The Radio Times logo

Terry Pratchett's daughter says BBC's The Watch "shares no DNA" with his books

Rhianna Pratchett said it was "fairly obvious" that the upcoming adaptation has little in common with her father's novels.

The Watch
BBC America
Published: Tuesday, 13th October 2020 at 2:42 pm

The first trailer for the BBC's upcoming adaptation of Terry Pratchett's The Watch came under fire when it was released this weekend, with fans of the author's work claiming the trailer did not look faithful to the source material.


And Pratchett's daughter Rhianna has also had her say on the trailer, claiming it shares "no DNA" with her late father's books.

Writing on Twitter, Rhianna Pratchett wrote, "Look, I think it’s fairly obvious that The Watch shares no DNA with my father’s Watch. This is neither criticism nor support. It is what it is."

Several fans and writers had taken to social media to voice their discontent at the BBC's The Watch trailer, including Neil Gaiman, who famously co-wrote the novel Good Omens with Pratchett.

Gaiman wrote, "The fan base are fans. And they like the source material because it’s the source material they like. So if you do something else, you risk alienating the fans on a monumental scale. It’s not Batman if he’s now a news reporter in a yellow trenchcoat with a pet bat."

The trailer showed Richard Dormer as Watch Commander, Sam Vimes and many fans were disappointed to see him given a punk-rock look, which was seen to be at odds with his character in the books.

The series is "inspired by" rather than based on Pratchett's City Watch books, part of the extensive Discworld series.

Executive producer Richard Stokes explained last week why the series was making some departures from the source material.

Speaking at New York Comic-Con, he said, "What was very clear from the early part of development was that none of the books individually lend themselves to an eight-part series.

"So we had to do a sort of pick-and-mix of the best bits across the range of books and invent our own series, invent our own world.”


He added, "[you] don’t need to know the books to be able to enjoy the series and that’s one of the most exciting things about it for a big audience.”

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

Sponsored content