Discworld Monthly - Issue 132: April 2008
Table of Contents:
Welcome to issue 132. On March 3rd I was invited to the Premiere of The Colour of Magic in London. It was a wonderful evening and an excellent production. Read section 5 to find out all about it.
Sky have updated their official website of the adaptation to include a very funny selection of Tourist Guides to Ankh-Morpork and The Discworld presented in the style of Mr Cholmondeley Warner.
In the unlikely event that you missed the news this month, Terry has personally donated 1 million USD to Alzheimers Research UK. More information about this is included in the news section.
Various fans felt it would be good to "Match it for Pratchett", so if you wish to make a small donation why don't we see if we can (collectively) match Terry's contribution.
Terry has asked that if you want to donate to Alzheimers Research UK, please donate direct to the charity (not via some of the websites that have popped up claiming to offer this service) if for no other reason than that by donating direct to the charity you can guarantee that 100% of your money gets to them.
The other advantage of donating direct is that if you are a UK tax payer you can claim Gift Aid on your donation and the government will pay the charity an extra percentage based on what you donate.
To make a donation visit www.alzheimers-research.org.uk/ and please remember to mention "Terry Pratchett" in the notes section.
It appears that a good start has been made on this endeavour. In
the first week over 34,000 GBP was raised by fans. See this report
by The Press Association:
The replica Luggage from The Colour of Magic auctioned on Ebay, raised over 3,300 GBP for Alzheimer's Research.
To celebrate 25 years of Discworld, the Times On-line are running a competition to win an iPod populated with Terry's back history of audiobooks. To enter the competition you must send them a picture of you dressed as your favourite Discworld character.
More details at: discworldmonthly.co.uk?redir=TimesOnline200803
Don't forget, if you visit a play or a talk and would like to let the world know about it, please feel free to email your review to email@example.com and we will consider it for publication.
Jason Anthony (Editor) firstname.lastname@example.org
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Martyr to his Lumbago)
From Sandra Kidby's excellent news site:
"I'D EAT THE ARSE OUT OF A DEAD MOLE IF IT OFFERED A FIGHTING CHANCE" SAYS TERRY PRATCHETT, AS HE PLEDGES 1 MILLION USD TO ALZHEIMERS RESEARCH
Best-selling author, Terry Pratchett, will today pledge 1 million USD to leading UK charity, the Alzheimers Research Trust, in a bid to help find a cure for the devastating disease, with which he was diagnosed in December 2007. Speaking at the charity's ninth Annual Network Conference in Bristol, the Discworld author will address leading dementia experts, describing the sheer frustration he felt after learning he had a rare version of early-onset Alzheimers disease, and the extreme lengths he would go to in order to beat the disease.
Mr Pratchett says:
"Part of me lives in a world of new age remedies and science, and some of the science is a little like voodoo, but science was never an exact science, and personally I'd eat the arse out of a dead mole if it offered a fighting chance."
On the issue of raising awareness of dementia and the urgent need for more research, the author added: "I intend to scream and harangue while there is time."
While offering a light-hearted take on the disease, Mr Pratchett is aware that his generous donation to the research charity will not guarantee a cure can be found in his lifetime, adding:
"I am, along with many others, scrabbling to stay ahead long enough to be there when the Cure comes along. Say it will be soon - there's nearly as many of us as there are cancer sufferers, and it looks as if the number of people with dementia will double within a generation. In most cases, alongside the sufferer you will find a spouse suffering as much. It is a shock to find out that funding for Alzheimers research is just 3% of that to find cancer cures."
Mr Pratchett's donation is in recognition of the urgent need to provide funding for research into the disease, which affects an estimated 700,000 people in the UK. For every person with Alzheimers, 11 GBP is spent each year on UK research compared with 289 GBP for each cancer patient, even though similar numbers of people are affected.
Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of the Alzheimers Research Trust, said:
"Whilst we were deeply saddened to learn of Mr Pratchett's diagnosis, we are delighted that he has chosen to speak out about his experiences with Alzheimers disease, to raise awareness about its impact and the desperate need for more research.
