Terry Pratchett's Hogfather (TV Movie 2006) Poster

(2006 TV Movie)

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An impossible task
anthony-horwood19 December 2006
Converting anything of Terry Pratchett's to film was always going to be difficult. Getting it right for everyone, impossible. However I was pleased to give this, made for TV, movie 8 of 10 for a sterling effort. The effects were a little crummy at times, Death's face was just a mask and the monster under the bed was just a bloke. Some liberties were taken with the plot, but overall the story was given the care it deserved and the the acting was solid. I liked Michelle Dochery as the singularly stolid Susan. It's hard to be that beautiful and still get Susan's character right and Marc Warren as Teatime was excellent for the job, possessing just the right amount of menace without overplaying it. Nicholas Tennant as Nobby, too, was brilliantly cast.

There were some scenes, particularly those with Death in them, where a little more care would have been good. The Hogfather's Grotto scene and the little dead girl scenes among them, but it's hard to act in an inflexible mask (Unless you're Darth Vader).

I know that there will be millions who will disagree with me because you just can't do justice to Pratchett's imagination in a movie, but I still think this movie made an excellent stab at it.
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As good as it could be....
SoWhy20 December 2006
Adapting Terry Pratchett's work for TV is a difficult task. Sure, he is a great writer and I had much fun reading all his novels at least 3-5 times but his writing style lacks a certain TV-compatibility. He uses much narrating and footnotes which is very hard (if not impossible) to transform into a movie. Having said this, I must admit, this adaption with real actors is probably as good as it can be. Sure, I missed a few funny character conversations (Like the "Give-the-Dean-a-bag-of-money-gnome" or the Cheerful Fairy), it also lacked certain elements of the book, including the YMPA, Igor's Bar or the Death of Rats (who is much more important in the book) but you cannot include everything from a 300 page novel into a say 100 page movie script. The producers did the best they could and they did a really great job. The characters looked almost as if Paul Kidby drew them into life and the acting was good. The only minor problem with the movie (which couldn't be prevented I guess) is that it's hard to follow for someone not knowing Pratchett's work before. If you never read his novels and watched this movie, I recommend you do so now. Trust me, the movie is great but the books are even better ;-)
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Hogswatch it! An excellent bit of whimsy
mockymonkey18 December 2006
A very silly festive fairytale for children of all ages, with a no-nonsense (in the primmest, properest sense of the word), kick-ass heroine, set in a world that looks remarkably like ours, in a thaumaturgical, Victorian Gothic kind of way, considering it's actually a disc balanced on some elephants, which are balanced on a turtle.

'Tis the night before Hogswatch - a solar festival not dissimilar from our Christmas. But where is the Hogfather to deliver the presents? What on earth is Death doing? Just how DO you subdue the monsters in the basement with a poker? Not to mention those in the Tooth Fairy's castle. Who has been naughty and who has been nice? And can Susan save the Hogfather before it's too late? Like all the best 'children's' stories, there are a slew of adult jokes - from Ian Richardson's asides about House of Cards, to the 'Ant hill Inside' ('Intel Inside') visual jokes on the, er, 'computer' - modernity is folded subtly into this wonderfully alternate world of yore.

Good performances from the famous faces, but it is Michelle Dockery as Susan who is the highly pragmatic, utterly bewitching star of the show.

There are some nice unpatronising ruminations on the nature of belief, myth, right and wrong for those who like a moral but not entirely Christian worldview.

So - who's up for a bit of magic and believing?
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Perfect to the very last detail!
punk_gee19 December 2006
I've grown up on Discworld. Where do I start with this absolutely perfect adaptation? The spot-on casting - Susan, Death, Albert, Nobby Nobbs, Ponder Stibbons, all brought to life wonderfully. The faithfulness to the story - keeping it at nearly 4 hours to ensure the minimum amount of cutting. The perfect locations - Death's Domain, Unseen University, the Tooth Fairy's castle, all brilliant! I'm so glad Pratchett let them do this, and I can only hope and pray that they continue - let's see The Last Continent, Jingo, Maskerade, Reaper Man, Small Gods!

