The first reviews for Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen series are in and they are mostly positive.
The small-screen adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ DC Comics limited series of the same name, is heading to HBO and Sky Atlantic, featuring a cast that includes Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Black Nelson, Louis Gosset Jr., Jessica Camacho, Jeremy IIrons, Jean Smart, Hong Chau, Yaya Abdul-Mateen II and James Wolk.
Watchmen takes place in an alternative, contemporary reality in the United State, where there is no Internet or smartphones, 34 years after the comic ends. Robert Redford is the longest-serving President of the United States, having been elected in 1992.
Masked vigilantes became outlawed due to their violent methods but after a white supremacy group of Rorschach followers that call themselves "The Seventh Cavalry" (wearing homemade Rorschach masks) commits simultaneous attacks on the houses of police members, the police start wearing masks.
So far critics have mostly been singing its praises.
“The show is expensive-looking but not hollow," writes Kristen Baldwin for Entertainment Weekly. "There's a humanity to the characters that is often lacking in comic book adaptations, due in large part to the exceptional cast, including Regina King, Jeremy Irons, and Don Johnson."
"The book gives anyone attempting to follow it up a richly realized world on which to build," says TV Guide's Keith Phipps, "but it's the ways in which this new series diverges from the source material that makes it so compelling."
IndieWire’s Ben Travers marvelled at King’s performance as police detective Angela Abar.
“King is nothing short of amazing,” he writes. “Yes, she’s got an Oscar and three Emmys, but she puts even more range on display in a turn that effortlessly pivots between invulnerable and vulnerable.”
Critics have also been sharing their reactions on social media:
Watchmen is so fucking good. That's it. That's the whole review.— Libby Hill (@midwestspitfire) October 15, 2019
The embargo lifted in the middle of the night and I’m surprised as you are: #Watchmen is must-see TV that reckons with its own past and America’s racist history. My review: https://t.co/LMW2nRjyYc pic.twitter.com/qaocMh7CYj— Jacob Oller (@JacobOller) October 15, 2019
Here's my review of HBO's #Watchmen! This show is... fine? Its politics are predictably muddled, but it's also pretty entertaining & does some interesting things with alt-history worldbuilding. https://t.co/Ykg6yzdLeF— Gavia Baker-Whitelaw (@Hello_Tailor) October 15, 2019
i have seen the first episode of Watchmen. it is truly ~most~ excellent: https://t.co/K5p8kAfxkz— britt hates (@MissBrittHayes) October 15, 2019
While Watchmen introduces several new heroes it will feature characters from the original storyline: Doctor Manhattan, the former Silk Spectre, and former hero Ozymandias.
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It will also feature Robert Redford playing the alternate reality version of himself, President Robert Redford.
The first season will take place over nine episodes and premiere on Sky Atlantic in the UK on Monday 21st October at 9pm.