Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Hollywood Babble On & On #1074: Commissioner Gordon- The Series?

The Fox Network has inked a series commitment deal with DC/Warner Television for Gotham, a series set in the titular fictional city made famous by a certain dark knight named Batman.

Now the series, developed by Mentalist creator Bruno Heller, won't feature Batman. But will centre on a detective James Gordon as he and other cops battle the city's assorted madmen and masked villains and rise up the ranks to the post of Commissioner.

Both DC and Fox TV are hoping to cash in the hype surrounding rival Marvel's Agents of SHIELD which premiered last night. So let's take a minute to look at the PROS & CONS!!


1. COMMISSIONER GORDON: Jim Gordon was often relegated as just the exposition guy, telling Batman where there was trouble and who was behind it. However since the 1980s he's been given more of a backstory, and became a more interesting and human character.

2. DRAMATIC POTENTIAL: Gotham is a great setting with great potential. It's a great city besieged by crime, both normal and abnormal, as well gangsterism and public corruption. It's a city beset with moral malaise where decent men have to struggle to maintain their humanity.

3. DRAMATIS PERSONAE: Gotham also has a wealth of interesting characters from the comics that aren't super villains. From bad/good cop Harvey Bullock, police officer Renee Montoya, District Attorney Harvey Dent, and the characters from the cult comic Gotham Central

If the people running the show know and appreciate these creations, they can use them and bring their potential to the screen.


1. NO BATMAN: Some may hold not having Batman in the show against it and won't give the show a chance, regardless of quality.

2. NEED BATMAN?: Let's say the show does succeed. It runs seven years where Gordon and his associates successfully fights off the fiends both normal and freakish from destroying the city. Where does this leave Batman, will the city still need him? Will the writers contrive a horrible setback suffered by Gordon and his team that makes Batman necessary?

3. NETWORK & STUDIO: While the show has great potential, it also has tremendous potential to get screwed royally by the network and the studio. You never know what management will do and having a comic book company, a major studio and a network involved creates such pitfalls by the power of three. They might forbid the show from using ANY of the villains, or supporting characters from the Gotham/Batman canon, they could cast a completely inappropriate vapid pretty-boy for the lead, or a million other things you can't imagine because you're not a Hollywood executive with a compelling need to meddle.

Those are the pros and cons I thought of, what pros and cons can you think of?


  1. I get the feeling that DC/WB is trying to catch up with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..

  2. No batman, no interest. It's just a TV cop show that won't draw adults because it's animated.

  3. Adapting GOTHAM CENTRAL would have been the better idea. Hell, go all out and get Bryan Cranston for Gordon if they did that. Perfect for Gordon. He voiced him in a animed film already, but he'd make a perfect live action as well.Batman would be a ghost in the series. Quick glimpses of somethimg moving in the shadows. Gordon talking to a shadow in the darkness. Plus the side character like Bullock and Montoya make for a diverse cast of complex and interesting people, and they aren't all supermodels which would be the big plus. As it is, it could be fun if done right. I don't expect great things though. Definitly a missed opportunity for greatness if they F'd it up.

  4. I haven't seen anything that says it will be animated. I believe it's going to be live action.

  5. Yeah, they'll have to do it like a lot of shows recently with each season building towards something.

    So like season 1 would be introducing Gordon, maybe a certain fellow known as "Bruce Wayne" who Gordon runs into, we see things build and build until finale: Bam! Batman!

    Then next season would have to be Gordon "fighting" (in a metaphorical sense) the Batman and the city's other crime too. So on and so on.

    They should use Batman like a movie monster: you never see him, only glimpses or aftermaths until the very end (I mean season 7). Joker should be the final season problem/antagonist (a 22 episode long Dark Knight).

    What I'm saying is they need to have a plan adapting the current story structure of TV. At the end of a season, a major plot thread is resolved and another one started. Heck they could even structure around it where each season we see not just the rise of Gordon, but the rise of one of Batman's rogues into forces that require the Batman. That's my opinion anyway.

  6. Sandy Petersen9/10/13 5:49 pm

    Personally I would RATHER see costumed supervillains take on a city without the lame-ass costumed superheroes posturing to stop them. Yes this includes Batman. Perhaps I am just not the right audience for comic stuff.