“Gotham,” a new series for the Fox Network, has been greenlit and will be showing up on the small screen for the fall of 2014. The best way to describe it is a Batman series that takes place before Batman.
Indeed the series looks like a cop show featuring a young detective by the name of James Gordon, the future Police Commissioner Gordon when the Dark Knight prowls the rooftops and streets of Gotham City as a nightmare for evil doers. A 12-year-old Bruce Wayne shows up in the trailer, shortly after the iconic incident in which his parents are killed in front of him that set him on the path to become Batman. There is also some promise to see the origin stories of the famous Batman super villains including the Penguin, Catwoman, and the Riddler.
Batman has had a storied history on the small and big screens, starting with a 1960s TV series starring Adam West as the cape crusader that focused more on camp than anything else. Tim Burton directed a series of Batman films started in 1989 that starred Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, and then George Clooney. Christopher Nolan directed Christian Bale in a trilogy of Batman movies that emphasized the “dark knight” aspects of the character.
The cop show is one of the oldest genres on TV and the longest lasting. There are endless variations of the theme, some light-hearted and whimsical, some grim. It looks like “Gotham” is going to be one of the latter, with Detective Gordon investigating the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents. How the super hero/super villain element is going to be introduced remains to be seen. It also remains to be seen what if any other elements of the DC Comics universe will come into play.
It is certain that even in its pre-Batman days, the streets of Gotham City will be dark and dangerous indeed, enough hopefully to carry the series for some time to come.