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Terry Pratchett: BBC Radio Drama Collection

Seven BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations
Written by: Terry Pratchett
Length: 13 hrs and 13 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Somewhere on the frontier between thought and reality exists the Discworld, a parallel time and place which might sound and smell very much like our own, but which looks completely different.... 

Collected together for the first time are seven full-cast BBC Radio dramatisations of Terry Pratchett’s novels, with star-studded casts including Martin Jarvis, Sheila Hancock, Anton Lesser, Philip Jackson, Alex Jennings and Mark Heap.

Now being published for the very first time, the adaptations in this collection are:

Mort

Hopeless young peasant Mort is hired as an apprentice to Death. He'll have free board and use of the company horse, and being dead isn’t even compulsory. In fact, it's a dream job - until he discovers that it can be a killer on his love life....

Wyrd Sisters

Three witches meet on a blasted heath. A king is cruelly murdered. A child heir and the kingdom’s crown are both missing. But Granny Weatherwax finds that meddling in royal politics is a lot more complicated than certain playwrights would have you believe.... 

Guards! Guards!

In Ankh-Morpork, the Haves and the Have-Nots are about fall out. Again. The Night Watch’s Captain Vimes is used to this, but when the Have-Nots find the key to a lethal, dormant weapon that even they don’t understand, he knows it’s time so sober up. 

Eric

When precocious young Eric Thursley summons a demon from the loathsome pit to fulfil his every wish, he wants what everyone wants - immortality, to rule the world, and to have the most beautiful woman love him. Instead he gets Rincewind, the Disc’s most incompetent wizard. 

Small Gods

On the Discworld, Gods are as numerous as herring roe, all elbowing for space at the top. In such a competitive environment, you need an acolyte, and fast. For the Great God Om, Brutha is the Chosen One, or at least the only One available....

Night Watch

Living in the past is hard. Dying in the past is incredibly easy, especially when there is a serial killer on the loose who targets coppers. Commander Sam Vimes of the City Watch is back in his own rough, tough past, and he has a job to do.

Bonus story: in addition to these Discworld novels, this collection also includes a full-cast dramatisation of Only You Can Save Mankind, from the Johnny Maxwell series. As an alien fleet crosses his computer screen, Johnny prepares to blow the ScreeWee into a million pieces....

©2018 Terry Pratchett (P)2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd.

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  • colin mann
  • 12-11-18

If you Love and have read Terry Pratchett

You're going to hate this. The disc world novels are cut to pieces like never before. The characters we love are here but the plots and humour have been mercilessly cut to pieces to fit a radio slot. Treat yourself to the unabridged Audible books if you would like to experience Disc World in all its beauty and humor.

42 of 44 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-11-18

Excellent radioplay renditions of Pratchett's work

For all its many failings it cannot be doubted that the BBC knows how to do radio drama, and with these full-cast radio play versions of some of Pratchett's best writings they have pushed the bar even higher than before. These really are very, very good, with just the right level of dryness and subtlety mixed with slapstick that makes Pratchett's humour so good to read. The characters all seem true to how Pratchett imagined them (for example casting Melvyn Hayes as Nobby Nobbs in 'Guards! Guards!' was a work of genius) and the actors really seem to understand the world that their characters inhabit and take on their mantles as if born to the play the role. In essence these radio plays are Terry Prachett's books brought to life with only the very subtlest of changes necessary to work in the medium of radio and nothing more. If you like reading Pratchett then you'll like listening to these radio plays.

54 of 58 people found this review helpful

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  • LJP7
  • 27-11-18

A mixed bag of abridged stories of varying quality

I (probably naively) didn't realise that these are significantly abridged versions of the full stories - at 7 for the price of 1 though, that's fine. my favourite was the second-to-last story of time travel. Some of the voice actors throughout these tales are excellent; all were at least good. Unfortunately a couple of the stories are so shortened I struggled to follow what was happening - particularly in Wyrd Sisters. Beware those who listen to audiobooks whilst going to sleep; several moments are VERY LOUD! Also note that the final story isn't a Discworld novel, and sounds more like an episode of Doctor Who.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • mike
  • 13-11-18

SAVE YOUR MONEY AND BUY THE UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOKS

i'm just about half way through this collection so far. I've read/listened to & thoroughly enjoyed all the Discworld books, but this collection of radio plays is AWFUL.

Sound quality is poorer than the audiobooks, I generally listen to audiobooks when driving & with this collection I have to have the volume up as high as possible without it distorting.

I like to think I'm of average intelligence, but if i hadn't already read the books I think i would have a job to follow the storylines because of the poor editing into a play format.

It's difficult to give a fair rating for the permance & performers because I'm struggling to enjoy the plays because of bad writing and production. Also as a minor annoyance, no one has bothered to title the chapters which makes navigating through the collection annoying.

I would not recommend this collection to any of my friends that like Sir Terry's works & can't believe that my first ever bad review of an Audible book is about Discworld.

