A rare treat for me this week as I get to watch eight hours of exquisite prestige TV, and not the usual stuff that fills this column, like that time I saw Barry from EastEnders wrestling with a pipe full of Michael Buerk’s crap in Celebrity 5 Go Barging. Normally, I am served the mince and asked to chew the gristle out of it and tell you whether or not the taste is worth the effort. Today, finally, I get a steak, and honestly I don’t know what to do with it. I feel like quietly asking the waiter for ketchup to help me gulp it down with.
So to Watchmen (Monday, 9pm, Sky Atlantic), then, which is an astonishing feat of adaptation, a miracle of a series that slowly unfurls like a puzzle box: at times so cinematic as to be breathtaking, just a little bit pretentious, and unafraid to take risks (the recent black-and-white flashback episode deserves to sneak into any “best individual TV episodes of the decade” lists). To recap: in 1986, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons produced an intricate-like-a-watch limited comics series for DC that was widely thought to be totally unadaptable for TV or film (brief synopsis: masked vigilantes with human flaws, plus one unkillable superbeing, help win the Vietnam war and try to end the cold one).
I thought this was intriguing but it is HBO and Den ain’t got no. 😦