T h e y o u n g o n e s

Will these clas­sic Bat- foes men­ace Gotham?

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Gotham -

BANE

Given his child­hood was spent in­car­cer­ated in a Caribbean hell­hole, it ’s hard to imag­ine how this jacked- up bruiser could cross paths with the young Bruce. Maybe Wayne vis­its him on a phil­an­thropic trip to Pena Duro prison?

MAN- BAT

Bof­fin-turned- beast Kirk Langstrom may be a tad too weirdsville for Gotham – and face it, Boy- Bat is hardly a name to strike fear into the soul… But what if Bruce en­coun­ters him as a young re­search stu­dent?

RA’S AL GHUL

Arrow’s al­ready staked a claim to the leader of the League of As­sas­sins, but there’s po­ten­tial in us­ing him as the Dark Al­fred, a shad­owy, all- too- per­sua­sive fa­ther fig­ure for Bruce.

MAD HAT­TER

Tipped to ap­pear in sea­son two, we can see the young Jervis Tetch as a hat- ob­ssessed scen­ester, run­ning a Lewis Car­roll-themed cof­fee bar in Gotham’s boho dis­trict. Maybe one too many cracks about his hipster head­wear turns him to a life of crime.

CLAYFACE

Also ru­moured to pop up this year, the orig­i­nal Clayface was a hor­ror movie icon driven crim­i­nally in­sane when he heard they were re­mak­ing the clas­sic chiller he’d starred in. Some­one needs to cast Robert Englund in this role im­me­di­ately.

our­selves that this is not just a 14- year- old boy, but the boy who will be­come Bat­man. So we can put him in these sit­u­a­tions where he can act more hero­ically and more coura­geously and the au­di­ence goes with you be­cause the au­di­ence knows the end point.” Stephens adds that Al­fred and Lu­cius Fox will also be a lot more ac­tive as they as­sume field roles.

While Jada Pin­kett Smith’s exit last year saw the se­ries lose the seem­ingly cru­cial char­ac­ter of un­der­world queen Fish Mooney, Stephens says they are proud of the ad­di­tion of sev­eral strong fe­male char­ac­ters to the ensem­ble. For Bruce, Sil­ver St Cloud ( Natalie Alyn Lind) will rep­re­sent the young man’s first pos­si­ble ro­mance – and so much more.

“She comes in as the niece of Theo Gala­van. That story is about the choices that Bruce will end up hav­ing to make as Bat­man. At the end of the day, he’s choos­ing a cer­tain life and that means say­ing no to all things nor­mal. Sil­ver will rep­re­sent the pos­si­bil­ity of this shin­ing, nor­mal life he could have. But then we dis­cover she is not the per­son she ini­tially ap­pears to be. You can play against the du­al­i­ties and ask, ‘ Is the real per­son the one with the mask or the per­son un­der the mask?’ Bruce is put in a po­si­tion where he has to ask who he trusts.”

chang­ing sex

Gotham’s sec­ond sea­son will also bring us the DC char­ac­ter Firefly, played by ac­tress Michelle Vein­timilla – a sur­prise for fans of the comic book canon. “Firefly was al­ways a male char­ac­ter,” Stephens ex­plains, “so we gen­der switched it and took it back to a proto- Firefly where the ori­gins of that char­ac­ter would come out. The ini­tial conception [ of the char­ac­ter] was al­most as a Vic­to­rian match­stick girl. She was held pris­oner by her fam­ily and has zero sense of agency. But she is a child­hood friend of Selina Kyle, who is all choice, all agency and all per­sonal power. Selina doesn’t let any­body have any hold on her, even to the point of push­ing away friend­ship from Bruce, be­cause that would im­ply obli­ga­tion. So Selina guides this young girl to be­come Firefly and em­brace her own power, which of course goes out of con­trol at some point.”

And then, of course, there’s Jerome, the ric­tus- grin­ning carnie worker played by Cameron Mon­aghan, first en­coun­tered in sea­son one’s “The Blind For­tune Teller” – surely a shoe- in for the fu­ture Joker? Stephens re­mains tight- lipped on this par­tic­u­lar plot twist. But that may just be homi­ci­dal laugh­ter we hear in the dis­tance...

Head­ing back to the writ­ers’ room, Stephens is clearly ex­cited for fans to see what awaits the city of the Bat. “We’re all proud of it,” he shares, as dark­ness starts to fall upon Jim Gor­don’s city. There goes the neigh­bour­hood…

Gotham is now air­ing on Fox in the US, and will come to Chan­nel 5 in the UK in 2016.

Young Bruce dis­cov­ers a cave like no other. Selina Kyle will be on men­tor­ing Firefly duty. Are we sens­ing a pur­ple vibe here? Don’t try and out- stare Cap­tain Nathaniel Barnes.

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