As the third season of Gotham approaches, fans are no doubt anticipating which villains from Batman lore will be the next to find themselves reinterpreted in the prequel series. As of today, we not only know that the next will be Jervis Tetch/The Mad Hatter, set to be played by Benedict Samuel of The Walking Dead fame, but also that the character will be a series regular.
Considering that Hugo Strange was a series regular during Season 2 and was woven into the show’s fabric in a way that one-shot villains are not, it’s probably time for viewers to start formulating theories as to what the overall story of Season 3 may be if Tetch is to play such a vital role.
The announcement of Mad Hatter’s casting and inclusion shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering that several Easter Eggs concerning him had been dropped in the latter half of the second season. There was even someone sharing his fashion sense sitting at Gotham City Police Department at one point, which I’m sure was no accident. Perhaps that was there to put the idea in our heads, but I was confident that someone more recognizable would eventually be cast.
Here’s the preliminary description for the character, via Deadline:
Jervis Tetch is a talented hypnotist teetering on the edge of madness. He arrives in Gotham with an unwavering desire to find his sister, Alice, a young woman who went missing in the city years ago. It is anyone’s guess just how far down the rabbit hole he’s willing to go in order to find her.
The obsession with Alice is something fans of comic books and Batman: The Animated Series have come to expect from Tetch. Usually, he fixates on an unfortunate girl whom he happens to have a romantic interest in and this behavior repeats ad infinitum. Perhaps my favorite example was in the video game Batman: Arkham Origins that saw the latest “Alice” rescued by Batman following a hallucinated adventure in Wonderland. I’m sure the show’s producers have researched many interpretations of the villain throughout pop culture as per usual, so we may or may not know what to expect.
Gotham returns for its third season on Monday, September 19 on Fox.