down the trouser legs of time to an alternative universe Discworld, where things are almost, but not quite, the same as the novels. Having now watched 6 episodes, I’m finding the story intriguing, and the changes to the characters refreshing. I can understand why die-hard fans of Discworld would be unhappy with the series, but I think it’s worth just accepting it for what it is and enjoying it.
I like messing with stuff and seeing what I can make it do. Computers, electronics, photography are my main hobbies, but I also enjoy bike riding, gel blasting and music.