Terry Pratchett TV Double-Play: “Good Omens” and Discworld’s City Watch

BAFTA-winning producer Rod Brown, the mind behind all three Discworld specials so far, has hit the ground running with his new company, Prime Focus Productions.  And Prime Focus’s first two projects look to be following in the footsteps of Brown’s previous work, with a pair of announcements that will make Pratchett fans cry out with a resounding “Oh, finally.”

First out of the gate, along with the initial announcement of the company’s formation, was word that another crack is being taken at adapting Neil Gaiman and Sir Terry Pratchett’s novel Good Omens for the screen — though, this time, the small screen.  (If you’ll recall, ex-Python and Oscar-nominated director Terry Gilliam was originally gunning for a film version, but much like many of his other projects, it just sort of never happened.)  The adaptation is being penned by another ex-Python, Terry Jones, and Gavin Scott of Small Soldiers fame.

And right on the heels of that, Prime Focus have announced another project involving Pratchett, Jones, and Scott: a weekly crime drama based on Discworld’s City Watch.  The official press release states that Pratchett has granted the company international rights to the characters, allowing new stories to be written in the Discworld continuity.  Says Brown:

It’s a huge responsibility to get this right for Terry, his legions of Discworld fans and the new followers that we’ll attract along the way. I believe they’ll be in for a treat with a high calibre writing team already attached, including Monty Python’s Terry Jones and Gavin Scott (Small Soldiers, The Borrowers). We’ve already spoken to a number of international broadcasters who’ve shown early interest and we hope to move forward very quickly to bring this exciting project to fruition.

Combined with Pratchett’s words of encouragement — “Don’t bugger it up!” — it sounds like they know what they’ve taken on.

As of now, there’s no word on release dates, channels, or international broadcasting rights for either project.  More importantly, though, they haven’t told us who’s going to play Sam Vimes.  With Pratchett’s ideal actor, Pete Postlethwaite, recently deceased, it’s going to be interesting to see whom they bring on board who will satisfy both the character requirements and (stricter and more unforgiving still) the fans’ expectations.

2 Responses

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  1. Written by Trisha Lynn
    on 2011-03-23 at 23:39

    Postlethwaite as Vimes? Yeah, the illustrations really do go towards that way, don’t they? And yeah… whomever they get had better not be a pretty boy.

  2. Written by Arkonbey
    on 2011-03-24 at 20:46

    Since Postlethwaite is unavailable, I’ll recommend Sean Pertwee. As soon as we saw him as the Sgt. in “Dog Soldiers”, my wife and I both agreed he’d be a great Vimes.

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