I'm aware of The Watch, which is extremely loosely based on the Ankh-Morpork City Watch from the Discworld series, but I've heard that Terry Pratchett's daughter has disowned it:

Rhianna Pratchett stated it shared "no DNA with my father's Watch".

- Wikipedia

I'm confident I've read more about why in particular she 'disowned' the series. Has she stated anywhere else (besides the Twitter thread linked above) her issues with the series, that lead to the above statement? It's possible she's not said more and I'm misremembering, as hard as that is to prove I'm happy to accept that until it's disproven.


2 Answers 2


From Gamerant:

She later added, "The Watch will succeed or fail on its own merits. But watching the recent talk around the show, I feel I should point out that there are many fine actors & crew involved who’ve worked hard on this. If you don’t like what you’ve seen, then please don’t take it out on them." It's a good sentiment to have, because while criticism is valid and even important, it should not be tied to hostility.

Also, from The Independent:

Rhianna also shared a thread titled: “I'm still super upset at #TheWatch trailer.”

Rhianna had previously criticised The Watch’s showrunner, Simon Allen, for failing to thank her father.

  • Your first quote is in the linked twitter thread in my question... But the second one that Rhianna shared is worth me looking into.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 12:41
  • 1
    "I'm still super upset at #TheWatch trailer" seems to have been said by Aliette de Bodard, not Rhianna Pratchett. cc @AncientSwordRage
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 13:48
  • @Randal'Thor you can infer she agrees with some part of the thread by the fact she shared it... I don't think it's completely obvious why she shared it...
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 13:49

Rhianna Pratchett hasn’t said any more publicly, and discussion of The Watch is conspicuously absent from Terry Pratchett’s official biography, despite Pratchett being involved in early production work. But this February 2021 article by Marc Burrows for HeyUGuys may shed some light on why Rhianna - and everyone else involved with the Pratchett estate - were so unhappy with the result:

“It went through a very long time in processing,” says Colin Smythe, Pratchett’s literary agent and a confidant of the author since the late 60s when he agreed to publish his debut novel. “We discussed it with the BBC, with Terry as the final arbiter. It was going to be using the books up to the characters included in [the final City Watch book] Snuff. They could make up storylines and new characters with input from Terry, and his final approval. This was what was discussed at the one large meeting I attended – I never saw the contract. And then Terry’s health was deteriorating and that put everything on hold.”

So that was the agreement; as he always did, Pratchett wanted creative input and veto over adaptations of his work. When he died in early 2015, the show was still in development, but:

His passing … left a hole in the contract Narativia had signed for what would become The Watch, which had specified that “Terry Pratchett” had final sign-off on the show. It said nothing about his representatives, his co-directors at Narrativia or his Estate having a right of veto. “Nothing was said about anyone else having the ultimate decision if the situation changed”, says Smythe, “it was inconceivable at that moment in time [when the show was first being developed] that Terry wouldn’t be there to oversee things.”

This would suggest that some of the disappointment and frustration comes from this loophole allowing BBC Studios and BBC America to make creative decisions without any oversight from the Pratchett estate.

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