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Has Fox’s Gotham Already Jumped the Shark?

Gotham, the teenage Batman soap opera you never knew you wanted.

Walter Hudson


January 15, 2014 - 10:01 am
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Like perpetually conflicted district attorney Harvey Dent, I find myself of two minds regarding the new Fox television show Gotham based in the years before Bruce Wayne donned the cape and cowl. Early indications proved more inspiring than recent news. Entertainment Weekly reports:

…The network’s licensing deal with Warner Bros. includes the rights to ALL the classic Batman characters — The Joker, The Riddler, Catwoman, Penguin and Batman himself. They will all be young versions of the characters and the show will tell how each became the psychologically damaged character we love today.

“This is all of the classic Batman characters,” [Fox chairman Kevin] Reilly said during the panel. “It follows the arc of how they all became what they were. I’ve read the script its really good. It’s going to be this operatic soap that has a slightly larger-than-life quality.”

Batman will be followed from the time he’s a child to “the final episode of the series when he puts on the cape.”

That formula should sound familiar to viewers of Smallville, the ten season exploration of Clark Kent’s journey from high school junior to Man of Steel. Around the time of Smallville’s debut, a young Bruce Wayne show was considered by Warner Brothers. It was reportedly scuttled by Christopher Nolan, who did not want to shift focus from The Dark Knight film franchise.

Nolan’s objection may factor into why we currently have Arrow, a series on the CW network following lesser known billionaire vigilante Oliver Queen as he battles many of the same villains who make up Batman’s rogues gallery – Deadshot, Ra’s al Ghul, and Deathstroke among them. In many ways, Arrow seems to beat around the Batman bush.

The announcement of Fox’s Gotham, timed as it was around the reveal of director Zach Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel in which Batman will headline, seemed likely to steer clear of Bruce Wayne and focus on police lieutenant and future commissioner James Gordon. That led many to believe that Gotham might be a police procedural set in a comic book world, much as Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a secret agent thriller set in a comic book world. These new revelations from Fox head Reilly indicate that Nolan’s lockout has been lifted, and the adventures of young Bruce Wayne are upon us.

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I think Nolan got it right about obscuring the Joker's origin in the movies. To Batman and the story- it really is irrelevant. Wayne has to deal with what he has vice pondering how it came to be.

From Roger Zelazny's "The Hand of Oberon" a brother expresses to anthor that he wishes he knew where or how circumstances arose motivating a third brother to take the actions he did-

" What he had said might or might not be right. It did not matter. Brand might have been borderline psychotic, whatever that means, and then again maybe not. There is always a reason. Whenever anything has been mucked up, whenever anthing outrageous happens, there is a reason for it. you still have a mucked-up, outrageous situation on your hands, however, and explaining it does not alleviate it one bit. If someone does something really rotten, there is a reason for it. Learn it, if you care, and you learn why he is a son of a b***h. The fact is the thing that remains, though. Brand had acted. It changed nothing to run a posthumous psychoanalysis. Acts and their consequences are the things by which our fellows judge us. Anything else, and all that you get is a cheap feeling of moral superiority by thinking how you would have done something nicer if it had been you. So as for the rest, leave it to heaven. I'm not qualified."
1 year ago
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The idea that Bruce Wayne would know more than one or two of his eventually-to-be arch nemeses is ridiculous. It's like watching the new Star Wars movies and learning that apparently, Chewbacca already knew Yoda, that Luke wasn't hidden on a remote world on the Outer Rim as much as he simply returned to his ancestral home.

The overly-interconnectedness of the new Star Wars movies were one of many things that ruined the franchise for old-timers like me, but it was a big one. The notion that all these people and places were completely related to each other was ridiculous in the extreme, and it makes you wonder - does anything ever happened in the REST of the galaxy?
1 year ago
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