On May 5, 2014, Fox television officially announced that it was ordering a season of the television series Gotham. This series revolves around a young Jim Gordon, best known as Commissioner Gordon in the various Batman properties. It is essentially a prequel to the many movies and comic book adaptations of the Batman story and one of the many DC comic book series that is or has been turned into a television series in recent years. Despite being a DC property, this is unlikely to be like any of the previous or current DC series. You should not expect to see any of the following in Gotham.
Smallville – Smallville was incredibly successful, lasting 10 full seasons. Despite this, Gotham is unlikely to be anything like it. The town of Smallville exists in the comic book universe to help forge the high ideals of Superman. But that same concept doesn’t work for Batman. His initial fire is forged in a single incident, which will be dramatized in the pilot episode, but his path to becoming Batman is forged in other countries, under various masters, where he trains in secret. This will be a story about Gordon’s path towards the present much less than it will be about Bruce Wayne’s path.
Costumes – The lore for the DC universe is quite clear. Batman appeared first and then the wackos started coming out of the woodwork. In fact, Batman helped create a significant number of his villains and almost all took the cue from him to start wearing costumes. Oh, you will see younger versions of these future adversaries, but not in costume, and definitely not performing the kind of acts that will eventually get them thrown in Arkham Asylum.
Action – The creators of Gotham made a very significant decision. Jim Gordon is a detective when the Waynes are murdered, not a uniformed officer. By making this decision, the writers are moving the series away from an action oriented series like Arrow or Flash. Instead this will almost certainly be a procedural drama. It will certainly have flashes of action, like any good procedural drama, but you shouldn’t expect flashy fights that are common in the other DC television series.
Acknowledgement of Other Franchises – Smallville practically introduced the entire Justice League before it was finished and Arrow has already spun-off The Flash, but Gotham isn’t likely to even mention other heroes. For one thing, it is in an earlier time period than the other current DC properties. But, more importantly, the Batman property is too conceptually isolated. Gotham City doesn’t really work when more powerful heroes come to town, because the story of the city is essentially one that requires that everyone involved in it accepts the grim reality of the city for what it is. This is why Superman / Batman crossovers in the comic books almost always occur outside of Gotham. The easiest way to avoid crossovers is for the series to simply treat Gotham City like it is the only city that exists in the world.