I might be a week late (UK viewing, several weeks late US viewing) but I finally got around to watching Gotham. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months Gotham is the highly anticipated prequel/origin story to the Batman universe.
The Pilot starts off with the story we all know, a young Bruce Wayne watching his mother and father being executed in front of him down a dark ally. From this point on we are introduced to a number of familiar characters from the DC universe, Jim Gordon, Penguin, Selina Kyle, Edward Nigma, Harvey Bullock etc. All very fresh faced and young due to being set in the very early days of the Gotham City we have come to know and love through the comics. We follow Jim Gordon as he takes on the criminal underworld of Gotham City while we as the audience try to stop ourselves jumping up and down every time we hear or see a reference to different characters and aspects of the comic book series.
Going into this series I was slightly sceptical due to the amount of hype that has been surrounding its release. In all honesty, I was expecting a half hearted superhero TV series with a few beloved characters thrown in so Fox could capitalise on the current Superhero film and television hype. In some ways I still think this, however what they have done with the storyline of the series is quite good. Gotham is a modern day Film Noir crime drama. As of yet, we have not seen any particular superheroes or super villains with special powers and as such this allows Gotham to be slightly different to the other DC TV series. Unlike Arrow and Flash, our main protagonist in Gotham is Jim Gordon, a straight edged cop. Other than a gun and the passion to do the right thing, Jim Gordon does not possess a vast wealth or super powers. This single characteristic allows Gotham to be slightly more than just your normal superhero TV series. It spans several genres and in doing so, opens itself to a much larger audience.
I look forward to seeing where they plan on taking the series. We have already had hints of villains such as the Dollmaker but would soon like to see how they intend to bring these comic book bad guys to our screens. Characters such as Victor Zsasz and Hugo Strange could be easily added to the show but it will be interesting to see how they develop characters such as Poison Ivy, Mr Freeze, Scarecrow or Bane if they decide to add these characters.
My main concern with the show is that due to it being set several years before Batman, it is also set several years before some of these characters should have existed. Characters like Oswald Cobblepot (The Penguin) fits nicely into this origin universe. Cobblepot was already an established criminal when Batman first arrives on the roof tops of Gotham City. However, characters like Edward Nigma (The Riddler), I always considered to be around about the same age or slightly younger than our caped crusader. This would mean however, within the Gotham universe, that The Riddler will be at least 10 to 20 years older than Batman (this depends on how old you believe Bruce Wayne and Edward Nigma to be in Gotham). If the show decides to add characters this early into Batman’s origins it may begin to cause upset within some of the diehard DC fans and thus alienate are large portion of its audience.
I hope that Gotham continues to entertain us but also that it stays true(ish) to its origins and its fans.
We will have to wait and see.