When is BBC’s The Watch released? Terry Pratchett show’s cast, plot and latest news

Everything you need to know as Discworld returns to TV.

  We may earn commission from links on this page. Our editorial is always independent (learn more)
The Watch

Following the success of Amazon’s Good Omens series, another one of Terry Pratchett’s much-loved works is being adapted for the small screen in the form of BBC America’s The Watch.

Advertisement

Based on the late author’s City Watch subset of his Discworld novels, The Watch follows a group of misfit cops, led by steampunk vigilante Sam Vimes (Richard Dormer), as they attempt to save their corrupt city from unruly crime and the mythical creatures wreaking havoc in it.

The first trailer for the series, which has proved controversial among fans of the books, was released on Friday and teased magical chaos, a medieval yet stylish setting and lots of action in the fantasy land of Ankh-Morpork.

Here’s everything you need to know about The Watch.

When is The Watch released in the UK?

The series has now been confirmed to begin in January 2021 on BBC America, although a UK release date is not yet forthcoming.

Much like Killing Eve, The Watch was commissioned by BBC America and will likely air in the UK on one of the BBC channels, though this is currently unconfirmed.

What is The Watch about?

The Watch is a police procedural set in the fictional city of Ankh-Morpork where crime has been legalised.

The show will follow the cops of the City Watch as they rise from decades of helplessness to save their corrupt city from catastrophe.

BBC Studios said that the show “gleefully rips up the genre rulebook, [and] follows several of Terry Pratchett’s best-loved creations on a riotous and emotional odyssey”.

The full synopsis reads, “The comedic yet thrilling series pits trolls, werewolves, wizards and other improbable heroes against an evil plot to resurrect a great dragon which would lead to the destruction of life as they know it.”

Is there a trailer for The Watch?

The BBC released a brand new trailer for The Watch on Friday 9th October, which saw various mythical creatures wreak havoc on Ankh-Morpork and teased the working relationship between punk-rock cop Vimes (Richard Dormer) and bad-ass Lady Sybil Ramkin (Lara Rossi).

While some fans were looking forward to watching the new series, many felt as though the look of The Watch diverged from the Terry Pratchett’s Discworld book series too much, with one fan commenting: “Steampunk Sam Vimes? I had really hoped for better.”

“If the characters are different, the plot is different and the setting is different, why not just give them new names and stop pretending it’s Discworld?” another said.

However, some fans – admittedly those who had not read the books – said that they were willing to give the series a try based on the trailer and that the show looked “bloody spectacular”.

Who is in the cast of The Watch?

The cast is led by Richard Dormer, best known for playing the flaming-sword wielding Beric Dondarrion in Game of Thrones, who will be starring as Sam Vimes, Captain of the Watch (no, not that one).

42
Richard Dormer in Game of Thrones (HBO)

“I’m so thrilled to be part of this brilliant madness and mayhem!” said Dormer, “I was immediately drawn to the multitude of layers to Sam Vimes, and I find the dynamic between him and his band of disenfranchised comrades very compelling.”

He will be joined by Jo Eaton-Kent as Constable Cheery, a forensics expert ostracised by her own kin, and Adam Hugil as Constable Carrot, the idealistic new recruit raised by dwarves.

Marama Corlett (Sick Note), Lara Rossi (Cheat) and Sam Adewunmi (Stan Lee’s Lucky Man) also star.

Meanwhile Anna Chancellor (Pennyworth), James Fleet (Outlander), Ingrid Oliver (Doctor Who), Ruth Madeley (Years and Years), Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Deep State), and Bianca Simone Mannie (Homeland_ have also all joined the cast. 

Advertisement

You can order the City Watch books on Amazon here. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.