Since he was first introduced on the show, there has been a foreshadowing of what was going to happen to Dr. Manhattan on HBO’s ‘Watchmen.’ However, you might wonder why did the character played out the way it did. Showrunner Damon Lindelof revealed the reasoning behind this in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.
Of course, you should be warned that there are spoilers below.
We’re talking about the fact that Dr. Manhattan died in the series. It was a death which was entirely preventable and yet because of who the character was, that wasn’t an option. As Lindelof shared:
“You’re illuminating the fundamental paradox of Dr. Manhattan — or any being who can see the future — which is: If you can see a future that you would rather avert, why don’t you avert it? In the case of Dr. Manhattan, once he sees the future, it’s already happening.”
Yet, even if it has already happened, couldn’t events be changed? As Lindelof explains:
“He’s a fairly passive character — of all the people to be bestowed with god-like abilities, it just so happens to be this guy who doesn’t really have ideas on his own very often; he needs to be told what to do. So while it plays like resignation and passivity, he’s not even making a conscious choice because for him, it’s already happened.”
When it comes to what his death would accomplish, Lindelof finds it interesting:
“I think that there’s an argument to be made that everything that Dr. Manhattan does in this iteration of Watchmen is about acknowledging that as long as he exists, there will be those who are in pursuit of his power. And anybody who wants to take his power is probably not a good conduit for it. And so he should probably pick someone who will take his power and use it responsibly. So one could make the argument that is what happened when he picked Angela [Regina King].
“In many ways, Will [Louis Gossett Jr.] is the other side of that coin. He’s giving Angela a sense of legacy — “This is where you came from, this is who you are, I was the first masked crime fighter and here’s why I did that and here’s what I’ve learned. As I get closer to the end of my journey than the beginning, I want you to know these things so that you can process them.”
“And then the last thing that Will says to Angela is the last line of dialogue in the show, that “Manhattan was a good man, but he could have done more.” And that’s a tossing of the gauntlet in terms of what someone like Angela might do with that power — if she doesn’t sink to the bottom of the pool.”
While we never got to see Angela getting these powers, Lindelof does seem to indicate that is what is happening. He does go on to say that “The only thing that’s official is the show itself.” Therefore, even though that is the direction he wants the character to go, it isn’t what happens as of this time.
Do you feel that Angela became the next Dr. Manhattan? Do you think the character had any ability to alter the timeline he saw for himself or was he bounded by his visions of the future? Share your thoughts in the comments below!