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News Clickbait Cringe Woke Britain strikes again! It's newest victim - Terry Pratchett

GreyHorace

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Specifically Pratchett's Discworld novels focusing on The Watch.

Our First Look at the Discworld TV Show Is Not What You Were Expecting

BBC America has dropped the first official pictures from The Watch, an eight-episode series that takes the characters of Ankh-Morpork’s City Watch, first introduced in Terry Pratchett’s beloved Guards! Guards! and since went on to star in a series of their own Discworld novels, as they navigate attempting to bring some semblance of law and order to a very lawless and disorderly wonder of a city. But while Discworld might be couched in a more traditional fantasy aesthetic, The Watch looks like a mish-mash of weird, industrial-revolution era history and a more modern sense of style.




You can already see some of the strange intersections of period aesthetic here—Vimes, Angua, and even Carrot, as appropriately dorky as he first looks, all kind of look like extremely chic modern detectives. Gone is the plate armor they’re seen wearing on Discworld book covers, replaced with jackets, ID badges around their necks, and in Angua’s case, some devastatingly smoky eye shadow. But there are interesting period elements woven into those contemporary designs. Under his jacket, Carrot’s got what looks like chainmail and a belted-up tunic, while Vimes’ jacket has got intricate bits of additional padding to give it a more militaristic look.


The clash of old and new becomes even clearer in this picture of Angua and Constable Cheery (above), the Watch’s forensic’s expert. In the books, Cheery is a female dwarf but in the show, Cheery will be presented as non-binary human who was orphaned and raised by dwarves as a child, played by genderfluid actor Jo Eaton-Kent. They’re wearing an extravagant mix of more casual wear akin to the rest of the Watch, but under a leather armored vest.


Our first look at two major antagonists in the series looks a little more evocative of the traditional fantasy you might have been expecting, however.

Above you can see Sam Adewunmi as Carcer Dun, flanked by guards in bulky armor that’s a cross between platemail and police riot gear, wielding crossbows. Dun is Vimes’ archnemesis in Night Watch, a serial killer adamant of his innocence despite a litany of crimes to his name.
Note that in the books, Carcer Dun was a white dude but here he's become a black guy who claims he's being unfairly persecuted by the law. Subtle political messaging much?



Meanwhile, below you can see Lara Rossi as Lady Sybil Ramkin. Her role is being expanded for the show—in the books, she eventually becomes romantically intertwined with Vimes and marries him—where she’s being described as a member of the City’s noble classes, who has turned to vigilantism to go after the criminals the Watch no longer has the power to pursue themselves. As you can see here, that vigilantism is, well...fiery.
While Lady Sybil, who was an old woman in the books, is now a thin young woman with red hair.

Great going Britain. You shit on the legacy of one your greatest writers by bastardizing one of his most beloved works to conform to your current day woke agenda. I haven't yet read all the Discworld books but those that I did have been nothing short of incredible (Hogfather being my favorite).

*sighs* At least Amazon's adaptation of Good Omens came out great. This looks like it'll bomb much like the current season of Doctor Who.
 

poppabk

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Looks good to me. I thought this was going to be some social media attack for some perceived racist or sexist thing he had written 30 years ago. Changing characters in a TV show is whatever, will wait to see if it is any good or not.
 
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Weiji

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I don't get BBC America, like.. don't we fund the BBC? Why do they have studio and staff out in the US, making content for the US?
Because propaganda is just as useful outside your country as in it.
 

cryptoadam

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I guess I will have to take your word for it because I have no idea about any of this or what I am looking at.

All though I do get a chuckle out of gender fluid actor. Just pick a side damn it.
 
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Stilton Disco

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Well this looks like an absolute abomination that pisses on the source material from a great height.

Fuck every single person involved with this. Cheery Littlebottom in particular is just fucking awful.
 
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Kadayi

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Never a huge Pratchett fan, so I'm somewhat indifferent to the changes, but I wouldn't be surprised if this turns out to be another clusterfuck.
 
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DKehoe

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I haven't yet read all the Discworld books but those that I did have been nothing short of incredible (Hogfather being my favorite).
You should, they're a lot of fun. Although I've not read them all either yet. And agreed about Hogfather, it's great. Mort is always a favourite of mine since it was the one I started with. Although if the "woke" stuff annoys you then it's probably not the series for you.

Discworld has had trans characters and people talking about stuff like pronouns for years. I did a quick search to check and Feet Of Clay did and that came out in 1996. Maybe there's something earlier than that. Also Pratchett’s work was political, so I don’t get complaining about that.

