At first glance one may be forgiven in thinking Gotham was just another cop show. With the classic trope of the grizzled old veteran cop, Det. Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) paired with a not quite fresh but still new and (sort of) by the book rookie, Det. James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) tackling mobsters, murderers and general scum of the earth you may be forgiven in thinking “why bother?” when there are so many other cop shows out there.
Why Indeed? Jim Gordon and the Gotham universe of course. Gotham centres around a young Jim Gordon and in the first episode they start where many Batman affiliated storylines start, with the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents. This quickly escalates into a who’s who of some well known Batman characters in their younger years including Selina Kyle (Catwoman), Edward Nygma (The Riddler) and Oswald Cobblepot (Penguin). Then there is Sean Pertwee’s Alfred. I was looking forward to this casting and with what little we have seen of him to date on screen I was not disappointed.
There is a new character introduced to the DC Universe in the shape of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Fish Mooney. Mooney is a powerful and ball-busting, largish sized fish in the Gotham pond with Crime Boss Falcone as the shark. She is not afraid to get her hands dirty as evidenced by the fact that the first time we meet her she was ensuring an employee caught stealing is making fast friends with a baseball bat. One could draw comparisons with Gail of Sin CIty and that’s not a bad thing.
Whilst the storyline for the first episode is nothing overly new and groundbreaking it did allow the introduction of various characters, old and new, to the audience. The sensation is akin to putting on a comfortable glove again. DC has, in general, been stronger than Marvel in respect of television shows (if we ignore the first few seasons of Smallville) whilst Marvel dominated in the movie market. The trend seems to be ongoing with Gotham. The performances from Logue and Mckenzie have been solid and enough has been set up in the storyline to keep us curious as to what is coming next as we see Cobblepot start to transform into the Penguin that we all know.