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Discworld Fans Seriously Aren't Happy About The Watch Trailer

Even Sir Terry Pratchett-approved maps of Discworld never stay perfectly accurate forever. For any Pratchett fan the reason is clear: Discworld stories are full of details, yet almost amorphous by design. The beauty of Discworld is that it beckons the reader to imagine its world in ways that are uniquely their own. No permanent maps means readers get to explore Discworld much as one might walk the streets of a city they've never been to before — wide-eyed and full of wonder. By most estimations, Discworld is in the top ten best selling fantasy series of all time, coming in just behind household names like Harry PotterLord of the RingsA Song of Ice and Fire, Chronicles of Narnia and The Wheel of TimeThat's a lot of devoted fans to please, and therein lies part of the problem.

Despite the obvious commercial appeal, adapting the works of Terry Pratchett has proven so difficult that even his massive sales figures haven't justified many proper attempts. Recently, Good Omens achieved that rare success, but that was largely because Good Omens falls outside the Discworld series — it also doesn't hurt that Pratchett's co-author, Neil Gaiman, is very much alive and acted as an executive producer for the Amazon adaptation.

The latest attempt at adapting Pratchett is a direct attempt to bring Discworld to the screen, and it comes in the form of The Watch. As with Good Omens, The Watch, on its face, makes sense for adaptation. Imagine a police procedural but set in the comedic fantasy land of Discworld and you've basically got it. At NYCC Comic Con 2020, a trailer for The Watch was finally released, and unfortunately the fans of Sir Terry's work don't seem very amused by the result.

The fans are concerned The Watch doesn't represent Discworld well

The Pratchett estate has been distancing itself from The Watch for quite some time. Terry's daughter Rihanna even tweeted back in August of 2020 that the show was "inspired by characters created by Terry Pratchett" and not a true adaptation — an ominous sign for fans. Watching the first trailer for The Watch, it's readily apparent why she said that. 

"Who on earth envisioned Vimes as a Captain Jack Sparrow-esque character?" asks Reddit user 2maa2. Sam Vimes (Richard Dormer) is more of a put-upon soul just trying to do his job in the books, but as stated on Reddit, he's been transformed for the screen into something a bit more stylized. "Instant interesting hero, just add eyeliner," joked user thesullier, in obvious disgust.

Pratchett had a concept he used to explain diverging timelines called the "Trousers of Time," where essentially the crotch is the point where a choice can be made and each leg of the trousers represents a potential outcome based on the result of the choice.

Reddit user dykmoby puts the trailer for The Watch in Time Trouser context, stating that the two likely legs are either an "excellent adaptation" of the source material, and an adaptation that is somewhat related to the text but is ultimately designed to "accommodate and appeal to the most broad of audiences." Dymoby suggests that the trailer indicates a third option they call "one of those quantum embuggrances [sic] that crop up from time to time (or from trouser to trouser) where what was actually produced fell out of a hole in the crotch of said trousers, bounced off last year's 'Farmers' Almanak' [sic] and plummeted straight into the loo."

In short: The Watch, a Pratchett concept that seems by its very nature to be designed for a wide swath of viewers, has unleashed a trailer which, in reverse Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants fashion, seems to fit exactly no one.