Hmm. Well, the reaction on Twitter seems to be half-half - some people are excited and happy, some are worried and praying "Please don't make it suck".
One reaction was that since the production company is http://Narrativia.com , the company started by pTerry, headed by Rob and Rhianna... "Pretty sure it will be top notch." That may be so, but if it's BBC America ... hrr, I don't know. BBC UK normally churns out top-notch stuff from what I can see, but I haven't seen what BBC America does. What's the difference between them? I'm just curious.
I REALLY hope it won't be dumbed down. That would be a great pity.
I'm not absolutely certain, Rath, but I believe they have co-produced, Robin Hood, The Musketeers, and had some involvement with Dr Who. I'm pretty sure they had other quality series and their pedigree is good.
Incidentally, I'm in the 'not too keen' camp but I will wait until I've seen a few episodes before making my mind up. Rob from Narrativia is involved and is enthusiastic about the direction that it's taken but it's obvious that it won't please a fair section of the book fandom. In some ways, I suppose, it's better than doing straight adaptations as I don't think the concepts explored in Terry's writing and his subtlety in doing so would translate well to the screen.
Every single adaptation that has been produced has had cynics and critics. If one wants it to be like the book, it almost certainly won't, because our imaginations tend to be so much better than adaptations. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
BBC America has produced Orphan Black (which was fantastic, but not based on any novel as far as I know) and Killing Eve (also fantastic, but I've got no idea how close it stuck to the original novels... I'm guessing not very).
I'll be treating The Watch as I do most other adapted-from-novel TV shows or movies - it'll be its own thing with characters and potentially plot lines based on but significantly different to the novels - which is fine, if it's done well.
The recent Starz production of "The Rook" is *nothing* like the novel it's based on (apart from the characters and some but definitely not all elements of the plot) but it was still a reasonably enticing and entertaining TV series - the book still exists and can be read for its own thing.
Netflix's Altered Carbon also took liberty with the novel (which admittedly I read after watching the show) but I still enjoyed both - I actually like how much they took from the book, and also the stuff that was altered. In fact, watching the TV show is what got me interested in reading the book in the first place. Same goes for The Expanse (was Syfy, next series is on Amazon) - it's amazingly well put together and I plan to read the novels one day (I've purchased the first one but haven't got around to reading it yet).
So as long as The Watch doesn't completely suck, it may still get people who've never tried Discworld before to read Guards! Guards! or Night Watch - and that can only be better for the fandom. It doesn't actually matter (to me) whether the TV show follows the books' plots or not, as long as it's a good show and the characters aren't *too* far removed from what we know of their true essence.
All right. I was hoping (perhaps naively?) that the movie version will stick to the way the book(s) is/are written. Of course that's not always possible - perhaps never is - and the same applies to the stage versions, too. As long as the liberties taken aren't too great, I'm not fussed.
Still, I reckon the movie versions are best when they stick closer to the script as laid down by Terry. For instance, "Troll Bridge" is, for my money, the best film adaptation of ANYTHING Terry related. It's funny in most parts, it's touching in others, it takes a tiny slice of Discworldia and brings it to life in a truly magical way. And, at 20-25 minutes long, it doesn't overstay its welcome. (Not that the other films do, of course!)
The other films were ... interesting. I can't remember much about the second film (was it TCOM or TLF?), but I found it more interesting than "Hogfather" - although "Hogfather" had its moments. It did UU, the shopping mall, the Hogfather's castle etc. very nicely. Where it fell down, for me, is the depiction of Teatime - he didn't strike me as the unbalanced psychopath that Terry created. Terry's Teatime is terrifying.
As for the GP movie ... I liked most of it, but the way they wrote Reacher Gilt - without (most of) the board, without Igor, without Gryle - seemed very sparse and very ... "cartoon-villain" to me (the kind of cartoon-villain who gets his comeuppance, and all the kids shout "Hooray" - almost like a "panto-Captain-Hook"). Terry's Reacher Gilt was a schemer whose plots bankrupted several businesses and who seemed almost on par with Lord Vetinari. I'm sorry, but David Suchet didn't seem to me to be suitable to play Reacher Gilt; I hear his voice and keep thinking of Hercule Poirot.
Anyway, sorry to divert the thread. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts, but let's not divert the thread too much.
To be honest, this has grown into something entirely non-DW in anything but names only. I'll give it a chance but from a viewing point of view that it is just another tv-series and make my mind up then. The alarm bells, for me, started ringing when Rob was describing the format the show would take at the last convention; a similar anarchic style to The Young Ones, if memory serves me correctly.
Ingrid Oliver doesn't look anything like Dr Cruces, a terrifying head of an Assassin's Guild. (Yes, I know the Assassins' Guild admitted women - I'm just saying that IO doesn't look like DC). None of the other actors look anything like the characters.
And Wonse is ‘a wizard hopeful in waiting that is frequently underestimated’? Hmmmm ... Hello, Rincewind? Were they afraid to make Wonse the Patrician's personal secretary, in case people would think that Vetinari was a bit of a dunce for hiring him?
Personally, I think that Vetinari making Wonse into his pp was a stroke of genius. V knew, of course, what Wonse was doing, so he figured that having him in the palace and keeping an eye on him was worthwhile. As the old army adage goes: "Better to have them in here, pissing out, than to have them out there, pissing in."
Anyway, that's neither here nor there. These ... ahem, revelations ... make me skeptical. And slightly apprehensive.