Gotham | Series Overview & Season 3 Preview
Holy mid-season break! After months of waiting, Gotham is back and a young Bruce Wayne is ready to start his training to become the protector of his city…
Coming in at #2 on my 2016 Top Ten TV list was Gotham, now into its third season. This is a series that offers fans of the Batman universe a really interesting take on some of its most beloved characters. And in case you hadn’t heard, the noticeable exception is that... there is no Batman. In Gotham, Bruce Wayne is still quite young, relying on the guidance of his trusty butler Alfred. And as we discover in Seasons 1 & 2, he is still learning much about life.
A lot of the focus of the series therefore is on the other characters, in particular Gotham’s finest, Jim Gordon, himself in the early days of his career. Gordon, brilliantly played by Ben McKenzie, has a very strong sense of justice combined with a short temper and unconventional methods. Fans of the comics will be pleased to hear that Gordon’s partner at the GCPD is none other than Harvey Bullock, my favourite character in the series, with Donal Logue absolutely fantastic in this role.
Since debuting in 2014, the series has gone from strength to strength. Not only is Gotham not afraid to delve deep in to the comic books, it’s also a really character driven show. And for me that’s what makes Gotham really compelling, as it provides such a rich insight in to characters on the small screen that the big screen can’t always cater for. You can expect to see many of your favourite Batman characters show up, from the comics, the various animated incarnations, the movies and the 1960’s TV show as well.
Left to right
- Jim Gordon, Gotham City Police Detective (for now)
- Harvey Bullock, another GCPD Detective and quite the comedian
- Bruce Wayne, teenage billionaire. No big deal
- Alfred Pennyworth, butler at Wayne Manor and ex British SAS
- Selena Kyle, teenage orphan and local thief (Catwoman)
- Oswald Cobblepot, crook, gangster, mayor and better known as The Penguin
- Lee Calvi, medical expert at GCPD & Arkham Asylum. And Jim Gordon’s ex-fiancée
- Barbara Kean, a little bit psycho and also an ex-fiancee of Gordon (it’s complicated)
- Edward Nygma, forensic scientist about to embrace his identity as The Riddler
- Hugo Strange, director of Arkham Asylum
- Jerome Valeska, a troubled chap who is transitioning into… The Joker
- Ivy Pepper, another orphan of Gotham (Poison Ivy)
And that’s just for starters.
Watch out for other characters you may recognise from the Bat universe, including Lucius Fox, Carmine Falcone, Harvey Dent, Azreal, Firefly, Mad Hatter, Fish Mooney, Mr Freeze, Tigress and more. It really is a joy seeing all these characters begin their journey and find their identity within the city of Gotham. It’s like a series of origin stories, but the real gem here is how they’re all intricately intertwined with one another.
Fortunately these characters are really well cast, and alongside Gordon & Harvey, there are two other standout performances for me; Sean Pertwee delivers a really gritty performance as Alfred and Robin Lord Taylor is exquisite as the devious, cold-blooded Penguin.
Alongside the talented cast, the other big draw-card is the look and feel of Gotham. The city of the 1960’s show is a million miles from what’s on offer here. This Gotham is exactly how I would imagine the city to be; dark, sinister and a sense that it’s winter all year round. On the rare occasions when they do venture beyond the city limits, it’s always apparent how sunny it is everywhere else in the world. Gotham reeks of corruption and the lines between right and wrong are often blurred, with the GCPD and the villains often trying to achieve the same outcome, albeit with differing methods.
The cinematography is superb, it’s nicely edited and the set design is absolutely gorgeous. They’ve managed to create something of a classic 1950’s feel that is complimented with modern day technology. We get a Goham City that’s really unique and this really helps give the series a sense of identity. Wayne Manor, Penguin’s nightclub, Arkham Asylum and the GCPD station (below) are just a few examples of this.
The recent teaser trailer for Gotham recently aired and it looks like Bruce Wayne is finally learning how to kick ass. This ties in with news that Ra’s al Ghul is set to join the show, with Alexander Siddig (of Star Trek fame) set to play the role. It will be interesting to see how the leader of the League of Shadows finds his place in Gotham.
If you’re not interested within the first 60 seconds of this trailer, this show probably isn’t for you.
Gotham returns on 24 April and the opening episode is enticingly entitled ‘How the Riddler got his name’. Can’t wait.
- Brilliant cast playing iconic characters
- Top quality production – near movie quality
- Dark, moody and yet somehow always full of humour
- A really unique ‘prequel’ series to the birth of Batman
- Heaps of Easter eggs for die-hard Batman fans
- Lots of focus on Jim Gordon, a character worthy of his own spin-off show
- Gotham is a prequel series to the birth of Batman. Some may find the lack of Bat disturbing.
- Too much focus on the character of Fish Mooney; I’m just not that interested in her.