I was a big fan of the original Watchmen comic series, which dealt with Thatcher and Nuclear War, and enjoyed the movie which focussed on Reagan and genetech. How, I wondered, would it fare as a TV series?
This HBO TV series is surprising, in that it has a strong focus on race relations in the US — remember that the original was british oriented — and appears to follow on from the original Watchmen story, some decades later. A good cast, and some lovely characters.
Most of the story follows Angela Abar (Regina King) as she tries to solve the murder of Crawford, her police chief. In this world, police have donned masks to protect their identities from retribution. Angela is known as Sister Night when she is fully costumed.
There are a few characters from the original Watchmen. The most significant of these, from the story viewpoint, is the FBI agent who was once (the second) Silk Spectre.
Jean Smart as Laurie Blake, FBI Anti Vigilante Task Force
Laurie Blake (Jean Smart) has renounced her costumed vigilante past to work for the FBI’s anti-vigilante taskforce.
She first appears in an episode where she recounts a shaggy dog story via interplanetary telephone message to her former love, Doctor Manhattan.
Here, Laurie isn’t a bit player, but a main driver of the story. She’s smart, formidable, funny, angry and tough — someone who knows she was overlooked as a superhero, but is now a confident and cluey investigator.
Rorschach’s mask has been adopted by a mob of white supremacists, and their plan to re-assert their influence is the major driver of the plot.
As the series progresses, we discover what happened to some of the key players in the original, including Adrian Veidt, Ozymandias, (played by Jeremy Irons) and Dr Manhattan. Ultimately, consequences of the original Watchmen play out in surprising and interesting ways in this TV sequel. Well worth watching (you might enjoy a look at the HBO website for extra material once you’ve watched the series: https://www.hbo.com/peteypedia).