Posts Tagged ‘Discworld’

PODCAST:

S4E12M – Hogfather (BBC miniseries)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we take our final curve around the Disc this holiday with former co-host, Richard Mehl a/ka/ Rick, and his wife, Discworld fan, Heather Mehl! 

Right out from under the flapping fins of the giant space faring sea turtle we were reminded by Rick just how problematic and conspiratorial he feels about BBC adaptations. Heather couldn’t disagree more and this episode got increasingly bonkers as it gained momentum coming to a conclusion as zany as its subject. Ryan rolled with the dips and dives holding steadfast and predictably milquetoast in his appreciation for visual works coming out of Britain.  

Despite any misgivings, there was a general consensus that even with, perhaps, a more limited budget and means, this miniseries managed to squeeze in a generous amount of the plethora of satirical detail typical to a Discworld book (Some even mentioned the possibility of repeat viewings for the future!). So, please, kindly enjoy this rip-roaring discussion that should at least bring as much eye-rolling and smirking as it did derision and malcontent.*

-Ryan

*Note: For podcast context, these episodes were recorded chronologically prior to the “Second Variety” and “Screamers” episodes Rick was on this season which were released before this one.

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather (2006)” by Vadim Jean (Michelle Dockery)

Ryan: 4 Stars “…a lovingly crafted live-action adaptation of an excellent book, which takes the time to incorporate and translate all the nuances of Pratchett’s multi-faceted satire and philosophical humor into a visual medium…

Rick: -27 Stars “…I thought it was distorted, filtered, sanitized for the capitalist world, sort of paying tribute to the overlords, the producers, the BBC; and I can’t believe Terry Pratchett allowed this version of his story to be broadcast…

Heather: 4 Stars “…a surprising amount of detail for what they were trying to encompass in the movie…

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

In this episode we talked about how the author was involved with the production of the miniseries. The screenplay credits him with having it “Mucked About By” him. In addition to that he made an on screen cameo with a character he named “Joshua Isme” who works for a store titled “Toys Is Me.”

The 45 minute documentary about the making of “Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather” entitled “The Whole Hog,” can be seen here”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfkM5Z1ncJ4. As part of promotional efforts for the release of this first live action adaption of a Discworld book the character of Death was enlisted to do a parody video which helped viewers get more familiar with the author’s fantasy world setting. These 13 videos were comprise the “Twelve Days of Hogswatch” which can be viewed at this playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1WfvgLecJE&list=PLs0Ii_i8714OCtpVhB3of-49EIm_Gcorq.

Lastly, the other podcast mentioned by Ryan was an episode of “The Sewers of Paris” with guest Scott Flashheart called “How to be Awesome (Ep. 133-Terry Pratchett)”: http://www.mattbaume.com/sewers-shownotes/2017/9/27/scott.

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E12B – Hogfather (book)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we close out the year with a satirical and ponderous fantasy holiday classic! Joining me on this third time round the Disc is former co-host, Richard Mehl a/ka/ Rick, and his witty wife, Heather Mehl, who’s no stranger to this series herself! 

Ryan focused the discussion heavily on the central themes explored by the author concerning myths and beliefs and what they mean to humanity. Heather preferred a lighter more entertaining read of this many-layered work and enjoyed the sharp agency and proactive nature of the female protagonist. While Rick struggled with the protagonist’s motivations, he did enjoy poignant moments of reflection among the lower class members of society on the Disc.  

Overall, Heather, found this novel in keeping with the general high-standard she has experienced while reading other books in the series. Ryan and Rick agreed with their more limited knowledge of Discworld. Like others in the series, no prior read is necessary, and this one is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a way into the famous Discworld books.*

-Ryan

*Note: For podcast context, these episodes were recorded chronologically prior to the “Second Variety” and “Screamers” episodes Rick was on this season which were released before this one.

