There have been a few attempts at transporting Discworld to the screen, from Cosgrove Hall’s animated adaptations of Soul Music and Wyrd Sisters, to the more recent Sky productions of Hogfather, The Colour of Magic and Going Postal. But beyond the brief glimpses we get of such characters as Angua, Nobby Nobbs and Visit-The-Infidel-With-Explanatory-Pamphlets, the Watch novels have yet to reach our television sets. Why?
And you know what else is currently popular? Subverting fantasy tropes. It’s showing these fantastical beings in mundane situations, such as sharing a house (Being Human) or going to school (Teen Wolf). And there’s no better set of novels for dissecting the fantasy genre and serving it back to you. All of the Discworld novels do it to a point, but the City Watch ones take it to the next level. These are the characters, as Pratchett points out, that are usually skipped over in fantasy novels. If a guard is mentioned, they’re either guarding or getting killed by the hero. Guards are never the good guys in fantasy. But the Watch novels take the ordinary problems you’d encounter while policing a fantasy metropolis and turn them into comedic artworks.
But talking about casting is dreaming too big at this stage. There’s been no official news on the subject for the last couple of years, although Pratchett has been talking about it in personal appearances. It’s difficult to know how it would be able to fit into Discworld continuity. With new stories, it could fit in and around established plotlines, or it could be post-current novels. Whatever they do, hopefully the series manages to make it to air soon. Otherwise, the City Watch novels could turn into the new Good Omens – brilliantly funny novels with adaptations spoken about for years, which never quite make it to the filming stage.