The penultimate episode of Watchmen's first season delivered the unexpected, the big blue himself, Doctor Manhattan. It was previously revealed in the show's seventh episode that Angela Abar's husband Cal was actually Doctor Manhattan in disguise, with episode 8 revealing further details about their meeting and how the omnipotent being was able to forget who he was. Actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II pulled double duty, appearing as Cal and Doctor Manhattan in the episode and the actor has taken to Twitter to reveal an up close look at his makeup to transform himself into the iconic character.
"I went into it not knowing I was playing Dr. Manhattan," the actor revealed to EW. "I went into it knowing I was playing Cal. He did say it would be a good role and worthwhile, so I thought maybe Cal would go on some type of adventure, but I never imagined it turning into something like this."
After the first episode of the series was in the can, series creator Damon Lindelof told Abdul-Mateen about the impending twist with his character.
"Somewhere between the second and third episodes, I had another conversation with him where he wanted to talk to me more about Cal’s journey and I came to his office and sat down on the couch," Abdul-Mateen II continued. "I think his words were, 'Cal is Dr. Manhattan.' We had a long conversation about what that meant. I remember being on the couch and keeping it cool."
He added, "He was very relaxed and matter of fact and that’s how I was receiving the information on the outside. But on the inside I was tearing up the room, I was all over the place. I couldn’t believe that I was going to be the person embodying Dr. Manhattan. I said, 'I guess I got to get in shape.'"
Lindelof himself previously said he thought of the twist from a fan perspective, saying the character was necessary in a show donning the iconic Watchmen name. "I started this whole journey from the perspective of a fan — what would I have to see in a television show daring to call itself Watchmen? Dr. Manhattan was near the top of that list," the writer said.
The season finale of Watchmen airs next Sunday, December 15th, at 9 P.M. ET on HBO.