Who watches Watchmen?

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,170
SLU Posts
18459

I hardly ever watch TV, but I think this is the first series since Game of Thrones I'm likely to follow for any length of time.

I'm slightly puzzled about who the audience is -- I quite liked the movie (though it was nowhere near as good as the graphic novel, which is a far more complex piece of work) but I greatly prefer the TV series so far.

However, if I wasn't familiar with the backstory of the Watchmen universe, I would be completely bemused.

Well, I am anyway, trying to make sense of the twists and turns of the plot and everyone's history and backstory, but that's OK because in the Watchmen universe I expect to be puzzled, but if I didn't know who Dr Manhattan was, for example, or Rorschach and the rest, I'd be completely lost.
 
  • 1Thanks
Reactions: Han Held

danielravennest

Active member
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Messages
1,114
SLU Posts
9073
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" -- Juvenal c.100 AD

This series takes place 34 years after the comics series and film version, so having prior knowledge of those would be helpful.
 

Han Held

Maybe things are different, maybe they're the same
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
576
Location
Anchorage
SL Rez
2005
Joined SLU
September, 2010
SLU Posts
7705

I'm slightly puzzled about who the audience is -- I quite liked the movie (though it was nowhere near as good as the graphic novel, which is a far more complex piece of work) but I greatly prefer the TV series so far.
How does it compare with the comic series?
 

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,170
SLU Posts
18459
How does it compare with the comic series?
Too early to say, I think.

Certainly it's an effective re-imagining of the original Watchmen alternative history, set in a dystopian present.

The threat of nuclear war is now replaced by racism and fascist terrorism, with an alt-KKK group, as it were, the 7th Kavalry, a group of highly organised and resourced white supremacists, who recruit among the poor white inhabitants of trailer-park "Nixonvilles" and wear white Rorschach masks rather than hoods.

The whole is set in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with the 1921 "Black Wall Street Massacre" (a terrible terrorist attack on a prosperous black neighbourhood, of which I'd certainly never heard before) as a key part of the story and its background, particularly in the life of the show's main character, Angela Abar, played by Regina King, and her family.

So far the original Watchmen have only been mentioned, but clearly they're going to play a more important role in the story as it progresses; last week we were introduced to an anonymous and somewhat sinister character in voice-over, who seems to have been connected with Hooded Justice, or at least with his death, in the original comic books, and in a so far completely separate plot, there's a mysterious character played by Jeremy Irons, who I assume is Ozymandias, or some relative of his, living what appears to be the life of an English country gentleman in a remote manor somewhere unspecified, with apparently cloned servants, whom he kills at will.

So, confusing so far, but enjoyably so.

I'm not sure it will be able to match Alan Moore's structural artistry in plotting and themes, and neither does it need to try. But I think it's in very much the same imaginative territory as the original, re-imagined for the present.
 
  • 1Thanks
Reactions: Han Held

Kara Spengler

Queer OccupyE9 Sluni-Goon
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,129
Location
SL: November RL: DC
SL Rez
2007
Joined SLU
December, 2008
SLU Posts
23289
I don't watch where it is streaming but was not overly excited with the series. While the movie changed a few things (most notably the ending for a new audience) most of it was a shot for shot version. It even included minor details of the graphic novel panels. From the things I have seen it looks like the series will stray further away from the world that was built.
 

Romana

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Messages
898
SL Rez
2010
Two and a half episodes in and I'm still lost. Especially with the flashbacks.
It's been a while since I watched the film, but I'm not sure it would help if I remembered it better. I was kind of hoping HBO would have character bios or something.
 

Veritable Quandry

Specializing in derails and train wrecks.
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
1,009
Location
Columbus, OH
SL Rez
2010
Joined SLU
20something
SLU Posts
42
I don't watch where it is streaming but was not overly excited with the series. While the movie changed a few things (most notably the ending for a new audience) most of it was a shot for shot version. It even included minor details of the graphic novel panels. From the things I have seen it looks like the series will stray further away from the world that was built.
The only thing Snyder missed was the point.
 

NyteWytch

What's good, Miley?
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
140
Location
Hell
SL Rez
2004
Joined SLU
Dec 2010
SLU Posts
1138
I am loving the series so far. I'm going in without much backstory though. I watched the film but have zero memory of it (and don't recall being a fan). After watching the first episode I was a little confused and did happen on this in my youtube feed (this guy did great game of thrones vids):


So that didnt help 100% with this story but it did help me see a lot of the easter eggs I wouldnt have noticed otherwise. Super excited for the rest of the series so far.
 
  • 1Thanks
Reactions: Romana

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,170
SLU Posts
18459
I don't watch where it is streaming but was not overly excited with the series. While the movie changed a few things (most notably the ending for a new audience) most of it was a shot for shot version. It even included minor details of the graphic novel panels. From the things I have seen it looks like the series will stray further away from the world that was built.
The series is supposed to take place in the same world, only in the present day rather than back in the 1980s when the movie is set.

