When HBO announced a new “remix” of Watchmen, Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins’s classic work in the American superhero tradition, comic book fans were initially skeptical. Consider what viewers confront in the bold and original first episode: a pastiche of a silent film about a black sheriff, an intense re-enactment of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots, an all-black performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma, a vision of a future society where Robert Redford is president, and the lynching of a white cop. And Damon Lindelof’s revolutionary series goes full throttle to the end. Watchmen provides new answers to classic genre questions such as what it means to mask one’s identity and who gets to be a superhero, but more than that, it offers a frank and provocative reflection on contemporary racialized violence, on the role of police, and on the consequences of a large-scale disaster on the way Americans understand their place in the world. For world-building and storytelling that fuses speculative fiction with historical and contemporary realities, Watchmen deserves a Peabody.
Creator: Damon Lindelof. Showrunner: Damon Lindelof. Executive Producers: Damon Lindelof, Tom Spezialy, Nicole Kassell, Stephen Williams, Joseph E. Iberti. Co-Executive Producers: Ron Schmidt, Carly Wray. Supervising Producers: Lila Byock, Nick Cuse, Christal Henry. Producers: Karen Wacker, John Blair. Directors: Nicole Kassell, Stephen Williams, Andrij Parekh, Steph Green, David Semel, Frederick E.O. Toye. Writers: Damon Lindelof, Lila Byock, Christal Henry, Carly Wray, Cord Jefferson, Claire Kiechel, Stacy Osei-Kuffour, Jeff Jensen, Nick Cuse. Editors: David Eisenberg, Henk Van Eeghen, ACE, Anna Hauger. Talent: Jeremy Irons, Regina King, Tim Blake Nelson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Louis Gossett Jr., Jovan Adepo, Jean Smart, Hong Chau. Cinematography: Andrij Parekh, ASC, Gregory Middleton, ASC, CSC, Xavier Grobet, ASC, AMC, Alex Disenhof. Sound / Music: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross.