The Watch TV series

Pyan

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Here's the viewing figures for the first (and possibly only) season. Downward all the way, apart from that slight recovery for E.6.

DateEpisodeViewers (mil)% change
1/3/202101-010.274
1/3/202101-020.2740.00%
1/10/202101-030.248-9.49%
1/17/202101-040.242-2.42%
1/24/202101-050.185-23.55%
1/31/202101-060.23325.95%
2/7/202101-070.143-38.63%
2/14/202101-080.130-9.09%
Season average0.216
Source: Neilson
 

.matthew.

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Wow, less than half of the initial viewers tuned in for the finale... of an 8 episode season as well...
 

.matthew.

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That is really bad play on words and, funny as hell . :D
Yes, I hate puns, and I curse Pratchett's name whenever he makes me laugh at one. He strikes just the right balance between horribly cheesy and genuinely intelligent too funny not to laugh...
 

paranoid marvin

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Here's the viewing figures for the first (and possibly only) season. Downward all the way, apart from that slight recovery for E.6.

DateEpisodeViewers (mil)% change
1/3/202101-010.274
1/3/202101-020.2740.00%
1/10/202101-030.248-9.49%
1/17/202101-040.242-2.42%
1/24/202101-050.185-23.55%
1/31/202101-060.23325.95%
2/7/202101-070.143-38.63%
2/14/202101-080.130-9.09%
Season average0.216
Source: Neilson

Is this the number of viewers in America? If so, isn't that really, really bad? I'm surprised they didn't pull the programme before the season even completed.

It's a shame, because the Sky adaptations of The Hogfather, The Colour of Magic and (to a lesser extent) Going Postal were all rather good, and even the 2 animated films were well done. (at least until people realised what had been done to Terry's characters)

I suspect that the series would do rather better on this side of the pond.
 

paranoid marvin

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I suspect that a series would do rather better on this side of the pond... just not in its current form.


My post got a little muddled, the

(at least until people realised what had been done to Terry's characters)

should have come at the end. But I do think that his show if presented on the Beeb in the UK would get far more than 250,000 viewers, if only for the first episode to see if it was as bad as they say. Tbh I would have thought that would have been true in the US also. Also the other Pratchett shows that have been shown in the UK all seem to have done very well.

It does make you wonder just what possessed them to make the show in this way; would feedback from the public not have made them have a serious rethink? I only hope that it doesn't put anyone else off doing a tv (or even movie) Discworld story, as Terry's work doesn't deserve such an ignominious end.
 

Pyan

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It seems to be a case of "It's my artistic vision, daahling - let's change the size, gender and species of the characters, not to mention the story, because of course I know better what the viewers want than the silly old author who's only sold 70 million books..."
 

Glaysher

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It seems to be a case of "It's my artistic vision, daahling - let's change the size, gender and species of the characters, not to mention the story, because of course I know better what the viewers want than the silly old author who's only sold 70 million books..."
I'm less upset in general about changes to the story than changes to the characters. Changes to the story can be for a better fit for the medium and to allow those familiar with the books to be surprised. Changes to the characters (at least the main characters) makes me wonder if they wanted to adapt the source material at all.
 

.matthew.

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On the adaptation of Mort.

The Mort Film:

A production company was put together and there was US and Scandinavian and
European involvement, and I wrote a couple of script drafts which wet down
well and everything was looking fine and then the US people said 'Hey, we've
been doing market research in Power Cable, Nebraska, and other centes of
culture, and the Death/skeleton bit doesn't work for us, it's a bit of a
downer, we have a prarm with it, so lose the skeleton". The rest of the
consortium said, did you read the script? The Americans said: sure, we LOVE
it, it's GREAT, it's HIGH CONCEPT. Just lose the Death angle, guys.

Whereupon, I'm happy to say, they were told to keep on with the medication
and come back in a hundred years.

Currently, since the amount of money available for making movies in Europe is
about sixpence, the consortium is looking for some more intelligent Americans
in the film business. This may prove difficult.

It could have been worse. I've heard what Good Omens was looking like by the
time Sovereign's option mercifully ran out -- set in America, no Four
Horsemen...oh god.
 

paranoid marvin

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I'm less upset in general about changes to the story than changes to the characters. Changes to the story can be for a better fit for the medium and to allow those familiar with the books to be surprised. Changes to the characters (at least the main characters) makes me wonder if they wanted to adapt the source material at all.


This happened quite a lot with video games back in the day. Get a rubbish game, stick a film/tv/brand licence on it, and then try to sell it on the back of it. It usually worked back then, one of the most infamous being World Cup Carnival.
 

hitmouse

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This has just appeared on iPlayer. Not sure if it will play in BBC terrestrial.

I have watched the first 3 episodes. There is always going to be a bit of an objectivity problem having read the books, but I am not overly dogmatic about the stylistic changes per se, and reimagining this as an 80s crusty/new romantic vibe is curious but not necessarily fatal in itself.

Overall I find the series muddled and misguided. The recharacterisation of the main players does not work very well. In the novels the plot is carried along by Vimes cynical approach to the realities of life and his burning anger for fairness. Here he is just a hollowed out gurning sot. Carcer is no longer a frightening psychopath. Similarly the others, and the humour of the dynamic is subsequently lost.

I imagine that someone who has not read the books will find the story incoherent and confusing. Pratchett fans will understand the story and find it all very disappointing.
 

Danny McG

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This has just appeared on iPlayer
Indeed it has, I went to check as soon as I saw your comment.
I might try it in a week or two, but it doesn't sound too promising, going by a lot of the comments in this thread.
 

Mon0Zer0

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I've watched the first episode so far and I'm not hating it, which was unexpected. I don't like it but I don't hate it either.

