Jump to content
rllmuk
Sign in to follow this  
JohnC

The Watch - New Discworld Series

Recommended Posts

19 minutes ago, MDY said:

 

 

 

Oh wow, they're really doing their own thing with it.  Bit more interested now, a straight adaptation from the page would never have matched the Watch books in my head.

 

 

James Fleet is a good pick for Archancellor.  Only one I'm not sure about is Cruces - always thought of the book character as quite elderly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can understand the desire to make the books more diverse as an adaptation (and this is clearly something Pratchett himself started to deal with as the series went on as he added more female characters in), but I hate gender flipping established characters. Just bring in later characters or new ones.

 

Even accepting the gender swap Cruces is miscast imo. He's an elder man, someone who has achieved his position through longevity and respect for his craft.

 

I'm still annoyed about the miscast of Cheery and Sybil, both of which fundamentally miss the point of the characters (especially Cheery).

 

This is going to be shit :(

  • Upvote 1
  • Empathy 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm down with that casting. 

 

I'll at least give em a chance. It would be odd to at not least do that considering Pratchetts strongest characters were all female. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the age of the casting that bothers me, while they are seemly progressive in their casting, Sybil and Cruces seemed to be cast far younger than their characters should be, like someone just wanted to get some hot women in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Chindie said:

I'm still annoyed about the miscast of Cheery and Sybil, both of which fundamentally miss the point of the characters (especially Cheery).

 

This is going to be shit :(

 

 

I'm curious,  why do you think the casting of Cheery misses the point of the character, I assumed they will play it out the same way in the books?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Delargey said:

 

I'm curious,  why do you think the casting of Cheery misses the point of the character, I assumed they will play it out the same way in the books?

They've been very vocal about Cheery being 'gender fluid'.

 

But Cheery isn't gender fluid. She's a woman in a culture that instinctively hides gender. Her entire character is about her embracing femininity in a race that only understands masculinity, and the societal impact of that. She's completely the opposite of gender fluid. She's the embodiment of feminism.

 

Edit - by casting a gender fluid man they warp the point of the character too much. For me the character has to be played by a woman who slowly becomes more openly feminine, it underlines the feminism idea. Whereas going gender fluid and writing it that way and casting an actor of that background swerves the character towards a trans narrative, which she isn't.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking about this today I think my hopes for it are dead. It's going to be a very loose adaptation of a few key storylines, with characters taken in different directions. It's going to end up being a skin on something else to sell it. I get the whiff already that's going to be a bit shit, a bit one series and cancelled.

 

It's a shame because there's merit in a crime of the week style show with the Watch characters imo. It's a good way to adapt something beloved without going for a full on film style faithful take, and the characters, style and theme lend themselves to it very well (even taking it as a satire of cop shows is very much Pratchett's thing). But the suspicion is rather that the writers think they know better so have messed around with characters to fit their own vision of things, even if that means those characters become little more than a name. I don't see why you need Sybil to be a vigilante. I can see why you'd want to take the Sybil of later books, but that's true of everyone. I don't see why Cheery needs to be made gender fluid, when her character, her plot, is burgeoning feminism in a repressed society. I don't see what flipping a character who is the head of a guild, a position you would need to earn through respect, ability, gravitas, needs to be a hot young woman, I don't know why Throat is basically a different character. Etc etc.

 

I'm kinda disappointed that Narrativia are seemingly ok with that. The money can't have dried up this fast.

 

...fuck. I just really want a faithful, decent budget Discworld adaptation.

  • Upvote 3
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think your jumping to conclusions slightly with some of the casting, Cheery is being played by an actor who is gender fluid, but that doesn't mean the character will be. Cheery is introduced as male to the reader so casting a woman may give away the eventual reveal of her character.                                                                                                        I think the gender flip of Vetinari could work very well as the character represents a fundamental change in the status quo of AM

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Chindie said:

 I don't see what flipping a character who is the head of a guild, a position you would need to earn through respect, ability, gravitas, needs to be a hot young woman.

