I’m not the biggest fan of network television, but one new series has really caught my eye recently: Gotham on FOX. Since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed all things Batman. When I was younger, I remember waking up early to catch the animated series, and the live-action films from the 80s and 90s remain among my personal favorites. I also give high marks to Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, which has a much darker feel that seems to have translated to Gotham. I am really curious to compare the show’s treatment of the characters against that of other live-action Batman renditions, and to see how the story lines up with the little bit of backstory offered in the animated series.
Gotham takes the Batman story back to the very beginning, when Commissioner Gordon was only a rookie detective learning about the layers of corruption running Gotham City and how to navigate them effectively. The series seems like it will really delve into the gritty underbelly of the city and show how unfortunate circumstances resulted in the creation of some of its most notorious villains. What situations and events led to the development of the Penguin, the Riddler, Two-Face, the Joker, and Catwoman? How did Gordon’s early interactions with these individuals before they became crime icons influence his own development and eventual appointment as police commissioner?
Bruno Heller is the executive producer and writer behind the new series, and with excellent projects like Rome and The Mentalist under his belt, I have faith that he will deliver, even to Batman fans with the highest expectations. I am genuinely intrigued by the idea of making Gordon the primary character and introducing audiences to Bruce Wayne as a child, which means that viewers will also get greater insight into the death of Batman’s parents. In fact, this is the first major case that Gordon faces together with his partner, Harvey Bullock.
In sum, I think more detail about the relationship between Gordon and Batman will really round out the series and make the hero even deeper and more multifaceted than he already is.