Gotham - Fox's gamble on DC universe


weaver of the unseen
Aug 21, 2007
We're less than a month away from the September 22nd premiere of Gotham, the Batman-prequel that will explore the origin stories of some of the DC Universe's most iconic supervillains and vigilantes. To mark the show's impending arrival, Fox has released a 21-minute preview of the show titled "The Legend Reborn."

I have mixed feelings in regards of the series. And although I expect it to be brilliant I'm also scared that Fox will do it's usual and cancel this before the story gets really started. The Gotham history before the Batman is interesting avenue to explore, and the producers are hitting a nice spot, but in regards of the Arrow and Flash Fox is also doing the same thing that they've been doing with the Marvel Universe rights. So, therefore, don't expect to see crossovers even though they could be really interesting in the idea level. Bruce Wayne in this series is way too young for the DC universe conflicts. And by doing I think it's a gamble they shouldn't have taken because participating in live action Justice League would had been much better avenue to explo...
er ... to tickle the viewers.
I'm intrigued by the concept and the featurettes on IO9 reassure me that this has some good production behind it. But time will tell if it can live up to expectations. I'm of the opinion that the Chris Nolan franchise has set the bar pretty high and this (and BvS) will struggle to beat that.
I think it's got possibilities. i like the whole before Batman notion of the Show. :)
Danny Cannon, who directed the pilot and is an executive producer, talked a but about what we can expect from Alfred as the series goes on:

Alfred features in the first season a lot. Him and Jim Gordon's relationship goes through turbulent moments and very tender moments because they're both men who've never been parents. And yet, here they are parenting somebody who may be unparentable.
I'm still on edge in how show will go down. But here's look on one of the iconic villains that will become THE PENGUIN.

Also here's quote on UK release date.

In an unprecedented attempt to have their cake and eat it, Batman prequel series Gotham will not only be airing on Channel 5 in the UK at the end of 2014, but will be on Netflix as soon as the conventional broadcast has ended at the beginning of 2015.
My son has already set the series to record. :D
As a huge Batman fan, he's super excited. I'm looking forward to watching with him as he's the kind of kid who knows a zillion background details of characters. Should be fun!
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I'm going to give this show a try, but too often I'm disappointed by these networks attempts at this type of show. I am hoping for the best though and the cast looks decent.
There's always a problem with prequels, as we know it has to get to point X - how they get there is what hopefully makes it compelling. Plus we know that these proto-penguin, joker etc won't be stopped/caught before batman gets to them in the post-prequel!
It looks promising. I think if they aren't conscious every moment that they're doing a prequel and just concentrate on telling good stories, that and the stunning visuals, it could be fabulous.
Oh no. The Television Critics Association has hailed Gotham as the most promising series of the fall season" in a new poll, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That cannot be good because usually critics likes end up being really bad runs for the viewers, and what the viewers like end up being hated not only by the critics, but also by the producing companies.
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A lot of television shows that I've liked very much didn't last long. I'm used to it and can deal with it just fine if I happen to like this one and it happens to not last more than a season. And while I frequently dislike shows that the critics adore, this is usually as a matter of personal taste.

But all the shows that I have liked that did last more than a season were beloved of the critics, so I find their enthusiasm more encouraging than not.
A lot of televisions shows that I've liked very much didn't last long. I'm used to it and can deal with it just fine if I happen to like this one and it happens to not last more than a season. And while I frequently dislike shows that the critics adore, this is usually as a matter of personal taste. But all the shows that I have liked that did last more than a season were beloved of the critics, so I find their enthusiasm more encouraging than not.

This show might end up struggling to find an audience.
I feel like I have to go into this show while completely separating myself from Batman. If I draw comparisons, or hope for something Darknight related, I know I'll be disappointed.

Point in fact, there's another live thread here about Prometheus, where I was thinking something similar. I went into it, already expecting ALIEN/ALIENS, and because I did, I felt let down. However, If I viewed it as a standalone movie, my outlook may have been different.

Ben Mackenzie spoke about the state of both the city and Jim Gordon at the start of the show:

The way that they talked about it with me is that Gotham is on this knife's edge and it's going to fall apart. It's falling apart because society in general is falling apart. Society's fallen so much that everybody feels as though they must participate in the morally collapsed society. All the cops are on the take; the judges are on the take; everybody is a part of this thing. And so James, who grew up in the city but then left when his father died, comes at it from the tried-and-true device but [with] fresh eyes. He served overseas; he was in a war. And he comes back and he's got a real moral rigidity to him, which is tested immediately and tested deeply.