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“Hogfather (1996)” by Terry Pratchett

Ryan: 5 Stars “…Densely wrapped satire cleverly tucked in around a holiday plot loaf of good cheer, and baked with a robust premise which is both refreshingly poignant and wildly genius—it’s an important Hogswatch on the Disc this season—mind the bells—Glingleglingleglingle!!!…

Rick: 4 Stars “…like being on a wild and crazy sleigh ride through this sort of kaleidoscopic nether land of Discworld…

Heather: 5 Stars “…having read more than the both of you put together, of his books, I would say it was very typical…

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

In this episode we discussed how the author was reluctant to have his Discworld books adapted for film because he wanted to retain control over the quality and also the merchandising rights. In 2006 Hogfather became the first live action adaptation followed by The Colour of Magic in 2008 and Going Postal in 2010 (both covered previously on this podcast in episodes S2E2 and S1E8 respectively). However, prior to all these there were two animated mini series released in 1997 for Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music preceded by a 1996 short entitled “Welcome to Discworld.” All three feature the voice talent of an actor frequently mentioned on this podcast in the role of Death: Christopher Lee.

Among things that the author did license were a nifty and collectible 3-D “Unseen University Cut-Out Book” in 2006 and “Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather The Illustrated Screenplay” in 2009. Even though he considered his fantasy world un-mapable he did eventually help create some with the Discworld Map” in 1995, “The Compleat Ankh-Morpork” city guide in 2014, and “The Compleat Discworld Atlas: Of General & Descriptive Geography Which Together With New Maps and Gazetteer Forms a Compleat Guide to Our World & All It Encompasses in 2015. As an aside, we’ve mentioned before that there are fan-created reading maps for readers to show various ways into the impressive catalog of stories which encompass this series. If you’re looking to explore, but don’t know where to start here is a an io9 article titled “How To Read Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series, In One Handy Chart” by Risa Mira on that subject: https://io9.gizmodo.com/how-to-read-terry-pratchetts-discworld-series-in-one-h-1567312812 and an updated graphic here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld#/media/File:Discworld_Reading_Order_Guide_3.0_(cropped).jpg.

Pratchett himself enjoyed video games and licensed off parts of Discworld over the years for such use. The earliest iteration was a faithful adaptation of “The Colour of Magic” in 1986 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Colour_of_Magic_(video_game)) that came in the form of a text adventure computer game (Here’s a YouTube video walk-through: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw54uOykjN4). In 2006 this work was adapted again for mobile play as an isometric action game (Here is a link for a short synopsis and screenshots for Moby games: https://www.mobygames.com/game/discworld-the-colour-of-magic and one for Pocketgammer: https://www.pocketgamer.com/articles/001084/discworld-the-colour-of-magic/).

A series of point-and-click adventure games followed with Eric Idle as Rincewind in the 1995 “Discworld (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld_(video_game)) and in 1997 “Discworld II: Missing Presumed…” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld_II:_Missing_Presumed…!%3F). Another adventure game focused on a private investigator from the Disc was released in 1999 called “Discworld Noir” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld_Noir).

That all said, the earliest of earliest Discworld games was a text based multi-user dungeon game designed by fans and released in 1991: Discworld MUD (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld_MUD). This game still exists and you can play it here on its official website: http://discworld.starturtle.net/lpc/. Also, in a random retro shout-out on the show Rick mentioned one of the very earliest text adventure games that existed, the cult classic, “Zork” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zork)!

For more info on Discworld games you can check out an FAQ at the L-Space Web (A Terry Pratchett/Discworld website): http://www.lspace.org/games/discworld/faq.html#part1.2. When interviewed somewhat recently the author’s daughter remarked about the possibility of some of the old games being re-released for retro enjoyment, but the prospects looked murky. Check out that article “The Original Discworld Games Are Stuck In Limbo” by Alex Walker for Kotaku here: https://www.kotaku.com.au/2018/05/the-original-discworld-games-are-stuck-in-ip-limbo/.