If I have one tiny, insignificant complaint, it's that we didn't see Ankh-Morpork in all its bustling, grimy glory - no shots of the River Ankh, marketplaces awash with grubby punters and, of course, Cut Me Own Throat Dibbler! But I will say this - Sky One, Vladim Jean and the rest involved did a wonderful job on such a small budget, and gave us a far better and more faithful adaptation than Hollywood could ever have mustered.

Full marks, it really gave me a buzz in the Christmas season. 10/10 for making a Pterry geek very happy indeed! :-)
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Good Christmas fun
maxdest19 December 2006
Good fun The story of the Hogfather revolves around a fictional world named 'Discworld' and a group of beings trying to stop Hogswatch (the Discworld equivalent of Christmas). Opposing them are a bumbling group of wizards, a babysitter who is more than she appears, and the personification of death itself.

The story leads itself in a fantastical ride with something for both adults and children (although there is some violence in parts, so maybe not suitable for the very young or fragile).

Don't be fooled into thinking this is another Harry Potter clone though. This film (and the book) is far deeper. At its core, it raises questions about the nature of belief and the human condition itself (All in a fun way though).

As a fan of Pratchett's books, when I noticed the UK subscriber channel 'Sky One' had commissioned this live action mini-drama, I was both hopeful and fearful. Hopeful that Pratchett's unique meld of fantasy and parody would come across well, but fearful that the medium change or the 'suits' would rob all of it's worth.

Thankfully, the end result came a lot closer to my hopes than my fears.

One of my major fears was that the whole humor would be changed from the subtleness within the books to a crude slapstick. I am pleased to announce that although some slapstick has been added (on the part of the wizards) the subtle jokes and references are still there. As for the story; I felt it came across well, although there were a few moments where people who have not read the book may be left struggling.

The sets, effects and costumes are all of a decent quality considering it was 'made for TV'. The notable exception is the costume of Death and the other non-humans. Unfortunately, these were obviously not budgeted enough and appeared inanimate and 'plasticy'.

The cast did a decent job, as you would expect from this group of veteran TV actors. Above the rest, a special mention should be given to Marc Warren for his truly creepy representation of Teatime.

Overall, there is something here for everyone here. Whether Child or Adult, Fan or Neophyte there is fun to be had.

Lets hope they make some more.
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If only Auntie Beeb could have done it
Presleythedog17 December 2006
As a dedicated follower of the Discworld, I awaited The Hogfather with trepidation. It's not easy pleasing those of us who have already made the movies 100s of time over in our minds (take the hitchhikers Guide for instance, I joined the phenomenon with the TV version, Marvin is clumpy, Peter Jones IS the Guide, Zaphod's second head wobbles and Ford was surely Caucasian... I'm sure the radio initiates would disagree). Hell, let's not nitpick, the casting is marvellous (if only Steptoe had been there for Death's Butler... Mr Jason could have worn a pointy hat).

I wanted to love this though and was not disappointed. My "personal Albert" is thinner and scrawnier (more like a gentle human Greebo) as is my "personal Constable Visit" but I recognised every location. The sets still require some work from the watcher but the detail is fabulous, clearly made to demand a slow-mo second viewing scrutiny, and the props (ok, not the teeth) are exquisite.

I can imagine that prior knowledge is of great benefit as some scenes defy explanation by the uninitiated; Bloody Stupid Johnson's shower is surely included to stop people like me from complaining that it wasn't but Banjo's affiliation to Teatime is vague are the examples that spring to mind. Oh what a gorgeous name Tee-a-tim-ay is when pronounced thus! Why not 10/10? Adverts... the DVD should be marvellous and well worth a Spinal Tap 11 but to be introduced to Death, immediately followed by an underarm commercial rather killed the atmosphere the makers try so hard to create. I can't believe that Sky didn't make more of it, the way I trust the Beeb (bbc) would have... and that includes a semi-nonfunctional website with low definition wallpaper. So far the smell of self-promotion after part one on Sky's behalf almost overwhelmed the scent of the hogs and curry.

