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Terry Pratchett's Going Postal

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Directed by
No. of episodes

Jon Jones

Final episode date
31 May 2010



Country of origin
United Kingdom

Initial release

First episode date
30 May 2010

Sky 1

Terry Pratchett's Going Postal wwwtvovermindcomwpcontentuploads201108Goin

Created by
Terry Pratchett (screenplay by Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle)

Executive producer(s)
Rod Brown, Vadim Jean, Ian Sharples

The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett's Hogfather, Postal, Lorna Doone, Johnny and the Dead

Terry pratchett s going postal trailer

Terry Pratchett's Going Postal is a two-part television adaptation of Going Postal by Terry Pratchett, adapted by Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle and produced by The Mob, which was first broadcast on Sky1, and in high definition on Sky1 HD, at the end of May 2010.


It is the third in a series of adaptations, following Terry Pratchett's Hogfather and Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic. It was announced as part of an investment of at least £10 million into adaptations of novels, including Chris Ryan's Strike Back and Skellig by David Almond. Filming began in May 2009 in Budapest. As is now traditional with The Mob's Discworld adaptations, several fans were invited to appear as extras.


After years of undertaking confidence tricks Moist von Lipwig is caught by the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, and is sentenced to death under his current alias Albert Spangler. After a brief spell in prison he is hanged by the neck, but not killed. He is brought before Patrician Havelock Vetinari who likens himself to an angel, offering Moist a change of life. He gives Moist the choice to either become the new Postmaster or be executed by falling down a deep pit.

Moist immediately attempts to escape but is caught by his parole officer Mr Pump, a golem, and brought to the rundown post office where he meets his two staff: Junior Postman Tolliver Groat and his assistant, the pin-obsessed Stanley Howler. Moist learns that the post office has been superseded by semaphore towers known as "Clacks" which send messages using light signals which are faster than sending letters by post and owned by the unscrupulous Reacher Gilt.

Initially Moist attempts to escape his duty, but realises that he cannot get away without overcoming Mr Pump, so he goes to the Golem Trust to help understand how golems are created and controlled. There he meets Adora Belle Dearheart for whom he begins to develop feelings. His skills prove to be useful in making the post office popular again, both when he invents the postage stamp in an attempt to raise money (which proves to be highly successful), and when he starts an express post service to neighbouring cities.

While staying in the post office Moist begins to experience visions which show him that some of his confidence tricks led to tragedies for those he conned, which result in him having feelings of remorse for the first time. These feelings are heightened when he discovers that Adora Belle's father, Robert Dearheart, was indirectly a victim of one of his cons, and as a result lost ownership of his invention, the Clacks. Moist confesses his past misdeeds to Adora Belle just as the post office is set afire. Moist sets his own safety aside and runs into the burning building to rescue Stanley Howler. Before finding Stanley, he encounters Mr Gryle, a banshee assassin, who confesses that he killed the previous four Postmasters. Just as Gryle is about to strike, Moist calls on the haunted letters in the post office to stop Gryle, which they do.

The burning of the post office means that the people of Ankh-Morpork are turning to the "Clacks" for sending their messages, so Moist comes up with a plan to draw people back to the post office by pretending that he has experienced a vision telling him where the gods have buried money to help repair the post office (in reality the money was a hidden stash from his past cons). This succeeds, so Moist announces a new long distance delivery service.

Meanwhile, Adora Belle Dearheart is working on a way to jam up the Clacks with the help of a group of hackers (clacks-crackers) called "The Smoking Gnu" which they succeed in doing temporarily. The Clacks' chief engineer, Mr Pony, finds a way of preventing the jamming process, but Pony begins to see that working for Gilt is wrong and presents Adora with evidence to prove that Gilt had the past four postmasters, as well as Adora's brother, killed.

When an attempt to jam the Clacks fails Moist challenges Gilt to a race to the city of Uberwald, Clacks versus post office. The message to be sent is a biography of Havelock Vetinari. Moist and Adora employ a disused Clack tower to intercept and successfully change the message from a biography to a confession of Gilt's guilt, which is witnessed in Ankh-Morpork. Gilt flees before he can be arrested and Adora is made manager of the Clacks and begins a relationship with Moist. At the end of the story Gilt, having being tracked down by a Golem the same way Moist was, is awoken in Vetinari's office who asks Gilt if he knows anything about angels. A postman (played by Terry Pratchett) arrives at Vetinari's palace to deliver a letter to Gilt. Vetinari implies that Gilt killed himself by falling down the deep pit.

