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Sam Vimes, short for Samuel Vimes, is a character who appears in the BBC America TV show, The Watch. The character is based off the character of the same name in Terry Pratchett's hit Discworld novels.

He states that he was born and raised in the gutter and perhaps should have died there, but didn't.

Sam Vimes is the lead captain of the City Watch for |Ankh-Morpork He seems curmudgeonly at first, but has layers to him. He begins the series with low self-worth, feeling that he has failed at life, and has turned to drink. He also feels powerless in his position. Despite this, his team respects and follows him, as he has rescued them from their own broken lives. Lady Sybil Ramkin in particular begins to awaken hope in him.[1]


Some twenty years prior to the events of the series, Sam Vimes was invited to The Watch House by Captain John Keel, who intended to welcome Vimes into the group's ranks. The two, however, were confronted by Carcer Dun, who urged Vimes not to join the Watch, believing it to be just another gang like the two had been a member of before. Keel told him that he was wrong, that the Watch was a symbol of good and that in twenty years, Dun would be an inspiration to others. When it became clear that Vimes was not going to listen to him, Dun fired a crossbow bolt at him, but Keel stepped forward and was killed by the bolt instead. Vimes then chased Dun to the edge of the roof of Unseen University, where a storm raged below. He cornered him on a precipice and he fell, seemingly to his death.

Nearly twenty years later, Vimes is captain of the Watch. He is an alcoholic and beaten down by years of the service to the organization, which, due to the actions of Havelock Vetinari, has little real police power and instead serves only to keep the various criminal guilds of Ankh-Morpork in line. His life is shaken up by the arrival of a new member to the group, Constable Carrot Ironfoundersson and the revelation that Dun somehow survived the fall from the twenty years before and is back in Ankh-Morpork, threatening the town's survival with a creature known as the Noble Dragon.

Vimes is forced to reckon with the past as he and the other members of the Watch rise to the challenge, coming together for the first time as a real police force to take on the threat of the Noble Dragon. Along the way, the group comes to be allied with Lady Sybil Ramkin, a noble who has been leading an underground rebel cause to try to reform the various criminal guilds of the city. Vimes also contends with a plot with sees him switched with an alternate universe version of himself in an attempt to take Ramkin out of the picture. In the end, he and the others succeed in containing the threat of the Noble Dragon and Dun is erased from existence by the Observers, the mysterious group who had spared his life in the hopes of annihilating the Watch. However, he is left to contend with Wonse, Dun's ally who in the wake of his erasure is pinned with his crimes.

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  1. Richard Dormer Interview for BBC's series The Watch. LRM Online (December 23, 2020). Retrieved on December 27, 2020.