Home Entertainment Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series getting “absolutely faithful” TV adaptations

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series getting “absolutely faithful” TV adaptations

3 min read

Terry Pratchett’s utterly brilliant and often absurd Discworld novels are coming to the small screen. Narrativia, the production company founded by the beloved late author shortly before his death, has signed a deal with Motive Pictures and Endeavor Content to adapt Pratchett’s Discworld as a selection of (probably interconnected) TV series. In a press release on Narrativia’s official website, the production company revealed that it will “bring this treasured world to screens in a series of prestige adaptations that remain absolutely faithful to Sir Terry Pratchett’s original, unique genius.”

It’s the “absolutely faithful” bit that’s the most important for me. We’ve seen a number of adaptations of Pratchett’s fantasy work before, with several British mini-series productions over the years. Most recently, BBC commissioned The Watch, based on the infamous police unit in Pratchett’s fantasy world. However, if you’ve seen the first pics and read the character descriptions from that series, you would know that the creators took massive liberties with characters and story, much to the ire of fans.

Fans that seemingly included Pratchett’s own daughter and co-director of Narrativia, Rhianna. While she never overtly criticized it, soon after the first pics from The Watch were released, Pratchett shared a very strongly-worded article by acclaimed fantasy author Ursula K Le Guin about her displeasure with adaptations of her work. This new deal seems almost a response to BBC’s handling of The Watch as Pratchett indicated that this would actually be something her father “would be proud of”.

Discworld teems with unique characters, witty narrative and incredible literary tropes, and we feel these should be realised on screen in a form that my father would be proud of. It’s wonderful to embark on this journey with Motive and Endeavor Content, who both perfectly share our vision to make this a reality.

Starting with the Colour of Magic in 1983, there have been 41 Discworld novels published with the final book, The Sheperd’s Crown, finished shortly before Pratchett’s death in 2015. With such a lot to choose from, it’s unclear just which of the Discworld stories will be adapted by Narrativia and co, but I’ll be guessing that fan-favourite characters like Rincewind the Wizard, Death, and the City Watch will probably be the focus.

For the uninitiated, Pratchett’s stories are set on the titular Discworld, a flat world perched on the backs of four giant elephants which are in turn riding on the back of a giant flying turtle. If that sounds absurd, it’s because it’s supposed to be. Pratchett’s novels – filled with wizards, witches, dwarves, trolls, talking animals, vampires, and more – often parodied famous works of fantasy and classic literature, boasting hilariously witty dialogue and descriptions.

The latter, combined with the crazy complexity and scope of Pratchett’s characters and stories, has resulted in the books all being hugely beloved but made Discworld very difficult to adapt accurately in the past. Narrativia clearly thinks they can pull it off though, as Rob Wilkins, Pratchett’s former assistant and now Managing Director of Narrativia, explained.

The Discworld books are a huge source of joy to millions of readers, and rightly so; every paragraph, phrase and footnote was crafted with brilliance and flair and we are committed to bringing Terry’s world to the screen with the respect and care it deserves. With this partnership, we are delighted to say that Discworld has finally found its home.

Last Updated: May 2, 2020


  1. OddSockZA

    April 29, 2020 at 16:22

    God I hope it’s faithful (to a point). The new series based on the Watch just sounds like nonsense.


  2. MaSeKind

    April 29, 2020 at 15:33

    Lets hope so. Definitely my favourite series of all time. Currently busy listening to the audio books. Just finished Pyramids this morning, now on to Guards, Guards!


  3. Original Heretic

    April 29, 2020 at 17:25

    I’ve enjoyed only some of the movies.


  4. Lu

    April 30, 2020 at 07:24



  5. Cameron McEwen

    November 11, 2020 at 16:01

    Will this be live action?


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