Television Review – Gotham 2014 Pilot episode


Since the trailer aired four months ago, I’ve been counting down the days until the pilot episode aired. Simply because we knew so little about the show. We knew that it was going to have a selection of everyone’s favourite villains from the DC universe, and show us where they came from. But the big question was, how are they going to manage to work a Batman show, without it being about Batman?

The Gotham pilot aired and I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m a massive comic book film/TV fan and having watched others (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” and “Arrow”) this certainly feels that it can run for a full season without the risk of getting cancelled and go on to having a second and third. Trying to keep this as spoiler free as possible. We’re introduced to a wide variety of characters. Some might argue “too many” for you to remember them all, but if you’re familiar with basic Batman character knowledge, you already know who the main characters are, and therefore you only need to remember a handful of others.

The main story seems to be following Detective Jim Gordon, going through the ranks of the police department to inevitably the position of commissioner. But as we see from early in the episode, there will be many obstacles in his way, one of the toughest being how corrupt the police department and the city is. Luckily for people who do want to see Batman, Bruce Wayne is still in the show and he looks like he will be still quite a big character, even though he isn’t in this episode too much.

Included in the other familiar characters introduced to us are Selina Kyle/Catwoman (We’re never given her name but it’s obvious this is her), Edward Nigma/The Riddler who currently works in a forensics lab but is already showing his quirky style in the short time we see him. Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin is also introduced and from the second we see him, you can see he has a screw loose. Finally we have Alfred Pennyworth, who I was surprised to see played in the style he is. Instead of what we’re used to (Prim and proper) we get a more rough around the edges type character who seems a little too over protective of Bruce. For me, he could be the gem of this show, depending on how much we see of him.

Overall I felt this was a strong pilot for the show and the only issue I really had was an unnecessary camera angle (Close in on Jim Gordon’s face while he’s running to make it look more intense) that I hope they don’t continue with. The casting for the show was done really well, from Ben McKenzie (As Jim Gordon) to Sean Pertwee (As Alfred) as they were all convincing in their respective roles. Looking at the episode names to follow (Episode two titled “Selina Kyle”), it looks like they’re going to be focusing mainly on one character at a time for their development which should work extremely well until we have familiarized ourselves with how they all fit in. I for one cannot wait for the next episode to air.

Kris Wall

Genre:Crime, Televison Channel: Channel 5 Episode Date: 13th October 2014 Cast: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Sean Pertwee, David Mazouz, Richard Kind