SAVE YOUR CASH AND STICK TO THE BOOKS/AUDIOBOOKS

33 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • Sanjeev Gupta
  • Kingston upon Thames, UK
  • 02-11-18

Wonderful adaptations

A brilliant set of adaptations of some of Sir Terry’s Discworld novels. Cast are all strong and the performances are admirable.

I do think that Death could have had a stronger voice to go with the capitalisation used in the books, but that is a personal preference.

Really pleased with the purchase.

29 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul Ransted
  • 11-12-18

Great but needs editing for this format

The acting and production are great, as expected from the BBC. However having the credits and still in the episodic form is not suitable for this format. I loved the discworld stories and remembered the books. However the last one is not discworld and I know why I never purchased the book, acting in the last was good but not my type of subject at all.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris Harston
  • 29-03-19

Fantastic value for fantastic content

As a big fan of all of Terry Pratchetts works this was an amazing find. I had had my doubts about audiobooks, but the BBC full cast dramatisations are absolutely brilliant. They take you much further than a standard audio read out of a book could. My only negative would be that they finished so soon due to me binging them.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-12-18

Mainly good

Loved all discworld stuff really good adaptations but think was opposite of save best till last as last two titles not as good as the others

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Zoe
  • 11-11-18

Fantastically entertaining!

As a die hard pratchett fan I LOVE these! I didn't realise that I needed Mark Heap as Rincewind in my life until this very moment. I really like that there are some of the less popular books are included as well as the more popular guards and witches. It's a nice refresher to hear them anew. I definitely recommend listening to these.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kira Adams
  • 14-07-19

A mixed bag, but very good overall

You really do get good value for your credit in this collection of radio dramas. However, I found that they were inconsistent in their quality.

I thought that Mort was excellent, perhaps because it was a rather simple story that translated well into a script. In particular, voice actor for Death was very good. Overall this was probably the best of the set.

Wyrd Sisters, in my opinion, did not translate into an audio drama very well. Even having read the book, I found the story rather confusing, and it was desperately in need of a narrator. The voice actors of the witches gave good performances though.

Guards! Guards! was pretty good, although it did cut out all the information about Carrot’s dwarf background which was kind of disappointing. I loved the sound effects for the swamp dragons. Carrot’s fake Welsh accent was pretty annoying, but Vimes’s actor was excellent.

Eric was an entertaining enough bit of nonsense. The story isn’t very good because it was originally written as a short picture book. However, casting Mark Heap as Rincewind was pure genius and I would give my right arm to hear him in the other Rincewind stories.

Small Gods I found incredibly boring. I read the book many years ago and felt the same way about it then. It’s a pointless story that doesn’t relate to any of the other Discworld novels, and it just isn’t entertaining. It didn’t hold my attention at all, and I was desperate to skip ahead.

Night Watch wasn’t bad, but it was an odd choice for adaptation, being the 5th Watch story. You’ll miss out a lot of context if you aren’t familiar with Men at Arms, Feet of Clay, Jingo, and The Fifth Elephant. The story felt rather “bare bones” and nowhere near as good as the novel. Also Vimes’s voice actor wasn’t as good as the previous one.

It’s hard to judge Only You Can Save Mankind because it’s clearly aimed at children. It was ok I guess. Probably kind of out of date for today’s kids.

Overall, definitely worth listening to, but if you want the full stories, you will have to buy the individual novels. Fingers crossed that one day we will get full-cast unabridged Discworld audiobooks!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Phoebe D
  • 16-01-19

A very enjoyable to listen to books

I really enjoyed this collection I listen while doing my craft work and drinking tea.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-03-19

good listen

good adaptions but definitely abbreviated from the originals. good performances and sound effects but sometimes sound levels at start and end credits much louder than the actual book which gets annoying when suddenly deaffend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-12-18

Fun Short Dramatization collection

Whilst the stories by necessity were cut a bit short in places for the BBC dramatizations this is a fun, enjoyable collection of several of Terry Pratchett's most memorable books well performed by varying casts

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-11-18

Thoroughly enjoyable. BBC has not let itself down

Thoroughly enjoyable. BBC has not let itself down. Forget they're abridged versions. Immerse yourself in smooth flowing theatre - disc world style.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Janet
  • 13-10-19

Return

Loved all Terry Pratchett books we have read, but not this BBC production Thank you.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-09-19

Wonderful!

It is laugh-aloud funny. The BBC does this sooo well. A joy to listen to, just a risk that you won't want to "put the book down"

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  • Ewan
  • 03-09-19

Good value

Some of the adaptations are better than others but all worth a listen, none of them poor. Performances are all up there. Given the number of tales, definitely some value here.

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  • hazzer
  • 14-08-19

lovey

well the BBC, god bliss you. love and miss Mr P and you brought these favourites to life for me

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-02-19

Great adaptations for radio!

Loved how the books were transformed into radio plays. The narration and range of character voices were done to perfection.

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  • Chris from Oz
  • 04-01-19

Great short stories expertly portrayed

My first time of reading or being read too anything by Terry Pratchett. Superbly written and acted.
I would highly recommend these as a lighthearted fun read. The early stories are the best in my view although they are very entertaining in their own right.