DZ-82: Dramatising Given Circumstances in Watchmen

In this final podcast release of last year’s run of LiveSoLation episodes, Chas and Stu are joined by Uber-geek Mel Killingsworth (who else?) in an epic exploration of how Dave Gibbons’ and Alan Moore’s seminal graphic novel WATCHMEN is adapted differently in Zack Snyder’s 2009 film and Damon Lindelof’s 2019 HBO television show.

For this podcast release, we focus on a single craft tool: GIVEN CIRCUMSTANCES. Traditionally an acting tool, we look at how it is also a useful writing tool: how is your story world different to your audience’s lived world and how best to communicate that?

 In terms of WATCHMEN (as you will hear), there is so much given circumstances to convey — in terms of alternate history, superhero rules, political rules, character backstory, character worldview — that is done excellently in both the movie and the TV show that this becomes a masterclass in exposition.

We also touch on narrative structure and tone: how presenting the exact same information in a different order or through a different tonal lens can change how it lands for an audience. ie this diagram —

But this is explored much more fully in the very-visual companion YouTube videos. Subscribe to our YouTube to be notified when they’re released!

While this episode may not be for the feint of heart, we feel it is one of our best. Hope you do too. Quantity has a quality of its very own.

Spoilers abound. Audio excerpts used for educational purposes. Thanks to Chris for wrangling this into shape!


  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:01:02 – Watching the Watchmen
  • 00:06:13 – Summaries
  • 00:17:07 – Given Circumstances
  • 00:38:39 – The Characters
  • 00:51:07 – Theme & Characters
  • 01:02:13 – Narrative Structure & Theme
  • 01:27:07 – Worldview
  • 01:33:47 – Dr Manhattan
  • 01:51:50 – Wrap Up



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