The first episode of HBO’s official Watchmen Podcast was released last night after the airing of the third episode. If you’re not already watching the series, you should be.
Hosted by showrunner Damon Lindelof and Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin, they do a deep dive into the first three episodes along with talking about the inspiration of the racial/political stuff in the series that eerily echoes the original material from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.
THIS ARTICLE FEATURES SPOILERS FOR WATCHMEN EPISODES 1-3
Moore and Gibbons pulled from real-life events with an alternative history as American wins the Vietnam War, the Cold War/nuclear threat, and Richard Nixon extends his presidency.
In this Watchmen universe because of those events, Vietnam is now an American state (a statement of colonization as Damon compares it to Hawaii where he shot Lost) and there is a Democratic answer to Nixon’s extreme government with President Robert Redford, who has issued reparations for racial violence (teased to be for other things as well).
Pulling from real-life as well, Damon says the writer’s room took on the idea of masks and the violence at Charlottesville for the situation in Tulsa, Oklahoma having the KKK adapoting masks and using Rorschach as their new symbol.
Also, taking influence from the works of author Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Case for Reparations) and Lindelof mentioning if Black Panther’s Wakanda was a real place that white people would attempt to burn it down, a concept that was seemingly applied to their Tulsa situation.
With masks, Damon wanted to explore what that looks like within a police state.
The Watchmen stuff is really starting to kick-in with the third episode as we see references to Night Owl, Manhattan, Laurie/Silk Spectre is now an FBI Agent, and Jeremy Irons’s Adrian Veidt reveals his Ozymandias’ costume.
Damon also reveals that the Jeremy Irons/Veidt scenes for the first 9-episodes had to be shot in Wales before anything else was filmed because of the weather. Meaning that all those sequences were shot before other stuff from the show was, which is sort of interesting.
These scenes will eventually merge into the main story promises Lindelof.
He’s also not ready to call the servants “clones” as there is a hint they are organic but could be something else.
Jean Smart’s FBI Agent Laurie Blake is seemingly taking up her father’s (Edward Blake aka The Comedian) more police state role as she goes around arresting rogue vigilantes for the government. A Batman-type character named Mister Shadow played by Oz’s Lee Tergesen is entrapped into stopping a bank robbery but is actually an FBI sting operation.
She doesn’t seem to have the same sentiment to heroes when she was part of the Watchmen team and might be looking to find an excuse to take down Sister Midnight and the Tulsa cops.
Also, it’s revealed that Laurie can send messages to Dr. Manhattan, who is still on Mars.
Here’s the full episode below it’s worth a listen to get some insight into the series.