Sunday night Yummy and I finished watching the two part mini-series "The Color of Magic". Monday I saw that Tuesday (today) I can finally get my hands on a legal copy.
"The Color of Magic" and "The Light Fantastic" are the first two books in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. There are 37 books in the series including adult, young adult, early-teens, and new reader books. More are underway.
Truth be told, these two were the weakest books in the series.1 Pratchett was still figuring out his world and figuring out how to write. However, the problem was with the writing, not the story. The guy who adapted it did a great job and brought Pratchett around to muck about with it. Really, it says in the opening credits "Mucked about with by Terry Pratchett". It works much better than the previous live action Discworld adaptation, "Hogfather", in which the only real way to know what's going on is to have already read the book.
The Discworld is a flat, circular world carried on the back of four massive elephant that stand on the back of an even more massive turtle. Most books focus on the city of Ankh-Morpork in one regard or another.
"The Color of Magic" starts in Ankh-Morpork with the single most inept wizard, or "Wizzard" as his hat says, Rincewind being expelled from Unseen University after 40 years of not learning a single spell. Rincewind is played by David Jason, the gentleman who once did the voice of Danger Mouse and Count Duckula.
Rincewind soon encounters a tourist known as Two Flower. Two Flower comes from the Counterweight Continent on the other side of the disk. It's made of a great deal of gold so as to act as a better counter to the main continent's weight. Flashing around that much gold means that Rincewind just tries to get his share and vanish before the crowds slaughter Two Flower and take his gold. Two Flower is played by Sean Austin, recently back from his trip to Mordor and back.
The head or Ankh-Morpork is the Patrician, played by Jeremy Irons. You don't see nearly enough of him in this movie, or in the books either, but you see enough to like him. He puts it to Rincewind that he needs to be the guide for Two Flower ...or else.
There's a parallel story of a wizard, Tim Curry, killing his way to become head of Unseen University. I'd call Unseen University a Hogwarts spoof if not for the fact that Unseen University came first. Monty Python fans will appreciate that this movie has a wizard called Tim. Curry wants to be in charge so he can get at a magical book called "The Octavo" and gain ultimate power. This book contains the 8 magical spells that created the Discworld. Only, one of the spells has lept off the page and lodged itself in Rincewind's head decades ago to prevent this very thing from happening.
Of course, in this particular instance, the Discworld turtle is swimming into a star and all 8 spells need to be together to save the Disc. And the 8th spell is out seeing the sights far from the other seven.
I will be picking up a legal copy of the DVD tonight. I suggest you do the same.
Keep an eye out for "Going Postal" [IMDB link] to be shown in the UK later this year.
1I'd suggest jumping to the 4th book, "Mort", if you're interested in getting into the series.