But production crew, hats off! Brilliant, you deserved a better platform for your masterpiece (and perhaps a few dollars more).

Fan of Pterry? You'll love it. First time with Mr Pratchett? You'll be hooked! Fan of Harry Potter? Terry came first! Buy the DVD! At last, a good family Christmas production like we remember from years gone by, guaranteeing a very HAPPY HOGSWATCH!
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An Excellent Adaption, Discworld Fans and Casual People will both like!
Tseng1519 December 2006
This is the best Adaption of a book to movie I have seen, It is obvious Mr Pratchett and Mr Paul Kidby were closely involved in the making right down to the costumes and set design.

The first part of the movie will be a little slow and slightly confusing due to the fact there is a lot of stuff to be established, but by the second half things were happily and festively rolling happily downhill causing much laughter and merriment.

The actors have all equally taken to their roles, Everyone will have a soft spot for the main character Death as well as his school mam no nonsense Grand Daughter Susan especially.

One day, Discworld fans hoped for something like this and through out belief, It manifested. Watch it and have a Merry Hogswatch!
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You'd better watch out......
djnikon-111 December 2006
Set on Discworld, Terry Pratchett's Hogfather novel is brought to life. Deranged Assassin Mr Teatime (with a bunch of thieves and a failed apprentice wizard) wants to "inhumme" the Hogfather (discworld's equivalent of Santa Claus) by destroying children's belief in him. By kidnapping and holding hostage the tooth fairy in order to use children's teeth to control their belief. The only being that can take his place? Death, a depressant Anthopomorphic personification, too caught up with humanity for his own good. Assisted by his foul servant Albert and his half-human (beacause some talents, like walking through walls or freezing time, are inherited "in the bone" rather than genetically), adoptive granddaughter Susan this is fantastic mash up of magic, monsters and fantasy.
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Last night's episode
dpigott-418 December 2006
Well, I was one of the many waiting with eager anticipation for the airing of Hogfather. I was also a little nervous that it wouldn't live up to expectations. I need not have worried.

It was truly an excellent adaptation, and my son and I watched the whole thing, riveted. They have captured Ankh Morpork perfectly. I was also fascinated to see who/how they would portray Nobby and, although he's not quite the thin, multi-hued creature often described, he IS Nobby. His character was perfect.

Susan was perfect, and I disagree on the death thing. I think it was very well done.

One minor comment. You really would have to have read a bit of Pratchett to really appreciate it. My wife, who hasn't, was a little bit lost because there is a panoply of characters that, if you've read any Ankh based books, you will already be familiar with.
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Fair, but somewhat disappointing
csqmunke19 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a big fan of the Discworld, and have been hoping for a film/TV series for many years now. I've not managed to see the animated versions of Soul Music and Wyrd Sisters, so when I heard Hogfather was coming to town (ho ho ho) I was excited, but cautiously so.

Having now seen the finished article, I have to say I have some reservations. The casting seemed slightly off to me in places - Michelle Dockery and David Jason were great, as was Tony Robinson, whose brilliant narration of the audio versions somewhat gave me unreasonable expectations of the performances in this. Ian Richardson was a fair choice for Death. But the wizards, with the exception of Ponder, were all wrong. They didn't give the impression of lazy, but powerful men - they all seemed doddering old fools. And where was the librarian? (The lack of final closing scene in the bathroom was disappointing). Chickenwire is meant to be a street tough who regresses as his fears take over, which didn't really come across. Nobby is supposed to be inhumanly ugly. What happened to the Death of Rats and why did Quoth live in Death's house? As for Teatime's accent...

Having listened to the abridged audio versions of several of the books, I think it would have been better if the script had used these as more of a base - too much of the story was lost in transition (Susan's detective side-story dropped, they just waltz off to the Tooth Fairy's castle) and all the humour in Death's deliveries was lost - all the subtlety of Albert's attempts to teach Death the real meaning of Hogswatch was gone. And the growing sense of malice in the Tooth Fairy's castle was rushed too - the nightmares weren't explained fully and so seemed tacked on.

