Saturday, December 05, 2015

Honourable Mention: Going Postal

Terry Pratchett was a national treasure and I still remember reading the Colour of Magic and the Light Fantastic back in the 1980s with glee. Going Postal was his 33rd Discworld novel and I assume you all know what the Discworld is, but just in case it is a world that is a flat disc, sat atop the back of four elephants who in turn sit on Great A'Tuin, a turtle who swims through space. The mini-series dates from 2010 and was directed by Jon Jones.

Going Postal has a series of visual telegram towers, or a semaphore line, across the Discworld that sends “clacks” as messages. This has, along with some extremely dubious business practices, seen the death of the post office. Moist Von Lipwig (Richard Coyle, Grabbers) is a con artist whose crimes catch up to him and is sentenced to death. He is hung to an inch of his life and wakes before the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork (Charles Dance, Underworld Awakening, Dracula Untold & Viy (2014)). He is given a choice, revive the post office or actually die… he chooses the former.

Gryle - a banshee
Thus follows the normal, madcap zany and yet well thought out Pratchett humour. Now I will get to the vampire but I first want to mention the character Mr Gryle (Adrian Schiller, Being Human). At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking him a vampire. With wings that make him look every inch a manbat, he also has a Nosferatu like visage, with bald head, pointed ears and sharp teeth. He is a paid assassin and attacks Moist, who in retaliation manages to stick an impromptu stake in Gryle’s chest. This doesn’t stop him as Moist misses both his hearts… but he is quite definitely named as a banshee.

Otto von Chriek
Perhaps I might have done a “Vamp or Not?” but the mini-series does actually feature a vampire – in a very fleeting visitation. The competition between post and clacks becomes a media sensation and the press have a photographer there who is, most definitely, a vampire. Not credited on IMDb, via the books we are aware that he is the character Otto von Chriek – a teetotaller vampire (he’s off blood) obsessed with light and photography. Vampires in Discworld are reduced to ash in sunlight and so, in the books, he carries a vial of animal blood with reconstitution purposes. How he survives through the mini-series is never touched on.

There we have it, a fleeting visitation of Otto von Chriek. The imdb page is here.

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