BBC's Discworld Cast Expands With Gender-Swapped Lord Vetinari and More

The new Discworld series The Watch has found its Lord Vetinari, and her name is Anna Chancellor. She previously starred in Penny Dreadful as Claire Ives and Pennyworth as Doctor Frances Gaunt.

The Watch, based on Terry Pratchett's 41-book series, will be a fantastical police procedural that follows Ankh-Morpork's Nightwatch police force, led by Richard Dormer's (Game of Thrones) Captain Vimes. In the books, Lord Vetinari is the Lord Patrician of the city, a Machiavellian politician with a grey moral code and a portentous intelligence who, despite being a soft tyrant, is also profoundly opposed to the return of a monarchic system.

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Vetinari is also Captain Vimes' boss and foil on many occasions, and one of the rare people who recognizes the captain's wasted potential. In the books, he's also a man, but as Vetinari's gender does not impact the plot in any way, it will be interesting to see what Chancellor brings to a character that conforms to a traditionally masculine archetype.

Other additions to the cast include James Fleet (Outlander) as The Archchancellor, a wizard, magical advisor and the Head of the Unseen University; Ingrid Oliver (Doctor Who) as the Head of The Assassins’ Guild, Doctor Cruces and Ruth Madeley (Years and Years) as Throat, the city’s most talented snitch. Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Dynasty) will play Captain John Keel, former leader of The Watch and mentor to Sam Vimes, while Bianca Simone Mannie (Homeland) will portray Wonse, a wizard hopeful in waiting that is frequently underestimated.

The Watch is executive produced by BBC Studios’ Hilary Salmon (Luther) and Phil Collinson (Doctor Who). The series will have eight episodes, and it is written by Simon Allen (Das Boot). The series stars Richard Dormer, Anna Chancellor, Lara Rossi, Ingrid Oliver, James Fleet, Marama Corlett, Sam Adewunmi, Jo Eaton-Kent, Adam Hugill, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Ruth Madeley, Bianca Simone and Ingrid Oliver. The Watch will premiere in 2020.

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