Almost everyone tuning into the series premiere of Gotham is well aware of the origins of Batman. Thomas and Martha Wayne were murdered in an alley in the city they fought for while their only child, Bruce, watched helplessly. For the sake of setting up the series, this is all played out yet again with minor adjustments (more on that in a bit).
For a crime fighter who’s story has been told numerous times in pop culture there are the usual suspects and those only the comic book geeks will notice. Take Harvey Bullock (Donald Logue) for example: a staple of the comic book series, never adapted in TV or film (well, truly that is), Harvey is an easy show stealer that helps contrast the good in Det. James Gordon (Benjamin McKenzie). The character is well setup and introduced to viewers deeper than any others that show up.
On the other hand, Selena Kyle/Catwoman (Camren Bicondova) is clearly who she appears — jumping around each scene, feeding stray cats and being well… Catwoman-like. Casual viewers are well aware who Catwoman is so the fact she never speaks or is introduced is easily forgiven.
The balance of introducing the mainstream and niche characters in the span of a one-hour pilot while building a story to captivate viewers was daunting and the producers did a decent job. Not without its missteps though, as the series is named after the city it takes place, there’s not much character given to the city.
Forgiving the lapses, Gotham has a lot of promise. The pilot goes a long way to setup characters that we’ll seemingly be seeing a lot but the overall plot but beyond that doesn’t go far.
Gotham premieres September 22nd on FOX.