Rookie detective is doing things by the book
If you ever wondered what a pre-Batman origins story would look like filtered through the mind of The Mentalist creator Bruno Heller and helmed by CSI veteran Danny Cannon, then this is it.
One of the most talked about new dramas of the autumn, Gotham (Monday, Channel 5, 9pm) centres on brave, earnest new detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie).
He is partnered with veteran Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), and the pair stumble upon Gotham city's highest profile case – the murder of local billionaires Thomas and Martha Wayne.
Gordon meets the sole survivor at the scene of the crime – the Waynes’ 12-year-old son, Bruce (David Mazouz).
Moved by his loss, the rookie detective vows to catch the killer.
While navigating the shady world of Gotham’s criminal justice system, Gordon crosses paths with gang boss Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), mob kingpin Carmine Falcone (John Dorman), and many of the characters who will become iconic villains.
They include a teenage Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Camren Bicondova); pending Penguin Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), and the future Riddler, Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith).
For Blighty’s own Sean Pertwee, landing the role of Bruce Wayne’s guardian/butler Alfred Pennyworth, it was something of a dream come true.
He admits he was a fan of the classic 1960s Adam West TV saga growing up.
“Absolutely. The famous shark scene stuck in my mind,” Sean explains. “I’ve been a fan of the series right the way through.
“To be involved with a reimagining of something I’ve loved is vaguely terrifying, but also not that it’s out there, we are delighted that I think we’ve pleased the legions of fans and the legions of new fans that we hope to bring to it. We’re very proud.”
Perhaps the best comparison for Gotham is Superman origins series Smallville.
Is Sean prepared for the fact he could spend at least the next 10 years of his life in New York?
“Well that suits me fine,” he explains. “Don’t get me wrong; I love my home – I get very homesick when I watch Chelsea; I miss my home, but I can’t tell you how lucky and proud I feel to be here.”
As you’ll see by this pilot, it’s a stylish affair which may revisit the pivotal tragic alley shootings from the Hollywood versions, but then it becomes its own creature.
Batman Begins Ben McKenzie and David Mazouz star.