Watchmen’s first season has come to a close and the entire creative team seems to believe that might be it for this new edition of the story. Showrunner Damon Lindelof talked to Collider about one member of the legacy Watchmen characters that seemed to be curiously absent from the show. Dan Dreiberg is nowhere to be found during those nine episodes of the show. (He is obliquely referenced in both the Peteypedia material on the HBO website and during the third episode when Laurie Blake gets pulled into the story’s orbit.) But, everyone who expected to see an older Nite Owl had to settle for his airships appearing a couple of times. But, Lindelof argues there’s actually a very normal reason that the former costumed vigilante isn’t there when the Millennium Clock goes off. It plays into some of the critiques that people who did not enjoy the season shared: there’s only so much screen time in a given season of television.
“Oh my God, yes. I would say that we committed, it’s hard to quantify hours,” Lindelof began. “But, if someone said that we kicked around that possibility for 40 hours of overall room time, that would feel a little low to me. But, one of the things that we are constantly trying to solve for, was the ratio between old and new.”
“And, I felt very strongly that Laurie needed to be in this show,” he continued. “And, I felt very strongly that Manhattan needed to be in the show. And, I felt very strongly that Veidt needed to be in the show. And, we knew that the central character of the show was Hooded Justice and his granddaughter. It felt like, if we added Dan into the mix, that the balance tipped too much towards the old, and not enough towards the new. But, we did discuss multiple versions of what it would look like for him to appear.”
For those who want that second season, Lindelof is very grateful for all the love. But, the story has to be there for him, plain and simple.
“I am deeply, profoundly appreciative for how well received the season has been up until now, and I don’t want to feel like I’m ungrateful, but I still don’t have any inclination whatsoever to continue the story, and that is largely and almost exclusively based on the fact that I don’t have an idea," Lindelof elaborated. "If I’m going to be involved in any more ‘Watchmen,’ I should be able to answer the questions, why, and why now, and the answers to those questions shouldn’t be, ‘Well because that’s what you do, because the first one was good.' I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a second season of ‘Watchmen,’ and I’m not even saying that that season shouldn’t feature some of the characters in this season of ‘Watchmen.’ I just don’t know what it should be.”