Series Premier Review: Gotham is compelling even without Batman!


Make a TV series about Batman sans Batman and there will still be a plethora of fans who will fantasize about it. This year’s most anticipated series Fox’s Gotham premiered this fall. Created by The Mentalist‘s Bruno Heller, Gotham is a pretext for celebrating Batman. It is like the Transformers sequels that you will watch no matter what you hear about them.

The pilot is more of an extended teaser to a lot of characters. Just like Christopher Nolan had his Batman Begins in his The Dark Knight trilogy, Gotham will have its own Riddler Rocks, Ivy’s Inception etc. The pilot starts with a little Seline Kyle’s Catwoman jumping rooftops to end up witnessing the murders of mugged Thomas and Martha Wayne alongside Bruce Wayne. The series has new joinee James Gorden as its protagonist played by Ben McKenzie. Jim is paired with Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) who is one of the many contacts of crime lord Carmine Falcone (John Doman) in the police department. Jim and Harvey are assigned to the Wayne murders, which Harvey is reluctant to take but Jim ends up promising justice to the bereaved child. Jada Pinkett Smith plays Fish Mooney, a mob leader, conspiring to overthrow her boss Falcone. Sean Pertwee is the new Alfred Pennyworth and is way different than that of Michael Caine. Jim is engaged to Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) although nothing substantial is revealed about their relationship.

The episode gives feelers of the upcoming Batman villains. A cherubic introvert girl Ivy is heartbroken when her father is used as bait for the Wayne murders by the GPD. Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) is a forensic experts having a knack of talking in riddles. The character who steals the episode is Oswald Cobblepot. Played by Robin Lord Taylor, Oswald is Mooney’s minion and is mocked as “Penguin” for his appearance. Penguin can be Gotham’s Joker as Robin plays him as if he was born for it. Gotham is an attractive idea but what keeps us wondering is how these characters will form a commendable story without the capped  crusader.