Now that HBO‘s wonderfully authorized pseudo-sequel to [REDACTED] and Dave Gibbons‘ celebrated comic book series Watchmen has been unveiled to the world – the world likes what it sees from Damon Lindelof‘s “remix”. Even die-hard Watchmen purists appear to be slowly coming around – as they should.
But for those of you who are still huffing and puffing that the series is only a “social media success”, you might want to start clutching your pearls and get ready for a major dose of “the vapors” because our friends at Variety have dropped a statistical “truth bomb” on that theory:
● Through its first seven episodes, Lindelof’s series is averaging 7.1M viewers across HBO’s cable and streaming services – marking it as premium cable’s most popular new series this year (and the cable giant’s most-watched new series since 2017’s Big Little Lies).
● Nielsen’s Live+Same Day ratings have last Sunday’s episode “An Almost Religious Awe” drawing 779,000 viewers (largest number since the series premiere) – a number that grows to 1.2M when HBO’s other platforms’ Sunday numbers are factored in.
● But we live in a “I’ll watch it later this week” world, so here’s some perspective: Sunday night premiere ratings for Watchmen account for only a little more than 10% of the show’s total audience. For example, the series’ premiere episode now stands at 9.6M viewers.
But HBO isn’t resting on present success, scheduling series marathons on HBO2 for the next two Sundays (December 8 and 15) ahead of the series/season finale – with full-season marathons set for December 21 and January 1, 2020.
So does that mean we’re getting a second season? Seems almost a no-brainer, right?
It’s not a definite – but it’s also still a possibility.
As we reported last month, Lindelof said in an interview he would be open to it but says he has nothing in mind yet – and that there’s another factor he needs to consider:
“If the idea is right, and if there is a compelling reason to do it, then I’d consider it. I haven’t had that idea yet. The other thing about Watchmen is that it doesn’t belong to me.”
“Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and John Higgins created this thing, I had the opportunity to be its steward for a couple of years.”
Whether he’s directly involved or not, Lindelof believes there will be more Watchmen in the future:
“There is going to be more Watchmen, independently of whether I do it. It should be done by someone who really deeply cares about it and has a reason to.”
But if you’re expecting some major announcements as the season/series finale nears, Lindelof says you might be a little disappointed:
“We’re all planning on taking a breath over the holidays and seeing where to go from there.”
Bleeding Cool didn’t exactly pull any punches when praising just how powerful the Nicole Kassell (Castle Rock)-directed series premiere “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice” was (check out our review here).
“Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship” kept the momentum going by deepening the conspiracies at play (review here).
Jean Smart‘s Agent Laurie Blake took center stage in “She Was Killed by Space Junk”, elevating the tension while serving as “devil’s advocate” (review here).
“If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own” (review here), introduced us to Lady Trieu (Hong Chau), saw Angela (Regina King) look to Looking Glass (Tim Blake Nelson) for help when things started hitting too close to home, and revealed how Adrian (Jeremy Irons) “trains” new servants as his escape attempts continued
We learned Wade Tillman aka Looking Glass’ “origin story” – and possibly his final days – in “Little Fear of Lightning” (our review here), as Agent Blake places Angela under arrest… but not before she goes “nostalgic”.
Angela comes to understand her true past and the truth about “This Extraordinary Being” Will (Louis Gossett Jr. – review here) – truth that starts with the formation of the Minutemen.
“An Almost Religious Awe” (our review here) brought with it the major reveal that Dr. Manhattan has been with us the entire time – and he’s a major part of the Seventh Kavalry’s plan.
The Road to HBO’s “Watchmen”
With two episodes left to go this season/series (???), we’re getting a look at penultimate episode “A God Walks into a Bar” – and a look back at Angela’s time in Vietnam… and the beginning of what we’re hoping doesn’t turn out to be a tragic (and apocalyptic) love story:
“Watchmen” season 1, episode 8 “A God Walks into a Bar”: Angela’s mysterious past in Vietnam is at last revealed.
From Damon Lindelof and set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws, this drama series embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name while attempting to break new ground of its own. The cast includes Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Hong Chau, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, and James Wolk.
In the following featurette, Lindelof explains how the original comic book series influenced him to take the core themes of the series and find a way to apply them to a modern society. King offers more details on both the terrorist group at play during the season as well as the personal conflicts that arise when one dons a mask in the name of the law:
In the following clip, King takes us behind the scenes on production with a set visit to show us anything and everything Watchmen – or at least what Lindelof will allow:
HBO’s Watchmen stars: Regina King as Angela Abar, Don Johnson as Chief Judd Crawford, Tim Blake Nelson as Det. Wade Tillman aka Looking Glass, Louis Gossett Jr. as Will Reeves, Adelaide Clemens as Pirate Jenny, Andrew Howard as Red Scare, Jeremy Irons as Adrian Veidt / Ozymandias, Frances Fisher as Jane Crawford, Jacob Ming-Trent as Panda, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Cal Abar, Adelynn Spoon as Emma Abar, Jean Smart as Agent Laurie Blake, Tom Mison as Mr. Phillips, Sara Vickers as Ms. Crookshanks, Dylan Schombing, James Wolk as Senator Keene, Hong Chau as Lady Trieu, Dustin Ingram as Agent Dale Petey, and Lily Rose Smith.
Watchmen is produced for HBO by White Rabbit in association with Warner Bros. Television; executive producer-writer Lindelof; executive producer/director Kassell; executive producer Tom Spezialy; executive producer-director Stephen Williams; and executive producer Joseph Iberti.
Based on the iconic graphic novel co-created and illustrated by Gibbons and published by DC.
Nine Inch Nails duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are on board to compose music for the series.
In May 2018, Lindelof shared a series of Instagram posts to update fans on progress on the project (with a pilot directed by Kassell) and to emphasize that his vision was not a direct adaptation of the original graphic novel, but rather a “remix” that utilizes important elements from the original story while telling its own narrative. Here are some excerpts from those posts:
“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.”
“This story will be set in the world its creators painstakingly built…but in the tradition of the work that inspired it, this new story must be original. It has to vibrate with the seismic unpredictability of its own tectonic plates. It must ask new questions and explore the world through a fresh lens. Most importantly, it must be contemporary. The Old Testament was specific to the Eighties of Reagan and Thatcher and Gorbachev. Ours needs to resonate with the frequency of Trump and May and Putin and the horse that he rides around on, shirtless. And speaking of Horsemen, The End of the World is off the table…which means the heroes and villains–as if the two are distinguishable–are playing for different stakes entirely.”
“Some of the characters will be unknown. New faces. New masks to cover them. We also intend to revisit the past century of Costumed Adventuring through a surprising yet familiar set of eyes…and it is here we will be taking our greatest risks…”