There has been a lot of buzz generated concerning this new series. Robert Bianco from USA Today’s Sunday edition said in his review that, ‘There is much to admire in “Gotham”…a heavily stylized, surprisingly violent DC Comics extension of the Batman brand — but little to provide an answer to the question that will probably decide its fate. Because as well-told as a story may be, if it’s not a story people want to hear, they tend not to listen.’
The writer, Bruno Heller (“Rome” creator) and director Danny Cannon (“CSI”), developed characters that have some major differences from the well known characters of old, but how well will that work? In the past, Batman fans have been open to variations, so perhaps this new version will be eagerly welcomed with open arms. Or, viewers could pick it all apart and decide it’s not worth their time.
Trailers and clips actually provide a lot of information about the new Gotham City series. The main thing going for this show is that viewers get to see how it all began, the good and the bad. Ever wonder how iconic characters such as Catwoman, Joker, Penguin and others got their start? This series seeks to answer that question and more. Be on the lookout for several Easter eggs and many nods toward former versions of Batman as well.
The main focus however is Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie), a moral man in an immoral city, and his relationship with young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz). He becomes a type of mentor to the boy after his parents are murdered within the first few minutes of the premiere, promising the boy that he will find who is responsible. His partner, Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), is a jaded and cynical man with little empathy or faith in humanity. Their relationship is rocky at best.
McKenzie describes Gordon as a “fish out of water, he doesn’t know exactly what’s going on in Gotham and he’s figuring it out moment to moment.” He says it’s daunting, but at the same time thrilling, to play such an iconic figure.
Heller explains that the basic premise of the series is what if James Gordon was the rookie detective who investigated the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents. Once that connection is made, then the story can move forward. Just how smoothly that story unfolds remains to be seen.
Somehow Gordon must find the strength, determination and courage to confront the corruption and crime infesting the city, which puts him in danger at every turn. Heller says Gotham City ‘encompasses so many different worlds so the tone is both fun and dark, it’s sexy but dangerous – it’s a world of craziness and a world of beauty.’ Foreboding and with a rapidly decaying infrastructure, the city is fairly reminiscent of 1970s New York, but with a modern twist.
“Gotham” introduces a new character by the name of Fish Mooney, played by Jada Pinkett Smith. She’s a vicious and aspiring crime lord who will stop at nothing to see her own plans for control of the city’s underworld succeed. She immediately views Gordon as a threat and warns him she doesn’t like surprises.
Other cast members include: Erin Richards (Barbara Kean), Victoria Cartangena (Renee Montoya), Zabryna Guevara (Captain Sarah Essen), John Doman (Carmine Falcone), Sean Pertwee (Alfred), Robin Lord Taylor (Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin) and Camren Bicondova (Selina Kyle/Catwoman).
Don’t miss the series premiere Monday, September 22nd at 8/7 central on FOX. Will you be watching? What character are you most interested in?