The Watch is being described as a "punk rock thriller" inspired by the Discworld novels focused on the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. Those novels include Guards! Guards!, Men at Arms, Feet of Clay, Jingo, The Fifth Elephant, Night Watch, Thud!, and Snuff.
According to BBC America, The Watch will follow a group of "misfit cops as they fight to save a ramshackle city of normalized wrongness from both the past and future in a perilous quest." Discworld characters set to be featured in the series include City Watch Captain Sam Vimes, Lady Sybil Ramkin, Carrot, Angua, Cheery, and Death.
"The Watch has been startlingly reimagined for television by writer Simon Allen, while still cleaving to the humor, heart and ingenuity of Terry Pratchett's incomparably original work," BBC America president Sarah Barnett said in a statement. "BBC America embraces what's fresh and exhilarating in TV; we believe The Watch will astonish audiences."
The Watch is being written by Simon Allen (Strike Back, The Musketeers). Hilary Simon (Luther) and Phil Collinson (Doctor Who) will executive producer.
Pratchett created Discworld in 1983 and wrote over 40 novels in the series before his death in 2016. The series has sold more than 90 million copies worldwide.
During his life, Pratchett was candid about how the sprawling, unfocused nature of Discworld and its many characters made it a challenge to adapt to film or television. Nonetheless, Pratchett's daughter, Rhianna Pratchett, has been working to get The Watch made since at least 2011, at one point planning to co-write the series.
Another of Pratchett's novels is also headed to television. Good Omens, which Pratchett co-wrote with Neil Gaiman, is being adapted for release on Amazon Prime in 2019 with Gaiman himself serving as showrunner.
"Almost thirty years ago, Terry Pratchett and I wrote the funniest novel we could about the end of the world, populated with angels and demons, not to mention an eleven-year-old Antichrist, witchfinders and the four horsepeople of the Apocalypse," Gaiman said of Good Omens when the adaptation was announced. "It became many people's favorite book. Three decades later, it's going to make it to the screen. I can't think of anyone we'd rather make it with than BBC Studios, and I just wish Sir Terry were alive to see it."
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