Gotham Boss Promises Abundance of Villains, Superhero That's Not Batman

Gotham Season 1 Preview

Fox’s Gotham, as it chronicles police detective Jim Gordon’s rise to the eventual post of police commissioner, will introduce not one but four foes — Penguin, Catwoman, The Riddler and original creation Fish Mooney — in its series premiere. However, don’t expect a plethora of baddies every week.

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“You have to front-load the pilot with the best that you’ve got. You have to open big,” executive producer Bruno Heller (formerly of The Mentalist) said Sunday at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour in Beverly Hills.

As the season progresses, “We’ll be far more careful with how we roll out the villains and in what way,” he continued. (Season 1 is “very much about the rise of Penguin (played by Robin Lord Taylor) and his titanic struggle with Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith),” Heller noted.)

Meanwhile, there will be a decidable lack of iconic superheroes in the drama, seeing as Bruce Wayne (Touch‘s David Mazouz) is just a young child.

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“If there is a superhero in the show, it’s [the city of] Gotham,” Heller explained. “It’s a larger-than-life character. … Heroes are more interesting than superheroes. Superheroes do the impossible and drama is really about the physically possible. This is about people and people trying to overcome real problems as opposed to trying to learn how to fly.”

The EP isn’t worried that Batman’s absence will drive fanboys away because “the really interesting parts of these stories is the origin stories. This is about how all these people got there.”

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In showing that journey, the show will play with “issues of who was there and how,” but “what we won’t do is break the canonical iron truths of the mythology,” Heller promised.

As for which time period Gotham takes place in — the first episode features both flip phones and ’70s cars —  “it’s a mash-up, to use the modern phrase,” Heller explained. “This world is the past, but it’s everybody’s past. It’s a timeless world — it’s yesterday, today and tomorrow all at the same time. That’s the time that dreams live in.”

Gotham premieres Monday, Sept. 22 at 8/7c.

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15 Comments
  1. Sam says:

    So in other words, it lives in the same time period universe as Bates Motel. And while I love that show, it would be nice for a bit more specificity.

    • alistaircrane says:

      Bates Motel very clearly takes place in the present day.

    • alistaircrane says:

      Heller is wrong about heroes being more interesting than superheroes. Anyone can be a hero. It takes someone extraordinary and special to be a superhero. And learning to fly is absolutely much more interesting than dealing with “real problems”. I deal with “real problems” everyday and would kill to be able to fly.

      • Alex says:

        That’s your opinion. I’d rather watch heroes than superheroes.

      • devy_chase says:

        I agree with you completely. Reality is depressing and it’s what we deal with everyday. If I want to see everyday issues I can just go outside. Watching shows about the development of a superhero is much more interesting for me. But I think this will be a really good show. Can’t wait

  2. Ben Kabak says:

    Love this!

  3. Roger says:

    Hopefully they’ll drop some Court of Owls teasers while they’re building the show.

  4. Drew says:

    I like the idea of it being a mash up in terms of when it takes place. The Animated Series was like that. The result was a pretty timeless series that never gets old.
    If they want to do a superhero storyline, maybe they could play with the Gray Ghost, who was seen on the animated series as a fictional character, but they could use him as a vigilante who maybe wants to do what Batman will eventually do, but who doesn’t succeed.

  5. Jeff Spears says:

    It would be nice if they would introduce people like Wildcat into it.

  6. Andrew says:

    “If there is a superhero in the show, it’s [the city of] Gotham

    A better answer would be Jim Gordon, at least in my opinion. If we are to root for anyone, shouldn’t it be him?

  7. As for which time period Gotham takes place in — the first episode features both flip phones and ’70s cars – “it’s a mash-up, to use the modern phrase,” Heller explained. “This world is the past, but it’s everybody’s past. It’s a timeless world — it’s yesterday, today and tomorrow all at the same time. That’s the time that dreams live in.”

    That answers that question.

  8. yurie says:

    If Bruno Heller doesn’t learn from the crap he pulled with The Mentalist (stretching RJ storyline for 6.5 seasons, then Gotham is doomed). Still don’t understand why the RJ storyline didn’t end at the Season 3 finale. It was much better than the resolution we finally got.

  9. Sura says:

    I love how Heller says he’s not going to break the “iron truths” of the mythology, yet he has a young Selina Kyle acting like a “cat”. In the mythology that most people are familiar with Selina Kyle doesn’t become Catwoman until she’s an adult, and she wasn’t a confident person unil she had her transformation (for lack of a better way of describing it).

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