Pratchett Exclusive

VIDEO! Watch TV history in the making as the creators of the new Discworld series meet to make plans

Last Friday SFX was privy to what can only be described as a major scoop. The makers of the new Discworld TV series based on Ankh-Morpork’s City Watch (you may have heard about it – a lot of sites are already referring to it as The Watch but we can confirm that isn’t an official title yet) met up with Terry Pratchett for a production meeting AT SFX TOWERS!Yes, Sir Terry was so impressed with our meeting room when he guest-edited the mag last year he personally suggested it as the venue.

They also allowed us to sit in and record the event for prosperity (as long as we supplied them with copious bacon butties), and you’ll be reading a lot more about it in the next two issues of SFX. But here, as a taster, we give an exclusive look at those creative minds in action, bandying about ideas and expanding on the initial idea of, “Wouldn’t it be a great idea to make a case of the week, procedural show set in Ankh-Morpork?”

Aside from a bunch of SFX hangers-on (who we’ve kept out of the picture for your own sanity), and Sir Terry (obviously), the other people round the table included producer Rod Brown, production designer Ricky Eyres and, down the line on speakerphone from LA, scriptwriter Gavin Scott. Enjoy this little piece of TV history in the making…

And, for completeness’s sake here’s the official press release that was issued this morning about the show:

“Sir Terry Pratchett and Rod Brown, managing director of Prime Focus Productions, have announced an agreement for the unprecedented and exclusive worldwide television rights to create brand new storylines for the iconic characters of Pratchett’s phenomenally successful Discworld series.

“Terry’s universal success has seen him create one of the leading fantasy fiction franchises of all time, with 70 million worldwide sales of his 38-book Discworld titles. This will rise to 39 following another book to be published in October 2011. While there have been three successful mini-series adaptations of his Discworld books made for television in the UK, this is the first time Pratchett has granted a production company the international rights to his characters and their world. The agreement will see Prime Focus Productions create a series of new stories exclusively for a television audience.

“The main focus of the series will be the bustling, highly mercantile, largely untrustworthy and vibrant city of Ankh-Morpork. It will follow the day-to-day activities of the men, women, trolls, dwarves, vampires and several other species who daily pound its ancient cobbles. This will of course also include Igor in the forensics department. Terry commonly refers to the City Watch police force series as ‘the jewels in his Discworld Crown’. These richly developed and highly compelling characters will feature in a ‘crime of the week’ episodic storyline. As each weekly adventure unfolds, viewers will be taken on a ride through Pratchett’s genius imagination, with the author overseeing the creation of the series. In this world, wild and exciting encounters with werewolves, dragons, dwarfs, trolls, golems and the classic heroes and villains are an everyday occurrence… many of whom even make outstanding crime fighters!

“‘I believe the globally successful Discworld franchise will readily translate to the small screen in the form of a high-end, mass appeal weekly drama series, giving the audience the anticipation and excitement of brand new Discworld stories every week through the medium of television, rather than books,’ said Rod Brown, managing director of Prime Focus Productions. ‘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.”

“Sir Terry Pratchett said of the agreement: ‘I’m very excited and incredibly happy about this because Rod was co-head of the team that produced the very successful Sky One adaptations. My message of encouragement to him now is: don’t bugger it up!’”