New York – September 11, 2019 – Critically acclaimed actor and playwright Richard Dormer (Game of Thrones) is set to lead the cast of BBC AMERICA’s new original scripted series, The Watch, co-produced by Narrativia and BBC Studios.
Set in the fictional city of Ankh-Morpork, where crime has been legalized, The Watch is a uniquely anarchic drama. The series centers on a group of misfit cops as they rise up from decades of helplessness to save their corrupt city from catastrophe. The Watch is an inclusive genre-bending series inspired by the legendary ‘City Watch’ subset of Sir Terry Pratchett’s bestselling “Discworld” novels and its many iconic characters.
Also joining the cast are Adam Hugill (1917), Jo Eaton-Kent (Don’t Forget The Driver), Marama Corlett (Blood Drive) and Lara Rossi (Crossing Lines) together with Sam Adewunmi (The Last Tree).
Richard Dormer stars as Sam Vimes, Captain of The Watch, disempowered by a broken society that’s reduced his department’s jurisdiction to almost nothing. Jo Eaton-Kent is Constable Cheery, the ingenious non-binary forensics expert, ostracized by their kin and finding a new home and identity. Adam Hugill plays Constable Carrot, the idealistic new recruit, raised by dwarfs, but really a human abandoned at birth. Marama Corlett is the mysterious Corporal Angua who is tasked with Carrot’s training and keeping the rookie alive. Lara Rossi plays the formidable Lady Sybil Ramkin, last scion of Ankh-Morpork’s nobility, who’s trying to fix the city’s wrongs with her chaotic vigilantism. Sam Adewunmi is the wounded and wronged Carcer Dun, out to hijack destiny itself, take control of the city and exact a terrible revenge on an unjust reality.
The Watch, comprised of eight episodes, begins filming in Cape Town, South Africa on September 30th and is part of BBC AMERICA’s 2020 slate that includes the Emmy®-nominated Killing Eve, Jodie Whittaker’s second season of Doctor Who and Seven Worlds, One Planet, presented by Sir David Attenborough.
Produced for BBC AMERICA by BBC Studios and Narrativia, the show’s lead writer is Simon Allen (The Musketeers). Joining Allen as writers on the series are Joy Wilkinson (Doctor Who), Catherine Tregenna (Torchwood), Amrou Al-Kadhi (Little America) and Ed Hime (Skins). Craig Viveiros (Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None) is set to direct.
Richard Dormer says: “I’m so thrilled to be part of this brilliant madness and mayhem! I was immediately drawn to the multitude of layers to Sam Vimes, and I find the dynamic between him and his band of disenfranchised comrades very compelling.”
AMC Network’s Entertainment Group & AMC Studios President Sarah Barnett says: “The Watch will be a very BBC America show. As with Killing Eve, we don’t go straight at an adaptation – we blur genres, undercut with humor, and hire the most genius writers and actors to create stories and characters that are both entertaining and very contemporary, that say something new. Richard Dormer will kill it as Sam Vines, not your everyday male anti-hero. Simon Allen and Rob Wilkins approach this adaptation with the kind of iconoclastic energy and open-hearted love that will truly honor the indelible legacy of Sir Terry.”
Director and executive producer, Craig Viveiros says: “The script for The Watch is like nothing I have ever read before. It’s anarchic, it’s noisy and raspy, and I am really looking forward to bringing it to life on screen. With such a talented line up of cast and crew together we can make something ground-breaking.”
Lead writer and executive producer, Simon Allen says: “Sir Terry Pratchett is in the bloodstream of popular culture. He has a distinctly British kind of literary heart and humor, but his ideas are defiantly human and universal. It’s been such a privilege to work with our world-class director, producers and writers on building a television show that honors his legacy while striking out on its own in his name and spirit. Like the man whose genius inspired it, The Watch is a hopeful show that believes it’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness. I can’t wait for everybody to see our joyously brilliant cast light candles and, of course, flamethrowers.”
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 Hilary Salmon (Luther), Ben Donald (The Mallorca Files) and Richard Stokes (Torchwood) 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. BBC Studios is handling distribution internationally.
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 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 programmes and formats made by high-quality UK independents. Award-winning British programmes made by the business are internationally recognised 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. BBC Studios 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 are also the makers of Good Omens, based on the Sir Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman novel, co-produced with Narrativia, The Blank Corporation and Amazon. 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 programmes for UK audiences.