He added that Gordon is going be forced into some awful places throughout the season:

This guy's going to get really beat up by this town and not just physically but emotionally and psychologically. He's going to be making a lot of decisions. He's going to find himself in places very, very quickly from the pilot alone to where there is no morally correct answer. Either choice is bad, so he has to choose between two bad options and then he has to live with those consequences and then he has to keep going. He has to work through the system to try to change it, which inevitably takes a toll on his soul. So I hope he'll be this great sort of conflicted hero.
I didn't have much hope for this show given that prequels generally don't appeal to me. This was actually a pleasant surprise though, not great but a solid start. The deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne have always had an emotional impact on me and I feel FOX handled the more touching scenes well here. They also did a good job of making James Gordon pretty bad-ass in his first scene. Donal Logue is quite good as Harvey Bullock and Jada Pinkett Smith gives a pretty good performance as well. Some of the easter eggs felt heavy handed but I feel like I need to rewatch it just to catch all of them.
Watched the first episode on Channel 5 last night. It didn't hugely grab me, but I'll give it a few more goes.

What I would actually like to see is a series that goes further back in time. Gotham, once the shining jewel in America's crown, is fading, the great and good are partying their lives away, the police force and City Hall are doing their best with limited funds and people, the crime bosses (including a young Falcone) are starting to gain power, and Thomas and Martha Wayne are getting increasingly frustrated with their meaningless lives and want to start making a difference ...
Didn't Oliver Queen live behind a clock in Smallville? Maybe the showrunners are fans...
This is my take on it, from my SFF blog:

Gotham is unusual in at least one respect – it is a US series appearing on UK TV only a couple of weeks after its first release. Effectively a prequel to the Batman franchise, this starts with Bruce Wayne as a young boy who witnesses the murder of his parents, but the focus is very much on detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and his efforts to track down the killer.

It is something of an oddity as, on the face of it, it is a straightforward murder mystery without any of the fantastic elements of Batman. Even though Catwoman (Catgirl?) lurks around the edges of the first episode and moves more centre-stage thereafter, she is no more than an agile young thief. On the other hand, the plot is not handled with the realism of a modern detective story; there is something stylised about it, a clear reflection of the comic-book origins. As a result, the characters are oversimplified to the point of caricature. The first couple of episodes were watchable enough despite this but, as with Alphas, they didn't entirely grab my attention so I'll have to see how it goes.
Not that I approve these changes, but I guess some other people will be taking over whole thing. Anyways, like I was afraid, Fox's executive producer is fiddling with the DC universe dangerously, and he's thinking about just killing off couple of major characters.

You'd need a damn good reason to do it and a damn good end game to justify it. We're certainly just learning the ropes at this stage. Not to be modest about it, but we're still learning how to do a show this big. I'm always deeply reluctant to kill off characters simply for the shock value of killing them off. I'm not averse to cheap tricks. But apart from anything else, this season literally every actor has come through and [performed really strong]. I would hate to lose any of them. Killing off Sean Bean in the first season of Game of Thrones made everyone go, "Oh, what a good idea that is!" But I don't think it's a good idea if you've got Sean Bean. The bad one was on Deadwood, when they had David Carradine doing that marvelous Wild Bill Hickok, and then he was gone.

... I would say the killing of a so-called un-killable character would add a greater layer of suspense when any of those characters are in jeopardy after that—because the message has been sent to the audience that, "You think you know how this story is going to go, but you're wrong, because we're not following the train tracks that you already know so well."

That is a very good point, and an actor somewhere is cursing you. You're absolutely right. One of the things about doing the extra six episodes, and hopefully being successful enough to get a season two, is that once we're up and running, that kind of narrative playfulness—playing with the audience's expectations—is going to be much more a part of the show. For instance: Who will turn out to be The Joker? Those kind of games you can only get into once you have the audience's trust and the train is rolling down the tracks. We want to establish the real deal—that this is the canonical Gotham—and then start messing with people's minds.

He added that season 2 wouldn't follow any one villain, the way season one has zeroed in of the Penguin as its main arc, and added that this season will have Jim Gordon saying "Screw it. I'm tired of playing it safe and being cautious. I'm going to go full throttle to bring down the corrupt police administration." From there:

And things start to move fast and furious and urgent. The stakes keep rising. And just when Jim thinks he's achieved a certain level of success against the powers that be, they pull a vicious table-turn on him that will play out in the last episodes of the season in a very big, scary theatrical way.

Yeah, what the hell fans know anyways. Let's turn this whole thing upside down, inside out before the caped crusader arrives from the batcave! Besides the point, why would they need Batman in the Gotham, when Jim Gordon can handle the play so very well? "Super-villains, pfffttt. That's not going to be a problem."
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