On the plus side, Michelle Dockery is almost exactly how I pictured Susan appearing and behaving. I look forward to seeing her in future productions (Discworld or not).

A fair attempt, and I hope it does well enough to fund further trips to the Discworld. But don't be fooled, it's like most book-to-film fantasy translations (and I include Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter here) - don't expect it to look and sound like it did in your head.
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gollum03200018 December 2006
Who was the narrator? Ian Richardson perhaps? There is no listing here. Over-all I enjoyed the adaptation. I thought the in-jokes from other Pratchett books clever but i missed a couple of them as i haven't read all of his books yet. The visual jokes were hilarious i.e. " anthill inside " and the egg timer on HEX . The acting and characterisation was spot on. Sir Davids portrayal of Albert was as sarcastic as the books with his usual aplomb. As for death ....... excellent down to the sharp gardening implement and the voice of granite slabs crashing together. Next one to do has got to be weird sisters ......but that is just my opinion.
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Hogwash to Bogwash
andycactus11 June 2007
Good grief this is a bad film. This cost me one of my 4 monthly rental choices. It could have been worse I suppose and I could have paid the full asking price and the postage.

The film looks as if it had enough money spent on it, visually the sets looked as if some hard work had been done, you have Pratchett involved, some well known actors.. so what went wrong? No soul. No flow. No magic, comedy, passion or direction. It felt like a poor mechanical mish-mash of bits, parts and wooden scenes with under-performing actors (no umph at all on the day) all badly stuck together.

At no point in this film do you care about anything you see or hear and none of the cast seem to care much either. You hear actors saying some words some which were clearly attempts at humour but they fall flat every single time. They seemed to be preoccupied perhaps trying to figure out how they ended up in this mess. It must have seemed such a good idea when their agent landed them a part in a Pratchet film but as soon as they were on set.... oops " I'm in a stinker" and "is that my reputation I hear flushing away"?. "How do I get out of here" You will beg for the end credits to come. I promise you its not worth the pain. Yes warning, this is painful. If you don't believe me do try the film but eject the disk as soon as you get the message. Go clean the toilet instead. Bogwash! I don't write reviews as a rule but I could not let them get away without going on record somewhere. This is easily the worst film I have seen in the last 12 months.
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A Disappointment
purplesmurf20 December 2006
I eagerly anticipated the adaptation of the Hogfather although having read it a couple of times and still not felt I really 'got it' I wondered how well it could be adapted for television. Being a big Terry Pratchett fan I desperately wanted it to be great but ended up very disappointed.

First the characters - Susan had not one iota of personality and (as with many of the others) delivered her lines without an ounce of feeling (or decent acting) resulting in no connection with her character. David Jason was mainly being David Jason though with a hint the Michael Caines thrown in at times. The Death of Rats (one of my favourite characters) popped in and quickly popped out again - if the CGI budget couldn't stretch just leave him out altogether for goodness sake. Teatime was interesting at first but his grating whine became annoying as time went on.

As for the story, there was no real flow. Things happened. Then other things happened. Then some other stuff went on and a bit more happened. Knowing Pratchett well and having read the book I could follow it (mostly) but anyone who hasn't read the Hogfather must have been totally lost. I was hoping this would be a platform whereby people who haven't read Discworld books would be captured and inspired to find out more. My wife just thought it was confusing and left the room.

Still, every cloud and all that - I enjoyed Death (a rarely used phrase I know) and thought Nobby was portrayed well. Ridcully (alone amongst the Wizards) was also well done by Joss Ackland.

Overall however this was a patchwork quilt of an adaptation, with poorly delivered dialogue and an impenetrable story for most of the population. I hope it doesn't put people off. His books are brilliant - really.
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They finally did it, shame it's utter dross
NapoleonX11 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
No. I'm being unfair, there are two or three things that are right with this TV adaptation. Susan, Hex, Nobby Nobbs. Ummm.