Research is the only way to beat this disease and help people like Terry - to prevent them losing their thinking skills and keep them doing the things they love. Terry's generous donation will fund promising UK research which hopes to find ways to slow down or halt the disease. The reality is that we are scraping for every penny and have to turn down two out of every three research projects."
The conference is an opportunity for 200 of the best UK dementia researchers, from across the ART's 15 Network centres, to exchange results and discuss new ideas to tackle dementia.
- Ends -
About Alzheimers disease
- Alzheimers disease is not a normal, unavoidable part of getting older, but an as yet incurable brain disease.
- Care services for Alzheimers disease cost the UK more than cancer, heart disease and stroke combined.
- There are currently 700,000 people with dementia in the UK. The number of people with dementia is forecast to double within a generation.
About the Alzheimers Research Trust
- The Alzheimers Research Trust is the UK's leading research charity for Alzheimers and related causes of dementia. It relies on donations from the public to fund its vital research.
- The Alzheimers Research Trust provides free information to the public on Alzheimers and the treatments currently available: phone 01223 843 899; www.alzheimers-research.org.uk
- Alzheimers research is severely under-funded - only 11 GBP is spent on UK research annually per patient, compared with 289 GBP for people with cancer.
A video of Terry's speech can be found at: discworldmonthly.co.uk/?redir=BBCVideo200803
and a BBC interview can be found at: discworldmonthly.co.uk/?redir=Interview200803
The Guardian has an article on Terry at: books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,,2265294,00.html
and the Telegraph also has an article at: discworldmonthly.co.uk/?redir=Telegraph200803
From the Independent on Sunday - discworldmonthly.co.uk/?redir=Independent200803
Broomsticks at dawn as Pratchett curses JK
Ah, a little literary ink is slung in the world of fantasy fiction, something to warm the cockles on a nippy morning.
Should the Harry Potter author JK Rowling find herself invited to inspect the carnivorous plant collection of the prolific Discworld scribe Terry Pratchett, she had best decline, lest the door to his greenhouse clicks shut, locked, behind her.
At the screening of the TV adaptation of Pratchett's mass-translated novel The Colour of Magic, I asked if he was a fan of JK.
"Not particularly," he said bluntly. "I read the first one [Harry Potter], that was fine, but now I read other things. You don't have to be a fan, it's not compulsory."
Rowling is suing the US publishers, RDR Books, who intended to publish a Harry Potter Lexicon, a 400-page reference book of potions, mystical creatures and the like for fans of the child wizard.
Pratchett disapproves of Rowling's legal action. "In fantasy writing, accusations of copying are very difficult to make," he said. "You know who invented wizards? Who invented Goblins? If we were going to start paying royalties for nicking one another's ideas, we'd have all given our life savings to the Tolkien family a long time ago."
Turns out it's not the first time Pratchett has tried to turn JK into a frog. In 2005, she said she hadn't realised the first Potter book was fantasy. He deadpanned: "I'm not the world's greatest expert, but I'd have thought the wizards, witches, trolls, unicorns, hidden worlds, jumping chocolate frogs, owl mail, magic food, ghosts, broomsticks and spells would have given her a clue."
JK Rowling / Warner bothers take their case to court on 24th March at 9:30am at the United States Courthouse in Manhattan.
Issue 168 (April 2008) of SFX magaine features a six page article about The Colour of Magic adaptation. The article includes several pictures taken on set and on location and even mentions Discworld Monthly. Part of the article is an inteview with Tim Curry in which he mentions the fan extras and how much he enjoyed us rioting outside the Unseen University.
The latest edition of TV Zone features an interview with Tim Curry about his role as Trymon and features lots of pictures.
Provisional TV ratings news from The Guardian:
Sky One's lavish Terry Pratchett drama The Colour of Magic concluded with nearly 1 million viewers last night, March 24.
The adaptation of Pratchett's Discworld novel attracted an average of 967,000 viewers and a multichannel share of 4.7% between 6pm and 8pm, according to unofficial overnight figures.
