It’s so odd yet so natural that this show exists. If you don’t know the premise, it’s Batman’s (and many of his comic book characters’) origin story. So much of an origin that Batman is roughly only 10-12 years old. Basically, you didn’t know that the world needed a Batman based show without Batman, but after watching the pilot last night; it’s clear that we do. Keep in mind that Gotham is a dark city, with a lot of corruption. This isn’t a Smallville like show where Superman’s biggest dilemma is who he’s going to take to prom. This is an adult crime fighting drama with a twist. That twist being that you know everyone is more insane than portrayed out of the box.
If you’re a fan of Batman, you’re going to love this show. I can’t lie to you. It opens up with an obvious attempt at Catwoman, around the same age as Bruce Wayne who happens to witness the big ticket item that made Batman who he is (it involves his parents, and I won’t spoil it for you – just in case you haven’t paid attention to some of the biggest blockbusters in the last 30 years). Right out of the gate you’re introduced to many well known characters such as Commissioner Gordon, Harvey Bullock, and Alfred. Throughout the pilot other big Gotham names are introduced including a nice little origin story for The Penguin and even a quick introduction to The Riddler.
Origin story is the big key word here. It’s not only Batman’s origin, but the entire city’s. Throughout the episode you see newspapers stating that crime is “on the rise” and introduced to corruption within the police department. As well as giving the Gotham origin some new faces, and more detail, they stay pretty true to the graphic novel a lot of us nerds have come to love.
While these characters are portrayed amazingly (so far) I do have to question their age difference. It’s obvious the likes of The Penguin, Gordon, Bullock, and Alfred have had quite an age gap on Bruce since the beginning but there’s a few discrepancies. Such as Alfred only looking 10 years older than Commissioner Gordon, and The Riddler being close to 20 years older than Bruce (I thought they were closer to the same age). Although I can’t recall age ever being discussed in my childhood reading, I really pictured less gaps.
But, I guess that’s where I’m going to learn and be surprised considering I caught on to the character portrayal right away. I mean, how could you not? The great thing about the pilot is that they were sure to name drop almost instantaneously. While this is great for people looking for the villains right out of the gate, now they can just enjoy the show; it seems like it’s it’s going to confuse a lot of semi-educated fans. I’m not sure every character is someone we’re supposed to know which left me thinking “how am I supposed to know this person” a lot. So either I need to re-up my knowledge of Batman lore, or just accept that not all of these characters will be around in 10-15 years when Bruce Wayne puts on the suit.
If you’re not a fan of Batman, there’s still a lot to be appreciated here. The cast chosen is down right amazing. The direction, the writing, everything leaves something to enjoy. I mean, think about it. The writing has been adapted so many times in the last 70 years that eventually it was going to get perfected, and here it is put in a high quality television show. This isn’t some hipster’s re-imagining of Batman. It’s the modern viewing of the story that many people know and love.