->''"Christ Almighty, it's the Goddamned Watchmen!"''
-->-- An actual line from the opening scene of this script

In 2009, the film version of ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'' finally made it to the big screen.

This page, however, is not about that adaptation. ''This'' page is about the 1989 [[UnfortunateNames Sam Hamm]] rough draft script, which was never produced, but is just so balls-to-the-wall SoBadItsGood that it gets its very own page here at TV Tropes.

Like the graphic novel it's based on, Hamm's ''Watchmen'' is set in an alternate version of late-20th-century America, in which superheroes once thrived but have been outlawed by 1985. When the superhero/government operative the Comedian is murdered, the vigilante Rorschach investigates, reuniting with his former partner Nite Owl and eventually uncovering a conspiracy that extends all the way up to Dr. Manhattan, the only truly superpowered being in the story's universe. That's about where the similarities to the original end, however, outside of the very barest plot outlines. Instead of a deep exploration of the darker side of superheroes, Hamm chose to create a borderline comedic (at least, one can hope he ''wanted'' it to be funny...) action-adventure, complete with cackling villain and one hell of a GainaxEnding.

Confusingly, Creator/AlanMoore actually ''liked'' this script, which either makes him the greatest troll of all time or suggests that he thought it would just prove the inherent unfilmability of his work. Had it been produced, it likely would have starred Creator/RobinWilliams as Rorschach, Creator/CharlesDance as Adrian Veidt (he's never called Ozymandias in this script), Creator/JamieLeeCurtis as Silk Spectre, and Gary Busey as the Comedian.

If you're feeling brave, want to feel your opinion of the actual film adaptation increase hundredfold, or just have a good laugh, the full script can be read [[http://www.watchmencomicmovie.com/downloads/watchmen-script-hamm-1989.pdf here.]]

* BatmanColdOpen: The script begins with a botched rescue attempt at the Statue of Liberty.
* BigApplesauce: This version is even heavier on emphasizing the setting than the original.
* CaptainObvious: During the experiment that killed Jon Osterman, the general present "comes to a belated and painfully obvious realization":
-->'''General:''' Say, there's a man in there!!
* ConvenientTerminalIllness: [[spoiler: Laurie is diagnosed with terminal lymphatic cancer in this version, and given six months to live. Dr. Manhattan points out to her later that she won't actually die of it, though, [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt in light of what's going to happen in the immediate future]].]]
* DarkMistress: Moloch has a moll named Lucy.
* DeadpanSnarker: It’s hard to tell from the script itself (which makes him read as more {{camp}}), but the proposed casting of Creator/CharlesDance as Veidt contextualizes pretty much ‘’everything he says’’ as this:
-->”Then I’ve been a very bad boy and you’ll have to spank me.”
* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler:Adrian Veidt, who is notably killed pretty much just for being an asshole. Sure, he still goes about giving people cancer to add credence to his discreditation of Dr. Manhattan a la the original, but that's the extent of his villainy here. His climactic plan? No mass murder, just sniping Jon Osterman through a hole in spacetime before he can become Dr. Manhattan, thus saving the world (it's complicated). Manhattan kills him with a blast of energy for this, and then almost immediately decides the spirit of what Adrian intended was right and saves his alternate/past self from Manhattanization.]]
* DeathByIrony: In this version of Rorschach's backstory, instead of Rorschach killing the dogs followed by burning the building with their owner still inside, he covers the man in raw hamburger and steer blood and has the dogs eat him. ''Then'' he kills the dogs.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: A conversation between Veidt and Dreiberg makes it sound a ''lot'' like Dreiberg is Veidt's kept boy. (Considering it's made obvious that Dreiberg is financially dependent on Veidt in this script, this isn't entirely inaccurate.)
* DrugsAreBad: Moloch snorts some blow in a restroom stall at the Gunga Diner. [[UsefulNotes/StraightEdge Rorschach does not approve]].
-->'''Rorschach:''' Drug habit. Highly illegal. Hnrrh. In future -- [[TheEighties just say no]].
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
-->'''Dr. Manhattan:''' Time is the key, Laurie. If I can unlock the origins of time, I'll finally be able to reconcile quantum physics and relativity.
* FusionDance: [[spoiler:Dr. Manhattan does to his past self, becoming "a solid protective HUSK around [Jon]". This saves Jon from being killed from the particle cannons.]]
* GainaxEnding: It ends with the complete destruction of the timeline of the ''Watchmen'' universe, [[WelcomeToTheRealWorld causing New York to revert to the real world.]] This is accomplished via Rorschach, Nite Owl, and Silk Spectre "spinning and tumbling through an otherdimensional funhouse of sound and color" until they land in Times Square, where a kid is reading ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'' and excitedly shouts that he recognizes them. Then the police arrive. Cut to black.
* HeroicSacrifice: Dr. Manhattan, saving [[spoiler: himself. Well, Jon Osterman. Sort of]].
* IndulgentFantasySegue: Dan has [[RuleOfThree three of these]]. Each time is obvious, as they "take place in a stylized dream-time, midway between flashback and fantasy". Subverted the third time, as the telltale effects eventually fade out, revealing the action as ''actually happening''.
* InNameOnly: To the point that a major reason it's listed on this wiki at all is just how far from the source material it actually is.
* MeetCute: Jonathan Osterman and Janey Slater.
* MagicPants: Dr. Manhattan has a pair of black trunks that materialize around his body when he shrinks down.
* PietaPlagiarism: The alternate-universe Vietnam War Memorial is a statue of Dr. Manhattan cradling a dead soldier; the script even references the original by name.
* PoliceAreUseless: Lampshaded.
--> '''SWAT Cop:''' What do we do now?\\
'''SWAT Captain:''' We sit here with our thumbs up our butts. As usual.
* PreAsskickingOneLiner:
--> '''Night Owl:''' BABY . . . WE'RE A BLAST FROM THE PAST.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: The SWAT Captain angrily mutters "I quit" and turns away to leave [[spoiler: as the Statue of Liberty explodes]].
* SoundtrackDissonance[=/=]LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn: Daniel and Laurie dance to Fats Waller's "S'posin'", which doubles as the soundtrack for the CTU's ambush on Rorschach.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: [[spoiler:Rorschach]].
* TemporalParadox: Dr. Manhattan [[spoiler: goes back in time and [[GrandfatherParadox prevents his own accidental creation]]]], ultimately negating the film's entire timeline.
* VerbalTic: Rorschach's trademark "hurm" is replaced with him constantly making [[HarshVocals bizarre hissing noises and growls]].