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During the episode we mentioned different documentaries that Pratchett was involved with at the end of his life concerning Alzheimer’s and assisted death. Those are as follows:

Lastly, we talked at length about Death’s speech to his adopted granddaughter Susan about the importance of myth and fantasy and believing in “the little lies” to be human, in order “to be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.” A clip of this speech from the television adaptation we will be reviewing in the next episode can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUt6sPXQQus.

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E12P – Preview Episode (Hogfather)

SUBJECT MATTER:

“Hogfather (1996)” by Terry Pratchett

“Who would want to harm Discworld’s most beloved icon? Very few things are held sacred in this twisted, corrupt, heartless—and oddly familiar—universe, but the Hogfather is one of them. Yet here it is, Hogswatchnight, that most joyous and acquisitive of times, and the jolly, old, red-suited gift-giver has vanished without a trace. And there’s something shady going on involving an uncommonly psychotic member of the Assassins’ Guild and certain representatives of Ankh-Morpork’s rather extensive criminal element. Suddenly Discworld’s entire myth system is unraveling at an alarming rate. Drastic measures must be taken, which is why Death himself is taking up the reins of the fat man’s vacated sleigh . . . which, in turn, has Death’s level-headed granddaughter, Susan, racing to unravel the nasty, humbuggian mess before the holiday season goes straight to hell and takes everyone along with it. (from Goodreads.com)

*** * ***

“Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather (2006)” by Vadim Jean (Michelle Dockery)

“From the mind of Terry Pratchett comes “Hogfather,” a fantastic miniseries set in a parallel universe. It’s the night before Hogswatch on Discworld, and the Hogfather has gone missing, in a plot by the evil Auditors to destroy human belief and make the planet their own. Death takes Hogfather’s place to deliver presents to all the children at the mid-winter festival.” (from Amazon.com)

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S2E8 – Color of Magic (book/movie)*

Listen to the podcast here (click to play/right click and select “save target as” to download):

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

Ryan: 4 Stars “…A right good romp on the Disc, full of madcap adventure and plenty of wonderment (plus a dash of introspection for good measure)!…

Wilk: 4 Star “…Four stars was a leap but there’s no going back now. It will be the last terry Pratchett book I read, as it was so similar to the other one I’ve read…

Rick: 4 Stars “…Terry Pratchett’s inaugural Disc World book should be compulsory reading for all fans of fantasy and science fiction. The book masters the line between hilariously mocking and triumphantly advancing the relevance of the fantasy genre...

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)

 

SUBJECT MATTER:

“The Color of Magic” by Terry Pratchett

Book: “The Color of Magic” by Terry Pratchett

“The beginning of the hilarious and irreverent series that has more than 80 million copies worldwide, The Color of Magic is where we meet tourist Twoflower and wizard guide Ricewind, and follow them on their always-bizarre journeys.

A writer who has been compared to Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, and Douglas Adams, Sir Terry Pratchett has created a complex, yet zany world filled with a host of unforgettable characters who navigate around a profound fantasy universe, complete with its own set of cultures and rules.” (from Amazon.com)

*** * ***

“Terry Pratchett’s The “Colour of Magic” by Vadim Jean (Sean Astin)

“Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic” by Vadim Jean (Sean Astin)

“Failed wizard Rincewind (Bafta Winner David Jason, Hogfather) is so bad at magic he only knows one spell. And he doesn’t even know what it does. This goes some way to explaining why he is expelled from the Unseen University for Wizards.

Rincewind, Twoflower and the Luggage tackle angry Druids, Barbarians, fire breathing dragons and mountain trolls on their travels. Twoflower thinks everything is a wonderful adventure. Rincewind just wishes he was back home in Ankh-Morpork. ” (from Amazon.com)

 

 

SHOW NOTES:

He felt her hot breath against his face, never forgetting that she was as sexless as a spinning top. Her presence was perfunctory. Her words meant nothing. Still, she spewed them, holding an unconscious llama over her head. His eyes darted with the twitch of the llama’s tale. Where did she get such strength; where did she find such small llamas? The animal was not a newborn, but it was well below average size. Did she save llama runts? Was she raiding llama liveries, just to save the runts so she could hold them over her head while taunting men? He signed heavily, resolved internally that he was indeed not going to be able to bowl that night.

