The following article has been approved for publishing because it serves the cause of the Light.
— Night Watch
The following article has been approved for publishing because it serves the cause of the Dark.Night Watch
— Day Watch
(Ночной дозор, Nochnoi Dozor
) is a book series by Sergey Lukyanenko
, a speculative fiction
writer internationally acclaimed in the Eastern Bloc. It had two movie adaptations (both movies mixed elements of this book and its sequel) starring Konstantin Khabensky
, the first of which became the top-grossing Russian movie of the time. Because of this, the series received much attention internationally and spread Lukyanenko's name and work to the West.Night Watch
is set in Moscow in 1998-2007 (book timeline) / circa 2004 (movie timeline)
. The world is pretty much the gritty ex-Communist concrete-a-thon we know and love, with a major difference. There are Others. Others are non-humans, born by humans and have special abilities. Vampires, shapeshifters, wizards, prophets, warlocks... and all others
. What distinguishes Others from humans is their innate ability to manipulate "The Twilight", a "mirror-world" of magical energy. Others come in two flavors, Light and Dark, and the Light and Dark have been conflicting since the beginning of time. In the 12th century or so, the Others from both sides realized that conflicts between them, due to their vast power and influence over humans, could destroy the world. So they wrote and signed the Treaty, which basically states that each side is allowed to form a Watch to monitor the activities of the other side from becoming overly excessive, in turn monitored by a joint Inquisition. The Treaty has held up well, and all fighting between Light and Dark has moved into the shadows
Not to be confused with the 1994 Danish horror film Nightwatch
or its 1997 American remake.
- Night Watch follows the livings and doings of Light magician Anton Gorodetskiy, an Moscow Night Watch operative working under the Great Light magician Geser.
- Day Watch follows three different Dark Others, with several Night Watch characters appearing as recurring antagonists. It was co-written by Sergey Lukyanenko and Vladimir Vasilyev
- Twilight Watch follows Anton Gorodetskiy as he tries to protect his daughter, a potential Light Messiah, while looking for a magic book that can turn mundane humans into Others.
- Face of the Dark Palmira follows the livings and doings of members of the Kievan Day Watch visiting St. Petersburg. The book was written by Vladimir Vasilyev with Sergey Lukyanenko's blessings. Twilight Watch and Face of the Dark Palmira take place in the same time period, and events of one book refer to those in the other (and vice versa) - though the plots never truly connect.
- The Last Watch written by Sergey Lukyanenko because he wanted to prove that the fame hasn't gone to his head and he could write a book within a year without distractions getting in the way. Wraps up some loose trends from the previous books, lampshades and homages the movie adaptation a few times and wraps up the events in the closest thing the series can have to the Grand Finale.
- Nevertheless, the fifth book was released in 2012, titled The New Watch.
- In 2014 the author declared that the upcoming Sixths Watch was very definitely going to be the last book about the mage Anton Gorodetskiy. According to Lukyanenko, he will instead focus on the new series, exploring the evil within us. The Watch series is going to become a Shared Universe (under his supervision) to introduce fresh perspective into the 'verse. The Sixths Watch was released in December 2014, after as many as 3 co-authored spin-offs.
- And, in 2014, a spin-off was released, co-authored by Arkadiy Shushpanov, titled School Supervision (or School Watch, if you prefer). The book deals with a group of unaffiliated teenage Others being taught at a Wizarding School of sorts.
- Also in 2014, another spin-off called The Imprint of the Twilight was released, co-authored by Ivan Kuznetsov. This one focuses on two original POV characters, although Anton shows up for a short chapter before leaving.
- Yet another spin-off in 2014 called District Cop, co-authored by Alex de Klemeshye. Set in Siberia in 1972, the focus is on a lone cop policing a small village in the middle of nowhere who finds himself set against evil shamans.
Aside from the movie adaptations, the book inspired a surprisingly interesting (if badly animated, buggy and poorly acted) PC game, a MMORG and a board game, not to mention the usual merchandising crap.
book is here
Night Watch provides examples of:
Aside from the tropes above, the movie adaptations contain examples of:
- The Alcoholic: Anton in the beginning of both movies. In the first one, he drinks a lot to pass the taste of blood he has to drink so he could chase vampires. In the second movie he drinks a little too much while reading about Tamerlane. He is poisoned in the end of the second movie, resulting in an extremely drunk behavior.
- Apocalypse Maiden: In the first movie.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Towards the beginning of Day Watch, Zavulon goes through a list of Russian celebrities. Some of them are explicitly stated to be Dark Others. Easy to miss for non-Russian audiences, as the list is in Russian and only appears on screen for a few seconds.
- Bloodier and Gorier: Especcially how Anton defeats the vampires.
- Cameo: Lots of Russian celebrities present and killed during Yegor's birthday party at the end of the second movie.