Sky One's second Pratchett adaptation peaked at 1.1 million viewers for the 15 minutes from 7.15pm.
The first part of the drama picked up 1.5 million viewers and an 8% share on Sunday night.
Sky One's first Pratchett adaptation, Hogfather, launched with 2.4 million viewers over Christmas 2006, with the second part attracting 1.5 million. The channel has already commissioned a third Pratchett drama, Going Postal, which will air next year.
[I expect that the drop from Hogfather was down to Sky loosing thousands of SkyOne viewers, myself included, when Sky and Virgin Media were unable to re-negociate on price last year. - Ed]
Wadfest (the Discworld's only annual camping event) has now got
pages on MySpace (
(www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=24591245362) and Bebo
( www.bebo.com/Wadfest) as well as its own website and forum
The popular and long-running e-mail service A Word A Day (sign up at wordsmith.org/awad/subscribe.html) features a theme of "lesser-known counterparts of common words." The word for March 6 is "inhume", the Assassins' Guild's infamous euphemism for their line of work.
Transworld, Terry's UK publisher, have finally started to create a website for Terry. At the moment it simply claims to be coming soon but it promises that it will be a great destination site for all fans. It will enable you to talk to other fans via its forum, and will be packed full of information and exclusive news about Terry Pratchett and his books, as well as having great downloads, games, competitions and more.
Why the Internet would need another Discworld forum I don't know. I can think of half a dozen busy Discworld forums without trying that hard. And I doubt it will be able to provide news that isn't already available on Sandra Kidby's site www.pjsmprints.co.uk which gets its information direct from Terry.
This section will contain events that you need to keep in your diary. Entries will remain until they go out of date. New entries will include the word [New] next to them. If this section gets too large we will start pruning entries.
[UK, New] The student drama group 'RoGUES' (Robert Gordon Entertainment Society) in Aberdeen will be performing Wyrd Sisters on the 1st and 2nd of April.
The play will be on at the Arts Centre, Aberdeen, and tickets are available from the Aberdeen Box Office ticket site www.boxofficeaberdeen.com.
The show opens at 7pm both nights and the curtains go up at 7.30. Tickets cost 8 GBP (Concessions 6 GBP).
For more information about -
[UK, Updated] The Broken Drummers is a London Discworld Group that meets once a month on a Monday evening. Membership is free - just come along. New members and visitors to London are both welcome and encouraged.
April's meeting will be on Monday 14th April at the Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ.
Keep an eye on
www.brokendrummers.co.uk or e-mail
On April 19th and 20th at the Elf Fantasy Festival at Castle de Haar in Haarzuilen in the Netherlands, "Jeugdtheaterschool Oost-Groningen" (youth theatre school East Groningen) will perform a Dutch spoken version of Maskerade, based on Terry's book. Exact times not available yet on the website.
There is a preview at: www.elffantasy.eu/?page_id=141 (second clip)
[UK, New] Tabs Productions will be producing 'Mort' at the Pomegranate Theatre, Corporation St, Chesterfield from Tuesday 15th April - Saturday 19th April at 7.30pm with a Saturday Matinee at 3.30pm. Tickets are 9.50 GBP (7.00 GBP concs), a family of four costs 30.00 GBP and can be obtained from 01246 345222
The Chameleons Amateur Dramatic Society will be performing Wyrd Sisters from May 8th - 10th 2008 at the Glaxo SmithKlein Leisure Centre, Oldfield Lane, North Greenford, Middlesex UB6 0HE (Easily accessible from London and the M40)
Tickets cost 9 GBP Adults, 7.50 GBP concessions. With a 10% discount available on groups of 10 or more.
Box Office 020 8123 6443 or email@example.com
[UK] The Wincanton Spring Bash will be held on the 24 and 25 May. Visit www.discworldemporium.com/ for more details.
