Terry Pratchett’s beloved Discworld novels are set to be adapted for television.
The comedy fantasy series is being adapted for the small screen by BBC Studios and written by Simon Allen, best known for his work on Strike Back, The Musketeers and New Tricks.
So far six episodes have been commissioned, but there is potential for the series to be expanded – especially since there are 41 Discworld novels to work with.
Provisionally titled The Watch, the show is being developed in collaboration with Pratchett’s own production company Narrativia. Following the author’s death from Alzheimer’s in 2014, the company is now run by Pratchett’s daughter Rihanna and his business manager Rob Wilkins.
Discworld, for the uninitiated, is a fictional “flat disc” world balanced on the back of four elephants, which in turn stand upon the back of a giant turtle called Great A’Tuin.
This is not the first time Discworld has appeared on TV: Sky has previously adapted Discworld novel Hogfather into a two-part TV film, for example, and Channel 4 broadcast an animated series in 1996. But this new attempt from BBC Studios is the most ambitious adaptation to date.
According to Deadline, The Watch is likely to be set in the principal city of Ankh-Morpork and revolve around the growth of the City Watch from a “hopeless gang of three” to a serious police force run by Sam Vimes, the cynical, working-class street cop. The Ankh-Morpork City Watch are the focus of eight Discworld novels and a short story.
With Discworld’s cast of werewolves, dragons, trolls and zombies, we can look forward to something quite visually spectacular.
The series is being executive produced by BBC Studios’ Head of Drama Hilary Salmon, whose CV includes Luther and Silent Witness. And while it may be a BBC show, it could potentially become a major international co-production.
Of course, before Discworld makes it to the small screen, we’ll get our chance to see another Pratchett novel on TV. The book he co-authored with Neil Gaiman, Good Omens, is currently being adapted for Amazon and is set to air in 2019.