by T. Knight
***** 5 Stars
‘Thankfully, HBO seem to have managed to create a show at the same level of quality as Alan Moore’s original masterpiece.’
Alan Moore’s Watchmen is seen as one of the best graphic novels of all time, so naturally, creating a sequel would be no easy task. So when HBO announced that they would be producing a sequel series, people were sceptical whether or not it could live up to the high bar set by the original graphic novel. Thankfully, HBO seem to have managed to create a show at the same level of quality as Alan Moore’s original masterpiece.
The episode starts out with an intense scene set out in the early 1900’s, as we follow a family as they try and survive an attack on their town,; it’s certainly a heavy way to start off the episode, but it draws you in and keeps your attention for the rest of the episode. Following the opening scene, we jump straight into the present day, where the show doesn’t hold back with the heavy subject matter once again, as we get our first insight into the world of HBO’s Watchmen, following a policeman on patrol who meets an unfortunate end. It would be easy for the writers of the show to get too heavy handed with the themes of racism and the commentary on today’s political climate, however they manage to handle the subject matter tastefully, and create this brilliantly uncomfortable atmosphere that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and has you thinking throughout the episode.
For the rest of the episode, we follow detective Angela Abar (Regina King) through a typical day as a working Mum by day, and crime-fighter Sister Night by night. From here on, we get our first look into the distorted reality the show takes place in, with everything being slightly different from our current reality, as was the case with the original Watchmen graphic novel. The writers have done a great job crafting a realistic world, with plenty of interesting characters and nods to the original graphic novel, all of which flesh the world of the show out. All of the cast give excellent performances, creating a main cast of characters you really feel connected to. The writers do a great job of keeping the sharp pacing of the show flowing, with plenty of new ideas being introduced keeping you engaged as the show builds to the episode’s great climax, which left me wanting to see where the writers were going to take the show next.
The first episode of HBO’s Watchmen is a promising debut for the rest of the series. The show handles its heavy themes in a brilliant way, and the writers do a brilliant job creating and interesting and fleshed out world, drawing you into the show’s ever-developing mystery. There’s a lot to like here, and even if you haven’t read the original graphic novel, or seen Zack Snyder’s 2009 adaptation, I still think you could have a good time unravelling the show’s many mysteries.
Watchmen is currently available to purchase on Amazon Prime. It was rated 18 by the BBFC.