[UK, New] KATS World Premier of Terry Pratchett's Moving Pictures adapted for the stage by John Hicks and Kevin Miller will be performed from 31st July to 2 August 2008 at Kennet School, Thatcham. Tickets cost 8 GBP, see www.kats.org.uk for more details.
AUDITIONS: If you are interested in taking part, open auditions are being held on 27 March, 3 April and 7 April at Bucklebury Memorial Hall, Upper Bucklebury. More details on the KATS website.
[UK] The Discworld Convention 2008 will take place at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham from 22nd to 25th August 2008.
For more information visit: www.dwcon.org/
[UK] Wadfest 2008 will take place on the 29th - 31st August 2008. Tickets cost 15 GBP for adults with children under 16 free when accompanied by a paying adult.
For more information visit: www.wadfest.co.uk/
[UK] The Wincanton Hogswatch Event will be celebrated on the 29th and 30th November. Visit www.discworldemporium.com/ for more details once they have been confirmed.
[US] The First North American Discworld Convention will take place from September 4-7, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.
For more information visit
Please note, DWM has no way of checking the veracity or validity of
any of the items in our small ads section. As always, exercise
caution when giving out your details over the Internet. We
*strongly* recommend parental supervision for younger readers who
follow up any of these contacts.
Therusha Naidoo Therushan@wilderness.co.za writes: I am an avid fan since I was like 13! Got the books from my school library and have been hooked since, I even have my mum hooked on Mr Pratchett! I was wondering as its very difficult to find out information on news and events in South Africa if you would be able to assist me.
I live in Johannesburg and feel like I am in a minority when it comes to the Discworld books. Would like to join or start something for my fellow followers so that we can grow a network as big as the UK one.
Please help, I used to subscribe to DM and had to stop when I moved. Now I am back on and keen to do this. I am sure there are millions of fans here, just need to find them.
DWM adds: If you live in South Africa why not get in contact with Therusha.
David Lovett firstname.lastname@example.org writes: I normally treat myself to the Collector's edition calendar and diary (this year being the Year of enlightenment'). But I was persuaded to leave it to my children this time so that they did not have to think what else to get me for Christmas. But they failed to do so, and now I cannot find copies anywhere. Can anyone help me to find copies? I don't want my collection to have a gap.
If you have any letters or comments, please email them to email@example.com
We assume any correspondence is eligible for use in the newsletter unless otherwise stated, including the sender's email address. We may also edit your letters and shred them to use a bedding material for our hamsters.
It is vitally important that you don't pass off other people's work as your own. If you use information from other resources please let us know so we can give proper credit.
The best letter of the month will receive a Kiss the Cook print supplied as by Bonsai Trading. Sadly Bonsai Trading is no longer trading but John Pagan has kindly supplied me with a reasonable supply of prints to give away.
* From: "Rory O'Brien" Rory.OBrien@lchclearnet.com
Further to correspondence of a few weeks ago I have extracted the digit and set up a petition at:
With the intention of getting a Knighthood for Terry Pratchett.
* From: "Heather Jadhav" SHIVAJIJADHAV@aol.com
Regarding the book signing in Bath recently. How selfish some people are! Yes ask for 1 book signing but why 5 at a time. A restriction is requested, 'no dedications' does this not indicate that the book signing is stressful. People asking for up to 5 books to be signed I cannot believe the thoughtlessness. My daughter has queued for 2 hours for 1 signature for me (several years ago) and Terry will just sit and keep signing, so many want a piece of him. I think the time has come for people to have a little bit of thought and not keep expecting Terry to do this. Maybe it is because I'm a nurse that I have felt so cross or maybe it is because I don't want to see some-one who gives so much back to his fans burnt out by the excessive demands of a few. I am sure the majority of people would agree with me.
* From: "Diane Simons" firstname.lastname@example.org
In the colour of magic a narrative does suggest that Rincewind "looks" in his 30's. But it was dark.
