When news broke of Fox developing Gotham – a Batman spin-off TV show – early excitement was dampened by its description as an origin series about a young Jim Gordon, before his days as Police Commissioner. Bat-fans voiced their concern that the show would essentially be a Bat-free police procedural – albeit with a comic book twist. At the 2014 Winter Television Critics Association Presentations, however, Fox Chairman Kevin Reilly set all fears to rest by expanding on plans for the series.
Far from being a single-focus cop show, Gotham is shaping up to be something much more interesting, with a seemingly epic scope that includes the origin stories of all the major players in the corrupt city – not just Jim Gordon.
“The show will arc a young Bruce Wayne from a child – around the age of 12 – into the final episode of the series, when he will put on the cape.”
How will the show propel and maintain that arc? With the origin stories of the most classic Batman villains, of course. Fox promises insight into the early criminal careers of Catwoman, The Penguin and The Riddler, among others.
“We will see how they get to become who they are, as Gotham is teetering on the edge. It is an operatic soap that has a slightly larger-than-life quality.”
While the use of the word ‘soap’ in connection with any Batman production may induce shudders among core fans, it seems that Warner Bros TV may indeed be intending this as the Caped Crusader’s equivalent of Smallville, rather than Jim Gordon’s Law And Order – and that can only be a good thing. Though the tone of Gotham will necessarily be darker and grittier than that of Kal-El’s home-town tale, the commitment to exploring multiple origin stories of iconic characters in one show, along with the ways in which they intersect, is the kind of ambition that kept Smallville on TV screens for an entire decade.
The remaining issue for Bat-fans (aside from casting, which has yet to be announced) will be the nature of the origin stories themselves. As is always the case in comic-book universes, especially those where a superhero has been around for 65 years, characters undergo regular re-boots resulting in a variety of origin tales – villains included. While The Joker will almost certainly descend into a vat of industrial chemicals at some point, will he be a generic homicidal maniac, or a failed stand-up comedian pushed to breaking point by the murder of his family? Will Gotham’s Catwoman be a cat-burglar escaping an abusive childhood home, or will she be either a flight attendant, a prostitute, a murderer or a secretary?
Created by Bruno Heller (The Mentalist), with Danny Cannon (Dark Blue) directing its already greenlit pilot, Gotham will soon be on its way to our TV screens, and all questions will be answered.
Source: Screen Rant