The TV adaptation formerly known as Night Watch

So this looks like happening at some point. Just to add to our glut of TV adaptations of beloved fantasy and science fiction books. I assume they’re calling it The Watch so as to avoid confusing the poor dumb bastards who would otherwise wonder if this is a Game of Thrones spin-off.

My expectations are pretty low, mainly because the Discworld series has had some pretty hit-and-miss adaptations already. Most of them I kind of liked, because I adore the books and can overlook whatever they kind of messed up in the adaptations.

And none of them have been as flawless as Good Omens.

Now this one, I think I’m really going to have to squint. And work hard to remind myself that TV adaptations are their own thing and don’t need to really have much to do with the original material. They can be considered a form of fan fiction.


I had to chuckle at this take on the TV adaptation. If I have to be a curmudgeon about it, I’m okay with being Vimes.

At worst, I may just ignore it the way I ignored the attempted US version of Red Dwarf. No you pieces of shit, I haven’t forgiven you for trying to inflect that on us yet. Yes, I’m still working my way through the 1990s in terms of grudges. There is a lot of healing left to do.

But Sibyl Vimes as a social justice vigilante with what looks like a bright red River Song wig[1]? No, don’t. A female Vetinari who combines the “characteristics of Dracula and Elvis”? Don’t. Hakeem Kae-Kazim as Keel? I mean … okay, but you’re … how … look, I’m not used to being on this side of the argument but you’ve got Richard Dormer as Vimes, right, and the plot of the book is that Vimes goes back in time and Keel accidentally gets killed and Vimes becomes Keel for the purposes of timeline preservation, right? He managed that in the book because he kind of looked like the guy. Okay, so I suppose it’s easy enough to just say “Keel was just arriving and nobody knew what he looked like” and pass it off. Okay, that’s fine. Or change the plot significantly. That might be better. Because Night Watch, the book, was very dependent on the dozens of Discworld books that came before, and the world that had been built. You can’t do a time-travel episode until you’ve established your world.

[1] And I get that it’s meant to be a wig, because she’s a dragon keeper and they all have their hair burned off in the first week and she wears wigs as a result. So okay, semi-pass.

That said, there’s plenty I am there for. Chérie Littlebottom is amusing, and I’m fine with them changing her story so it’s more about a non-binary person than about a female in a species that denies the gender’s existence. Angua wasn’t what I was imagining but whatever. Vimes looks alright. Carrot is fucking perfect.

This was my favourite ever Discworld book. It’s going to be difficult to switch that off and attempt to enjoy this on its own merits. I may not bother.

Or, as I said on Facebook:


Was talking about this with Mrs. Hatboy and this was exactly the image she’d always had of Sibyl Vimes as well. So glad I married the right girl for me.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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2 Responses to The TV adaptation formerly known as Night Watch

  1. ohilya says:

    Pratchett’s daughter has already thrown shade at the project, by tweeting a link to an interview with Ursula LeGuin criticising the whitewashing that took place in the SciFi channel’s adaption of Earthsea.

    So, uh, oh boy.

    • stchucky says:

      Yeah, I saw that in the article. Little as I care about some of the late great LeGuin’s opinions, this is definitely not great. Haven’t seen the Earthsea adaptation.

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