As for David Jason - My first reaction was the same as JP's. If Sky make more then it can get confusing who an actor is meant to be in this one. However, I reassured myself very quickly. I have never confused Del Boy with Inspector Frost or G...g...g.g.ranville. In fact I remember the day it actually dawned on me that they were played by the same person. I was stunned. It was a slow as the way sunlight rolls over the disc! I have no doubt what so ever that this marvellous, talented and adaptable actor could play every part in the screen play and we would still see the individuality or each character.
Don't worry JP - It will work out well. He's good.
* From: "emma crewdson" email@example.com
I just finished reading the most recent edition of Discworld Monthly and in response to the person who complained about PTerry not being mentioned in the 50 Greatest British writers, (I completely agree that it is an appalling oversight) you mentioned Isaac Asimov also not being listed. Isaac Asimov wasn't British! He was born in Russia and emigrated with his family to the USA when very young. Perhaps you meant Arthur C. Clarke? Sorry to be picky...
And speaking of Arthur C Clarke - we note his sad departure from this reality this month. You can hear Terry's fitting tribute to the man that put science into science fiction at discworldmonthly.co.uk/?redir=ArthurCClarke
* From: "Tony Wood" firstname.lastname@example.org
Following the recent reference to Treacle Mines in the DWM, I seem to remember (back in the Sixties) that Ken Dodd's Diddymen used to work in the treacle mines at Knotty Ash, just outside Liverpool.
That's where Mick the Marmaliser and Dicky Mint worked - or was that at the nearby jam butty mines?
btw for a great interview with Ken Dodd and the Beatles, check out Youtube.
* From: jacqueline simpson email@example.com
There are many villages and towns in England that have this weird legend of a secret treacle well. The one Terry first knew of was at Bisham in Bedfordshire; his father used to tell him about it when he was about eight years old, and though he didn't actually believe it he still somewhere deep down hoped it *might* be true.
How do I know this? Ten years ago Terry gave a lecture to the Folklore Society in London (I was its Secretary at the time), and he happened to mention this.
* From: "Adam Craik" firstname.lastname@example.org
Re. JA's reply to J-P Jones's letter of issue 131, Rincewind is generally believed to still be in his mid 30's to 40's based on both the age of Dr Rijinswand (33) in 'Colour of Magic' and based on 'Sourcery', which says that he enrolled at Unseen University 16 years earlier, which means he can't be more than his late 20's if he enrolled at about the age of 10/11 (the age Esk and Simon were when they enrolled in 'Egual Rites' and the age Coin was when he arrived in 'Sourcery'. Ridcully was also, presumably, not much older than this when he enrolled, because Windle Poons states in 'Reaper Man' that Ridcully cried for his mother on his first night).
Additionally, while Josh Kirby's art does depict Rincewind as being older than this, he also depicts Twoflower as having four eyes and shows Rincewind both wearing a hat (despite Druella commenting that he lacked one) and with a long beard (despite it being described as short).
As for Rincewind needing to be old because he was educated at the same time as Trymon, this need not be the case. Trymon doesn't have to be old in order to be a Senior wizard - he simply needs to have taken action to ensured rapid promotion. Ridcully, for example, was a Seventh level wizard by the age of 27. It would have not taken much for him to achieve the Eighth level and become a Senior wizard. It should also not be forgotten that Ponder Stibbons is a senior wizard, but he can't be older than his mid 20's, since he only graduated in 'Moving Pictures'.
* From: "Jenny Wolfe" email@example.com
I am a 58year old female & Grandmother and sick of being told that I am too old to read Terry! I tell these idiots that I have abandoned all other books and only read and re-read Terry, because he is the only author in all my years of reading who consistently leaves me disappointed that the book is finished and satisfied having had a good read. One tiny question however, if Trolls are rocks, where does the troll skin come from that the Hero's wear? Terry, may you live forever, because your books will!
* From: "Scott Haley" firstname.lastname@example.org
On the Discworld, Eight is a magic number. I noticed that this year we'll have 08/08/2008. Has anyone already suggested that August the Eighth be a special day to honor Mr. Pratchett? Perhaps fans could raise money for Alzheimer's research on that day.