In a post-credits sequence, Groat and Stanley are sore and exhausted after making the round-trip to Überwald with a mail coach, but excited because they bet on Moist to win the race at odds of 50-1. Then Groat remembers that he left the betting slip in Überwald, so they immediately set off again in the desperate hope of finding it.


  • Richard Coyle as Moist von Lipwig
  • David Suchet as Reacher Gilt
  • Charles Dance as Patrician Havelock Vetinari
  • Claire Foy as Adora Belle Dearheart
  • Nicholas Farrell as Mr Pump (voice)
  • Marnix Van Den Broeke as Mr Pump (body)
  • Jimmy Yuill as Mr Spools
  • Steve Pemberton as Drumknott
  • Andrew Sachs as Tolliver Groat
  • Tamsin Greig as Miss Cripslock
  • Ingrid Bolsø Berdal as Sgt Angua
  • Adrian Schiller as Mr Gryle
  • Ian Bonar as Stanley Howler
  • Madhav Sharma as Horsefry
  • Timothy West as Mustrum Ridcully
  • Sir Terry Pratchett as Postman
  • Differences from the book

  • Adora Belle Dearheart attempts to get the post office golems to go on strike in the movie.
  • Adora Belle Dearheart helps Lipwig control Boris the horse, and then goes along for the ride.
  • Moist knows that Angua is a werewolf in the movie, while in the novels, he only suspects and does not confirm it until halfway through Making Money.
  • The characters of Anghammarad, Tiddles, Miss Maccalariat, Death, and Gladys as well as other minor characters (like Gilt's associates) are removed.
  • The whole "New Pi" subplot is removed, including Bloody Stupid Johnson's trans-dimensional letter sorting machine which caused the original collapse of the post office
  • Reacher Gilt is present when the Clacks message sent by Moist is read out. Mr Wilkinson reads instead of Collabone, and the reading takes place in the square instead of the Great Hall.
  • Moist makes a speech as he is about to be hanged at the reading. This did not happen in the book.
  • The explanation of the golden suit and the initiation test are both removed.
  • The previous four postmen are killed by Mr Gryle instead of the time warp.
  • Moist's character is changed; in the teleplay, he sees visions of his past, while in the novel his 'visions' are part of a long con to get the post office running again.
  • In the film the race between the clacks and the post office is to Uberwald, not Genua as it is in the book.
  • The timeline is different. Adora Belle says that her brother died three years ago in the movie, not one month ago. The backlog of the mail is several decades' worth in the book and only four years' worth in the movie.
  • The book delivered in the clacks-post race is different; in the book it is Haruspex's Big Directory of Varying Dimensions, not a biography of Havelock Vetinari.
  • In the book Moist offers to several gods, including the then little-known Anoia, while in the movie he only offers to Offler.
  • In the movie Moist is directly responsible for causing a bond crisis that leads to Adora's family losing the Clacks while in the book they lose it because of a scheme by Gilt and his associates.
  • In the movie, Adora is adept at using the clacks and also fulfills part of the role of the "Smoking Gnu" (with a pun at her tobacco habit, no less and a jumble of "Smoking Gun"). In the book, she does not know anything about how the clacks works.
  • In the book, the "crackers" are dissuaded from sending the network-blocking message they devised. In the movie, not only is the exploit discovered by Adora, but is successfully sent out - however, the current clacks engineer manages to patch the vulnerability.
  • Crispin Horsefry is killed directly by Reacher Gilt in a rage, after Gryle has been killed. In the book, Gilt sends Gryle to deal with him.
  • Reacher Gilt forces Mr Pony to accept his changes to the clacks by threatening his niece, Princess. In the book, he simply confuses Pony into believing he's making concessions, and there is no suggestion Pony and Princess are related.
  • References

    Terry Pratchett's Going Postal Wikipedia

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