Lets concentrate on these good things for the moment. Susan: Michelle Dockery looks the part and plays it well, future star here. Hex: Well apart from the Anthill Inside gag which was horrendous but hey really do seem to have created a marvel here. Nobby Nobbs: At first sight I thought David Tennant playing Nobby was so far off the mark as to be in another country, however it's really really weird how quickly he does become the ultimate representation of Nobby, that smile is quite incredible, obviously it's different from the Nobby in the book, but of all the changes made, this one was the standout.

OK. So what was wrong with this? It was blatantly obvious that Sky wanted a Christmas show and someone said hey, what about Hogfather, it's this great book which is a satire about Christmas. And so they commissioned it, without any thought to the rest of the Diskworld series.

First problem, too much exposition for those who have read the book (and in the wrong places) not enough for those who haven't.

Second problem, Hogfather is not a good book to adapt, especially if you are aiming at kids, certainly not as the first introduction to Discworld. However, it does have a Santa Claus figure, which is what was wanted.

Third problem, Any director wanting lessons in how to waste a great cast should watch this. David Jason is one of the finest British comedians ever born, watching him trying to struggle with the completely dead sight gags here is painful. Also, because it is aimed at the kiddies, Albert (A chain-smoker) is not allowed to smoke but instead has all his rollies fall apart on him in said dead sight gags. If you don't want to send a smoking message, cut cigarettes completely, or make the character what he actually is, a gnarled husk of an unlikeable sod who's as withered as his tobacco, not a happy elf as played by Britain's best loved comedian (Who somehow gets the lead credit?) I could go on about how others are wasted, but other people do that quite adequately.

There are many other problems, but I won't go on too long. The ones worth mentioning are turning the Faculty Wizards into a group of pointless old men who stand around mumbling, failing in any way whatsoever to capture any kind of flavour of Ankh Morepork, instead filming it like a costume drama, ignoring most of the minor characters, rubbish sets and direction in the Tooth Fairy's tower - witness the guards. Not killing the actor playing TeaTime for his horrendously awful voice and really bad performance. I could go on, and on.

Yet. And there is a yet. I enjoyed it. For all its faults there were bits where I really rooted for the good guys. Where I got into the action. I even chuckled at a few points. I don't know if I would have if I hadn't read the book, I'd probably have been too confused. But nevertheless, even if this is not the adaptation I wanted it to be, hopefully it will go on to inspire other better adaptations (Preferably starting from the beginning and with Tom Baker or Christopher Lee as death).

And no, it is not Terry reading the narrative. It is the late great Ian Richardson. There is no doubt that Terry is a great writer, but he has not been blessed with a great oratorial voice.
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Very good the first 45 minutes
mfcps2 December 2007
Was seriously disappointed after the first 45 min or so.

Rambled. But acting always consistently good. Beautiful film work.

Some moments seemed disconnected.

The film obviously had a message but the clear meaning somehow escaped me. At times it seemed preachy without substance.

Action very good if you are into this sort of thing (which I would expect one to be to view it in the first place).

Although I love fantasies I did not love sitting through four hours of this film.

Have to say,(with a straight face),Hogwash!
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Poor direction and cost-cutting lets down a potentially excellent movie
iain-cowden19 December 2006
As the first ever proper film adaptation of a Discworld novel, this is far from brilliant. The movie is very dark throughout, and moves at an incredibly slow pace. None of the characters ever seem to be excited about anything. Newcomers to the Discworld I suspect will be quite confused due to the cutting between scenes in which little happens. Much of the detail that makes the Discworld a delight seems missing. In particular the Wizards of Unseen University were extremely boring.

A stellar cast heads up the film with some great performances from David Jason and Joss Ackland amongst others (Mr Tea Time and Nobby were also great), but younger cast are often left bewildered due to lack of direction.

Although the Hogfather is far from the strongest of the Discworld Novels, it could have been delivered far more effectively. Money seemed to run out half way through with some very poor scenes reminiscent of Ealing comedies at the Tooth Fairy's castle.

Worth a look for Pratchett fans though.
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As good as I could have hoped!
Daryle26 December 2006
Which is not to say perfect but certainly a very good effort.