* From: "Cynthia M Games" email@example.com
It would appear that Terry Pratchett's Discworld is invading Torchwood via the rift in Cardiff (or is it that Roundworld is invading Discworld once again?)
Has anyone else noticed the very Discworld plot themes in recent episodes of Torchwood? Firstly, we see the newly-undead Dr Owen Harper leaping into the sea (echoes of Reaper Man's Windle Poons trying to end his undeath by jumping from the Brass Bridge into the Ankh). Then enter the tall bloke with the scythe and the black robe (who somewhat resembles Death's malicious would-be successor in the same novel). Then a few episodes on, Cardiff residents are found gazing glassy-eyed at an Odium-like movie theatre screen (Making Movies) whilst their last seconds of life are kept in a bottle which is accidentally dropped and spills its contents (similar to the story of Albert's broken lifetimer in Soul Music).
Will the Discworld fan in Russell T Davies' team please stand up? Or - could it be possible that Pterry has followed in Douglas Adams' footsteps? The late great DA is known for having written episodes for Dr Who about searching for the lost pieces of a broken artefact that were rejected, but later the ideas appeared both in the HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy" and the Time Lord's adventures. I cannot believe that it is pure coincidence.
DWM replies: I would probably put this down to coincidence until the latest episode I watched where Owen's girlfriend is diagnosed as the youngest person to ever have early on-set Alzheimers! It actually turned out she had an alien growing in her brain. I wonder if Terry has had this option checked?
For coming up with this brilliant theory Cynthia gets this month's Letter Of The Month.
* From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
I have been a secret Discworld fan for over 20years!
I have never written before but felt compelled to do so today, after Terry's fantastic donation to Alzheimers research but more importantly his raising the awareness of Alzheimers and his fighting spirit that would make the Mac Feegles proud! Never mind knockin politicians teeth out Glasgow kiss needed!
I am a community psychiatric nurse working with older people in Glasgow many of whom have dementia. I was spitting feathers today when I heard Terry says he has to pay for his medication!! And has struggled for specialised help. What a disgrace! I am glad to say that doesn't happen in Scotland (Yet). I could rant on more but... I would like to send my best to Terry and his family and thank him. He kept me going as a student nurse on night shift 20yrs ago with MORT and I have been addicted ever since.....and now people know it.
* From: "The Innerbrat" firstname.lastname@example.org
I don't think I've ever been more disappointed in Pterry than when I read the "Letter from Terry" on SkyOne's site that you posted in your Picsaweb gallery. Specifically "Observant fans, though, will know that Twoflower was merely exotically foreign until Interesting Times and Sean told me years ago he wanted to be in a Discworld movie and so we decided West Coast American was exotic enough!"
Not only does this pre-empt any chance of doing an adaptation of Interesting Times, but it also removes the most significant character of colour from the entire series; the only other I can think of offhand being Lu Tse.
It's not that Astin's not a fantastic actor - I'm sure he plays Twoflower very well (I, being a Virgin customer, will have to wait until the DVD release to find out), it's just that its rare enough to see people of colour in fantasy, especially as sympathetic characters, and the rich diversity of people and populations on the Discworld is one of the reasons it stands up so well as a mirror of our own. There's supposed to be no racism on the Discworld because speciesism is more fun, not because all humans on it are white.
I had been looking forward to hearing what Pterry had to say about this - the way racism/speciesism is dealt with in his novels had always suggested he might at least acknowledge the issues inherent in casting a white person in a role widely held to have an Asian appearance - but the only reason he can give is that it was a favour for another white male?
I can't wait until someone decides a man would be perfect for the role of Granny Weatherwax. Or when they decide Tonker and Lofty would be better as 'just good friends'.
This month I'm asking questions about The Last Hero.
- Who is in charge of the group of really stupid Henchmen?
- What name does Vena the Raven Haired now use?
- a) Vena
- b) Zena
- c) Mrs McGarry
- d) Mrs Cake
- Who joins Rincewind and Leonard da Quirm to make up the official crew?
- What does Ponder Stibbons have written on his shirt?
