Inspired by Sir Terry Pratchett’s bestselling Discworld novels, Adam Hugill, Jo Eaton-Kent, Marama Corlett, Lara Rossi and Sam Adewunmi join cast ahead of start of production on 30 September 2019.
LONDON – 11th September 2019: Critically acclaimed actor and playwright Richard Dormer (Game of Thrones, Fortitude) is to lead the cast of the new BBC Studios drama for BBC AMERICA, The Watch.
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.
Joining the unorthodox company of atypical heroes in this fantasy-thriller are Adam Hugill (1917, World on Fire), Jo Eaton-Kent (Don’t Forget The Driver), Marama Corlett (Blood Drive, Sick Note) and Lara Rossi (Crossing Lines, Cheat) together with Sam Adewunmi (The Last Tree, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man.)
The eight-part comedy-drama, that gleefully rips up the genre rulebook, follows several of Terry Pratchett’s best-loved creations on a riotous and emotional odyssey. Richard Dormer will star as Sam Vimes, Captain of The Watch, disempowered by a broken society that’s reduced his department’s jurisdiction to almost nothing. Jo Eaton-Kent will play the ingenious non-binary forensics expert Constable Cheery, ostracised by their kin and finding a new home and identity within The Watch. Adam Hugill will play Constable Carrot, the idealistic new recruit, raised by dwarfs, but really a human abandoned at birth. Marama Corlett will play the mysterious Corporal Angua who is tasked with Carrot’s training and keeping the rookie alive. Lara Rossi will play the formidable Lady Sybil Ramkin, last scion of Ankh-Morpork’s nobility who’s trying to fix the city’s wrongs with her chaotic vigilantism. Sam Adewunmi will play the wounded, wronged Carcer Dun, out to hijack destiny itself, take control of the city and exact a terrible revenge on an unjust reality.
The Watch will be brought to screen by highly acclaimed Director Craig Viveiros, whose credits include the BBC’s 2015 adaptation of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, BBC Studios’ serial killer drama Rillington Place, and Mammoth Screen’s adaptation of The War of The Worlds.
Produced by BBC Studios and Narrativia the show’s Lead Writer is Simon Allen (The Musketeers, Das Boot). Joining Allen is a team of high-calibre writers, Joy Wilkinson (Nick Nickleby, Doctor Who), Catherine Tregenna (Torchwood, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man), Amrou Al-Kadhi (Hollyoaks, Little America) and Ed Hime (Skins, Doctor Who).
Richard Dormer says: “I’m so thrilled to be part of this brilliant madness and mayhem! 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.”
Director and Executive Producer, Craig Viveiros says: “The script for The Watch is like nothing I have ever read before. It’s anarchic, it’s noisy and raspy, and I am really looking forward to bringing it to life on screen. With such a talented line up of cast and crew together we can make something ground-breaking.”
Lead Writer and Executive Producer, Simon Allen says: “Sir Terry Pratchett is in the bloodstream of popular culture. He has a distinctly British kind of literary heart and humour but his ideas are defiantly human and universal. It’s been such a privilege to work with our world class director, producers and writers on building a television show that honours his legacy while striking out on its own in his name and spirit. Like the man whose genius inspired it, The Watch is a hopeful show that believes it’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness. I can’t wait for everybody to see our joyously brilliant cast light candles and, of course, flamethrowers.”
The Watch is produced by BBC Studios and Narrativia for BBC AMERICA. It is executive produced by Hilary Salmon (Luther, Silent Witness and Three Girls), Ben Donald (The Mallorca Files) and Richard Stokes (Torchwood, Broadchurch) for BBC Studios, Rob Wilkins (Good Omens) for Narrativia, Simon Allen and Craig Viveiros. Johann Knobel (Noughts and Crosses, Shameless, The Shadow Line) is series producer of The Watch, and Simon Rogers (Doctor Foster, The Thick of It, The League of Gentlemen) is production designer. The Watch was commissioned for BBC AMERICA by Sarah Barnett, President, AMC Network’s Entertainment Group & AMC Studios, when she served as President and GM of the network. BBC Studios is handling distribution internationally.
The Watch joins an outstanding offering of original scripted programming at BBC AMERICA including the Emmy®-nominated Killing Eve starring Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer, the iconic series Doctor Who starring Jodie Whittaker, the Golden Globe®-winning Luther starring Idris Elba, and Seven Worlds, One Planet, presented by Sir David Attenborough.
BBC Studios produces multi-award-winning dramas loved by audiences around the world, including Doctor Who, Luther and Les Miserables. It works with the best established and new drama talent, from writers and directors to on-screen talent, to create original, bold and ambitious British drama. BBC Studios are also the makers of Good Omens, based on the Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman novel, co-produced with Narrativia, The Blank Corporation and Amazon.
The Watch starts filming in South Africa on the 30 September 2019