I just finished watching it a second time and am developing a serious crush on Michelle Dockery. She played an almost perfect Susan of my imagination. A strong, attractive woman: cold, cynical, and subtly sexy in a stern way; was what I had in mind and this pretty much delivered.

Death's voice casting was very good and Albert wasn't bad. I do think it would have been neat to use some effects to show Death from the point of view of most mortals who cannot see him "properly". Also, as I mentioned on the comment board, I think Tony Robinson could have been a good 'Albert' given his significant "sidekick to a dark figure" experience. The biggest disappointment was definitely the Wizards who were portrayed too much on the "Bumbling Fools" end of the spectrum. I see them more as lazy but also powerful and very suspicious men. IIRC Ridcully is the only Arch Chancellor to last more than one book in the highly "competitive" world of Wizards.

The story was quite close to the book given the limitation of the medium. I would have actually cut some more peripheral sections and tightened things up a bit at the risk of incurring the wrath of the very orthodox Pratchett fans. You will never please the most radical anyhow. For example why not skip the shower plot completely? Ditto for the "Oh God of Hangovers".

Anyhow enough kvetching. Great first outing!
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This was just awesome
frazzmac22 December 2006
By examining previous IMDb user comments I'm glad to see everyone else seems to have enjoyed this adaptation of what is, in my opinion, one of Terry Pratchett's best novels.

As a long-time Pratchett fan I was naturally apprehensive about this feature for several reasons:

1. The tremendous wealth of background knowledge and understanding required for a Discworld novel is so vast that translation to a TV feature (even if it is over 3 hours in length), is a dubious task.

2. It's a novel that many Discworld fans, such as myself, read some 10 years ago and nostalgia etc... have had an effect on our perception of the novel

3. Casting such distinct, unusual and downright fantastic characters could prove difficult - even on a Hollywood budget!

4. It was SKY that was responsible for the production... That's right SKY (I won't say any more in case Mr. Murdoch sues me!)

I am pleased to say, however, not one of these worries failed me. I found general production and direction to be as slick (not a great expression I know!), as any high-budget Hollywood feature. The feature played like a 'dark-pantomime,' for me with visual effects, wardrobe, makeup, lighting and sound being not only effective and atmospheric, but ultimately captivating for the viewer (and that was without HD!).

The casting was inspired, especially in the case of Michelle Dockery as 'Susan,' who I personally found to be the exact image and persona as that I had envisaged in all those Discworld novels over the years (She was really good looking as well).

Death was always going to be a challenge but I thought the costume was masterfully done. Not so scary as to send the kids to bed but still retaining a feeling of power and menace (as well as the doting-grandfather charm), to appeal to the hardened 'Discworlders.' I didn't think anyone could do a better job with THE VOICE than Christopher Lee in the 1990's cartoon series of "Soul Music," but I was proved wrong when Ian Richardson triumphed in both gravitas and endearment.

I felt Sky 'over-plugged' Sir David Jason as the role of Albert,and understandably so as he was the biggest name to this production. Don't get me wrong, I think David Jason is truly amazing as both an actor and entertainer, and his portrayal as Albert was no exception, however, I always envisioned Albert as more of a skinny, wry, Sir Ben Kingsley type character.

This leads on to my only one fault with the entire production: Mr. Teatime. Once again, this is in no disrespect to Marc Warren. I have seen much of his other work and he is a fantastic young British actor, I just did not care for the way he portrayed Mr Teatime with an unusual 'Johnny Depp in "Carlie and the Chocolate Factory" -kind of accent.' He certainly got the levels of cynicism and general creepiness right but something about his performance just felt forced.

As an entire production, though, if Hogfather doesn't 'clean out' the BAFTA awards this year then something is seriously wrong with the British public's viewing tastes (something I have suspected for years anyway!).

Well done Sky for proving it is actually capable of a truly enjoyable and memorable piece of television. And long may it continue!
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They did it right!!!
Dario Persechino19 December 2006
Thank 'insert relevant deity here' they've done it right!