- What is the name of the ship that Leonard designs?
The results, as always, appear at the end of this issue.
March 3rd - Curzon Cinema, Mayfair, London
Written by Jason Anthony.
My wife and I arrived at the Curzon Cinema at about 6:15 for the 7pm show and were amazed at just how many people were already waiting. Both sides of the street had been fenced off and were covered in large The Colour of Magic posters which I believe were all appropriated within five minutes of the Curzon closing the doors on the first performance.
We recognised some of the fans in the crowd and spoke with them for a while until we noticed that some people were heading into the cinema. We had tickets for the first show so we followed them in. There were a few props in the main reception of the cinema including the open unchained Octavo and Twoflower and Rincewind's costumes.
Once in the auditorium Richard Woolfe (head of Sky One, Two and Three) spoke about how proud Sky was with this production and mentioned that a few cameos were in the film. The most famous being Jeremy Irons as Lord Vetinari. Richard also made reference to his performance as the Alchemist.
With much less fanfare than the Hogfather premiere the lights were dimmed and the film started. The intro was quite similar to the Hogfather one but this time the narrator was Brian Cox. I found Brian's narration a bit disjointed with large pauses between sentences but soon fell into the pattern and sat back to enjoy the film.
Whereas Hogfather was mostly confined to interior shots, The Colour of Magic was able to have some really breathtaking long distance shots which suit the wide-screen aspect beautifully. When the ship that Twoflower arrives on pulls into the docks, you are treated to a view of the whole city with the Tower of Art totally dominating the skyline. It looks incredibly beautiful you just want to step into the screen and be in Ankh-Morpork.
Despite all the controversy in casting David Jason as Rincewind, I can happily say that his performance is brilliant - David is obviously a huge fan of the character and it shows in his portrayal. Sean Astin plays the foreign tourist excellently. It was a joy to watch their first meeting in the Drum come to life on screen. Helped, of course, by the shady-looking Ankh-Morporkian citizens in the Broken Drum. I'm the Thud player on the left.
There is so much going on in the film that it would be impossible to mention it all. The Luggage looks so good and Jeremy Irons is simply amazing - he has a little puppy with him that we know will grow up to be Wuffles.
The film ran along at a decent pace and our two heroes were soon out of Ankh-Morpork (watching it burn) and heading out on adventures in true road movie style. Unfortunately the Sending of the Eight section of the book is absent but we do get to see the Wyrmburg in all its CGI glory. Vadim Jean (the director) explained later that Sean Astin has already fought giant spiders in a previous film so they decided to go the Wyrmberg route instead.
Rather than running the two books in succession, the producers of the programme have combined parts of The Light Fantastic into The Colour of Magic. So we get to see Trymon's ambitious progress through the faculty and we get to see a lot of the Librarian prior to his magical accident. We also get to see the start of the accident that transforms him into an Orangutan. I loved the wizards running into the room and the Librarian looking up and saying "Oook?".
The first hour and a half were over in a flash and the snippets of the second half look amazing too.
After the program there was a quick Question and Answer session with Terry Pratchett, Sean Astin, Sir David Jason and director Vadim Jean.
The first question asked was "what are you making next?" and after checking permission to go ahead, it was announced that Going Postal would be made. They do, apparently, want to make more Rincewind stories but David Jason wasn't available to do the next one due to other contracts.
After the Q&A we were ushered out of the cinema to let the second session take place.
After leaving the cinema we spoke briefly to some of the fans that were queuing up for the second performance before heading off to the after show party.
Things get a little blurry after that. Upon arriving on the 28th floor we were given glasses of champagne. It seems to me that every time I took the glass away from my mouth somebody was there filling it back up again. So I only had one glass of champagne but it felt like I had drunk several bottles of it!
I got to speak briefly with the very beautiful Karen David who plays Liessa Dragonlady who pulled her stomach muscles doing the upside down fighting scenes in the Wyrmburg and briefly with Sean Astin but he was obviously in high demand. He appeared to remember me from when we were filming the Broken Drum scnes and I reminded him that he still owes me a game of Thud.
