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Monday, January 26, 2015

Why Fox’s Gotham Needs to be Retooled

Hey, it's the only Batman Pic
I have on my computer!
I tried a few episodes of Fox’s Gotham. It just didn’t work for me. I mean, no tights, no flights works for a young Clark Kent in Smallville because he’s a teenager. But when it comes to the world of 8-year-old Bruce Wayne…It’s just not a story I care about. I’d rather have a proper Batman: Year One series instead.

Gotham’s supposed appeal is seeing the rise of many of Batman’s villains before they became villains. And Bruce’s growth into Batman. But what we get is a mediocre cop show where Detective James Gordon and his partner Harvey Bullock go out and fight second and third tier Batman villains before they become Batman’s villains.


It’s like Jim Gordon is doing all of Batman’s work for him.  There’s supposed to be some mystery about the Wayne Murder case, and Cat (Selina Kyle as a kid) is a witness. But we comic fans know all this is a whole bunch of expository crap to pad out a series to go five years. Comic fans who know Batman’s origin will tell you Joe Chill Killed Bruce’s parents. And the case is supposed to be COLD for 25 or so years until Bruce becomes Batman and solves it HIMSELF. So the main story for this series is USELESS.

Fox wants a superhero series. But this ain’t the one they need. The sad part about Gotham is that it has PROMISE. It could be a breakout hit if they just retooled it.  There’s some good writing, and some great acting, especially from Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock and the actor who plays the Penguin. Both steals every scene they’re in. But the concept is ALL WRONG and POORLY EXECUTED. I believe all of these stories would work TEN TIMES better in a Batman: Year One television series.

Warner already has a strong foundation for a Gotham retool. You have a Young Jim Gordon. A great Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya. A great Penguin, Riddler and Harvey Dent. A strong Alfred. Great sets of Wayne Manor and Gotham police headquarters. All this show needs is an aged-up Catwoman, aged up Ivy an aged up Bruce and a Batmobile to make it a rock solid adaptation Batman: Year One.

Oh and the Batsuit doesn’t have to be fancy: The one used in Batman: Dead End would work beautifully on this show and fit right in with the costumes on CW’s Arrow and The Flash.

The way I see it, In a Batman: Year one TV series we could see young twentysomething Bruce Wayne returning to Gotham after receiving all his training and starting out as Batman. While taking on the bad guys and mobsters he’d be working on the Wayne Murder case, starting his relationship with Lt. James Gordon, and tracking down Joe Chill, while learning more about the Falcones and the mob families that run Gotham.

I believe people would get a lot more excited seeing a real Penguin, Riddler, Poision Ivy and Catwoman taking on Batman every week in Gotham. They’d get more excited seeing Matches Malone coming to Fish Mooney’s spot. Hell, throw in a Vicki Vale too to cover the craziness for the Gotham gazette and have her in a rivalry with Summer Gleason. Even better Bring in Jack Napier on the first Season Finale and make him into the Joker in the Season 2 Finale. The ratings would be through the roof on that.  

 Anything would be better than watching Detective Jim Gordon Fight Batman’s villains like the Black Mask and the Electrocutioner before Bruce even gets a chance to put on the cowl. If Jim Gordon can beat these guys with basic police training, then what really makes them a threat to Batman? Who needs a Dark Knight to be the Guardian of Gotham and strike fear and terror in the hearts of superstitious and cowardly criminals if Jim Gordon can do this already?

And a Batman: Year One TV series would work way better into an expanded DC TV universe. I know the show is on Fox but it could be used to do something crazy like y’know Cross over into CW’s Arrow and The Flash for a team-up. Maybe even be used to build into a proper Justice League movie. DC’s TV division is giving Warner the content that allows them to compete with Marvel Studios. The build to a Justice League should be done on Television, not in individual movies. People need a reason to go to the theater, and seeing the Justice League form slowly on various TV shows will persuade them to pay for the tickets.

Warner’s superhero properties are on a roll on Television and Gotham has all the potential to be a breakout hit for Fox. With a little retooling into a proper Batman show based on: Year One it would definitely do a lot better in the ratings and win over more casual viewers. But as it stands now I just pass on Gotham. Nothing on the show really grabs me. I don’t want to see an 8-year-old Bruce and Jim Gordon taking on third-tier Bat villians, I want to see Batman taking on his entire rogues gallery. 


  1. These shows just prove my old theory that live action and comic book settings/characters do not mix well together.

  2. I can understand your disappointment with Gotham... Fact is, Gotham isn't a Batman show, it's DICK TRACY in the Batman universe. (Why am I the only person who saw that...?)

  3. I got tired of no flight, no tights on Smallville after a few seasons. When Superman is going against General Zod and Doomsday, it's time for him to have the suit, IMHO.