The arrival of Professor Pyg on Gotham promises to bring an entirely new level of murder, insanity and... show tunes? The Batman prequel series has offered an action-packed fourth season thus far, introducing classic villains such as Scarecrow and Solomon Grundy and resurrecting others like Barbara Kean and The Riddler. With an absence of credible competition, Penguin has seized control of Gotham City's criminal underworld but the threat of Ra's Al Ghul has lingered ominously in the background. With so many villains in play, the city should be thankful that young Bruce Wayne has finally begun his career in vigilantism.
However, there is another new addition to Gotham season four due to debut very soon: Professor Pyg. Played by Michael Cerveris, Pyg was originally conceived by Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert as an insane super-villain obsessed with making the population of Gotham "perfect" by his own twisted definition and the character controls an army of brainwashed minions with pig masks permanently fused to their faces. Gotham's interpretation of Pyg will instead embark on a killing spree of corrupt GCPD police officers, using pig heads as a calling card.
Another feature of Gotham's Professor Pyg will apparently be a song and dance number according to the actor playing him, Michael Cerveris. Cerveris is a well-known name on Broadway and, speaking with USA Today, the actor claimed that Gotham's writers were keen to capitalize on his unique talents. Professor Pyg's musical moment will come during a tense and confrontational scene with Penguin. Regarding the melding of the Broadway and comic book worlds, Cerveris states:
“When they [the writers] had somebody who played Sweeney Todd, they knew the direction they wanted to go... [Broadway fans who don’t watch Gotham] might give it a look simply because of that, and find that they have a new favorite show.”
With few details available about the scene thus far, it's difficult to say whether or not the song will fit into the tone and aesthetic of the Gotham universe. The show is unashamedly cartoonish at times and subsequently, a sociopath villain bursting into song perhaps isn't completely outside of Gotham's wheelhouse. If executed incorrectly though, the scene could easily come off as forced or corny.
Many Batman purists may be disappointed to learn that the typically menacing and threatening villain known as Professor Pyg will be bringing a bit of showbiz dazzle to Gotham and could see the move as a step too far away from the character's roots. The series' fourth season has already attracted criticism for its handling of the Bruce Wayne/Batman storyline and this could incite further ire from longtime Batman fans.
With that said, it's perhaps understandable that Gotham would want to capitalize on casting a man who has already successfully married the worlds of murder and singing together with Sweeney Todd. Although including songs in superhero shows is always a risk, it will at least help Professor Pyg stand out from the glut of other villains on Gotham and if the routine does fall flat, at least there won't be a whole episode of them to sit through like on The Flash.
Gotham continues with "Hog Day Afternoon" October 26th on Fox.
Source: USA Today