 

The gender flipping of the character doesn't stop them from having any of the qualities that you listed, (after all, Mrs Palm and Queen Molly where both prominent guild leaders, and within the series the Assassins Guild mentions female members of both low and high rank) it's the age that seems I'll judged, just as if they had cast a hot young six packed man for Cruces.

 

The casting feels quite sexist rather than progressive to me, almost as if they are casting for the male gaze rather than because they want greater presentation for women.

 

Really the only young, attractive people in the series should be Carrot and Angua, everyone else should look as though they have been on Eastenders for 20 years 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Chindie said:

Thinking about this today I think my hopes for it are dead.

Can things no longer be okay? It's either got to be fantastic or it's shit. Let alone proclaiming your judgment before you even see what it's like. 

 

Personally I'm glad it looks like they are doing something different with it, Om knows they'd be fighting against a Detritus* trying to Librarian** Pratchett.

 

*Brick wall

**Ape

 

;)

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Delargey said:

I think your jumping to conclusions slightly with some of the casting, Cheery is being played by an actor who is gender fluid, but that doesn't mean the character will be. Cheery is introduced as male to the reader so casting a woman may give away the eventual reveal of her character.                                                                                                        I think the gender flip of Vetinari could work very well as the character represents a fundamental change in the status quo of AM

 


I really like the idea of Vetinari being played by Anna Chancellor. There’s no need for the role to be played by a man at all: the only scene in any of the books where it’d have mattered one way or another would be one between Vetinari and Weatherwax comparing notes on how they manipulate the shit out of everyone around them - and although I assume that scene exists in Maskerade, I can’t actually recall it.

 

(and if it does exist, it’s probably just both of them raising eyebrows in recognition)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Delargey said:

I think your jumping to conclusions slightly with some of the casting, Cheery is being played by an actor who is gender fluid, but that doesn't mean the character will be. Cheery is introduced as male to the reader so casting a woman may give away the eventual reveal of her character.                                                                                                        I think the gender flip of Vetinari could work very well as the character represents a fundamental change in the status quo of AM

 

 

With Cheery I don't think they would be mentioning the gender fluid thing and specifically hiring a gender fluid actor if they weren't going to spin it that way. If they don't, I'm happier, although I still think having a gender fluid man playing her changes the dynamic of her character from feminism to trans/non binary focused. Which is fine, it's just not something that relates to Cheery.

 

I'm not that concerned about Vetinari. It could work. It wouldn't be my personal take, as a fan I'm more beholden to being faithful than to poke at the dimensions of the character.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Delargey said:

 

The gender flipping of the character doesn't stop them from having any of the qualities that you listed, (after all, Mrs Palm and Queen Molly where both prominent guild leaders, and within the series the Assassins Guild mentions female members of both low and high rank) it's the age that seems I'll judged, just as if they had cast a hot young six packed man for Cruces.

 

The casting feels quite sexist rather than progressive to me, almost as if they are casting for the male gaze rather than because they want greater presentation for women.

 

Really the only young, attractive people in the series should be Carrot and Angua, everyone else should look as though they have been on Eastenders for 20 years 

 

I think I've misspoken here as I don't disagree at all. Again with Cruces I'm not bothered about a gender swap. It wouldn't be how I'd do it but it wouldn't push me away either. My issue is the age and type of actress they've gone for. Cruces has to be older, the nature of a guild head is of someone who has risen above their peers and gained their respect, which inevitably in most cases is going to be an older person. Casting a young person doesn't work for that.

 

It does very much feel like them wanting to bump the eye candy factor.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Danster said:

Can things no longer be okay? It's either got to be fantastic or it's shit. Let alone proclaiming your judgment before you even see what it's like. 

 

Personally I'm glad it looks like they are doing something different with it, Om knows they'd be fighting against a Detritus* trying to Librarian** Pratchett.

