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What have you been watching on (proper scripted) telly?

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I'll give it a chance, as a huge Pratchett fan I'm fine with a shift in visual/tone so long as the humour is there. The many Sky adaptations always struggled with the tone and veered too far into campiness with the budget really straining (shit casting didn't help).

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1 hour ago, Bicurious Dad said:

I'll give it a chance, as a huge Pratchett fan I'm fine with a shift in visual/tone so long as the humour is there. The many Sky adaptations always struggled with the tone and veered too far into campiness with the budget really straining (shit casting didn't help).

I don’t know if the tone will be there. Again, judging from a few pictures, it looks like they’re going the dark-and-serious-dystopia route. Richard Dormer would be a perfect Vimes - but not if they’ve made Vimes a Maze Runner reject who wears a fucking lanyard.

I’m not opposed to it veering off from the very light tone of the Sky adaps - Night Watch and Thud are some of the darkest books Pratchett wrote. But everything about this seems off. Sybil is a vigilante, Cheery has Carrot’s backstory... no thank you.

Edited by HarmonicGenerator

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That looks... Odd. Can't be worse than Sky's efforts butt I'll probably never find out tbh unless you all come back on here with rave reviews.

Has Sky ever produced a good original show of their own? I can't think of one.

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1 minute ago, HarmonicGenerator said:

I don’t know if the tone will be there. Again, judging from a few pictures, it looks like they’re going the dark-and-serious-dystopia route. Richard Dormer would be a perfect Vimes - but not if they’ve made Vimes a Maze Runner reject who wears a fucking lanyard.

 

1 hour ago, Bicurious Dad said:

I'm fine with a shift in visual/tone

It's only loosely based on the books - which is fine if they take the source material and make something that works on screen. Again, Pratchett novels have never really transferred well - partly down to it being Sky who are atrocious at drama (or were - haven't watched anything of theirs in a few years), and with an environment where we have Game of Thrones and Witcher focusing on a more dark fantasy tone I would worry that characters like Carrot and Cheery (not to mention Colon and Nobbs) would come off as parody, and prevent any deep dive into the Discworld/Ankh-Morpork lore.

Time will tell, but it's already up against it judging by the initial backlash. Cheery as a non-binary human, Vetinari is a woman, it'll be a big pill for the fanbase to swallow - lanyards aside. I'm here for it though, could be great - even if it's not true to the original stories.

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19 minutes ago, Chest Rockwell said:

Has Sky ever produced a good original show of their own? I can't think of one.

This is one of my biggest gripes with Sky. For all the money they throw at original comedy and dramas, why are they so fucking shit at making them?

Mad Dogs was ok at best, but it went to shit. Fortitude started quite well and went silly. Falcon wasn't bad although it was only a couple of episodes and that drama about two doctors set in Russia starring Daniel Radcliffe and John Hamm was pretty good. But that doesn't read well from their hundreds of attempts, does it? Everyone else seems to be so much better at making shows. BBC, Netflix, the American networks- hell even Amazon can attempt a decent show now and then. Sky are hopeless. 

And the comedies- urgh. Dull as dishwasher 'feel good' comedies starring either Ruth Jones or Peter Kaye's mate from Corrie, shows that would fit perfectly into a 1990s ITV Sunday night schedule. My wife has watched a few of these shows and I've never seen her laugh, or even crack a smile.

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Sky commissioned Yonderland - it’s the weakest of the original Horrible Histories cast’s other projects but still good fun, and they gave it three series which was nice of them.

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54 minutes ago, Bicurious Dad said:

 

It's only loosely based on the books - which is fine if they take the source material and make something that works on screen. Again, Pratchett novels have never really transferred well - partly down to it being Sky who are atrocious at drama (or were - haven't watched anything of theirs in a few years), and with an environment where we have Game of Thrones and Witcher focusing on a more dark fantasy tone I would worry that characters like Carrot and Cheery (not to mention Colon and Nobbs) would come off as parody, and prevent any deep dive into the Discworld/Ankh-Morpork lore.

Time will tell, but it's already up against it judging by the initial backlash. Cheery as a non-binary human, Vetinari is a woman, it'll be a big pill for the fanbase to swallow - lanyards aside. I'm here for it though, could be great - even if it's not true to the original stories.

