Very rarely do we see the rise of a superhero to power. If anything, we see a transition from ordinary to extraordinary, but where does it all start?
Moviepilot tuned into Sean Pertwee's panel at Wizard World Comic Con in Pittsburgh to find out what's in store for season 2 of Gotham and the rise of its villains. I also got to chat one-on-one with Mr. Pertwee before he returned to Gotham.
Panel question: Your familiarity with Batman moving in, how deep did your knowledge go before Gotham?
I sort of grew up like everyone. I’m a huge a fan. I was jumping around on sofas with my mom’s apron like anybody. The way that it’s evolved and the way that he’s still here, 75 years difference with these characters - they must be doing something right.
We’re usually used to seeing Bruce Wayne as Batman and how Alfred already molded his character. What can you say about this season? How do you get to mold him more?
Well I think the thing is like any relationship, it sort of grows and it’s very difficult - bringing up any teenager is a difficult relationship especially when you’re not actually his blood parent. There comes a point in season two where they’ve been butting heads throughout season one. There comes a flashpoint because often you have to break up, you have split up to come back together again to be strong. You’ll find an element to being much more contractual. Their relationship is more of a contract between them so you see him starting to train and earn it. So I would say it starts the sort of alter ego, the richy rich kind of character starts to come into season two as it does with Alfred because their relationship changes in the way he speaks within the home. He's much less of a butler or man-servant formal relationship. He's actually much more relaxed and then he, of course, presumes so when he goes out with Master Bruce, he's being his confidant valet. They both have to develop basically to disguise what they seem to be doing which is investigating Wayne Enterprises, they have to have a smoke screen so you'll see that.
Audience question: Do you feel there is a push to try to quickly interject individuals that we would know later on? How did you feel when you first began to get into the situation that I'm going to make a show about Batman without Batman?
Well it’s not a show about Batman, it’s actually called Gotham (laughing). The whole show is really about how a city can mold people from being ordinary to extra ordinary, whether it be good or bad. Its following that sort of frame, that sort of timeline. It’s about the molding of the city, how bad does a city have to be to make people feel invincible by dressing up? What point does the city have to get to where someone like Batman to rise? That’s what the show really is about, it’s about the descendant of the city into utter chaos.
It’s about the descend of the city more than anything. It’s about the molding of the characters, being pushed around to being either good or bad. We got a long bumpy road down in the starts of season 2 to start to see the wheels truly fall off.
Can you see a relationship forming with Alfred and Gordon?
Yeah, I think the thing is that you gotta understand is that the thing with Alfred is he doesn’t trust anybody. He absolutely doesn’t trust Gordon. He blames himself for the demise of the Waynes so anyone that comes near, and also quite frankly, Gordon’s track record is bloody awful. It’s very awful and he can see that. Alfred is very slouch, he’s no fool, he’s an extraordinary philanthropist and he’s very observant. He knows, he can smell a rat a mile away. He does know, he does understand and respects the fact that he’s very close to this young boy as is the boy is to him [Gordon]. So he accepts him, there is an acceptance from both of their angles. They both respect each other, but he would never let him too close because Bruce is his property. He made the oath to the day that he died to bring up that boy.
Panel question: In season one, there are definitely some characters that Gotham got correct. There are other characters that have been questionable - a fast forward button on other ones. What is your take on how certain characters have been handled?
Majority of the time it’s very interesting - there’s been a couple, uh, they’ve taken liberties slightly too far. They have a completely psychological approach, always a very honest perspective. I think that’s the difference with our show. It actually comes from a real place. I think the growth of people like the Riddler played by Cory [Michael Smith] I think it’s extraordinary, seeing how this dual personality splits and how later, starts to enjoy his liberty.
You start to see these characters grow so you have to start from somewhere.
Who’s really going to surprise us?
There’s a new character played by the very fine actor James Frain, Theo Galavan and his half sister slash sort of lover who’s played by Jessica Lucas who plays Tabitha and they descend on Gotham - and I can’t really tell you much more than that other than just watch. When Gotham is on its journey down, it’s a long bumpy road. It’s going to take an awful long time for the city to descend to the chaos that has to be for Batman to rise.
Who's your favorite villain?
I love the Joker. Yeah, I'll have to speak cliche and say the Joker. I just found the hilarity and the ghastliness, I found that extraordinary. An extremely dark character, many respect him and reflected in Bruce's darkness. I always found that extraordinary that he turned his misery in on itself. That multi-faceted darkness I found really interesting, that psychological element of the Joker I find fascinating.