After that it was time to go home before I fell over. We got home at about 2am, tired, drunk but very, very happy.
I can't wait now to see the whole production - scheduled to be on SkyOne on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday (23rd and 24th March) at 7pm.
This month I have a SkyOne pack to give away. This pack was given to people at the Premiere after show party and therefore is very limited.
The pack includes a black SkyOne bag, a The Colour of Magic press pack, a limited edition region 2 DVD of Hogfather (No. 013657) and the new paperback 25th anniversary edition of The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic.
I have decided to raffle this off this month. Any money raised from the raffle will be donated to Alzheimers Research UK. Due to the weight and cost of postage of this prize the raffle is only available to UK residents.
Tickets cost 2 GBP each and there is no limit to the number you can purchase. To purchase your tickets please Paypal the correct amount in GBP to email@example.com please be sure to mention how many tickets you are purchasing.
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All tickets should be purchased by the 20th April. The randomly selected winning ticket will be announced next issue.
Reviewed by Jason Anthony.
On Sunday 23rd and Monday 24th March 2008 SkyOne broadcast The Mob Film Company's live action adaptation of The Colour of Magic. Earlier in the month I was lucky enough to go to the premiere in London where I saw the first half of the adaptation.
I have now watched both halves (after taking over my parents' lounge for two nights). The Mob previously cut their Discworld teeth on the well regarded and Bafta winning Hogfather. This time round they decided to start back at the beginning of the series. This years in fact is The Colour of Magic's 25th anniversary.
The pacing of The Colour of Magic appears to be much quicker than Hogfather and the story much easier to follow too. The casting is spot on. David Jason is excellent as Rincewind (and completely different to his previous role as Albert) and Sean Astin makes a wonderful Twoflower. He looks suitably out of place among the Ankh Morpork inhabitants.
A few liberties have been taken with the story but this is to be expected. We have for example the Wyrmberg but not the temple of Bel Shamharoth. We do however get a nice scene where Twoflower sees milestones to the Wyrmberg and tThe temple and has to make a choice between the two locations. Death's role has been beefed up a bit as his original role is quite limited in the book.
Some of the special effects looks absolutely amazing such as the baby star turtles, semi-transparent dragons, the red star and Old Granddad (a great big troll). Others look at times a bit limited, such as when Rincewind rides a horse away from Ankh Morpork. I expect that this is mainly down to trying to get so much done with what is a very limited budget. The Mob have to be congratulated on just how amazing this adaptation looks considering their budget was a fraction of a big action movie.
More of the screen time has been given over to The Light Fantastic - this adaptation is a combination of the first two Discworld books. So Trymon's rise to power is mixed in with Rincewind and Twoflower's adventures across the Disc. This allows more of the Light Fantastic story to remain intact in the second half.
I love the way that Nicholas Tennant, who plays the Librarian pre-transformation, talks about Monkeying around and also mentions that the Octavo has gone Ape. Richard de Costa does a wonderful job as both The Luggage and the post-transformation Librarian. Apparently he spent a long time studying Orangutans before starting the role.
As mentioned previously The Mob Film Company got fans involved with this production and many of the background artists were Discworld fans. Don't forget to look out for the editor of this very newsletter drinking and playing Thud in the Drum and also being part of the noisy crowd outside the UU.
Overall, fans and general viewers alike should enjoy this adaptation. My parents, for example, who are not fans were both able to follow the story more easily than with Hogfather.
I can't wait to get the DVD edition so that I can watch the adaptation in my own home and without the adverts.
I absolutely loved this adaptation and won't hesitate to recommend it. The Mob film company will next work on Going Postal and I can't wait to see what they make of that. Hopefully fans will be allowed to take part in that adaptation too (hint, hint).
The Colour of Magic really has brought the spirit of the Discworld to the small screen.
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* Disc Trivia Results *
- Who is in charge of the group of really stupid Henchmen?
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- Actually I am a Rocket Wizard.
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- The Kite.
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