"A Near Vimes Experience" is the premiere episode of the first season of BBC America's The Watch. It premiered on January 3, 2021, immediately followed by the second episode, "Ook." It had an advance release on December 31, 2020 on the streaming service AMC+.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Plot summary[edit | edit source]
Somewhere in a distant secondhand dimension, Captain Sam Vines comes before Death himself. He asks how he got there and is told simply to watch.
Some 20 years in the past, Sam Vimes, Sergeant Swires, Captain John Keel and Carcer Dun all stand outside the headquarters of the City Watch of Ankh-Morpork. In a series of flashbacks, it is shown that how Captain Vimes was recruited to join the City Watch by Captain Keel. Carcer Dun urged him not to do it, telling him that it was just another gang. When Sam declared that he was arresting Carcer, Carcer shot at him with a crossbow. Keel took the shot instead and died, leaving Vimes as captain of the City Watch. Vimes then pursued Dun to a precipice, where Dun shouted for Vimes to arrest him. Vimes, however, hesitated and Dun fell, seemingly to his death.
20 years later, Captain Sam Vimes looks much like the roughed-up version of himself who has found himself before Death. Having consumed copiously amounts of alcohol and lost numerous brain cells to show for it, he is reduced to chasing after stray dogs. Meanwhile, Constable Carrot Ironfoundersson, the newest member of the City Watch, chases after a thief and brings him to The Watch House. There, he is quickly released by Corporal Angua von Uberwald, who tells Constable Carrot that the man he has just captured is head of the Thieves' Guild. As the man leaves, he warns Corporal Angua that Lord Vetinari will hear about it.
Captain Vimes and Sergeant Detritus meet with Lord Vetinari, who takes them to task for Constable Carrot's actions. Captain Vimes explains that Carrot is new and Vetinari gives the two a mission - they are to retrieve a stolen library book, identifiable by its red scalehide. Meanwhile, Carrot takes a walk with Corporal Angua, who gives him the rundown on how things work in the city of Ankh-Morpork. About twenty years previously, the town experienced a massive crime wave. Things got some bad that the City Watch couldn't keep up, so Lord Vetinari legalized the ancient guilds. If you like stealing, you can join the Thieves' Guild. If you need somebody killed, you can hire a member of the Assassins' Guild.
Shocked by the nature of the organization that he's joined, Constable Carrot announces that he intends to hand in his resignation to Vimes immediately. While trying to find him, however, he discovers a letter from his father. He learns that rather than having been personally requested by Vimes, the opposite is true and it was actually his own adoptive father who asked Vimes to take him in. He's a human who was adopted by dwarves, but his size was causing problems in the dwarf society. He then learns from the others that taking in misfits like him is what Captain Vimes does. Each of them have found a place within the City Watch to fit in - for example, Corporal Angua is a werewolf, while Cheery is a transgender dwarf who like Carrot is too tall for dwarf society.
While Carrot is busy learning the nature of the City Watch, Captain Vimes pursues a lead, believing that he has spotted Carcer Dun within Ankh-Morpork. His investigations end him up in the dungeon of Lady Sybil Ramkin, a self-proclaimed "terrorist" who tries to instruct a group called the "Sunshine Rescue Centre for Broken & Bedraggled Things." She explains that they're all there because she's been brainwashed into believing that crime is a legitimate profession. He explains to her that he is not, in fact, a criminal, but the captain of the City Watch, and manages to enlist her aid. Together, the two meet with Throat Dibbler and investigate the death of an alchemist, learning about dealings of a narcotic known as "Slab" in the process. Their investigations eventually lead them to the missing library book the City Watch was tasked with finding as well as the man from Vimes's past, Carcer Dun. Meanwhile, the members of the City Watch follow up a lead regarding a blocked fountain and discover the deceased alchemist.
Cast in order of appearance[edit | edit source]
- Captain Sam Vimes - Richard Dormer
- Death - Craig Macrae
- Voice of Death - Wendell Pierce
- Young Sam Vines - Trevor Frost
- Sergeant Swires - Jonathan Pienaar
- Carcer Dun - Samuel Adewunmi
- Captain John Keel - Hakeem Kae-Kazim
- Urdo van Pew - Joe Vaz
- Constable Carrot Ironfoundersson - Adam Hugill
- Sergeant Detritus - Craig Macrae
- Voice of Sergeant Detritus - Ralph Ineson
- Corporal Angua von Uberwald - Marama Corlett
- Lord Vetinari - Anna Chancellor
- Zella Hong - Adrian Collins
- Mended Drum Band - Crystal Axis
- Corporal Cheery - Jo Eaton-Kent
- Sparky the Imp - David Smith
- Goblin #1 - Mark Hyland
- Goblin #2 - Shane Kruger
- Goblin #3 - Shaun Verth
- Josiah Gaunt - Anele Matoti
- Skully Maltoon - Michael Everson
- Lady Sybil Ramkin - Lara Rossi
- Throat Dibbler - Ruth Madeley
- Wonse - Bianca Mannie