In the first season of HBO’s Watchmen, creator Damon Lindelof honored the legacy of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ original comic by turning characters upside down and using superhero masks as a mirror to society in danger. Now that the incredible first season of the series has ended, fans are already looking forward to the second season.
Unfortunately, we still don’t know if Watchmen will get a second season at all. But the idea of returning to the Watchmen universe was asked by reporter Lindelof in almost every interview he made about the series. Based on his answers, we can at least get some information about whether a second season is coming and what it could look like.
(Ed. Note: This post contains spoilers for the entire first season of HBO’s Watchmen, including the final.)
Before HBO had aired a single episode of Watchmen, Lindelof was already talking about subsequent seasons and how they fit into his plan. His message was that they didn’t all fit into his plan. During a panel at New York Comic Con in early October, Lindelof said he wanted to tell a self-contained story this season.
He later said in an interview with Paste Magazine after the first episode aired that he wanted Watchmen’s season to tell a full story. Not half a story with cliffhangers (we’ll get back to that) like a regular TV show, but a full story that was summed up in just one season.
“I felt like these nine episodes ended without feeling like we were finishing a story,” said Lindelof. “Just as we feel that at the end of a season of Fargo or True Detective, they’re not really guards. It’s just another ongoing show where you have to come up with a cool cliffhanger for the finale.”
Lindelof said something similar in several other interviews he had on the show. When Deadline asked him how many seasons he wanted his version of the show to be, Lindelof said, “I’m not lighthearted when I say the answer is one.” He continued, “We designed these nine episodes as standalone as the original 12 issues. We wanted to feel that there is a sense of completeness to solve the essential puzzle. ”
And for the most part, the final seems to have achieved that goal. From episode 8 we got to know the true nature of this story that we are seeing right now: it is basically the story of Dr. Secondhand Manhattan, the life he shared with Angela Abar and how he eventually died. Other characters may go on, but the book is closed to the Superman. Of course, at the end of episode 9, Angela takes her first step into the family pool and wonders if she’s got Jon’s strength or not. Even though this season is a complete story in and of itself, Angela’s post-tulsa story could be a compelling preparation for a future season.
“If there is a second season, I don’t care where we shoot – I would rather do nothing than be part of it,” King told Digital Spy in October. “I would be part of everything Damon (Lindelof) does – because I know that frankly he will plunge with every fiber of his being (…) I don’t know that Damon started at all – or where he started would. We all see where it leads and how it is received. And we’ll go from there. “
Lindelof left his return open as an opportunity. In more than a few interviews, he mentioned that it’s possible to go back to the series, but he made it clear that he needed the right idea to make it work.
“More importantly, I had no idea what the next Watchmen series would look like,” Lindelof told Metro UK. “Until these ideas come, I’m happy to leave them outside for a while.”
As it turns out, what Lindelof means by “idea” is actually quite specific. In a recent episode of The Ringer’s podcast, The Watch, Lindelof explained a little how this Watchmen season actually came about. For him it started with reading Ta-Nehisi Coates “The case for reparations” in the Atlantic. In this story, Coates mentions the racial unrest on Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The mention of this event, which Lindelof was not aware of when reading the Coates article, prompted him to investigate the subject.
Mark Hill / HBO
During his research, Lindelof began to think about how best to tell this story and introduce people to these terrible events, which have largely become a historical footnote. At about the same time, HBO contacted Lindelof about Watchmen and told him that he could do what he wanted with the property. And so he made the Tulsa riots the center of the entire Watchmen universe. This incredible peculiarity and a lifelong love for the Watchmen comics resulted in Lindelof’s HBO series. But if Lindelof is looking for such an idea to stick to another season, we may not see it soon.
However, Lindelof sees another potential future for Watchmen. It is a future without him. Lindelof told Paper Magazine that he believed that Watchmen was not really his story. In a way, it’s the story that Alan Moore wrote that Dave Gibbons drew that John Higgins colored in the original 12 editions. In other ways, Watchmen is just a new version of the Charlton Comics characters on which it was originally based. Lindelof saw the opportunity to simply hand over the property to another.
“The idea that someone else could come along and do another season of Watchmen is also very exciting for me,” said Lindelof in the interview. “I’d fucking look at that.”
The future of the guards remains a mystery for now. Beyond the decisions of people like Damon Lindelof, Watchmen’s business side is also questioned. The series appears to be a modest hit for HBO, but the company is still in transition after the merger of AT&T and Time Warner (Time Warner is the parent company of HBO) Change HBO Max, the WarnerMedia streaming service. Watchmen started development before the merger. The future in a post-merger and pro-streaming world could be a little less certain.