Iconic British fantasy author Terry Pratchett's sprawling Discworld series is finally coming to TV via BBC America, the network announced Wednesday. The Watch will adapt the beloved "City Watch" subset of the novel universe.
The "punk rock thriller" will tell the story of the City Watch, the police force that patrols the dystopian city of Ankh-Morpork. The semi-hapless cops tasked with maintaining order between Discworld's magical and technological elements include the cynical Captain Sam Vimes; the noble Lady Sybil Ramkin; the the naive but heroic Carrot; the mysterious Angua and the ingenious non-binary forensics expert Cheery, as well as Death, Pratchett's indelible incarnation of the Rider on the Pale Horse.
The Watch is written by Strike Back's Simon Allen, who says "With events in our own world making the insanity of Discworld seem outrageously familiar, there couldn't be a better time to bring Terry's fun, fire and fury back to the small screen." The first season will consist of eight one-hour episodes. The cast and premiere date have not yet been set.
Discworld is a satirical fantasy series created by the late Terry Pratchett. Over 41 novels, Pratchett built an enormous fantasy universe that held a warped mirror up to our own. They're set on Discworld, a flat planet that rests on the backs of four elephants that are in turn standing on the back of a giant turtle. Different novel sub-series focus on different parts of the world, and in addition to the City Watch, there are stories about an unextraordinary wizard named Rincewind; very practical Witches; and the aforementioned Death, who has adventures while trying to collect people's souls.
This is not the only upcoming Pratchett adaptation: Good Omens, a limited series adaptation of his 1990 collaborative novel with Neil Gaiman, is coming to Amazon in January. Due to its sprawling nature, Discworld has been difficult to adapt, and certain stories have appeared as BBC TV movies, most recently Going Postal in 2010. The Watch will be the first TV series.