Casting News: BBC America's 'The Watch' Enlists Anna Chancellor, James Fleet and More
Anna Chancellor, James Fleet, Ingrid Oliver, Ruth Madeley, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, and Bianca Simone Mannie have joined the cast of BBC America’s disruptive original series, The Watch, premiering in 2020. Co-produced by BBC Studios and Narrativia, The Watch is inspired by Sir Terry Pratchett’s bestselling “Discworld” novels.
Set in a fictional city where crime has been legalized, The Watch is a genre-busting series that follows a group of misfit cops as they rise up from decades of helplessness to save their corrupt city from catastrophe. Uniquely anarchic and thrillingly entertaining, the character-driven drama follows several of Sir Terry Pratchett’s best-loved creations on a riotous and emotional odyssey.
Anna Chancellor (Pennyworth) is set to star as Lord Vetinari, The Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, and architect of the city’s normalized wrongness and ramshackle system of governance. James Fleet (Outlander) will play The Archchancellor, a wizard, magical advisor, and the Head of the Unseen University. Ingrid Oliver (Doctor Who) stars as the Head of The Assassins’ Guild, Doctor Cruces. Ruth Madeley (Years and Years) will portray the wiry Throat, the city’s best snitch, with a gang of freelance henchmen at her beck and call. Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Dynasty) will play Captain John Keel, former leader of The Watch and mentor to Sam Vimes, determined to save the corrupt and chaotic city. Bianca Simone Mannie (Homeland) stars as the cunning Wonse, a wizard hopeful in waiting that is frequently underestimated.
It's safe to say that the new cast members are pretty excited about the project, with Anna Chancellor saying, “It’s been so exciting to join such a wonderfully creative team – from writer Simon Allen to the stunning production design and a truly talented group of actors – to help realize Terry Pratchett’s brilliantly anarchic yet strangely real and moving world. With the combining characteristics of Dracula and Elvis – Lord Vetinari has sprung to life in the most alarmingly joyful way.”
James Fleet says: “I’m delighted to be playing the Archchancellor. I think the writing and design catch the spirit of Terry Pratchett’s work and create a world of jeopardy and humor.”
Ingrid Oliver says: “It’s a joy to be part of The Watch and take on the role of Doctor Cruces. She’s such a fascinating character and pretty badass.”
Ruth Madeley says: "I'm so excited to be part of a world that Sir Terry Pratchett created. The character of Throat was male in the original books so for the team to cast me was extra exciting. I'm really looking forward to seeing how Throat develops and what mischief she can bring."
The stellar line-up will join the previously announced cast of Richard Dormer (Captain Sam Vimes), Adam Hugill (Constable Carrot), Jo Eaton-Kent (Constable Cheery), Marama Corlett (Corporal Angua), Lara Rossi (Lady Sybil Ramkin), and Sam Adewunmi (Carcer Dun).
Also announced today, Brian Kelly (Outlander) and Emma Sullivan (Doctor Who) have joined Craig Viveiros (Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None) as directors for the series. The show’s lead writer is Simon Allen (The Musketeers).