As a child, I was less of an admirer of Batman than a number of other superheroes. But there was still something that I have always loved about the story. It was all about the villains then; none of the heroes had the villains like Batman could face. They were special and Batman was not. I did like the movies on Batman at that time too, but that was about villains too. The Nolan trilogy of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises made that clear, many years later.
So when I read that there was a television series about the origins of the wonderful villains as well as the city itself, I was certain that I wanted to watch it – The Penguin, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, The Scarecrow, The Riddler, The Joker, Hugo Strange, Two-Face, and Mr. Freeze. The story here revolves around James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) of the Gotham City Police Department during his earlier days of his service. Paired with elder and the more experienced detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), he will have a lot to do.
So, the Gotham City is the kind of world which has quite a lot of crime, as you would expect. The corruption is everywhere, and a long time before Batman, there were the two officers doing their duty, surrounded by crime lords and their henchmen who control so much. It is not easy to handle crime and corruption without going through them, as the crime lords have their people in the government as well as the police department. With morals and the hope to change the city for the good, James Gordon will do what he can.
Gotham television series actually starts very slowly, and it took some time for me to get into the story, characters and the environment, it was with the sixth episode that things got a lot more interesting. It is mostly due to the return of Oswald Cobblepot known better as The Penguin, the future villain of Batman who has the most interesting past. Robin Lord Taylor as the intelligent thug who makes it big despite his troubles, has some moments which are just top-class.
After The Penguin and his master manipulations, there is Camren Bicondova as the young Selina Kyle, long before the Catwoman had a chance to be the big cat. I knew that I had seen her before, and that was in the 2014 movie Girl House, with that first sequence. The Cat is the next most interesting character in this series, and this girl has so much talent; The Catwoman is a character who has always deserved an origin story like this, close to the oiriginal Batman story and not alone.
Meanwhile, Benjamin McKenzie and Donal Logue manage to do some great job at the same time as the police officers doing their work, against all odds as you can guess. The prettiest face should be Morena Baccarin as Leslie Thompkins, the love interest of James Gordon after Erin Richards as Barbara Kean had brought the charm earlier. But everything in the city is connected and revolves around the murder of the parents of Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz). It is all about the name “Wayne” in the end.
I have only watched the first season, and it was nice to watch such a prequel to Batman and his villains. I believe that it can only be better with our villains transforming into what they are to be later. Even though The Penguin and Catwoman are the ones who were in focus here, The Riddler was very close to being there as the bad guy. We also know that Poison Ivy, Scarecrow and Two-Face are already there in the present form before the transformation. What comes with them is the past of Batman as the little Bruce Wayne.
***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of Gotham television series.