- Cassandra Truth: When Anton tells a police officer he's been drinking blood.
- Composite Character
- In the movie, Bear's name is Ilya, while in the books, Bear and Ilya are two different people.
- Also, the Inquisition, which is a rather big organization in the books, is reduced to two Creepy Twins in the second movie.
- Film!Yegor seems to combine aspects of Yegor and Kostya in the novels. The Light/Dark conflict strains Anton's relationships with both characters and film!Yegor is introduced like his novel counterpart, but like Kostya in the novel, becomes a vampire. Further, Anton's introduction in the film in which he tries to purchase a spell to induce a miscarriage is taken from a Batman Cold Open in Day Watch (novel), in which it was done by a random woman, but Alissa in the novel also did this successfully.
- Creepy Twins: The Inquisition in Day Watch.
- Cultural Translation: In the Russian version, Yegor is watching a Russian cartoon that dealt with vampires. In the international version, the cartoon is replaced by an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- The Danza: Kostya's father Gennadiy is renamed to Valeriy in the movie. The actor's name is Valeriy Zolotukhin.
- Drives Like Crazy: Semyon in Night Watch, Alisa in Day Watch.
- Dummied Out: The scenes featuring Ignat, as well as the humorous scenes featuring a couple in the plane were removed from the international version of Night Watch.
- Evil Diva: Alisa
- Informed Ability: Tiger Cub says in Night Watch that Bear can shapeshift into a bear, but the latter is unwilling to do a demonstration.
- In Name Only: Day Watch was not adapted from the book of the same title. While Night Watch was adapted from the first of three stories from the book Night Watch, Day Watch was adapted from the two others.
- Kiss of Death: a male Dark One kills a policeman in Day Watch by giving him one. It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context.
- Object Tracking Shot: When we follow a bolt that's rattled loose from a plane.
- Painful Transformation: Olga
- Painting the Medium: Done heavily in the English subtitled version. The subtitles themselves appeared as blood floating across the screen like it did in the pool at the beginning.
- Product Placement: Oh, where to begin... blatant in the first movie, but better blended in in the second.
- Reset Button: The ending of the second movie.
- Slobs Versus Snobs: The Light Others all look like common people, and the Night Watch even wears blue-collar worker uniforms. Their vehicle of choice is a power grid repairman's truck. The Dark Others all look like a mix of low-rank gangsters and Gestapo officers.
- Tagline: The Rusian tagline of Day Watch is "First movie of the year" (which, from Russian, can also be translated as "Movie number one of the year", as in the BEST movie). While it can seem pretentious, it is in fact to be taken literally: the movie's Russian premiere was on the 1st of January, 2006, at 3 a.m.
- Take That: Night Watch broke every box office record in Russia since pretty much ever. By the time Day Watch was in mid-production, 9th Company (another Russian movie) surpassed that record. In Day Watch, Anton used bill boards as portals. At one point, he emerges from a 9th Company poster, ripping it apart. During the production, the creators of the movie expressed their hope for the movie to surpass 9th Company at the box-office. It did.
- Time Stands Still: Geser does it.
Aside from above tropes, the video game adaptations contain examples of:
- Alternate Universe: The PC game was basically a combination of book and movie continuities. The character designs harken back to the movie, as does the usage of mundane items to do magic, but the characters can also use spells from the books and Twilight is closer to the way it was depicted in the books.
- But Thou Must: sort of. Your choices won't alter the major plot points, but they will make it easier (or harder) to achieve your mission objectives.
- Immune to Bullets: Played with. Ordinary guns (and later machine guns) are surprisingly effective against the lower-level Others in the PC game. Not so much with the higher-powered others, but they still do damage, which can be useful when you and your enemy are out of mana.
- Heel-Face Turn: During the course of the PC game, the characters try to figure out why some Light Others inexplicably become Dark. turns out that the new technology-based "remoralization" spell can flip the potential Others' alignments before they are initiated.
- This flip-flops during the series. It's initially claimed that most uninitiated Others are in flux until the moment they first step into the Twilight. Their current state of mind at that time determines their alignment. This is why the initiators have to pick just the right moment. In New Watch, however, Anton claims that, statistically, there is 1 Light Other for every 16 Dark Others, which is roughly the same as the ratio of altruistic vs. selfish people in the world. This appears to indicate that only altruistic people become Light ones and only selfish people become Dark.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Stas, the main protagonist of the PC game. Later in the game, it turned out that there is a reason for that - he was a "remoralized" Dark Other
- McGuffin: Orb of Power, as the name implies, can amplify any spell thousand-fold. Naturally, both sides want to use it for their own purposes.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Yuri (in the PC game).
- Unexpected Genre Change: One of the games based on the series is a racing game. Yeah, where you can enter the Twilight to avoid traffic.