One of the main concerns heading into Watchmen was how much the HBO series would address or play with things from the original graphic novels. Well, Sunday night’s episode took on one of the lasting images from the book head-on and Damon Lindelof was in the mood to discuss that development. Viewers have already seen Ozymandias’ classic costume from the novels and Dr. Manhattan in brief glimpses. But, this episode finally gave viewers a larger look into the giant squid attack on New York from the books. Ozymandias’ hoax that started the period of world peace is a big source of contention for fans of the series as it can be looked at as a means to an end or at best a band-aid because people will always strive for violence. But, those little squids in the beginning signaled that we would reckon with what happened in the Big Apple at some point during the HBO series’ runtime. Funny enough, Lindelof was very very excited to bring that splash page to screens and told Collider about how it came to be.
Lindelof began, “Super duper exciting, incredibly daunting. From the jump, before we even did the pilot, I said to everybody on the crew ‘Just so you guys know, we’re doing the squid. We’re going to do November 2, 1985, so just start wrapping your brains around that.’ Eric, our VFX supervisor, and Matt, when we were talking about them coming aboard the show I said, ‘Just so you know we’re doing the squid’ and they said ‘Yes!’ “
“They were so excited. We knew that we were going to do it, we knew that it would happen in the range of Episode 5 or 6, so that they’d have some time to plot it out,” the showrunner continued. “We knew that we wanted there to be some sort of fanfare to the reveal. And Steph Green, who directed the episode, she got the script and I think she was very excited to be the one to turn over that particular card, and she directed it masterfully.”
As fans will remember, the squid was an omission that people regularly pointed toward in Zack Snyder’s film. This inclusion gestures toward the show runner’s love for the source material and his ambitiousness in approaching this property. Watchmen is loved by a lot of people and getting this thing right is the sort of thing that can buy you a lot of goodwill in the long run. In this week’s episode, the audience gets to see the entire ordeal unfold from Looking Glass’ point of view. The young boy was understandably skeptical of certain parts of the government’s story and believed that Ozymandias is responsible for the entire thing.
In a bizarre twist, the episode actually explains how the officer got the idea for his mask as well. “So the question was, which character on the show is still emotionally feeling the terror of what happened in 1985?,” Lindelof asks. “And Tim Blake Nelson felt like he was the perfect conduit to demonstrate that. So that idea with someone who feels like they need to be carrying around a security blanket at all times for fear that another squid attack is going to happen and that security blanket is sort of a version of wrapping your head in tin foil, and why not make that idea literal? Why not wrap your head in this fabric called reflectatine, which would insulate you from any future transdimensional psychic attacks? And that became his mask.”