When first we covered The Watch, the upcoming BBC America series inspired by Terry Pratchett‘s long-running, influential Discworld series of novels, we did our best to appease to long-running fans of that series and how they might feel based on the first trailer’s swings. But now we have a second trailer. And it’s clear the show itself is no longer catering to please these die-hard Pratchett-heads, instead going for wider, broader cultural touchstones to get you watching in January.
From its kinetic compositions, usage of pop music, and emphasis on grimily oddball bantering friendships, this trailer feels a lot like Guardians of the Galaxy, that widely influential MCU film. But this ain’t necessarily sci-fi shenanigans we’re seeing. From fantastical weapons to mythological creatures to, well, an actor from Game of Thrones in the title role, it’s clear we’re going for “Game of Thrones on GOTG acid” vibes, a phantasmagorically trippy, casually funny ride through tons of fantastical tropes with glee and lack of abandon that will probably be 900 times more entertaining than the series finale of GoT.
Richard Dormer is our GoT actor in the leading role of Sam Vimes, captain of the City Watch, who seems to be absolutely having a ball. He’s joined by a deep, similarly-ball-having ensemble cast including Lara Rossi (I May Destroy You), Adam Hugill (1917), Marama Corlett (Blood Drive), Jo Eaton-Kent (Don’t Forget the Driver), The Wire‘s Wendell Pierce as friggin’ Death, and What We Do in the Shadows‘ Matt Berry as a friggin’ talking sword. The series comes from showrunner Simon Allen, who recently wrote for Cinemax‘s cult action hit Strike Back, and this looks like trip to a higher plane of aggressively silly consciousness for his CV.
The Watch premieres on BBC America with a two-part episode January 3, 2021. Check out the new trailer and official synopsis below.
The Watch follows an unlikely group of misfits, The City Watch, who are forced to find the guts to save the world, surprising even themselves in the process. The comedic yet thrilling series pits trolls, werewolves, wizards and other improbable heroes against an evil plot to resurrect a great dragon which would lead to the destruction of life as they know it. From lead writer and executive producer Simon Allen (The Musketeers), the modern and inclusive series is inspired by the characters created by Sir Terry Pratchett’s famous “Discworld” novels, including the captain of The City Watch Sam Vimes (Richard Dormer, Game of Thrones), the last scion of nobility Lady Sybil Ramkin (Lara Rossi, I May Destroy You), the naïve but heroic Carrot (Adam Hugill, 1917), the mysterious Angua (Marama Corlett, Blood Drive) and the ingenious forensics expert Cheery (Jo Eaton-Kent, Don’t Forget the Driver) together with The Watch’s own idiosyncratic depiction of Death (Wendell Pierce, The Wire).