A few days ago, HBO released a showreel highlighting its programming schedule for the upcoming year. Among the clips of Dragons and Veeps was a blink and you’ll miss it tease for what could turn out to be the sleeper hit of 2019. If the title of this article hasn’t already given it away, then we are of course talking about the upcoming Watchmen TV show.
So what is the Watchmen and why is it such a big deal? Didn’t I see a copy of that in a DVD bargain bin in Poundland a few years ago? And why is there a giant naked blue man in the banner image for this article proudly displaying his balls? Well dear chums, let us explain.
WHAT IS WATCHMEN?
Watchmen, for the uninitiated, is the single greatest graphic novel ever written. It was the brainchild of fellow beard aficionado Alan Moore and artists Dave Gibbons and John Higgins and tells the story of a dystopian future in which superheroes have been outlawed and reduced to the fringes of society. The comic is told largely from the perspective of a masked vigilante by the name of Rorschach as he tries to unravel the mystery of who has been killing off these former heroes but unwittingly uncovers a conspiracy that could bring the world to its knees. We can’t go into too much detail because you should just go out and buy a copy yourself.
WHO ARE THE WATCHMEN?
The group consisted of ‘The Comedian’ Edward Blake, ‘Nite Owl’ Dan Dreiberg, Doctor Manhattan (Jon Osterman), ‘Silk Spectre II’ Laurie Juspeczyk, ‘Ozymandias’ Adrian Veidt and Walter Kovacs aka ‘Rorschach’. Together they were an alt-universe version of the JLA, a group of heroes who team up to battle crime on the mean streets of Manhattan.
Unlike the real JLA though, the Watchmen was a dysfunctional collection of massive egos and borderline personality disorders that ultimately brings about their downfall, and stands in the way of their rebirth.
WHY CAN I SEE THE BIG BLUE GUYS … ‘BIG BLUE GUY’?
That’s Dr. Manhattan. He’s naked for the entire story. He doesn’t seem to mind so you probably shouldn’t either – and this show’s on HBO so you better know he’ll be naked. Believe us, if you’d been exposed to as much radiation as he has then you probably wouldn’t give two shits who sees your balls either.
WASN’T THIS A MOVIE?
Yes. Yes it was.
Oh, you wanted more than that? OK … Watchmen was adapted for the big screen back in 2009 by Zack Snyder. It was a pretty faithful adaptation of the source material, except they went for a far less grandiose finale.
The film was criticised for its length, overly-long (like, uncomfortably long) sex scene, and unrelenting dark tone. Others applauded its no-nonsense approach to the whole superhero genre, and some of its incredible cinematography – in particular, the opening credits, which were a thing of beauty.
WELL IF I’VE SEEN THE MOVIE, WHY SHOULD I WATCH THE TV SHOW?
HBO promises an entirely new approach to the project that will differ greatly from the comics and the movie. So little has been revealed about the plot that it’s unknown where showrunner Damon Lindelof is planning to take it. All we know is it’s not a remake, and it’s not a sequel.
So what do we know? Well, key characters from the story will appear. These include an ageing Ozymandias (Jeremy Irons), and everyone’s favourite anti-hero Rorschach, although whether this is the real Walter Kovac’s or not depends on where this story fits into the timeline, or whether this is an alternate timeline to everything that came before. To date, no other characters have been confirmed, and all we have is the 6-second long clip which we’ve conveniently included above.
In short, we don’t know very much at all at this point, but with each passing week, HBO will begin to release more and more information, before inevitably dropping the first real full-length trailer. If you’ve read the comics then the fact that there’s even going to be a Watchmen TV show should be reason enough to convince you to tune in.
Who will be watching Watchmen? Are you excited to see your favourite characters return? Let us know in the comments section below, or over at our Twitter and Facebook pages using the hashtag #tbgwatchmen