Ingrid Oliver, Ruth Madeley, Hakeem Kae-Kazim and Bianca Simone Mannie Also Set to Join the Cast of the BBC Studios-Produced Drama Inspired by Sir Terry Pratchett’s Bestselling “Discworld” Novels
New York – November 19, 2019 – BBC AMERICA today announced Anna Chancellor, James Fleet, Ingrid Oliver, Ruth Madeley, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, and Bianca Simone Mannie have joined the cast of the network’s disruptive original series, The Watch, premiering in 2020. Co-produced by BBC Studios and Narrativia, The Watch is inspired by Sir Terry Pratchett’s bestselling “Discworld” novels.
Set in a fictional city where crime has been legalized, The Watch is a genre-busting series that follows a group of misfit cops as they rise up from decades of helplessness to save their corrupt city from catastrophe. Uniquely anarchic and thrillingly entertaining, the character-driven drama follows several of Sir Terry Pratchett’s best-loved creations on a riotous and emotional odyssey.
Anna Chancellor (Pennyworth) is set to star as Lord Vetinari, The Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, and architect of the city’s normalized wrongness and ramshackle system of governance. James Fleet (Outlander) will play The Archchancellor, a wizard, magical advisor, and the Head of the Unseen University. Ingrid Oliver (Doctor Who) stars as the Head of The Assassins’ Guild, Doctor Cruces. Ruth Madeley (Years and Years) will portray the wiry Throat, the city’s best snitch, with a gang of freelance henchmen at her beck and call. Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Dynasty) will play Captain John Keel, former leader of The Watch and mentor to Sam Vimes, determined to save the corrupt and chaotic city. Bianca Simone Mannie (Homeland) stars as the cunning Wonse, a wizard hopeful in waiting that is frequently underestimated.
Anna Chancellor says: “It’s been so exciting to join such a wonderfully creative team – from writer Simon Allen to the stunning production design and a truly talented group of actors – to help realize Terry Pratchett’s brilliantly anarchic yet strangely real and moving world. With the combining characteristics of Dracula and Elvis – Lord Vetinari has sprung to life in the most alarmingly joyful way.”
James Fleet says: “I’m delighted to be playing the Archchancellor. I think the writing and design catch the spirit of Terry Pratchett’s work and create a world of jeopardy and humor.”
Ingrid Oliver says: “It’s a joy to be part of The Watch and take on the role of Doctor Cruces. She’s such a fascinating character and pretty badass.”
Ruth Madeley says: “I’m so excited to be part of a world that Sir Terry Pratchett created. The character of Throat was male in the original books so for the team to cast me was extra exciting. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Throat develops and what mischief she can bring.”
The stellar line-up will join the previously announced cast of Richard Dormer (Captain Sam Vimes), Adam Hugill (Constable Carrot), Jo Eaton-Kent (Constable Cheery), Marama Corlett (Corporal Angua), Lara Rossi (Lady Sybil Ramkin), and Sam Adewunmi (Carcer Dun).
Also announced today, Brian Kelly (Outlander) and Emma Sullivan (Doctor Who) have joined Craig Viveiros (Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None) as directors for the series. The show’s lead writer is Simon Allen (The Musketeers).
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. The series is executive produced by Richard Stokes (Torchwood), Hilary Salmon (Luther), and Ben Donald (The Mallorca Files) for BBC Studios, Rob Wilkins (Good Omens) for Narrativia, Simon Allen and Craig Viveiros. Johann Knobel (Shameless) is series producer of The Watch, and Simon Rogers (Doctor Foster) is production designer. Director of Photography is John Pardue (Luther). Costume Designers are Colleen Kelsall (Tolkien) and Dihantus Engelbrecht (Noughts and Crosses), and Hair and Make Up Designer is Amanda Ross-McDonald (Black Sails). BBC Studios is handling distribution internationally.
The Watch, comprised of eight episodes, is currently filming in South Africa and is part of BBC AMERICA’s 2020 slate that includes the return of the award-winning series Killing Eve, Jodie Whittaker’s second season of Doctor Who and the landmark Sir David Attenborough-fronted series Seven Worlds, One Planet.
About BBC AMERICA:
BBC AMERICA is a hub of innovative, culturally contagious programming including the Peabody Award-winning series Killing Eve starring Golden Globe® and SAG® Award-winner Sandra Oh and Emmy® and BAFTA Award-winner Jodie Comer. The network is the definitive home and co-producer of the most iconic natural history programming including Planet Earth II, Blue Planet II, Dynasties, the upcoming Sir David Attenborough-narrated series Seven Worlds, One Planet and the return of the Emmy®-winning series Frozen Planet II and Planet Earth III- all a part of the new Saturday nature television destination, Wonderstruck, launching Q4 2019. A joint venture between AMC Networks and BBC Studios (the commercial arm of the BBC), BBCA’s influential shows such as Doctor Who, Orphan Black, Luther and Broadchurch, among many others, have attracted critical acclaim and earned Emmy® Awards, Peabody Awards, Critics’ Choice Awards, TCA Awards, NAACP Image Awards, an IDA Documentary Award, a Gotham Award and Golden Globes®. Created in 1998, the irrepressible network has garnered one of cable’s most curious, educated and affluent audiences, with many properties boasting super-fan levels of engagement. Its unscripted slate includes the iconic car show Top Gear, buzzy and hilarious The Graham Norton Show and the world’s biggest darts championships. Get caught up, BBCA offers full episodes On Demand across all major digital platforms, BBC AMERICA app and bbcamerica.com. Find out more by visiting press.amcnetworks.com.
About BBC Studios:
BBC Studios, a global content company with British creativity at its heart, is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group. Able to take an idea seamlessly from thought to screen, it spans content financing, development, production, sales, branded services, and ancillaries from both its own productions and programs and formats made by high-quality UK independents. Award-winning British programs made by the business are internationally recognized across a broad range of genres and specialisms, including factual, drama, entertainment and comedy. BBC Studios has offices in 22 markets globally, including six production bases in the UK and production bases and partnerships in a further nine countries around the world. The company, which makes around 2,500 hours of content a year, is a champion for British creativity around the world and a committed partner for the UK’s independent sector. Created in April 2018 by the merger of two existing commercial subsidiaries, BBC Worldwide and BBC Studios, the company has revenue of around £1.4bn. In the year to March 2019, it returned £243m to the BBC Group, complementing the BBC’s licence fee and enhancing programs for UK audiences.
BBC Studios Production Limited 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 Production 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.