I assumed that Cheery being a non-binary human "rebelling against the rules of her people" was because it was easier than casting her as a female-presenting dwarf. But then Carrot's backstory is apparently still being given as having been raised by dwarfs, so they're obviously still establishing that dwarfs exist in whatever passes for Discworld here.

And none of the photos released fill me with confidence that it's going to be funny, either. As much as Ankh Morpork can get away with being a little darker and "grittier" than a broader Discworld story, it should never look like that.

As for Colon and Nobbs, their names aren't on any cast lists, so I can only assume we're getting a Watch series in which they don't exist. 

It all looks like it would probably be broadly fine as a cyberpunk neo-noir thing, but literally nobody into Discworld has been crying out for that, have they? I just can't see how you can start with Guards! Guards! and end up with these photos. It's particularly egregious because the Watch is probably the easiest aspect of Discworld to adapt for TV without messing too much with the source material - it's a police procedural in a fantasy world, it's not rocket science. And I honestly can't think of anything less Sam Vimes than wearing a sodding lanyard!

Part of the problem with adapting Pratchett is that much of the humour and the feel of Discworld comes from Pratchett's authorial voice, his descriptions, asides, turns of phrase and footnotes, rather than the story itself, and that's proved impossible to translate to TV. It's why Good Omens had to resort to clunky voiceover in places. A City Watch series that wasn't explicitly based on one book, but just telling stories around those established characters could have avoided that without having to completely reinvent the wheel.

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Agreed, I'd have been fine with using the City Watch characters, but creating a new set of crimes and cases for them to solve without feeling the need to adapt Men At Arms or Feet Of Clay (much as I'd enjoy that too of course). Like Pat says, a police procedural in a fantasy world, using these brilliant, well-drawn, complicated characters like Vimes and Sybil, Nobby and Colon, Carrot and Angua, Cheery and Detritus and so on. Use different villains or crimes so they can break out on their own a bit and not feel tied down to hitting every beat of the novels. No objection whatsoever. But BBC America's People Like Carnival Row Don't They? Here's That, Sort Of was on nobody's wish list.

Edited by HarmonicGenerator

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Part of the problem with adapting Pratchett is that much of the humour and the feel of Discworld comes from Pratchett's authorial voice, his descriptions, asides, turns of phrase and footnotes, rather than the story itself, and that's proved impossible to translate to TV

I feel this with all of Douglas Adams work as well. Adams is the dominant voice in all his work, to translate it just leaves it bland.

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I wouldn't call the Hitchhiker's Radio and TV series bland, they're both great, and iconic. The film was shit, but that was poor execution. 

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2 hours ago, Chest Rockwell said:

Has Sky ever produced a good original show of their own? I can't think of one.

Dream Team. 

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1 hour ago, PunkStep said:

Mad Dogs was ok at best, but it went to shit.

I liked Mad Dogs. I’m less annoyed about the ending now than I was when I first saw it. 

 

2 hours ago, Chest Rockwell said:

Has Sky ever produced a good original show of their own? I can't think of one

I enjoyed Save Me. Despite Lennie James being an awful actor. 

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I wouldn't call the Hitchhiker's Radio and TV series bland, they're both great, and iconic. The film was shit, but that was poor execution. 

I wasn't including the radio show to be honest. That benefits from its audio format. I also think it is helped by the fact Adams being all over it. The show started as a radio show, but the books are even better as its his imagination gone wild. Was never a fan of the show as much as others.

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5 hours ago, HarmonicGenerator said:

Sky commissioned Yonderland - it’s the weakest of the original Horrible Histories cast’s other projects but still good fun, and they gave it three series which was nice of them.

Good shout, me and my daughter really enjoyed Yonderland. 

3 hours ago, TheBurningRed said:

I liked Mad Dogs. I’m less annoyed about the ending now than I was when I first saw it. 

 

I enjoyed Save Me. Despite Lennie James being an awful actor. 

I liked the first series of Mad Dogs, especially the first episode where Ben Chaplin basically reprised his role from Game On, but thought it went crap.

Save Me is actually another good shout, and I even liked Lennie James in it. Suranne Jones playing her typecast role of suffering woman got tiresome but I was impressed with Kerri Godliman. Where the fuck is the second series?! 

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