From the moment I heard about this I was both excited and slightly apprehensive. Having any written work you love brought to screen can make you fearful of it being done badly and shattering your hopes, but from the moment it started I was grinning from ear to ear to see this world brought to life in such a perfect way.

It was well cast, written, acted and visually just beautiful to watch. They hadn't tried to dilute it or mess around with the great stuff Pratchett had written. Susan is one of my favourite characters and Michelle Dockery did a great job. As for the Nicholas Tennant as Nobby when you first see him you think he doesn't look quite the 'creature' Nobby should be but from the moment he sits on the Hogfather's lap and gives that meek little "..'s" He just IS Nobby. I was very impressed! Oh, and David Jason as Albert! Genius!!*

I watched it first time around with one group of friends, and have since watched it with more. Each of them has given the same response saying how great a job they've done creating it.

Please may they do more (although not too many to distract our favourite and most shop-lifted author from writing the books we all know and love :D Thief of Time would probably make for a good follow on – it would continue the Death / Susan / Auditors story and be a great Easter Holiday show.

Either way if you haven't seen this – bloody watch it, it's brilliant!!!!!!!!**


*(As a person who seldom uses the exclamation mark you can tell the effect seeing this had on me – seven so far, obviously a sign of madness ;)

**(that's 15 – definite insanity...)
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Really brought it to life
D-Vid22 December 2006
I thought this adaptation was extremely well done. Being a huge Terry Pratchet fan i was gearing up for a real cynical onslaught; i was primed and ready to spend a blissful 2 hours geek-illy picking out mistakes. However when i came to watch it i found that it was, dare i say it, perfect. Everything that i thought i would be able to turn my nose up at turned out great. Deaths voice, which i had been told wasn't deep enough, worked fantastically. But what i think made this program really speak to me was the little details. Being a 16 year old Terry Pratchett fan i have (sadly) read most the books at least twice and it seemed to me that the makers of this program had also re-read these books. It was the way that when the Dean turned round he had "born to rune" written on the back of his robe or the fact they managed to find a spot for the death of rats even though he could have easily been cut from the script. Thank you for bringing my favourite book to life so well.
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Excellent Adaptation
Chris Carchrie20 December 2006
Wasn't sure what to expect and, while quite excited at the prospect, I was prepared to be disappointed. I really shouldn't have worried! Although some good bits were cut or shortened to fit the available running time, this remains a superb adaptation. Mr Te-ah-tim-eh was not quite how I had visualised the character but Marc Warren brought the part to (an extremely eerie – that eye! That voice!!) life. Michelle Dockery as Susan was an inspired choice – just how I'd imagined.

I would say that it would be a good idea to read the book first (in fact, why not read the entire series) as this makes it a lot easier to follow.
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Great Xmas movie!
instant019 December 2006
Terry Pratchetts Hogfather, one of the top 100 "movies"?

This is a great Xmas movie and one all fans of the Terry Pratchett Discworld universe should watch. And everyone else for that matter.

Especially impressive is the performance of Mr Teatime (Marc Warren) with his signature laughter, weird eyes and strange accent.

The special effects are quite good as well.

I wonder why this movie has not been put up on cinemas since its definitively suited for such, although not at the expensive of play-time.

Having read much of the books I really think the managed to pull it off with this one, many of the favourite characters and traits of each from the Discworld universe are preserved and put on screen as one could have imagined it.

There is even a special appearance :) Squeek.
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Excellent! The movie looks like the book reads
Simon Hirth18 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I've just watched Hogfather on SkyOne, and it was really excellent! Of course, some things from the book had to be left out to fit it into two episodes of two hours each, and some minor alterations were made, but it still is excellent!

For me, the characters in that movie are really close to the book, just as close as a movie can be. The storyline has been shortened, and some side stories are missing (like the restaurant scene) and some characters have much smaller parts (like the Death Of Rats and the Raven).