While looking I came across this interview quote with him being asked about including trans characters and themes in his books. According to Pratchett, in Discworld Dwarves are basically gender fluid. So casting someone who identifies as that makes sense.

Interviewer: Why did you choose transgender topics (the female dwarfs striving to become recognized as female, the drag queens in "The Last Continent" , Sergeant Nobbs explorations of his female side in the recent books)? Was this motivated by political activism of your side for gay or transgender rights, personal experiences or you being witness of struggles of transgendered [sic] friends or relatives?

Terry Pratchett: None of the above. The dwarfish issue arose originally out of the established fact that fantasy/folklore rarely deals with female dwarfs and acts as if they don't exist. Ergo, females dwarfs exist and look like male dwarfs, ergo, their society does not differentiate between the sexes once the kids are weaned, ergo this society is going to [be] very interesting to write about when it comes into contact with human society. I have to admit that unfolding it, and exploring the issues in my own mind, has been fascinating.

Nobby? Well, Nobby...is exploring the wonderful world of being Nobby. I've never though of him as gay; in fact, given his general repulsiveness, he probably doesn't even get much of a chance to be straight :)

And the 'Priscilla' take-off in TLC was because a) it's a really great Australian movie and b) as a frequent visitor to Oz I'm always amused at how firmly rooted gay culture appears to be there. And there were 'run on' jokes, since as Rincewind's complete failure to understand what's going on, and the poor girl who's joined the trio to replace her brother...

The people I know who are gay (and one transgendered, I think -- like the dwarfs, I don't ask people what they're not prepared to volunteer) are mostly within SF/fantasy fandom which appears, at least, to be quite amiable about people's sexuality so long as they don't act like a jerk.
The look of the show is an odd choice though. Not how I ever pictured Ankh-Morpork or how I’ve seen anyone depict it before. But I’ll give it a watch to see what it’s like.

I don't get BBC America, like.. don't we fund the BBC? Why do they have studio and staff out in the US, making content for the US?
I may be mistaken but I believe the license fee doesn’t pay for BBC America.
 
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Cybrwzrd

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Oh and they gender swapped Lord Vetinari as well
You could probably hook some cables up to Pratchett's grave and power all of Britain from how fast he is spinning.
 
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Mossybrew

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What? Stuff always changes for an adaptation. I became a Discworld fan 25+ years ago and have read every Night Watch themed book. This looks pretty cool and Im willing to give it a chance, you dorks and your Wokefear, Jesus guys you just come off like old men yelling at clouds.
 
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Contica

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Pratchett camp has already distanced itself from this quite harshly.

Regardless of the quality of the final product, if you're gonna stray so far from the source that it's no longer recognizable, why bother? Why no make something new? Why make something destined to piss off millions of fans?

Pratchett was pretty forward thinking to begin with. It's not like Discworld lacked diversity in any way.
 

Stiflers Mom

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Hmm, if it's better than the other Pratchett inspired shows I have seen..
They have all been unwatchable tripe so far to me.
 

DiscoJer

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I thought the Hogfather adaption was pretty good.

I was a fan of Discworld early on, but the later novels seem almost like fascist power fantasies, with Vetinari the good dicatator who puts the right men in charge of the post office, making money, railways (okay, same guy, actually).
 

jdforge

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I don't get BBC America, like.. don't we fund the BBC? Why do they have studio and staff out in the US, making content for the US?
Aren’t they preparing for life after the TV license is scrapped?

That’s my thinking of it anyway.
 
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I'll give BBC America a benefit of doubt.

Both BBC UK and BBC America did their own adaptations of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.
The UK adaptation was faithful to the book and was OK but not anything memorable.
The US adaptation took the premise and the character and a bunch of liberties to great effect and ended up with something in the right spirit but new to fans of the source material. Shame it only had 2 seasons.
 

Scotty W

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What? Stuff always changes for an adaptation. I became a Discworld fan 25+ years ago and have read every Night Watch themed book. This looks pretty cool and Im willing to give it a chance, you dorks and your Wokefear, Jesus guys you just come off like old men yelling at clouds.
 

Scotty W

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Sep 29, 2019
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What? Stuff always changes for an adaptation. I became a Discworld fan 25+ years ago and have read every Night Watch themed book. This looks pretty cool and Im willing to give it a chance, you dorks and your Wokefear, Jesus guys you just come off like old men yelling at clouds.