 

*Brick wall

**Ape

 

;)

 

 

 

 

I'm a fan of the Disc. A huge fan. There's things here that ring alarm bells for me. Changing characters wholesale, in more than just aesthetics, changing the point of characters, tinkering with the fundamentals... It feels off, like the writers are using the skin of something beloved to do something else, which I never like. And certainly as a fan I don't. The books are gospel. I don't have much issue with taking the characters and doing something faithful but new with them in a new medium - having new adventures with those characters, showing more of the day to day life of those characters, etc etc.  I'm not even that bothered with gender flips in an adaptation, where it isn't fundamental to a character or of who they are (Vimes as a woman I don't think works for instance, Angua as a man is a different kind of character etc etc).

 

This just whiffs of something that isn't that interested in being faithful.

 

I take the point that trying to ape Pratchett is a fools errand.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Chindie said:

 

With Cheery I don't think they would be mentioning the gender fluid thing and specifically hiring a gender fluid actor if they weren't going to spin it that way. If they don't, I'm happier, although I still think having a gender fluid man playing her changes the dynamic of her character from feminism to trans/non binary focused. Which is fine, it's just not something that relates to Cheery.

 

I'm not that concerned about Vetinari. It could work. It wouldn't be my personal take, as a fan I'm more beholden to being faithful than to poke at the dimensions of the character.

 

I'm not entirely sure that book Cheery  Cheri would work all that well on screen.  She was a feminist character, but the deeper examination of that relied mostly on her inner monologue and the narrator.  On the physical, filmable side of things she asserts her gender identity by starting to wear lipstick, high-heeled boots and carrying a purse, and Pratchett creates a Bearded Lady comedic image which I'm not really sure would fly particularly well on TV.  There are some very sweet moments when other female dwarfs start to find strength and solidarity in her example, but making her a gender-fluid character probably reflects the gender debate of today a little more relevantly and with a little more sensitivity, don't you think?

 

I suppose they could transfer some of the inner monologue & narrator stuff to conversations between her & Angua but this is British fantasy TV, there's no room for slow character-building scenes :P

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PK said:

 

I'm not entirely sure that book Cheery  Cheri would work all that well on screen.  She was a feminist character, but the deeper examination of that relied mostly on her inner monologue and the narrator.  On the physical, filmable side of things she asserts her gender identity by starting to wear lipstick, high-heeled boots and carrying a purse, and Pratchett creates a Bearded Lady comedic image which I'm not really sure would fly particularly well on TV.  There are some very sweet moments when other female dwarfs start to find strength and solidarity in her example, but making her a gender-fluid character probably reflects the gender debate of today a little more relevantly and with a little more sensitivity, don't you think?

 

I suppose they could transfer some of the inner monologue & narrator stuff to conversations between her & Angua but this is British fantasy TV, there's no room for slow character-building scenes :P

 

 

I think Cheery is doable on screen and without going to the bearded lady gag. You would need to follow the kind of style Kidby drew her, which plays more to the idea of what someone with a beard would do if they were a woman (answer - make the beard an extension of the hair and styling it likewise). You would have to do her plot as a running theme for her through the episodes but that is an issue either way you go.

 

I'm not sure that there's a hierarchy of relevance between feminism and trans issues, and even if there was it wouldn't advocate throwing a character's plot away because of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Chindie said:

 

I think Cheery is doable on screen and without going to the bearded lady gag. You would need to follow the kind of style Kidby drew her, which plays more to the idea of what someone with a beard would do if they were a woman (answer - make the beard an extension of the hair and styling it likewise). You would have to do her plot as a running theme for her through the episodes but that is an issue either way you go.

 

I'm not sure that there's a hierarchy of relevance between feminism and trans issues, and even if there was it wouldn't advocate throwing a character's plot away because of it.

 

Sorry, I worded that badly - I mean to say Cheery as a gender-fluid character has more relevance to trans issues than Cheery as a bearded lady gag has to feminism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 19/11/2019 at 18:32, MDY said:

 

 

 

I can't wait for the gender flipped Granny Weatherwax. 

 

Vetinari sort of eludes to Italian City States, Roman Emperors and Machiavelli. Sure you can make a female version and make have the same characteristics, but you are somewhat missing the point. 

