New York Comic Con gave us our first look at BBC America’s newest show The Watch. The show follows a group of misfits fighting powerful supernatural forces that plan to resurrect a great dragon leading to the destruction of life as we know it.
The panel brought on showrunner Simon Allen and Executive Producer Richard Stokes to talk about how the series came into being. “The City Watch books are considered to be the crown jewels of the Terry Pratchett books here in the UK so we optioned those. The books are incredible but what we learned early on was that none of the books individually lend themselves to an eight-part series and that’s what we were making. So we had to do a pick-and-mix to invent our own world with everyone’s blessing,” explained Stokes.
The result is a show that pays homage to its source material but remains original and fresh to viewers that might not be familiar with the books. “It’s inspired by Terry Pratchett because Terry Pratchett is inspiring. It was a privilege to take these characters who are some of his most iconic characters and play within that world,” says Allen.
Listening to the passion Allen has for the books and for the show is inspiring. Far too often showrunners take on a show more as a paid gig or a stepping stone to something else and lack the passion to really create something unique. Not so with The Watch. As both explained in the panel, Pratchett is kind of a legend in the UK so to not do his books justice would be a dishonor.
The Watch will air Jan. 3, 2021 on BBC America.