Our friends over at Geek Girl Authority have a preview for us for Gotham, the Batman prequel premiering tonight on FOX. IG-88 wrote this one and our own Christina Janke will be recapping it for us each week!
Hey Geek nation, Batman is returning to live action television! Sort of. I mean, eventually, you know, when he grows up. That’s because in Gotham, FOX’s prequel-like new series, Bruce Wayne is just at the beginning of his journey into the Dark Knight business and so is everyone else. And if the series is anything like the pilot it’s going to be a dark, brooding and excellent ride.
Though we do get to meet a pre-pubescent Bruce Wayne on the now familiar occasion of his parents’ murder, Gotham is built around the detective who catches the case, a young and idealistic Jim Gordon. Admittedly, when I first heard that Warner Bros. TV/FOX were contemplating a Batman series with no Batman, I was skeptical. I wasn’t sure how much patience the television viewing masses (or yours truly) would have for a series without that famous cowl and cape. But my first viewing of the pilot set all those concerns at ease. And my second viewing made me straight up angry that I’d have to wait until Fall to see another.
The reasons for this lie chiefly in the fact that series creator Bruno Heller (HBO’s Rome) and director Danny Cannon have wisely chosen to give this TV Gotham a decidedly Christopher Nolan-ish vibe. It’s all very feature film-like with smart writing and an excellent cast that includes Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon, Donal Logue as Gordon’s shady partner Harvey Bullock and Jada Pinkett Smith as sexy/violent mid-level crime boss Fish Mooney. Also featured in the series are a slew of Batman’s most dangerous villains in their nascent forms. We meet a 12 year old Ivy Pepper/Poison Ivy, a parcour running but silent Selina Kyle/Catwoman and, briefly, an already riddle obsessed Edward Nygma/The Riddler. But the most interesting baby villain is definitely good old Oswald Cobblepot, the future Penguin played by the excellent Cory Michael Smith.
Still, even with this capable cast, the most satisfying character in the show has got to be Gotham City itself. Heller and Cannon give us an expensive looking world to play in. It’s a grimy, noisy, decaying urban space where the only thing more crooked than the crooks are the cops. It’s already a city struggling for its life while being strangled by petty and organized crime, random violence and rampant corruption. It’s pretty grim. But underneath all the soot and shadows one can see that a better city once existed and, with a little help, might one day exist again.
There’s tons more in this jam-packed pilot, but I’ll leave a little something to the imagination. Suffice it to say that this fall I’m going to lock Gotham into my DVR and you should all do the same.