WARNING: Possible spoilers for the upcoming Watchmen TV series below
HBO’s Watchmen series from Damon Lindelof is precisely the type of thing that will drive fans crazy. Lindelof had to release a note explaining the series direction for a reason, and it is safe to say that it will be scrutinized far more than Lost ever was. But that said, the set photos and information that has leaked out about the series to this point paints a picture of a series that could be interesting.
The respect for the original Alan Moore story is present unless you find that the existence of the series is disrespect in itself. It’s got a great cast; it’s got a critically acclaimed writer/creator attached, it seems to be in good hands that won’t tarnish what has already been told. It is not a Watchmen adaptation. It is a Watchmen series that carries on the world with a different story. At least that’s how it was described in Lindelof’s letter on Instagram:
We have no desire to ‘adapt’ the twelve issues Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibbons created thirty years ago. Those issues are sacred ground and will not be retread nor recreated nor reproduced nor rebooted. They will however be remixed. Because the bass lines in those familiar tracks are just too good and we’d be fools not to sample them. Those original twelve issues are our Old Testament. When the New Testament came along it did not erase what came before it. Creation. The Garden of Eden. Abraham and Isaac. The Flood. It all happened. And so it will be with Watchmen. The Comedian died. Dan and Laurie fell in love. Ozymandias saved the world and Dr. Manhattan left it just after blowing Rorschach to pieces in the bitter cold of Antarctica.
We’ve gotten a taste of the casting and the possible characters they’ll be playing, all fresh to the tale, but we’ve also gotten several looks to give this “remix” some weight and style. It might remind some folks of The Leftovers if you squint a bit, portraying a world that follows the giant squid attack that closed out the original comic series. I say that because several of the photos that have been shared show a world that has reacted to the “attack” and did its best to prepare for another one. Shared over at Slash Film, the photos show shelters that have been put in place in the case of another “squid” attack. And the newspaper mentions other aspects that reference back to the event that brought about world peace — at least for a little while.
Along with that, the photos reveal that Adrian Veidt aka Ozymandias has died in the world of the show. Whether this is a reality or not will have to wait until the series airs, but it does present some definite “remix” questions and how it fits in with DC Comic’s plans with the characters from Moore’s classic. The currently have their own divisive series ongoing in the form of Doomsday Clock, pitting Doctor Manhattan against Superman while the Watchmen universe combines with the original DC Comics universe.
Since we won’t be seeing Batman or Superman running around on HBO, Lindelof’s take might actually be a better take than the output DC has done to this point. Not only that, but Don Johnson is involved and he’s always a crowd pleaser. It’s also a nice reunion for Lindelof since he did get his start working on Nash Bridges.
What do you think? Will it be a disastrous or could this be a satisfying addition to the classic book?