While Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice is promising fans an older, more world-weary Bruce Wayne, Fox’s upcoming prequel show Gotham is going in the opposite direction with a pilot episode that kicks off with a pre-teen Bruce losing his parents to a mugger in an alley. Ostensibly the show is not really about Bruce Wayne, however; instead, it follows the early career of newly-minted Detective Jim Gordon as he struggles to maintain his moral code in a city that’s in love with its own corruption.
That’s not to say, of course, that Gotham isn’t also going to feature a whole host of mini-heroes and mini-villains – they’re just too cute to resist. While Jim tackles mob bosses like Fish Mooney and Salvatore Maroni, he’ll also cross paths with the likes of a young Poison Ivy, a young Selina Kyle, an early version of the Penguin, a youthful Edward Nygma and many other classic characters from DC comics.
A UK trailer for Gotham, introduced by lead actor Ben McKenzie along with some behind-the-scenes footage, definitely emphasizes the Smallville-esque aspects of Gotham, with a lot of screen time dedicated to Bruce, Selina, Oswald, Edward and Ivy and ominous promises that “Darkness will rise” and “Heroes will be born.” There are also scenes of Gordon doing good old-fashioned police work (running after people, arguing a lot and getting beaten up), but so far it’s hard to tell whether Gotham wants to be an Arrow style comic book show or a police procedural with a comic book twist.
Gotham also stars Donal Logue as Jim’s corrupt partner Detective Harvey Bullock, Sean Pertwee as Bruce’s butler and friend Alfred Pennyworth, and Victoria Cartagena as Detective Renee Montoya. The series was created by Bruno Heller, whose previous projects include historical drama Rome and crime drama The Mentalist.
The pilot episode of Gotham was screened at San Diego Comic-Con 2014; in our review, we highlighted the heavy littering of fan service, as well as the lack of restraint shown by the writers in pacing comic book character reveals, as potential weaknesses of the series going forward. Shows can often change a lot beyond their pilot episode, however, so we’re looking forward to seeing how Gotham develops over its first season.
Gotham will premiere on Fox on Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.