What’s Going on in HBO’s ‘Watchmen’?

Who watches the 'Watchmen' trailer?

Now that Deepak has regaled us all with tales of what happened during the Golden Globes, it’s time to talk about what we’re all excited about from Sunday night’s broadcast: Watchmen.

HBO took advantage of the Globes audience to debut footage of everything they have coming in 2019. The trailer included footage from all big HBO series. And while we are excited for True Detective Season 3 and the finale of Game of Thrones. But what stood out to us was the first ever look at Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen.

Breaking Down the Watchmen Footage

Our first look at Watchmen includes the title of the series and an image that instantly invokes more questions than answers. “More questions than answers” is Lindelof’s signature move. This particular frame includes two interesting images. The first is a woman with an eye patch driving a black SUV. The second is two armed police officers in yellow masks guarding a large home. Why? Does any of this come from the book?

Of course not. But I can’t wait to see what kind of wild stuff Lindelof is getting up to with this series.

The next image we got from the show has two young mask wearing individuals who appear to be waiting for something to happen. One is wearing a gold mask, the other a red mask. The character designs for this HBO series is incredibly impressive. The heroes in Lindelof’s Watchmen appear to be more in the style of luchadors than traditional caped heroes.

As a figure in the background of this shot moves through the frame, we cut to follow them through a well-guarded hallway.

We follow the figure down the hallway and see more yellow-masked guards standing outside each of many doors. While these appear to be the same characters from the first image, this doesn’t look like the inside of the house we saw at the beginning of the footage. In Alan Moore’s Watchmen, heroes have been outlawed to protect law enforcement. Is Lindelof reversing that, making police officers into superheroes?

The reveal of this short footage is that the character we’ve been following turns out to be Adrian Veidt (Jeremy Irons, the actor) aka Ozymandias. In the Watchmen universe, Veidt is the smartest man in the world and is deeply entangled in the story’s narrative.

We see Veidt standing in front of the worlds “Gila” and “195”. In the graphic novel Watchmen, the hero Doctor Manhattan gained his powers at the Gila Flats research facility in 1959. Is Veidt at the Gila Flats facility? Is he researching Doctor Manhattan?

The final image we get in the trailer is a shot of Watchmen‘s most well-known hero: Rorschach. It’s undeniable from the costume that the character in question is Rorschach. But whether it’s the original Rorschach, the new version from Geoff Johns’ Doomsday Clock, or someone else entirely remains to be seen. But any way you look at it, it is undeniably, Rorschach.

What to Expect from Watchmen

What made the original Watchmen so great was the bigger mission at its core. Watchmen was a superhero comic that was commenting on the state of superhero comics. When Zach Snyder copy-and-pasted the book to the screen, he didn’t transition this message to the new medium. So Snyder’s movie was a 2009 movie that was sort of commenting on the state of comics in the late 1980s.

There is no doubt that Lindelof will not make this same mistake. His take on Watchmen will result in a TV show commenting on superhero TV. Based on his work on LOST and The Leftovers, it will also be a slow, meditative, and slightly depressing show that leaves audiences riveted. This first look confirms our hopes that Lindelof will also deliver a show with style and flair.

Who watches the Watchmen? If all of Lindelof’s show looks this great, the answer will be lots of people.