The Watch: The Dark in the Dark
February 1, 2021 7:33 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

In the race against Carcer for the second mystical artifact, Cheery, Angua and Carrot venture into the Mines of Tak.

Cheery must confront the darkness in her past. Vimes and Sybil defend the besieged Watch House from Doctor Cruces and her Assassins.
posted by miss-lapin (5 comments total)
The opening sequence depicting the dragon attack was gorgeous, and I loved the realization about how easy it is to subvert the imps.

Cheery's growth through this episode is giving me life.
posted by hanov3r at 10:32 AM on February 2, 2021

I ... hesitantly agree.

Cheery's growth, as a character in a new adaptation of an older work, is fun and interesting and a real high point! So too the reimagining of the Imps; delightful, perspicacious, relevant! Similarly a lot of the set design; this isn't Round World so while the books told a storey that seemed set against an accelerated retelling of Britain's social & technological development of the last 400-ish years there's nothing saying that anything has to look like that. I love the pastiche. Even the mashups can be interesting; I liked seeing bits of what made Teatime dangerous expressed in the Wonce' machinations with the observers

Other bits I really enjoyed - The Observers (the not-auditors) noting relatively early that "There is no universe in which Sam Vimes kills Cybil Rammekin".. Sure a direct quote from the books that informs the audience much earlier than the books did about the redeemable character of the good Captain. Similarly I, for on, liked seeing Vimes' Boots Theory dropped in. If fit, it told us something about he world and it worked even without the content that the novel had the luxury of using more time and space to tell.

So yes - I have liked a lot of the series thus far..... but it took until this episode to really figure out why I haven't been enjoying them. In short - this series borrows some names, bits of characters, some scenery and some quotable bits from several novels. At the same time it appears to be trying to tell a different story, from a different perspective with different goals. There's nothing wrong with this in theory but in practice I can't tell who this production is actually for.

In attempting to build upon PTerry's work it really feels like the writers have missed several really important things from the novels that are pretty important to why they resonated with so many in first place. Like why wld anyone suggest (despite the metaphorical Clark Kent glasses) that Carrot might be the rightful King? Why (and how) is Cheery's gender expression so important and radical? Why is Vetinary scary and powerful despite (apparently) excercising so little direct influence? Why don't the wizards rule the world? How does a major metropolis completed with our familiar socio-economic disparities, medieval politics and a fantasy species-ism onto of good 'ol racism actually work?

I can't look at this with new eyes because the series does precious little of its own world building; I'd think that someone unfamiliar with the source material would be left wondering about all the plot holes and dangling frayed plot lines. As someone who really loved the novels I have trouble enjoying the series because there's no apparent rhyme nor reason to the bits of world building the novels did that actually carries through to this adaptation.

So maybe I'm off base here - and that's quite possible as I know I'll watch the whole thing and continue enjoying bits of it - but I still don't know who this was made for. If it's not complete without the books but the books spend as much time contradicting this adaptation as they do supporting it then it's not stand alone nor is it a complementing cohort.

I think I'd have had less trouble with a more literal adaption or one that took a lot more liberties and attempted to tell a smaller storey. Where's my Discworld-Mandalorian at?
posted by mce at 3:09 PM on February 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

It gets harder to justify surprise at Carrot being tall and saying he's a dwarf with so many other dwarfs being human sized.
posted by Marticus at 6:28 PM on February 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

And yeah, mce - I think they're choosing the wrong line of not being quite true enough to the source material and yet constantly depending on the source material to hold up half of the story. It's... Uncomfortable. I'm still enjoying it for what it is, but I don't blame any novel readers who are bailing out of it, too.
posted by Kyol at 8:22 AM on February 3, 2021

The dark in the dark! In the dark, you can be anything you want. the dwarves who are afraid of the dark, who think people get lost in the dark - they are afraid of what makes dwarves dwarves. Darkness. They have to act identical in the light for... reasons I don't remember. But in the dark, they can explore, express, and murder assassins.

I don't remember how this telling lined up with the books.

But my heart broke a little bit. It's so good.
posted by rebent at 3:07 PM on February 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

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