The Watch: Better To Light A Candle (episode 8)


sunk cost fallacy: noun

The idea that a company or organization is more likely to continue with a project if they have already invested a lot of money, time, or effort in it, even when continuing is not the best thing to do: Economists would point out that the sunk cost fallacy is irrational, and could be described as “throwing good money after bad”.

So it is that I shall be watching the final episode of ….

I haven’t compared the show to the books in a while. Remember how in Guards Guards the people rise up against Vetinari and lock him away in the deepest, darkest, dungeon? Remember when we find out how clever he is and how he had planned for this very eventuality and was thus quite safe and secure until this dragon business is all over and down with. Well the show has this too. Except they’re like a kid who just learned a joke in nursery and so they kind of butcher it in the telling. Here the Patrician has gone from a clever an all together well prepared, smart young man to a cowardly politician running to their bunker when danger rears its ugly head. I would assume that this is just poor writing and not in anyway related to the fact that in this version she is in fact a woman. I would assume that until the very next scene.

See the Patrician is an existing character adapted for the show. Wonse isn’t. Yes there was a Wonse in the books but let’s be real and say this woman running around on the tail of Carcer is an original creation. You may have noticed that I haven’t talked about her much since her introduction and that is because she hasn’t done much. And by much I mean anything. A more skeptical man would say that they realised they were a bit male dominate in the parts that actually matter and decided to chuck a woman in to present better to the “woke” audiences. Like most companies trying to appeal to those “woke” people on the internet it’s a token gesture and they had planned nothing else for her beyond peering over Samuel Adewunmi’s shoulder. She threatens to do something by appealing to his better nature or suggesting working with the watch against the giant dragon. Carcer then stabs her. To cut a long, ish, story short she is found bleeding out by our heroes shortly there after and is able to tell them about the important point Carcer is going to to summon the dragon. A mystical sundial that has never been mentioned before and won’t be mentioned again. So not only is her information totally pointless and could be easily cut like the rest of her parts but they even undercut her motivation for doing it. She doesn’t bravely go against the man whose gone too far and sneak away to the good guys but instead just gets stabbed and lies there moaning. Now there is more to this part for instance she is there for the touching departure of Carcer but you end up not caring because you haven’t seen the two of them bond once over the course of this series. The friendship between Ani and Obi-Wan had more build up in Attack of the Clones.

The thing is that I know the people who have been actually watching and even enjoying the show have been grumbling about her treatment thus far and it seems a fitting end to the show to piss off those few people who actually liked you before staggering off stage.

Also they kill Cheery.

Okay so she gets better. You know how the writers often have our heroes needing a certain bit of information but have no way of getting it to them. Well that’s the case here. In this case it’s the giant killer dragon that they have supposed to be dealing with all series. Thus Cheery has to get captured. Why the dragon captures her. Or why it lets her go. Or how she’s able to understand it. Don’t ask. If you need an answer claim it’s a gift from the dark in the dark from a few episodes back. But this is where they get their answer from. Not through anything they have said or done over the course of this series but through a random plot hole. I’d almost say that the bigger issue for me was that Cheery died and I didn’t care. Now you could say that due to the way it was shot and the time in the episode you could tell it was a fake out but I’m not sure I did and I just said huh to myself and carried on because after eight episodes I don’t think I’m any closer to knowing who this person is or caring about them in any way. The exact same went for her return five minutes later.

Anyway it turns out that said answer she manages to pull from the writers room is that Errol is indeed in love with the dragon and they need to get his song out to her. You might think this means just giving him a microphone but instead it seems getting his son out to her involves them playing the shows theme tune. Now the whole cast look terrible at miming their instruments but I struggled to focus on the scene as they had given Cheery a saxaphone with a trumpet mouthpiece. Had this been a school play I would have assumed that a group of children who know nothing about musical instruments rushed into the band room and grabbed a load of stuff before quickly dashing on stage. But this is apparantly a professional production so I’m supposed to guess this was deliberate. Now it is possible to play a saxaphone with a trumpet mouth piece but this wasn’t attached the neck where you would expect and even having been jammed into the body it’s not even angled toward her suggested that it is designed to played. I know this is a silly little thing but it was so weird that it took me out of the whole episode for some time.

Okay so you know how I said Wonse gets nothing to do. Well she does get to provide a “menacing” cliff hanger threat for season two. Now before we get to that we should clarify that she does this by threatening to tell people about the observers. This is after Carcer has been wiped from everyone’s minds. So to clarify she demands ultimate power from them or will tell people that voices that only she can hear are out there and after them and she has been to them, beyond the stars, with her friend who nobody knows. Yes I can see why they folded to her demands.

If I may take a slightly nerdy tangent for a minute; a lot of people are talking about this Dungeon’s and Dragons movie that’s coming out. They’ve announced some of the cast already. The thing is people may remember the film from 2000 as an abomination of film. But do people remember the sequel that came out five years later? Or the sequel to that which came out seven years after that? What about the chose your own adventure film from 2003 that still used that slightly janky Reboot/ Beast Wars animation? Or how about the attempt to adapt the Dragonlance books with Lucy Lawless and Kiefer Sutherland? I don’t think so. And that is where this series is heading. Not to some pile of shame but to be dusted under the cabinet of life and forgotten apart from a piece of trivia amongst nerds. I started this review saying that I was still watching because I invested too much time to drop out now. The thing is we only have the series for the same reason. Nobody wanted this or cared for it. The rights to the books were bought ten years ago. Do you honestly think this has been crafted and honed for ten long years? It has been passed from pillar to post so much it’s managed to end up on the wrong side of the Atlantic. How many scripts have they paid for in that time do you think? How many costume designs and sets? The only reason this saw the light of day is that someone said enough was enough and wanted something back from all the money that had seeped into it. They didn’t care what. Just something. A quick, cheap little series to fill a gap in the schedule. And while sometimes greatness can come out of this kind of adversity here it just shows. The jokes aren’t funny and the other bits are. Like in this episode when Angua meets the Vampire and you realise you’ve seen better ancient rivalries from Vampire the Masquerade larps. Heck you’ve seen better ancient rivalries from kiwi’s in a park.

Edit 22-02-2021:

As though to prove my point BBC America has proudly announced that they have flogged sold the series to Russia and Sub Saharan Africa. They have not mentioned if they have managed to sell it to the Brits. You know the series based on the books of Terry Pratchett. The well known British author.

Now to be fair there is usually a delay in British BBC getting hold of the American BBC series. It seemed to take a while to get What We Do In The Shadows and I don’t think we ever got Orphan Black. But you think they would make an effort here instead of flogging it Emirates. Though I suppose airline passengers are the best people to try to convince to watch it. It’s not like they have can walk out. Mind you with the world in lockdown neither could anyone else and they still managed to lose viewers over the series

3 thoughts on “The Watch: Better To Light A Candle (episode 8)

    • Having sat through the entire first series this was bad as a Discworld piece and bad as it’s own thing. I think the smart people saw the trailer and stayed away while the still bright people tuned in to give episode one a shot and dropped out.

      • To be honest, I stayed away from it after reading that Rhianna Pratchett declared that the series had nothing to do with his father’s books…

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