Sunday, November 25, 2007


Terry Pratchett's Hogfather, last year's Christmas miniseries event in the U.K., is being broadcast here in the U.S. for the first time on Sunday, Nov. 25 on ION Television. The program begins at 7 p.m. Eastern, 6 p.m. Central.

As this film is not available on DVD in the U.S. I strongly urge everyone with access to ION to watch Hogfather, an absolutely enchanting and twisted version of the holidays and the need for belief, filled with fascinating performances by top-drawer British character actors.

A BAFTA award winner for special effects, Hogfather is one of those rare films that creates a new world and makes you want to stay there. It's the first live-action adaptation of one of Terry Pratchett's best-selling Discworld novels and successfully captures the charm and magic of that place.

Read my review here, and see images of the film here. You can check your access to ION by Zip code here.
in an alternate universe, a lot like England. People want to kill the Hogfather, who's a lot like Santa Claus.

They hire a creepy genius whose name is spelled, but not pronounced, Teatime.

Soon, the Hogfather is missing. Taking his duties is Death, whose "ho ho ho" lacks glee.

This is dark British humor at its best and strangest. It's not for kids; some adults, however, will savor its sly brilliance.

'Gallactica' really gets going tonight

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: "Battlestar Galactica: Razor," 9-11 p.m., Sci Fi Channel, via satellite or digital cable.

Through the eyes of young officer Kendra Shaw, we see two past, pivotal moments.

South Lyon Business
Posey's Senior Care Homes

There are the early days of the first Cylon attack, when hard-eyed Admiral Helena Cain stunned her troops.

And there was the Battlestar Pegasus' first mission under Lee Adama. Shaw and Starbuck faced impossible odds, amid shocks and surprises. A great series hits a peak.

Both nights

• "Elf," USA Network; "Spider-Man 2," FX; "March of the Penguins," Discovery. Each is 8 p.m. today; Sunday has Spidey at 4:30 p.m., "Penguins" at 6 p.m., "Elf" at 8 p.m. Families can watch together.

Also tonight

• "The Incredibles," 8-10:30 p.m., Channel 10 (NBC). Here's a quick rerun of the popular, Pixar animated comedy.

Also Sunday

• "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," 7-9 p.m., Channel 53 (ABC). Doing its 100th home, the team goes overboard in milking the same emotions time after time. Still, the designers do a great job.

• "The Simpsons," 8 p.m., Channel 47. An increasingly crazed Sideshow Bob returns.

• "Christmas Caper," 8 p.m., ABC Family. In an OK film, Shannen Doherty is convincing as an evil beauty, hiding out in the suburbs.

• "Desperate Housewives," 9 p.m., Channel 53. Adam is startled when a stalker returns.

• "American Dad," 9:30 p.m., Channel 47. It's an erratic, but fun, take-off on James Bond.

Looking ahead

ABC wraps up "Dancing With the Stars" Monday and Tuesday, while returning
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Terry Pratchett
The Discworld series
20th novel – 4th Death story
Characters: Death
Susan Sto Helit
Locations: Death's Domain
Motifs: Christmas, children's stories, the power of belief
Publication details
Year of release: 1996
Original publisher: Victor Gollancz
Hardback ISBN: ISBN 0-575-06403-X
Paperback ISBN: ISBN 0-552-14542-4
Other details
Notes: Came 137th in the Big Read
For the Sky One adaptation of the novel, see Terry Pratchett's Hogfather.
Hogfather is the 20th Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett.

The Hogfather is also a character in the book, representing something akin to Father Christmas. He grants children's wishes on Hogswatchnight (32nd of December) and brings them presents. He also features in other Discworld novels.

The book is about the nature of belief, in particular that people need to believe in small things there is no evidence for, such as Hogfathers and Tooth Fairies, in order to believe in larger things, such as Justice and Hope. As Pratchett says elsewhere, fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind; it doesn't take you anywhere, but it tones up muscles that might.

1 Plot summary
2 TV adaptation
3 Minor creatures
4 External links

[edit] Plot summary
In the novel, The Auditors strike again by deciding to eliminate the Hogfather because he does not fit into their view of the universe. They meet with Lord Downey, head of the Assassin's Guild, and commission the services of Mr. Teatime (pronounced Teh-ah-tim-eh), whose particular brand of insane genius makes him an ideal candidate for the assassination of the Hogfather and other anthropomorphic personifications. Death decides to take over for the Hogfather in order to make people continue to believe in him, wearing a long red cloak and a beard, but things start to become complicated because he is taking the children's wishes too literally. Meanwhile, his granddaughter Susan must find out what's happened to the real Hogfather. She visits his Castle of Bones only to find the hung-over Bilious, the "Oh God of Hangovers" (So-called because "when humans experience [him], they clutch their heads and say "oh god") whom she rescues before the castle collapses due to the lack of belief. In an attempt to cure Bilious, Susan visits Unseen University where it is discovered that several of these minor gods and beings are being created. The University's computer, Hex, explains that there is 'spare belief' in the world due to the absence of the Hogfather which is being used to create them. Susan and Bilious then travel to the land of the Tooth Fairy where they discover that Teatime has 'killed' the Hogfather by collecting millions of children's teeth and using them to control the children, forcing them to stop believing in the Hogfather. Upon throwing the assassin off the tower and apparently killing him, Susan clears the teeth away and brings back the Hogfather by rescuing him from the Auditors, who have taken the forms of dogs. They cannot return to their original state and so cannot stop themselves falling off a cliff.

Afterwards, Teatime tracks Susan to the Gaiters' nursery, but is killed by Susan using the nursery poker, which passes through Death because "it only kills monsters".

[edit] TV adaptation
A two-part TV series of Hogfather was screened on the 17 December and 18 December 2006 (8:00 p.m.) on Sky One in the UK, with Ian Richardson as the voice of Death and David Jason playing Death's manservant Albert. Marc Warren played Mr. Teatime. Tony Robinson played the shop keeper Vernon Crumley. Terry Pratchett himself had a brief cameo as the toy-maker. The U.S. debut of the TV adaptation will take place at 7:00PM on Sunday, November 25 on Ion television.

[edit] Minor creatures
This book introduced a number of minor characters that were the result of the upset balance of belief, none of which have so far been used in any other book. However, some of them played a fairly important part in the plot, such as Bilious the oh God of Hangovers, and the Cheerful Fairy.


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