Ever since the Watchmen sequel/remix series was announced for HBO TV, one of the most prevailing questions about the show had to do with the involvement of Doctor Manhattan. After all, the character is the one superpowered being in the entire canon, and his abilities border on omnipotence. So how would he, and his pervious actions, affect the series as it moved forward in a post-squid attack world? Well, we now have our answer because the series just premiered, and it gave us our first glimpse at the blue-skinned superhero.
Warning: Spoilers for Watchmen below.
When the series begins in the present day, albeit in an alternate version of our world where the events of the comic book have taken place, Doctor Manhattan still looms large over the events on Earth. But he is not actually present.
A news broadcast makes it clear that he has remained on Mars since his self-imposed exile at the end of the comic book series, and satellite footage shows the character building structures and destroying them with ease on the series. Check out the screen shot below:
So yes, Doctor Manhattan does appear in HBO's series Watchmen, but he's not exactly involved. At this point, he's doing his own thing and continues to live his life away from the humans and their human problems.
Showrunner Damon Lindelof spoke with Entertainment Weekly about his use of Doctor Manhattan, revealing why he chose to focus his series on different characters in the universe.
"I started to think that for Watchmen maybe the more interesting point is to think about masking and authority and policing as an adjunct to superheroes," Lindelof said. "In Watchmen, nobody has superpowers — the only super-powered individual is Dr. Manhattan and he’s not currently on the planet."
He added, "So I felt like we wouldn’t be deconstructing the superhero myth because all the characters in Watchmen are just humans who play dress up. It would be more interesting to ask psychological questions about why do people dress up, why is hiding their identity a good idea, and there are interesting themes to explore here when your mask both hides you and shows you at the same time — because your mask is actually a reflection in yourself."