BBC's Discworld Adaptation, The Watch, Nabs Richard Dormer and More for Its Cast

The Watch, in a slightly less heroic state.
The Watch, in a slightly less heroic state.
Image: Paul Kidby

We’ve been hearing tiny little bits of news about the BBC’s attempt to bring the world of Terry Pratchett’s beloved fantasy novels to life since the author’s passing in 2015, but now, the world of the Disc is taking a big step forward in its return to TV.


The BBC has just announced the full primary cast for The Watch, ahead of production beginning later this month. The series, set in the iconic city-state of Ankh-Morpork, will follow the escapades of the titular Night Watch (no relation), Ankh-Morpork’s dysfunctional city guard, as it attempts to police a world of absurdist magical fantasies.

The eight-episode series will be directed by Craig Viveiros, the director behind the BBC’s upcoming adaptation of The War of the Worlds. Here’s the new description for the series included in the BBC’s announcement post:

Set in the fictional city of Ankh-Morpork, where crime has been legalised, The Watch is a uniquely anarchic and thrillingly entertaining police procedural. The character-driven comedy centres on a group of misfit cops as they rise up from decades of helplessness to save their corrupt city from catastrophe. The Watch is inspired by the legendary ‘City Watch’ subset of Sir Terry Pratchett’s bestselling Discworld novels and its many iconic characters.

Richard Dormer, Adam Hugill, Jo Eaton-Kent, Marama Corlett, Lara Rossi, and Sam Adewunmi will form the primary cast for the series, playing names that fans of Pratchett’s works will be more than familiar with.

From top left to bottom right: Richard Dormer, Marama Corlett, Adam Hugill, Lara Rossi, Jo Eaton-Kent, and Sam Adewunmi.
From top left to bottom right: Richard Dormer, Marama Corlett, Adam Hugill, Lara Rossi, Jo Eaton-Kent, and Sam Adewunmi.
Photo: BBC

Dormer will lead the cast as Sam Vimes, the Watch’s captain, dismayed by how Ankh-Morpork’s corruption has robbed his guards of their authority. Eaton-Kent, a gender-fluid actor, will play the Watch’s forensics expert, Constable Cheery, described as a non-binary native recruit in the Night Watch ostracized by their kin, and hoping to find their identity in their work for the Watch. Corlett plays Corporal Angua, a veteran Watch member who is tasked with keeping Hugill’s fresh-faced recruit, Constable Carrot—a human raised by Dwarves after being orphaned as a child—alive long enough to rise through the ranks.


Rounding out the cast beyond members of the Watch are Rossi’s Lady Sybil Ramkin, a member of Ankh-Morpork nobility that has taken to vigilantism to combat crimes the Watch is powerless to chase, and Adewunmi as Carcer Dun, a mysterious figure wronged by injustice seeking to change not just his own destiny, but the fate of Ankh-Morpork and everyone in it, as vengeance.

The Watch, which will also air on BBC America, is set to enter production at the end of the month—presumably for an as-yet-unconfirmed premiere sometime in 2020. We’ll bring you more on the BBC’s plans to bring the Disc to life as we learn it.


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James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!



Holy crap! This looks awesome!

From the inclusion of Carcer, it looks like they are doing a variation of Night Watch, probably mixing it together with Guards! Guards! the very first book about the City Watch. And I couldn’t be happier, because they are probably the best City Watch Discworld books (and Night Watch is probably one of the best Discworld books ever).

Plus, they got a non-binary actor to play a non-binary character! Constable Cheery is a dwarf, who all look male and have beards, even the female dwarfs, but Cheery is a rebel who also wears makeup and looks more feminine (still with a beard, though).

And Lady Sybil being played by a black actress is probably going to get flack from die hard “fans,” but I don’t care, because the casting of this show sounds awesome.