 

I was going to say I dislike gender swapping characters, but that's not true. I thought Starbuck in BSG was great. But I didn't really care about the original. Partly it's just immensely hard letting go of the character in your head you've had for an age. But part of it is I think it works best when you are constructing a significantly different thing than what went before. But I don't want that. I'd just like a good, straight adaption of the books. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure people will still be able to get the machiavellian references even if vetinari is a woman. With Some characters I'd baulk if they gender swapped, like Granny Weatherwax, but the tropes about witches and fairy godmothers play a big part in her plot lines so it would take a lot more work to swap that character. 

 

Some of the casting choices seem pretty rubbish and make me wonder just how much the show runners have a handle on the characters, but Ventinari's gender really doesn't matter.

 

I get the love for pterrys work, but every 'straight' adaptation, even, Good Omens comes across as unbearably twee. I think the subtleties of his writing and humor just don't translate to screen. 

 

So I'm hoping that they don't try to mimic him to closely and instead just use his characters and plots, I don't have super high Hope's but I'll see what they do with it.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This re-imagining/based on is an artistically intersting project - I'll watch it with the books firmly out of my mind.

 

The issue with the Discworld series produced by Pratchett is that he had an unbelievably wicked dark sense of humour that permeated the whole thing. He constructed an entire world that was a deformed mirror of our own.

 

When worlds like that are so perfectly written and developed they become unfilmable and it is pointless to try. What you have is a world constructed by a genius that only exists in the minds of the readers. As a result you will never please people because you won't match what those readers have in their heads or indeed the genius of Pratchett. It is a world that exists on the page and forever it will remain - any attempt to do otherwise will fail.

 

So the only answer is to take inspiration from those characters and develop your own twist on it - as Pratchett took our own world and reflected it back at us as a twisted fantasy setting so the tv series can take Pratchett's world and provide us with a twisted mirror image of it. Just divorce your brain from your own Pratchett universe when you watch it.

 

It is (on a much bigger scale) like the Shining - the book would never work on the screen so the director made his own take on it that is just as good as the book but different.

 

Douglas Adams knew this as his adaptations of his own work morphed slightly depending on the medium he was working with. One of the most amusing parts about the HHGTG film is that pretty much everything people complained about were his inventions as they were working from his script and notes.

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 22/11/2019 at 23:56, kensei said:

Vetinari sort of eludes to Italian City States, Roman Emperors and Machiavelli. Sure you can make a female version and make have the same characteristics, but you are somewhat missing the point. 

The word you were looking for here is Medici, one of the best puns in the series.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As expected, it's looking like a popular branding for something else entirely to sell a production company on it.

 

How on earth Narrativia are letting it go ahead is anyone's guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://amp.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2020/jan/17/discworld-fans-are-right-to-be-nervous-about-the-bbcs-punk-rock-the-watch

 

Quote

Pratchett’s daughter Rhianna, and his long-term friend and assistant Rob Wilkins, who still runs Pratchett’s Twitter account, did not comment directly (they’re not involved in the adaptation). But both – in an impressively subtle piece of shade-throwing – shared a link to Ursula LeGuin’s legendary take-down of the appalling adaptation of her Earthsea books.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Turns out @terryandrob's link was to the piece LeGuin wrote criticising the Sci Fi Channel's Earthsea miniseries, not to the one she wrote criticising Studio Ghibli's Tales From Earthsea (which, on re-reading, is less harsh than I remembered it being).

 

Re-reading her blog post about the Ghibli film, these paragraphs jumped out at me: 

 

Quote

Much of it was, I thought, incoherent. This may be because I kept trying to find and follow the story of my books while watching an entirely different story, confusingly enacted by people with the same names as in my story, but with entirely different temperaments, histories, and destinies.

 

Of course a movie shouldn't try to follow a novel exactly — they're different arts, very different forms of narrative. There may have to be massive changes. But it is reasonable to expect some fidelity to the characters and general story in a film named for and said to be based on books that have been in print for 40 years.

 

I suspect that might turn out to apply to The Watch too.  :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.