The events in the movie took place in the TV series' reality, but a generation earlier, so of course things have changed, though the events in the movie (and, I suspect, some of the characters) cast a long shadow over the TV re-imagining of that world.
 
  • 1Thanks
Reactions: Kara Spengler

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,170
SLU Posts
18459
I don't know if anyone else is still watching this apart from me, but I'm really enjoying it, in a rather bemused way.

By the end of the latest episode, week four, the connections between the world of the movie and graphic novel and that of the TV series have now become more apparent, though still pretty confusing.

I'm trying not to give spoilers, but I think it's fair to say that we've now met at least two important characters from the world of the 1980s Watchmen who play major roles in the TV series, and there have been plenty of references to suggest that at least two others are significant offstage characters from the original who may yet appear.

Furthermore, we've been given some strong hints -- so strong, I suspect they may be misdirections -- about a connection between Regina King's character, Angela Abar/Sister Night, and one of the Watchmen's precursor group, the Minutemen -- and we've been introduced to a completely new major character, the ruthless and enigmatic Lady Trieu, a trillionaire (she corrects those who describe her as a mere billionaire) who bought up Adrian Veidt's (Ozymandias') companies after the news of his death was announced.

Clearly the past casts a long shadow in the TV Watchmen's world -- not only the events of the graphic novel (it's still raining extradimensional cephalopods, 30-odd years after denouement of the graphic novel, though not the movie) but also the past events of both the 1921 Tulsa race riot and the course and outcome of the US war in Vietnam, in which the US won the war in this alternative reality, largely because of Dr Manhattan's intervention, with the result that Vietnam is now a US state.

This leaves me wondering how much knowledge of the original story we're expected to bring to the TV series, and whether it's not the case that the series is, in fact, written with two audiences in mind -- one who come to the story without any prior knowledge of the alternative history of the Watchmen's world and who make sense of the plot based only on the information about the backstory provided in the show itself and another who, like me, bring to the series their knowledge of the original and who try to make sense of developments in the light of what we know about (for example) both the activities of The Comedian and Dr Manhattan in Vietnam and their relationships with other members of the Minutemen and Watchmen.

That's particularly the case in the role of Lady Trieu, since she's clearly being set up as a contemporary equivalent to Adrian Veidt in what looks like part of one of those complex series of plot and thematic parallels and contrasts that Alan Moore did so well in the original.

I'm having great fun speculating what Lady Trieu and Sister Night's mysterious relative may be plotting, based primarily on what we learned from the original comic books and movie about the involvement of the US and the Watchmen in Vietnam rather than on the very bare bones of plot exposition given so far in the TV show, while at the same time wondering what on earth I'd make of it all if I wasn't familiar with the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons version of the story.
 
Last edited:
  • 1Like
Reactions: NyteWytch

NyteWytch

What's good, Miley?
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
140
Location
Hell
SL Rez
2004
Joined SLU
Dec 2010
SLU Posts
1138
while at the same time wondering what on earth I'd make of it all if I wasn't familiar with the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons version of the story.
I've not been familiar with the Watchmen until I started looking around once I enjoyed the HBO show. I find it intriguing and vague enough that I am interested to know what the fuck is even going on.

I think the show itself looks amazing, love the music and the timely messaging(?). This has become a must see every week for me. Regina is knocking it out of the park and is one of my favorite chars of recent times.

I'm now more interested in the world and looking to relook at the snyder movie and comic stuff.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions: Innula Zenovka

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,170
SLU Posts
18459
There's an interesting collection, added to each week, of background "documentation" concerning the Watchmen alternate timeline's historical background to current events in Tulsa to be found at HBO's Peteypedia, reminiscent of the "press cuttings" and extracts from books at the end of each of the original comic books.

The latest week's release contains some suggestive references to Timothy McVey, alarming in their possible implications, which raise all sorts of sinister possibilities for future plot developments.

ETA: Anyone interested in the original comic books -- which are far more complex than the movie, to my mind, and repay several readings -- can find them online in the Internet Archive:

 
Last edited:
  • 1Thanks
Reactions: NyteWytch

Ann Launay

Crumpet Khaleesi
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
276
Location
Lost...In...Space...
SL Rez
2006
Joined SLU
Aug 2007
SLU Posts
16977
love the music
Trent-fucking-Reznor FTW. :bunny:

I'm also enjoying the show in sort of the same way as the first season Legion. Like, I only have the barest idea of what's going on, but it's damn entertaining.
 

Romana

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Messages
898
SL Rez
2010
Trent-fucking-Reznor FTW. :bunny:

I'm also enjoying the show in sort of the same way as the first season Legion. Like, I only have the barest idea of what's going on, but it's damn entertaining.
Same. I saw the movie, but don't remember much of it, and I haven't read the original
comic books.
I was wondering, what's with all the clones? First Veidt and now Lady Trieu?
 

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,170
SLU Posts
18459
Same. I saw the movie, but don't remember much of it, and I haven't read the original
comic books.
I was wondering, what's with all the clones? First Veidt and now Lady Trieu?
I'm speculating that Lady Trieu is being set up as the new Adrian Veidt.

