The Colour of Magic – Episode II (2008) – Television film

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One of the reasons I usually refuse to watch movie/television versions of books has to do with the inevitable deviations. If the director/producer did not deviate from the books, budgets and length of the movie would be overwhelming. In the case The Light Fantastic and Colour of Magic, changes in the television movie kept to the “spirit” of the story of Twoflower, Rincewind and the Luggage.

Episode II begins with Rincewind being saved by the Octavo. You see, the Octavo needs that eighth spell in Rincewind’s head so it might assist the Turtle in its purpose. The Octavo prefers Rincewind as keeper of the eighth spell rather than Tryman. Tryman’s obsession with the Octavo worries the Octavo.

Cohen the Barbarian makes his first appearance in this film. He is one of the most charming characters of the Discworld. David Bradley, as Cohen, was an inspired choice. He and Tennant were the best fits for their roles, in my opinion. The only problem Bradley had with his role, was his teeth. Cohen is not supposed to have teeth for most of the story. However we see teeth long before their arrival time. As usual, I find this kind of spoof quite funny.

Death’s house/property had the right feel to it. I got that sense of different shades of black and grey that The Light Fantastic talks about. This scene was the only one that threw me due to it being completely different to the book. Perhaps this was why Rincewind did not seem as frightened as he should. Sean Astin was just as oblivious in the movie as Twoflower is in the book. Using the stereotype US tourist for Twoflower continues to agree with me.

As with Episode I, I felt the final product seemed kind of half-hearted. In trying to figure out why, I think my conclusion is that it must be cutting that is the problem. Sadly, Vadim has given a cut-and-paste feel to much of this movie.

In spite of my protestations, The Colour of Magic, Episode II is a fair enough production. Perhaps never having read the stories would have been an advantage. It often seems that way to me.





  • David Jason as Rincewind, a failed wizard and the main protagonist.
  • Sean Astin as Twoflower, the Discworld’s first tourist.
  • Tim Curry as Trymon, the power-hungry senior wizard at the Unseen University.
  • Christopher Lee as the voice of Death.
  • David Bradley as Cohen the Barbarian, the most famous barbarian in the Discworld, now ‘retired’.
  • Laura Haddock as Bethan, a druid sacrifice, who falls in love with Cohen.
  • Nicolas Tennant as Head Librarian of the Unseen University, who becomes an orangutan during the events of the film.
  • Liz May Brice as Herrena, a mercenary who is employed to capture Rincewind.
  • Richard Da Costa as The Luggage.
  • Toby Jones as one of the heads of the eight orders of Wizardry. (Wikipedia)


“The Matthew, the replica of the ship John Cabot sailed from Bristol to Newfoundland in 1496″, was used for sequences in the Colour of Magic TV film. (BBC News)


Nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for best television effects


About humanitysdarkerside

Bibliophile, small-time activist, ASD, blogger

Posted on 2015-03-12, in Adaptations and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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