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Goin’ Back to Gotham, Gotham, Gotham…

Oh, I love me a good origin story. For those who loved Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy starring Christian Bale and a panoply of excellent actors, this fall’s Fox television series Gotham will be giving us a chance to revisit Bruce Wayne as a young boy when the city was as dank and gross as Times Square in the 70s.

Sensing it might have a hit on its hands, Fox’s marketing department has gone into overdrive promoting the show. After releasing an official trailer and first look preview, eight new character posters were just unveiled by Entertainment Weekly. Apparently, they’re celebrating Bat Week, too.

Here are some initial thoughts on the latest live action take on the Batman universe.

Some of the most compelling scenes for me in Batman Begins were the flashbacks of Bruce and his family. Seeing his father save Bruce after falling into a well as a swarm of bats surrounded him was foundational in our understanding of Bruce’s fears and where they originated.

Gotham starts with a young Detective James Gordon (played by The O.C.’s Ben McKenzie) only two weeks on the job. His foil is Harvey Bullock, a detective who is wise to the ways of getting things done in this dirty, dirty city.

McKenzie is going to be great in the role as a newbie detective. He already very ably portrayed the rookie cop Ben Sherman in the critically acclaimed (and sorely underrated in my opinion) series Southland.

Similar to the character Ben Sherman, James Gordon is paired up with a veteran who will teach him some hard lessons about what it means to be a cop in Gotham. I’ve also been a longtime fan of Donal Logue (loved him in Terriers, another underrated show cancelled too early) who can portray multi-faceted complicated characters.

As the title suggests, I anticipate the actual city of Gotham will become another central character. In addition to the criminal demimonde, I would like the show to explore the various subcultures, neighborhoods, classes, and communities of the city, making the world of Gotham rich and textured. And there better be plenty people of color living in Gotham!!

Also looking forward to seeing Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney!

Tragedy and violence creates great drama. Another hope I have for this show is a focus on the relationship between Alfred and young Master Wayne. Alfred will be key to anchoring Bruce, providing the emotional support and love he’ll need after the murder of his parents.

With so many great characters and villains in the Batman universe, it’ll be a fun for the audience to see the following:

Bruce as a baby Bat…

…the Penguin as a creepy hatchling…

…the Riddler before the question marks…

…Poison Ivy when she was a mere sapling…

[Ed. note: Wait. “Ivy Pepper?” Who the hell is “Ivy Pepper?”]

…and Selina Kyle when she was but a kitten.

Perhaps it is premature to have such high expectations, but as a fan I can’t help myself. The danger of these high expectations is the very real possibility of disappointment (e.g. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). We shall see, eh?

Look for the Bat Signal to shine Mondays at 8pm ET this fall on Fox! 

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