The worst crime is its lack of wit or charm, so it's not even remotely discworld or Terry Pratchett and suffers from "Modern Doctor Who writer's syndrome" or just "BBC writer's syndrome". It's like it's written by someone who doesn't like Pratchett and doesn't understand what Pratchett was riffing off and just wanted to write a 70's cop show.

As it's own thing it can't decide if it's cyberpunk or fantasy, and I don't really care about any of the characters or the plot.

I quite like the actor playing Vimes, I just don't like him playing Vimes. The rest are stock BBC ex-Brit school actors who haven't learned to emote yet.
 

hitmouse

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I've watched the first episode so far and I'm not hating it, which was unexpected. I don't like it but I don't hate it either.

The worst crime is its lack of wit or charm, so it's not even remotely discworld or Terry Pratchett and suffers from "Modern Doctor Who writer's syndrome" or just "BBC writer's syndrome". It's like it's written by someone who doesn't like Pratchett and doesn't understand what Pratchett was riffing off and just wanted to write a 70's cop show.

As it's own thing it can't decide if it's cyberpunk or fantasy, and I don't really care about any of the characters or the plot.

I quite like the actor playing Vimes, I just don't like him playing Vimes. The rest are stock BBC ex-Brit school actors who haven't learned to emote yet.
Is this a BBC production?

I don't hate it either, just rather disappointed. I don't have a problem with "interpretation" but, as you say, I don't think the people who made this really understand the source material. They have totally rewritten a stonkingly good story (probably with the best intentions) to reflect a different set of messages, and it all ends up a bit of mess and really odd.

ps. I quite like the modern Doctor Who. More to the point, so do my kids.
 

Mon0Zer0

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Is this a BBC production?
BBC America, I think. Simon Allen is the writer and he was on New Tricks and The Interceptor.

ps. I quite like the modern Doctor Who. More to the point, so do my kids.

Yeah, I'm just being a grumpy old fart, lol. It was ok up to Ecclestone and Tennant had a few good shows, but I think the writing has suffered since the departure of Russel T Davies. The last two doctors have had terrible scripts to work from.
 

paranoid marvin

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W
This has just appeared on iPlayer. Not sure if it will play in BBC terrestrial.

I have watched the first 3 episodes. There is always going to be a bit of an objectivity problem having read the books, but I am not overly dogmatic about the stylistic changes per se, and reimagining this as an 80s crusty/new romantic vibe is curious but not necessarily fatal in itself.

Overall I find the series muddled and misguided. The recharacterisation of the main players does not work very well. In the novels the plot is carried along by Vimes cynical approach to the realities of life and his burning anger for fairness. Here he is just a hollowed out gurning sot. Carcer is no longer a frightening psychopath. Similarly the others, and the humour of the dynamic is subsequently lost.

I imagine that someone who has not read the books will find the story incoherent and confusing. Pratchett fans will understand the story and find it all very disappointing.

I think this just about sums it up. I watched about the first 10 minutes of the first episode then flicked through to the end. Most of the characters are fine, but the one - the most important one in Vimes, is totally messed up. This is perhaps closer to how Vimes was when he first appeared in Guards! Guards! , but not by the time of Night Watch (when I assume this story is set).

I have no issue with the actor playing Vimes, but the way he plays him makes every scene I have watched him in an embarrassing one.

The other tweaks to actors I'm fine with. Carrot could do with beefing up a bit , Death doesn't look quite right and Ankh Morpork seems to resemble Blade runner's LA. I'm fine with all of this, but giving Vimes the persona of Nobby Nobbs is baffling to say the least.


The thing is, between the first Watch novel and Night Watch, there were a number of stories that grew the team together, and matured them into much more rounded characters. It would have been very interesting for the show to go in that direction; show what the Watch was , and what it was to become. In fact Guard.

And as mentioned above, I'm really not sure where a newcomer to DW would even begin to get to grips with what on earth was going on.

One final thing - and perhaps the worst thing - is that the jokes aren't funny. Not that TP was always funny , but they aren't the kind of jokes Pratchett would have told, and they just aren't very funny.
 

Mon0Zer0

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I think this just about sums it up. I watched about the first 10 minutes of the first episode then flicked through to the end. Most of the characters are fine, but the one - the most important one in Vimes, is totally messed up. This is perhaps closer to how Vimes was when he first appeared in Guards! Guards! , but not by the time of Night Watch (when I assume this story is set).

It's Guards! Guards!
 

HareBrain

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The last two doctors have had terrible scripts to work from.
If you have five hours YES FIVE HOURS to spare, I found this an entertaining and interesting breakdown of what is wrong with the writing on the last two series. It's especially good on character. I haven't seen The Watch, but I wouldn't mind betting some of the issues are the same.

 

paranoid marvin

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It's Guards! Guards!


Yes, from the admittedly little I've seen of it, there do appear to be a number of elements from Guards! Guards! , with the introduction of Lady Sybil and a dragon. But on the other hand, he already has a fully-formed team (eg Angua is already there) and Carcer Dunn is the villain of Night Watch.

I would have liked to have seen the development of the characters and the gathering of the team through a number of adventures before culminating in Night Watch, but it is what it is. Guards! Guards! is a much lighter and funnier storyline than Night Watch , so definitely makes for a better tv show.

It's just a pity that we never got a chance to see it by the gang who did Hogfather, Going Postal and Colour of Magic for Sky. Whilst not perfect, the Discworld was captured very well. But then again, Sir Terry was around to make sure that everything was done the way he wanted it. Whilst the watching eye of the author is always a good thing, it certainly was of benefit with those shows.
 

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