A lot of the original Watchmen -- movie and comic books both, though the comic books explored the theme in more depth -- was about the value (if any) of human life.

Veidt, in the original, is prepared to kill millions of people to avert the threat of a nuclear war that will take billions of lives, since he regards the death of millions as a price worth paying for the greater good, and harnesses atomic power -- with Dr Manhattan's assistance, though Dr Manhattan doesn't know about Veidt's plans -- to achieve this.

The godlike Dr Manhattan, in contrast, is unconvinced that human life has any particular value at all -- famously he remarks that a live and dead body have the same number of atoms, so he doesn't see any particular difference between the two, and that Mars does perfectly well, creating astonishing natural wonders because of the laws of physics, without any living creatures, until Laurie Blake manages to convince him that the very randomness that creates individual human lifes is, itself, a natural wonder and worth preserving and celebrating.

At the end of the original, Dr Manhattan nevertheless accepts Veidt's arguments about killing millions to save billions and retires from earth completely, saying that perhaps he will relocate to a new galaxy and try his hand at creating life there (in the TV show he is said to be on Mars, still, but we don't actually know that he's really there).

Now, though, Lady Trieu's genetic engineering company seems able to create human life -- or a good facsimile thereof, in the case of Veidt's servants, whom I assume came as part of the deal whereby she bought out his companies -- artificially.

So I suspect that, in the updated TV Watchmen world, genetic engineering will play the same role, both hugely beneficial and hugely dangerous to human survival, as did nuclear energy in the world of The Watchmen thirty or forty years ago, with Lady Trieu playing a similar, though updated, role to that of Veidt -- now presented as a an anachronistic throwback, a demented C19th gentleman scientific adventurer out of Jules Verne or H. G. Wells -- in the original.

Not sure where that's all going to go, but I'm pretty sure that, with all the references to ancestry -- especially that of both Angela Abar and Agent Blake -- and to history, particularly the role of racism and colonialism in the history of the US, Lady Trieu is going to come up with some horrifying but utterly logical plan to eradicate racial conflict completely by doing something terrible with the clock device she's building.
 
Last edited:
  • 1Interesting
Reactions: Romana

NyteWytch

What's good, Miley?
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
140
Location
Hell
SL Rez
2004
Joined SLU
Dec 2010
SLU Posts
1138
I was either gonna grab The Watchmen: Motion Comic or The Watchmen: Ultimate Cut. If anyone has an opinion or which is better I'm all ears. Although I'm a lil worried I won't enjoy as much as this series.
 

Kara Spengler

Queer OccupyE9 Sluni-Goon
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,129
Location
SL: November RL: DC
SL Rez
2007
Joined SLU
December, 2008
SLU Posts
23289
Did they do a 'put the first episode on youtube' for it? It is not like I will sub to hbo, even their trial, especially as I am skeptical of a series Moore seems to hate more than the movie.
 

danielravennest

Active member
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Messages
1,114
SLU Posts
9073
I was either gonna grab The Watchmen: Motion Comic or The Watchmen: Ultimate Cut. If anyone has an opinion or which is better I'm all ears. Although I'm a lil worried I won't enjoy as much as this series.
According to IMDB: " The "Ultimate Cut" brings the film from its theatrical 162 minutes, to a whopping 215 minutes. Scenes include the expanded action sequences and additional exposition from the director's cut, even more exposition segments, and additionally interweaves the animated Black Freighter short into the story to mimic its role as the story within the story in the graphic novel. "

I have the Directors Cut, which is 186 minutes, and like it. Haven't seen the "Absurdly long cut" yet.
 

Han Held

Maybe things are different, maybe they're the same
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
576
Location
Anchorage
SL Rez
2005
Joined SLU
September, 2010
SLU Posts
7705
Did they do a 'put the first episode on youtube' for it? It is not like I will sub to hbo, even their trial, especially as I am skeptical of a series Moore seems to hate more than the movie.
The first reviews and articles made me skeptical, I'm following threads and stuff and I can imagine possibly binging on it when it gets further into the story. Assuming that I can see it for free on the free part of our cable's payperview channel (I'm subscribed to HBO, so I ought to).

To be honest, the TV show can't be any worse than the sequel comics ("before watchmen", "doomsday clock"); and of course Alan Moore hates anything related to the Watchmen.

He got fucked over hard enough that it's understandable.
 

NyteWytch

What's good, Miley?
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
140
Location
Hell
SL Rez
2004
Joined SLU
Dec 2010
SLU Posts
1138
According to IMDB: " The "Ultimate Cut" brings the film from its theatrical 162 minutes, to a whopping 215 minutes. Scenes include the expanded action sequences and additional exposition from the director's cut, even more exposition segments, and additionally interweaves the animated Black Freighter short into the story to mimic its role as the story within the story in the graphic novel. "

I have the Directors Cut, which is 186 minutes, and like it. Haven't seen the "Absurdly long cut" yet.
I was leaning toward that one but unfortunately Amazon doesnt have rights to sell it.