David Bowie and Watchmen, two tastes that taste great together!
If you caught this past Sunday’s Watchmen (the HBO series based on the Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons‘ graphic novel) you surely already know about the big twist that everyone is talking about….but if not, again, spoilers ahoy for those who don’t make it appointment viewing (you really ought to if you can, it’s the best show on tv right now)…
In this most recent episode, entitled “An Almost Religious Awe” we learned that Doctor Manhattan, long thought to be on Mars building and rebuilding sand castles, has actually been hiding out on Earth all this time, in Tulsa Oklahoma specifically, and in the body of Angela Abar’s husband Cal (played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). And in what is easily one of the most memorable moments in the show thus far; Angela, in a real pickle with the Seventh Kavalry right outside their home, takes a hammer to her husband’s head in an attempt to get Doctor Manhattan “out of the tunnel”.
As blows rain upon Cal’s noggin, the piano tinkles of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross‘ take on David Bowie‘s “Life on Mars?” play in the background and gain further prominence as Doctor Manhattan comes back into consciousness by way of the reflection of his blue glow on Angela’s face, and plays through the credits. As soon as the episode was over, as a Bowie and Reznor fanatic, I knew I needed a copy of that song asap.
And now it’s here! As part of the upcoming third volume of the Watchmen soundtrack (released on vinyl as well as on digital and Spotify), this version of “Life on Mars?” will be a component. But if you can’t wait, like me, here’s the official release of that song on its own on Nine Inch Nails’ Youtube:
Heavenly! And it would surely make Trent’s much-missed pal David delighted to hear I think. By the way, I don’t know if you’ve been keeping up with the supplemental media that surrounds the show, such as Peteypedia, but the vinyl releases of these soundtracks also include a lot of fun extra tidbits, such as the first volume including incredibly detailed liner notes for an in-universe Sons of Pale Horse album. Conversely, the second acted as a soundtrack for American Hero Story, providing more details on the episodes that make up that much-watched series for the Watchmen cast.
Just what will Vol 3 hold? We’ll find out soon enough! In the meantime, just keep the above audio on repeat like I’m doing and we’ll wait in bated breath for this Sunday’s episode.