But she didn’t have to know that. She could hold that llama and just sweat about it.

The above passage is taken from an upcoming book about the life of Terry Pratchett as told through a man who enjoys bowling. He is being pursued through time by an infinite army of people who have slipped backward in time a nanosecond. They are able to see him because he exists simultaneously in both the past and the future, functioning as a filter for time and space. He can assist people who have slipped in time. He alone can help them communicate with their loved ones (and in some cases their project supervisors.)

As it turns out, most llamas are filters for time and space as well. And as it would also turn out, in a vast universe, one planet sent an entire species of shape-shifting pranksters well back in time in an effort to dispose of them humanely. This species, the Spelucites, have traveled through earth due to the large amount of filters and the large amount of discarded food. While all living things can only exist in one moment (with the exception of filters), a discarded French Fry is forever. This species is determined to move forward in time, leap-frogging the human race, and simultaneously tripping every human being on the planet. While it is not the most evil scheme, it is still a scheme that would result in no good whatsoever and quite possibly end humanity. And, this is the tale that we will explore when David Wilkinson’s “The Filter” hits bookstores next year.

On the podcast we limited our discussion to a book that has already been written. It was called “The Colour of Magic”. We all liked it. Other things we all like include: Ham, Beer, not having Leprosy,  and..,thats it. And, the “not having Leprosy” thing is barely agreed on by the three of us. So, while we all liked the book I do not recall anyone loving it. One host, me, thought that it was very “British”. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But that in order to love it we would need to be more entrenched in the references and cultures from whence it came. Also, we don’t use words like “whence” a lot. But, overall, it was a strong book from a favorite author. And it was, British. Very British.

The movie, like the book, was British. It was done with BBC production values, which helps to explain why Britain is no longer an empire but merely a nation. But, that being said, it was well done and well adapted. Worth watching if you don’t want to watch Jaws again.

So, all things considered, cover yourself in blood pudding and hope for the best, because there is no deodorant in outer space!!!!! -Wilk

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

For a fairly comprehensive biography on Sir Terry Pratchett, check out this article written by Colin Smythe, “The L-Shaped Web: Just Who is Terry Pratchett?” found here: http://www.lspace.org/about-terry/biography.html.

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S2P8 – Color of Magic (book/movie)*

Listen to the podcast here (click to play/right click and select “save target as” to download):

 

SUBJECT MATTER:

“The Color of Magic” by Terry Pratchett

Book: “The Color of Magic” by Terry Pratchett

“The beginning of the hilarious and irreverent series that has more than 80 million copies worldwide, The Color of Magic is where we meet tourist Twoflower and wizard guide Ricewind, and follow them on their always-bizarre journeys.

A writer who has been compared to Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, and Douglas Adams, Sir Terry Pratchett has created a complex, yet zany world filled with a host of unforgettable characters who navigate around a profound fantasy universe, complete with its own set of cultures and rules.” (from Amazon.com)

*** * ***

“Terry Pratchett’s The “Colour of Magic” by Vadim Jean (Sean Astin)

“Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic” by Vadim Jean (Sean Astin)

“Failed wizard Rincewind (Bafta Winner David Jason, Hogfather) is so bad at magic he only knows one spell. And he doesn’t even know what it does. This goes some way to explaining why he is expelled from the Unseen University for Wizards.

Rincewind, Twoflower and the Luggage tackle angry Druids, Barbarians, fire breathing dragons and mountain trolls on their travels. Twoflower thinks everything is a wonderful adventure. Rincewind just wishes he was back home in Ankh-Morpork. ” (from Amazon.com)

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.