The characters follow the book very closely and much effort was spent on production design. Everyone who read the book should be able to recognize the characters immediately. Worth seeing: Corporal Nobbs and Constable Visit.
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In the middle
Mars-1925 November 2007
Funny how half the reviews are trashing this series and half are raving. I'm smack in the middle. It had a glacial pace that I really did not like and it had a sort of flat trajectory that didn't make me want to sit there for the whole thing. I did anyway. I'm a huge fan of Terry Pratchett's books like the vast majority of the reviewers and I know there's no way on earth to please us all but while I thought Michelle Dockery was fabulous, I wasn't particularly impressed by anything else about it. The look was great but it wasn't Ankh-Morpork. Though Mr. P has said the city probably leans toward the early 19th century, he writes it a bit older than that and so this felt, as one person said, more like a Harry Potter than the Discworld. There was no feeling of Ankh-Morpork as the sprawling whore of a city she is--this could've been a Dickens set, reused. Beautiful but not right. Likewise, the humor felt strangely flat. I didn't crack a smile once and that is odd--the books invariably have me laughing out loud, often and long. All the books. Every one of these actors is talented and some of them shone but frankly I found the only other person I wanted to see on the screen was Peter Guinness; he had presence in his tiny bits that worked. Little else was engaging and the timing or the editing or the pace just killed the jokes dead. It comes out like a bunch of adults making stupid faces. Good for kids, maybe. Disappointing to someone who knows how Pratchett can make a joke about the most serious elements of the human condition and distill it into what we all share as humans. Which was also missing. I didn't feel like any of the characters were real people. The bottom line of the Discworld is that no matter what fantastic thing is happening, it's happening to people like us. This was like watching Eragon or Narnia. It never once touched me. And I disagree heavily with Nobby Nobbs. The actor was fine but the portrayal was not even in the same universe as my Nobby Nobbs. I shudder to see what would happen if they made a film with Vimes, who is my favorite. After the plays, which read all slapstick and no humanity (still worth reading but too thin without the pathos and beauty of people doing the things people do), and the Wyrd Sisters animated (plodding, overly comic voice acting that sounds like everyone has been slowed down deliberately) I had some high hopes for this. It's worth a look for fans but if you haven't read the book, you're lost and irritated (why are Nobbs and Visit in here anyway? The whole sequence in the store didn't require the Watch to work in a film. Tony Robinson had it handled and the uninitiated will be going "who are these people, because clearly I'm supposed to know them." Too much weight is given to something that doesn't advance the plot. Ditto BSJ's shower. I'm still not even sure what was meant to have happened there.) So, not a bad film but not a satisfying translation of a Pratchett book and that is the worst of it. Like others have said before me, please:if this is your introduction to Terry Pratchett's Discworld, do yourself a favor and ---Read The Books---.
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Amazing world!
ZekeRage91130 March 2007
I am indeed a fan of Terry Pratchett, however, I am a critical fan. I do not worship his words or anything, but I enjoy his writing and ideas. I was skeptical when I heard someone was doing a live action Hogfather. Having read the book, I thought there would be far too much back-story and explanation required to tell the complex story effectively. I'm happy to be wrong.

The opening is a very impressive CGI display of the Discworld, accompanied by well-written and well-read narration. We are brought into the story with the VERY beautiful Michelle Dockery as the main character, Susan Sto Helit, the adopted grand-daughter of Death. Yes, Death, the robe, the scythe, everything.

It seems some strange entities that call themselves the Auditors, which are essentially the chartered accountants of reality, seek to eliminate human beings by wiping out their ability to believe, thus negating a vital part of their humanity. They hire an assassin, the very creepy Mr. Teatime (pronounced The-ah-time-eh) played brilliantly by Marc Warren to kill the Hogfather, a Santa-Claus like figure.

My description does this story no justice. You are gripped from the very opening shot, and dragged into this world of darkness, comedy, and surprising philosophy. The set design, props, costumes, photography, acting and directing are all spot-on. My main criticism, and I hate to admit it, is that Michelle Dockery was a little flat at times. I hate to admit it, because I am nearly in love with the woman. Unfortunately, at times she seems to be reciting lines rather than playing a role. If not for that one flaw, I would have given this mini-series a 10/10. Well, nobody's perfect.
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