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Terry Pratchett: BBC Radio Drama Collection

Seven BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations
Length: 13 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (398 ratings)
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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.

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

33 of 34 people found this review helpful

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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.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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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

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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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.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Entertaining

There are 7 short Pratchett radio performances included here and although the quality of them varies, it rarely drops below good/great. Nightwatch was excellent, as was Wyrd Sisters. Very entertaining and a pleasure to listen to

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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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At this price they're cutting their own throat!

Of course it has credits like a radio drama. "BBC Radio Drama Collection" is LITERALLY IN THE TITLE

Amazing cast, Death voiced in a way I totally didn't expect but instantly fell in love with. Long long time pTerry fan here and could not get enough of this from the outset. Have been awaiting this since the preorder was first available and am very very happy with the wait

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • S. Horn
  • 09-11-18

Get the unabridged audiobooks, instead

While the performers gave each of these abridged versions of Discworld novels their best, the audiobook originals are far, far better. These radio plays are such abbreviated renditions that the stories barely hold together, and, in truth, sometimes they don't. The magic and weirdness of the Discworld that make Pratchett's books such rare treasures are lost in the rush and jumble of these very short plays. Do yourself a favor and listen instead to the excellent, unabridged audio versions of each of these remarkable books. You'll be so glad you did.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • Jacobus
  • 14-11-18

Radio drama + Terry Pratchett = MAGIC

Yes, it is not the complete text of the books, but I still enjoyed revisiting some of the best Discworld stories through this collection of BBC Radio 4's dramatisations. You will meet the Weird Sisters, Mort, get acquainted once again with the Small Gods, feel the Ankh Morpork cobbles under your feet while patrolling with Captain Vimes of the Night Watch dealing with dragons. "Guards! Guards!" and suddenly you travel back in time becoming the impeccable Sgt Keel. But just for the fun of it, the collection has one non-Discword story in it... helping you to remember WHY you love the disc world.

I really enjoyed these dramatisations. It is an excellent tribute to the work of Sir Terry Pratchett whose whit and unexpected take on things we miss so dearly. Buy this if you want to go on a trip through memory lane. Enjoy the radio dramas for what it is, radio dramas. Then I can guarantee you, you won't be disappointed.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Art_VT
  • 01-11-18

Cut too much, and most of the jokes.

Each story is about 2 hours, and to get a 11 hour book to fit in a 2 hour story, much of the extraneous stuff has to be removed. Extraneous is all the interpersonal stuff that makes Terry Pratchett books so much fun. If you knew the story to begin with the radio plays are a nice reminder (allowing that you did not look forward to, and miss the parts that were removed), I think you would be happier to get the entire book and enjoy it.

22 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Rosenberger
  • 11-11-18

Just ok

I'm a huge fan of Terry Pratchett, but this collection made me rather sad. "Guards, Guards" was the best of the group, but I've actually heard that one several times before purchasing this collection. I was hoping to find some new favorites among the others. But no... These were all wonderful books, so I blame the adaptations. I feel like all that was wonderful about the books was removed for these radio versions. "Guards, Guards" was good. At least that one was somewhat funny. The others were not. Overall I'd say skip this and buy an audio version of one of Terry Pratchett's books instead.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Shawn G
  • 13-11-18

Terry's characters brought to life

This collection is amazing. It is a little odd to have Death's voice change in some of the stories but overall, I highly recommend this for anyone who loves Terry's work. #Inspiring #Magical #Satire #Funny #Heartfelt #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amanda Cook
  • 07-11-18

Wasn't Sure At First

Most of it was delightful but Guards Guards was unfortunate. I understand having to change some things to make it work for radio but it didn't work for Guards Guards and Carrot was all wrong I feel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 02-11-18

It's not "by Terry Pratchett"

This is a dramatized performance based on Terry Pratchett books. The books are shortened and pretty much only dialogs are left.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-01-19

Unless you have read the book, you won’t get it.

These dramas are cute but to distill Terry Pratchett down to a 30 minute drama is impossible. Nice try but you can’t really follow these unless you’ve already read the books. Without the background of the story it’s hard to keep track of the characters in the dialogue.

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  • Colin Masson
  • 28-12-18

Left me begging for more unabridged Disc World!

Having driven my wife batty with my random belly laughs while reading Terry Pratchett books, I had some reservations about listening to abridged versions of his Disc World books. Thankfully the BBC managed to have me in stitches again though with some fantastic voice acting. Only real critique is that I wanted more!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-12-18

Great Stories. Slightly difficult to listen to

For starts, I love Terry Pratchett.The Discworld selections were great. The Sci-Fi/gamer story was...OK. The most difficult part for me was group scenes with the entire cast all shrieking at once. Overall, though, it’s an enjoyable listen.

One small critique in the first story is the actor portraying Death. He isn’t speaking in all caps. His voice should also have enough reverb to sound sepulchral.