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The Watch - New Not-So-Discworld Series


JohnC
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On 17/01/2020 at 23:00, Chindie said:

Narrativia, Pratchett's production company run by his daughter and his old PA, are co-producers on the series I believe. If that's the case, either their criticism is a little hollow or the company is just a shell to farm out the rights once in a while and it doesn't really have much say in what happens after that, in which case criticising something they're producers in as being unrecognisable to the works they look after makes a bit more sense.


I know Rhi through her time in the games industry, what she said about this one on FB was the deal was done a long time ago, when her father was still alive, I think she mentions 2012.  Her & Rob are not involved, and don’t get sign off on things.  IP holders rarely get sign off in how the work is adapted, that all comes down to the deal to produce it.

 

I think deals like that announced this year are responses the deals like this one, where they will have more control/input into the adaptation.

 

https://www.thebookseller.com/news/narrativia-strikes-deal-bring-pratchetts-discworld-tv-1200995

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  • 1 month later...

In the replies, Rhianna Pratchett has linked to this:

 

https://discworldmonthly.co.uk/terrypratchett_thewatchseries.php

 

Quote

So how did the City Watch get changed so drastically for The Watch?

 

The original plan back in 2012 was that these would be original stories written with input from Rhianna and at the time Terry himself and they would have been canon. If someone died in the TV series, they could never come back in the books, and the other way around.

Complications came in when Terry died. Clauses that would have stated Terry Pratchett had any form of input into the series would have no standing anymore as Terry Pratchett was no longer here. Terry Pratchett and Narrativia are two different entities on paper, so what allowed one to do things, it didn't allow the other to carry on once Terry had died.

 

When Terry did the deal originally with the BBC, the team they had dealing with it was a completely different one to the team that has now made the series and as a result have negated any real input that Terry gave them when he was alive.

 

So why did Rhianna sign off on it then?

 

Rhianna stepped away from the project a long time ago to concentrate on other things such as her own writing career. Rob Wilkins is a fellow director at Narrativia and he handles most of the workload.

She didn't sign off on The Watch and neither did Rob Wilkins (see Rhianna's tweet above).

 

Intellectual Property holders don't get sign off on anything generally unless they are the showrunners (as Neil Gaiman was with Good Omens). They can have discussions with the production team but the production team don't have to listen. They certainly don't have creative control of the production in any way, shape or form.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

It's like the discworld has been put through the worst hipster lens. By people who aren't hipsters trying desperately to work out what they think the kidz would like. 

 

Probably the first time I'm glad Terry Pratchett is dead.

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Watching the various clips, there’s definitely something there. It’s got a similar sort of chunkiness to the feel of it that could work...Honestly if Terry was still alive I’m sure everyone would watch the first couple of episodes and broadly forget about it until an in-joke appeared in a footnote in a couple of novel’s time. And we’d lol, and some people would do some cosplay and that’d be that.
 

But he’s not alive. There’s not going to be a joke in a future novel, there’s not going to be a rolling of eyes at a press conference. He’s gone and his death has given people who haven’t read the books a glance of the love people had for him and his work. They’ve bought a couple of them on their kindle and not got around to reading it yet and instead they’re going to watch this. And there will be enough of them to justify the budget, and it’ll be a success. But it isn’t the thing that we all loved and all wanted other people to love, and it feels like watching this will put them off. Clearly it’s put off Rhianna. 
 

It’s probably something that should be anger inducing, but honestly it’s just sad. Sad that he’s gone, sad that Rhianna and Rob are uninvolved but also having to defend themselves, sad that it’s probably the last time it’ll be attempted, sad that it wasn’t done properly and mostly it’s sad because it could have been joyous. 2020 strikes again.

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Holy fuck that trailer is a disaster.

 

Vimes doesn't wear eyeliner. The guy hates all pomp and wear shirts till they are see through. Why is he in a band with rocks in it?

Everything about that trailer looks abysmal.

 

They also release a short clip of death and Vimes meeting. Only certain magic users and people who have actually died meet Death and also Death doesn't chuckle!!!

 

https://twitter.com/TheWatch/status/1314617651042365440

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1 minute ago, Doctor Shark said:

Also, imagine taking a well known and beloved property and the first thing you do is do everything you possibly can to alienate your existing fanbase. 

That is what I don't understand.

 

Why would you change the stories when you have so much to access. Making Lady Sybil a vigilante is fucking bonkers. I wanted to see her looking after the cute dragons who explode when they get nervous and not being used as A FUCKING GUN!!

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1 minute ago, Phelan said:

That is what I don't understand.

 

Why would you change the stories when you have so much to access. Making Lady Sybil a vigilante is fucking bonkers. I wanted to see her looking after the cute dragons who explode when they get nervous and not being used as A FUCKING GUN!!

 

Sam uses a dragon as a makeshift gun (gonne) in Guards Guards. There, in his nightie and fluffy slippers :lol:

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4 minutes ago, Doctor Shark said:

 

Sam uses a dragon as a makeshift gun (gonne) in Guards Guards. There, in his nightie and fluffy slippers :lol:

Yes but all the dragons are big and not handgun sized like the one she has.

 

Swamp dragons aren't tiny.

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I'd not been too bothered about this adaptation because I've not enjoyed any of the attempts to do Pratchett on TV which have tried to be wacky fantasy, and at least it looked like they were trying to do something different and interesting with the source material.

 

But now I've seen that trailer, christ. I think it might be specifically because they seem to have fucked about with Vimes, who is such a strongly realised character in the books and who seems very much like Pratchett's personal Discworld proxy, that it feels like such an egregious affront. Making him a pantomime drunk is such a bafflingly shit decision. And like @Rev has said, it's really sad to think that this will be anyone's introduction to the Watch stories, which are arguably Pratchett's best stuff. 

 

What a pity. They clearly had a budget, and good actors, and utterly fantastic source material. It looks like they've squandered the lot.

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