Christmas may be long gone, and with it the airing of Sky One’s adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather, but through a combination of laziness and other delays, only now do I come to write about it. The point of writing this review is dubious at best, but having said I would do it, I thought I should at least stick to my word.
Hogfather is the first live-action adaptation of a Terry Pratchett novel, and I have to admit that while it isn’t all bad, nor does it really capture the book as well as I’d like (even if Pratchett himself did approve the script). There are moments when the book is perfectly brought to screen, with the dialogue and ironic humour all intact; however, at other times it all becomes a bit overly theatrical or downright inexplicable. There are numerous key plot points that aren’t explained very well (or at all) on screen, so anyone who wasn’t familiar with the original material would most likely be at sea in trying to pull together a coherent plot. Things just happen because it is convenient to the story, it seems, not because they actually have good reasons behind them.
At least Hogfather gets it right in one department, and that is in bringing the Discworld to life. The production budget seems to have been relatively generous, and so whilst not everything is quite as I had imagined it, it at least looks convincing, and makes me long to see more Pratchett works onscreen.
Since those who have read the novel will complain about parts being changed or missed out, and those who haven’t won’t have much grasp of what’s going on, Hogfather’s appeal lies chiefly in its novelty. You probably won’t want to watch it over and over, but if you need some seasonal entertainment that’s different from the usual selection, you may as well give it a try.