'Watchmen' Podcast: A Closer Look at That Bold and Bizarre Premiere

The Hollywood Reporter's 'Series Regular' dives deep into Damon Lindelof's elaborate new HBO drama, based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' graphic novel of the same name.
Courtesy of HBO

Welcome back to Series RegularThe Hollywood Reporter's weekly podcast dedicated to diving deep into hit TV shows. 

Every episode of Series Regular comes courtesy of Josh Wigler (that's me!) and takes a closer look at the genre television space — and for the next several weeks, it's all about one space in particular: Watchmenthe new HBO drama based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' seminal graphic novel of the same name. Wigler and co-host Antonio Mazzaro of Post Show Recaps fame will provide weekly podcast coverage of Watchmen, following each and every round of the nine-episode first season.

In their first conversation, Wigler and Mazzaro get under the hood of the series premiere, "It's Summer and We're Running Out of Ice," directed by Nicole Kassell and written by Damon Lindelof. In the podcast, Lindelof himself opens up about why he chose to sign onto Watchmen, and how the pilot connects back to the comic books — specifically in the form of the final scene, in which a character's shocking death fuels a murder mystery moving forward.

"We constantly had to find ways to tell the audience, particularly the people who felt about those 12 issues the way I felt about them, that we know we're doing this, we love this thing, we want to pay homage to it, but the way to do that is to not do the same things that it did, but to do them in slightly different ways," Lindelof says about the adaptation process. "If you're going to say, 'Everything ends,' don't do it in the same way it was done in the graphic novel; do it in a different way. Put it in a new context, so that the audience of the original knows you know you're playing the hits."

Perhaps the audience does not know the greatest hits from Watchmen, if they have not read Watchmen in a long time — or ever, for that matter. Cue: the Series Regular podcast, as Wigler and Mazzaro draw upon Moore and Gibbons' original tale to contextualize what's occurred in the HBO drama's series' premiere. Among topics covered: 

• The sudden downpour of squids, and how that slimy rain connects to the deadly and iconic ending of the comic books;

• An attempt to explain what's going on with Jeremy Irons' character, and why his relatively isolated storyline is "the bee's knees";

• How the vigilante Rorschach's legacy has impacted the villains of the HBO drama, the Seventh Kalvary and the group's roots in the comics;

• Why viewers should be skeptical about the limited information provided by Dr. Manhattan, the most powerful individual in the Watchmen world;

• The "Pore Jud Is Daid" ending, how it mirrors the Comedian's death at the start of Moore and Gibbons' graphic novel and why Judd may be connected to a very different character from the Watchmen comics;

• First impressions of the brand-new cast, including Regina King as Sister Night, Tim Blake Nelson as Looking Glass, Louis Gossett Jr. as the mysterious "Will Reeves," and of course the harrowing Tulsa riot scene that pushes Watchmen into action.

Listen to the Watchmen podcast below, and subscribe to make sure you don't miss an installment once the HBO drama bows Sunday. Follow Wigler and Mazzaro on Twitter at @roundhoward and @acmazzaro, respectively, and send your questions and feedback to SeriesRegular@THR.com.

Series Regular is part of THR's roster of podcasts, including TV's Top 5, the weekly TV news analysis podcast hosted by West Coast TV editor Lesley Goldberg and chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg; Awards Chatter, Scott Feinberg's weekly in-depth (and award-winning) interview show focusing on the most interesting talents of the Oscar and Emmy seasons; crafts expert Carolyn Giardina's weekly series, Behind the Screen, which explores the top artists and technologies creating film and TV magic; and Seth Abramovitch's monthly series, It Happened in Hollywood, which revisits indelible moments from 90 years of THR's entertainment history. Other podcasts are in the works.