Sometime last year, it was announced that a Discworld Watch TV show had been greenlit, which is something we have been waiting a long time for. I still can’t believe it is actually happening, but it is. All we know is that the stories are going to be original ones, using Sir Terry’s characters and set in his world. We don’t know when these stories will be set in the timeline, but whenever they are, I’m sure they will be good. Terry’s right hand man, Rob Wilkins, is supervising, and no one trusted him more with the Discworld than Terry Pratchett himself.
For some funsies then, because I don’t know how long it will be before we get more news about it, I have been busy thinking about my dream cast for the show. I have a lot of opinions on this, so strap yourselves in.
1. Sam Vimes
Vimes is the main character of the Watch novels, so I can only assume that he will be the main character in the show too. It is no secret that Sam Vimes is probably my all-time favourite fictional character, and my casting of Vimes depends very much on the timeline they go with for the show. Thanks to some great fan art I saw once, I can’t imagine anyone else but Stephen Dillane – Stannis Baratheon himself – as an older Vimes. He is just the right amount of prickly without being too much of a bastard, and he’d play our broody captain wonderfully. There is also a bonus with him that his son acts too, so we have a ready-made young Vimes if they ever wanted to do any flashbacks (can you tell I have thought about this a lot?)
For a younger Vimes, I am having more trouble picturing any actor in particular. They need to have the same energy as Dillane – quiet and watchful – but perhaps be a little more reckless. If you have any good ideas, let me know and we should talk about it!
2. Lady Sybil
Lady Sybil is the beating heart of the Watch books, and her casting will be absolutely vital to the success of the show. I have settled on Octavia Spencer for now, once again as a slightly older Sybil. Once again, I am influenced by fan art here. Many people portray her as a woman of colour, and I am absolutely on board with that.
I think Spencer would contrast well with Stephen Dillane; she is such a warm actress and so expressive, which Lady Sybil needs to be, but also not one who would take any shit. I can just imagine her in a ball gown at one of the political events Vimes hates so much, or in overalls wrestling with her swamp dragons. Now I am settled on her, I can’t think of anyone else in the role.
3. Lord Vetinari
There have been some Discworld TV specials already, none of which are particularly good, but a couple of them have cast Charles Dance as Lord Vetinari, the benevolent dictator who has helped to make the city of Ankh-Morpork a better place. Charles Dance was an inspired piece of casting, and I would keep him for that role.
Vetinari has to be regal and unreadable, and have that air which says he could murder you if he wanted to. The key thing about Dance is that he is so perfect, and Vetinari is such an enigma, that I would cast him regardless of the point in the timeline that the story takes place. Maybe if he playing against Dillane, he might need to have slightly more grey in his hair, but that is the only change I would make.
4. Captain Carrot
If we are talking about a young Carrot, the idealistic ‘dwarf’ that is Vimes’ loyal right hand man, I think we need someone like Sam Claflin. I am not married to either of these ideas, but Carrot needs to be handsome and friendly, with a kind and open face. He also should be physically imposing, but I am not too fussed if he isn’t a giant, as long as he works in the other ways, which are more important.
If we need an older Carrot, I am amusing myself thinking of someone like Alan Tudyk in the role. It is a bit left-field, but think about it. Carrot could be a bit older and maybe not quite the handsome kid he once was, but he is still open and caring, perhaps a little bit wiser than he once was. Plus Tudyk playing off against Stephen Dillane would be great.
Angua, the werewolf Watch officer who wins over Captain Carrot and proves herself invaluable to Vimes, would be such a fun role to play. Angua has to be beautiful but not cold with it – she has a very big heart. For a younger Angua, I have been completely won over by Lily Collins after watching her in BBC Les Miserables. She has the warmth that Angua needs, but the beauty that enchants and fools many a villain in Ankh-Morpork.
For an older Angua, I am more open to suggestions. Where Carrot might ‘grow up’ to be a little bit wiser than he was, I like to think that Angua might learn to chill out a bit and whoever plays her would have to embody that. (And be strong enough to hold her own against Dillane and not be overwhelmed by Tudyk).
Whoever does get cast in the Watch TV show, and whatever timeline they set it in, I think that we can all agree the show is going to be the most exciting Discworld thing to come about in years. Do you agree with my choices here? Do you hate them? Do you have ideas of your own? I am literally always ready to discuss this, so hit me up. I’m sure we can entertain ourselves until we get more official news.