Watchmen: Sky sets October UK TV air date for HBO series
James R | On 04, Sep 2019
Fans hoping that they won’t have to wait long for Watchmen to arrive on UK TV can rest easy: Sky Atlantic has confirmed its air date and it’s right on the heels of its US debut.
Created by Damon Lindelof, the series is a modern-day reimagining of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ groundbreaking graphic novel about masked vigilantes. The show introduces us to a world where a vast and insidious conspiracy at play, an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws. The result embraces the nostalgia of the original graphic novel 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.
There are hints of the events that took place in Watchmen, which Lindelof has said will be canon and have taken place. And so the stage is set for a world where Ozymandias (Jeremy Irons) has grown old, where Rorschach appears to have inspired a movement, and where people wonder whether Dr. Manhattan is alive on Mars.
The series will premiere on Sky Atlantic on 21st October at 2am – a simulcast with its US debut on HBO. It will then be repeated at 9pm on Sky Atlantic, but will be available to watch online on NOW ad Sky immediately following its early-morning broadcast, so you can catch up with it alongside your breakfast, lunch or dinner, without having to wait for 9pm. Episodes then arrive at the same time on Mondays.
HBO orders full Watchmen series from Damon Lindelof
19th August 2018
HBO has officially ordered a full series for Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen.
Adapted by the Lost and The Leftovers writer, the show is based on the DC graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Set in an alternate history where superheroes are treated as outlaws, the novel needs no introduction to comic book fans, with its alternate, subversive and violent take on superheroes legendary within the genre.
Indeed, this is not the first time the text has been brought to the screen, with Zack Snyder directing a film in 2009. That movie, however, was met with mixed reception. The notion of a new version of the story, then, is one that fans have treated with caution.
HBO’s take on the project was first ordered to pilot back in September last year and has been subject to wary speculation about how the book would be transformed for TV, and which characters would make the jump. In May, Lindelof wrote a letter to fans to explain his intentions.
“We have no desire to adapt the twelve issues Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibbons created 30 years ago,” he wrote. “Those issues are sacred ground and will not be retread nor recreated nor reproduced nor rebooted.”
However, they will be “remixed”, he added.
“Because the bass lines in those familiar tracks are just too good and we’d be fools not to sample them. Those original 12 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.”
“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,” he continued. “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 80s 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.”
He also promised that there will “new faces” and characters.
“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,” he teased.
Three months on and HBO has officially green-lit a full series based on that principle. The original book followed a group of veteran crime fighters investigating the murder of one of their group, with former costumed heroes such as Nite Owl, Silk Spectre and Rorschach uncovering a dark conspiracy.
HBO’s official description of Watchmen simply says it “embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel while attempting to break new ground of its own”.
What we do know is the project has a impressive cast list, with Regina King leading an ensemble that includes Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Adelaide Clemens, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, Lily Rose Smith and Adelynn Spoon.
Lindelof is writer of the series and Executive Producer, alongside Nicole Kassell, director of the pilot, Tom Spezialy, Stephen Williams, director of the series, and Joseph Iberti. The show is produced for HBO by White Rabbit in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Watchmen will air on Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK in 2019. Here’s the teaser video HBO released announcing the project is officially a go.
— HBO (@HBO) August 17, 2018