Open thread – discuss Terry Pratchett: Back in Black (with spoilers)

Readers responded emotionally to our story trailing some of the revelations in the new BBC docudrama. As it airs, this is an opportunity to discuss further

Terry Pratchett, who died in March 2015 at the age of 66, left behind 41 novels set in his Discworld universe, loved by millions of fans around the world. He also left behind an unfinished autobiography, which provides much of the source material for a new docudrama to be broadcast on BBC2 on Saturday in the UK.

When we published a news story about some of the themes in Terry Pratchett: Back in Black, readers provided thoughtful, and often emotional perspectives and tributes. In a discussion that largely focused on what the writer called the “haze of Alzheimer’s” in his later days, you talked about what he meant to you, and also some of your personal experiences with the disease and the dementia it can cause. There are also revelations about his earlier life that fans may not have known and will be keen to see on screen.

This comment has been chosen by Guardian staff because it contributes to the debate

Heartbreaking stuff. I have a signed copy of one of Pratchett's books, bought when I was a kid, that he's signed "In your heart, you know it's real", and it's one of my most treasured possessions, even if I haven't read one of his books in over a decade.

I remember feeling absolutely devastated when it was announced that he would no longer be doing personalised signings as his illness started to take hold, and just thinking that no other kid would get the joy I got from that sort of kind-hearted dedication, or from this - to me, then - larger than life figure seemingly treating you, out of the hundreds queuing for a few moments spent with him, as if you were the most important person in the room.

God I miss not having a new Terry Pratchett to read...

..a great writer, who brought pleasure to millions, and possibly under the cloak of humour taught them a little about the world and of the value of kindness above all.

As it airs, this is your opportunity to discuss the docudrama, which the BBC describes as “poignant and humorous” but which will perhaps again provoke strong emotional response. Have you been watching? What were the most interesting or surprising aspects of Pratchett’s life on screen? What did you think of Paul Kaye’s portrayal of the writer? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Guardian readers

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Terry Pratchett memorial: tears, laughter and tantalising new projects
A year after the writer’s death from Alzheimer’s, a tribute in London drew together fans and friends from Neil Gaiman to Tony Robinson – and left us with the feeling Pratchett’s legacy is in safe hands

Sian Cain

15, Apr, 2016 @5:07 PM

Article image
Books to give you hope: Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett
The giddy invention in this novel is a spirit-lifter in itself, but its vision of all too familiar folly comes with a heartening reminder that we can learn from our errors

Sam Jordison

15, Sep, 2016 @8:00 AM

Article image
Reading group: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman is our book for January
Starting the year with some much-needed mirth, this collaborative novel promises much wisecracking fun in a race to stop the apocalypse

Sam Jordison

08, Jan, 2019 @10:00 AM

Article image
Terry Pratchett: leave your tributes and memories
What is it that sums up the unique imagination of the storytelling magician who built a world on the back of a turtle? What did the Discworld author mean to you?

Marta Bausells

12, Mar, 2015 @5:03 PM

Article image
Guardian book club: Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

Sam Jordison: As usual with Pratchett, this is wildly eccentric stuff, but its sense of humour makes it hard not to love

Sam Jordison

14, Dec, 2009 @12:43 PM

Article image
May’s Reading group: the novels of Terry Pratchett
To celebrate the life of this much-loved writer, we will be looking at the first book in the Discworld series, plus one other – the choice is yours

Sam Jordison

28, Apr, 2015 @11:33 AM

Article image
Terry Pratchett and the real science of Discworld
You can learn a lot about this world from the fictional universe being carried on the back of a giant turtle, as the man who became Pratchett’s collaborator after telling him to shut up at an SF convention explains

Sam Jordison

19, May, 2015 @2:42 PM

Article image
Terry Pratchett in quotes: 15 of the best
As the literary world mourns the death of the Discworld creator, here are some of his most inspiring and memorable quotes. Add your favourites in the comments

12, Mar, 2015 @3:46 PM

Terry Pratchett

"There are no inconsistencies in the Discworld books; occasionally, however, there are alternate pasts."

22, Jul, 2008 @2:39 PM

Article image
Is The Colour of Magic a good introduction to Terry Pratchett?
Reading group: Although Pratchett’s vast fictional realm is not yet fully developed in this first Discworld novel, it is already extraordinary – and extraordinarily funny

Sam Jordison

05, May, 2015 @10:33 AM