As we already knew, Fox’s upcoming Gotham TV series would primarily be about James Gordon in the pre-Batman years while also featuring a young Bruce Wayne. Well, it looks like this show will give us even more of the one thing comic fans simply cannot get enough of (he said sarcastically): origin stories.
At the Television Critics Association press tour, Fox Chairman of Entertainment Kevin Reilly that the TV series would devote just as much focus to Batman’s origin as it would with Gordon’s exploits in Gotham City. Described as being in the vein of the Christopher Nolan films, the show follow Bruce Wayne through his adolescence and as he grows into a young man, with the final episode of the series featuring him putting on the cape and cowl.
Reilly also promised that Batman villains like the Joker, Riddler, Penguin and Catwoman would appear showing how they became the characters we know them as today.
We’re arcing to that. We’re not starting in that world where the villains are in costume. You see markers for it that are kind of delicious. You begin to see the evolution of the eccentricities that become those characters, but you really sort of arc there. We don’t start out in capes and costumes.
Although the show will be serialized, it will not be connected to Ben Affleck’s Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel or any of the DC Cinematic Universe. The show has already been ordered to series, but no word yet on how many episodes will be in the first season.
I’m trying really hard to get excited for this, but I can’t, and I’m a huge Batman fan. My issue is that this show doesn’t seem to be any different from all the other police procedural shows on television. With Smallville, DC’s previous prequel show, it was a re-imagining of the Superman mythology as we watched Clark discover his powers and grow into the man that would inspire the human race. With Gotham, it’s not so much a re-imagining as just a general prequel featuring Gotham cops. James Gordon is a great Batman character, but he works much better in a supporting role than a leading one.
Yes, Bruce Wayne will appear in the series, but other than watching a brooding boy figure out how to deal with the death of his parents, there’s not much else to see. Most of Bruce’s transformation into Batman happens when he’s traveling around the world learning his fighting and deductive skills, so what can a Gotham series offer us that we didn’t already see in Batman Begins.
As for the villains, I have the same concern: what do they have to offer? I’m not denying that Gotham City doesn’t have crime. As we’ve seen in the comics, movies and television, that show is rampant with organized crime and hoodlums everywhere, making Chicago look like a 1950s suburban neighborhood. However, as any Batman reader will tell you, most of major Batman villains, i.e. the costumed crazies, don’t start appearing until Batman arrives. Were they already mentally unbalanced? Sure, but part of what makes Batman unique is that it’s possible he’s inspiring these criminals to commit these outlandish crimes. I guess I just don’t see what’s so interesting about watching a teenage Joker or Riddler. After all, it didn’t work for that almost-aired Gotham High.
Either way, I hope future info on this show makes it sound more appealing, otherwise it seems like we’re just getting CSI: Gotham.