In our first full-length episode, Elizabeth and Ben are joined by comedian Cal Wilson to discuss the winner of our poll – Men at Arms (1993)! The fifteenth Discworld novel, Men at Arms is the second to focus on the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, following Guards! Guards! (1989).
Captain of the Night Watch Samuel Vimes is only a week away from retirement – so of course “ethnic tensions” between dwarves and trolls are at boiling point, something explodes in the Assassin’s Guild, and there’s a murderer on the loose. Luckily the Watch has expanded, with three unorthodox new recruits…
It’s a real smorgasbord of Discworld stuff and a great introduction to the world, especially the quintessential Discworld city of Ankh-Morpork.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:27:12 — 85.5MB)
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Guest Cal Wilson is a Melbourne-based New Zealand stand-up comedian and author. You can follow her on Twitter at @calbo. The children’s book she couldn’t yet name was George and the Great Bum Stampede, illustrated by Sarah Davis. It’s the first in a series about George’s family, the Peppertons.
You can find the full show notes and errata for this episode on our web site.
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A comment about the pronouncing issue that you guys ran into, there were audio-books read by Nigel Planer that I generally refer to when wondering how to pronounce a name. He pronounces Detritus and Angua the way that Elizabeth and Cal do. I’m not sure if there was any input by Terry on these audio-books however. Love the content so far!
Awesome chat guys! Discworld was a massive part of my life growing up. Pratchett was such an amazing story teller. You have done a great job reviewing the feel and flavour of the world. I might just go and start re-reading some of these classics.
As you mentioned ‘Bottle Episodes’ at the end of the podcast which would feature the ‘Interchangeable Emmas’, I would like to suggest a title for it, which could be “Keeping up with the Emmas” !
Great podcast ! Will be looking forward to the next and future ones. Thanks !
I was not sure how this would go as a first book (I have read them all ,almost in chronological order). But yes it does provide an overview on how the city works , introduces a lot of recurring characters and famous landmarks. Even the wizards get a mention.
The way Pratchett explores different themes that we can recongise in one book is brilliant
Mob mentality, racial hatred, equal opportunity and how absolute power can corrupt.
We also see the growth of Carrot from simple bumpkin into a true leader. Who can resist Carrot. Looking forward to revisiting Mort
Hi! There was a question in this episode about Lord Vetinari’s plan for a successor. I don’t remember where I read it, but through the books it’s pretty obvious that there are at least three people who are sort of acknowledged good successors who by the end of the series especially. Carrot, Vimes and Moist.
Carrot of course who is the failsafe who would take the reigns if anything slid back to Winder/Snapcase type behavior but he wouldn’t leave the watch otherwise.
Vimes who has titles to satisfy the nobs and is people’s princess enough to satisfy the common people and is overall a good man, but who would hate to be the ruler.
and Moist who is like Vimes and Vetinari, a bastard who uses it to do good. Vetinari is arguably already grooming to take over as he already runs the mint, the post, and the trains.
That said he might be building a self sufficient city that can run on the power of good organization. the whole thing shouldn’t work anyway and yet it does, so I wouldn’t be surprised.
Also! Ghosts! There are ghosts in discworld, Granny or Nanny mentions them as being just sort of sad shadow type things that hang about in old houses but cant actually get up to much trouble, though people get uncomfortable if they accidentally sit on them. Lancre Castle has a lot of ghosts.