The NIGHT WATCH Films' Literary Origins

DAY WATCH (in theaters June 1st) is the sequel to NIGHT WATCH (2006). But not all fans of NIGHT WATCH may be aware that the two films are based on a best-selling Russian trilogy of novels. Wikipedia says about the author, "Born in Kazakhstan and educated as a psychiatrist, Sergei Lukyanenko began publishing science fiction work in the 1980's. He is currently developing a TV series based on 'Night Watch' and a new novel that incorporates suggestions from readers submitted on his website."

A TV series! Unfortunately I'm assuming it's a TV series in Russia -- oh well.

Lukyanenko's novel "The Night Watch" (which translates in Russian is "Nochnoy Dozor") was published in 1998. In 2004, the novel was made into a h-u-g-e film in Russia, which was directed by Timur Bekmambetov. Also it should be noted that in 2005 NIGHT WATCH was released as a computer game.

As for DAY WATCH, which opened in Russia in January of 2006, Wikipedia noted: It is based on the second and the third part of Sergey Lukyanenko's novel "The Night Watch' rather than its follow-up novel "The Day Watch."

Got it?

By the way, the English translation of the novel "The Day Watch" was released just recently in the US and UK, in January 2007.

Here are some story details (thanks to Wikipedia) from the novels which fans of the films may be interested to know (and which do not necessarily reflect on the silver screen):

  • "Opposing the Day Watch is the Night Watch, whose members are devoted to protecting humankind. Under the terms of an ancient agreement, every good magical act on the part of a Night Watch agent—every healing, rescue or stroke of good luck—entitles the Day Watch to perform an equivalent bad deed. Meanwhile a third force, the Inquisition, monitors the balance."
  • "The Others can use the feelings and emotions of humans surrounding them to recharge their powers, if they spend them too quickly. The Dark Others use negative emotions like pain and anger, the Light Others use positive emotions, like joy. When Dark Ones feed on pain or anger, pain or anger becomes stronger. When Light Ones feed on joy or happiness, the feelings become weaker."
  • "The Gloom doesn't offer its gifts freely; it feeds off the strength of those Others who enter it. If sufficiently weakened, they are consumed, never to return to the ordinary world. It also forces those entering it for the first time to choose between the Light and the Dark side in a process called initiation. Such a choice is usually final."

More regarding "the Gloom..."

  • "The Gloom itself is divided into several levels. Each level is harder to get to and accessible only to more and more powerful Others; this is due in large part to the fact that the Gloom drains energy much more quickly and greedily in deeper levels. In order to access the lower levels of the Gloom, an Other must step through their shadow at each successive level."
  • "Emotions have color in the Gloom. Similar to reading a person's aura, the colors present in or around an Other in the Gloom can be read in order to know how they are feeling."
  • "Some would translate 'Sumrak' as twilight, but it actually refers to a state very close to darkness, not to the in between time between day and night, which is 'Sumerki'. The Gloom is therefore a better translation. However, the preferred translation appears to be Dusk."

And, finally, perhaps most interesting (to me) of all:

  • "The novel is first in a tetralogy that continues with 'The Day Watch" (Dnevnoy Dozor), 'The Twilight Watch' (Sumerechnyy Dozor) and 'The Final Watch' (Posledniy Dozor)."

I'd never even heard of Twilight or Final Watch!

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