Fox was given the opportunity to present and alternate origin story for Batman, The Caped Crusader, that used elements of the DC comic book franchise to expand the range and influence of its top supporting characters. Devoid of the burden of showing Batman and the Joker as adult enemies, the series cast Ben McKenzie (The OC) as James Gordon, pre-commisioner years, as the main character. We are shown the trials and tribulations of his pre commissioner years including how he meets and influences Bruce Wayne and the Gotham villains.
What makes the series unique is that Jim meets Bruce Wayne many year before he picks up The Dark Knight mantle. Vowing to figure out who killed Martha and Thomas Wayne, Gordon becomes a mentor and friend to the young orphan and his butler Alfred Pennyworth. Together they get caught in a web of crime, deceit and political misconduct that threatens both Bruce’s and Gotham’s safety. The classic villains are all younger and greener than the comic book representations and feature The Penguin, The Riddler, Fish Mooney (played by Jada Pinkett Smith) and Falcone amongst others. For season 3 they add The Mad Hatter to the mix that had recently introduced Dr Hugo Strange and Bruce Wayne’s clone. In this incarnation Poison Ivy and Catwoman are teenagers so they jury is still out on how they will turn out. Selina Kyle is portrayed as Bruce’s love interest and friend although the romance is still not quite there, yet.
Fans of the comics may not necessarily fall in love withthese characters but it is worth a try to watch a few episodes to make up your own mind. It can be slow at times but if you hold on they make it worth your while. Morena Baccarin starts to show up mid first season as Dr Leigh Thompson, much needed eye candy in the middle of all the drama and darkness of the city. She eventually becomes one of the many lovers of officer Gordon, and boy do they deliver. Her off screen love affair with Ben McKenzie produced a daughter, and the pregnancy was written into the series.
This romance is one of the departures from the comics and can have hardcore fans all miffed. The intent is to bring the DC content to the masses so expect some creative license twists and turns, including sex scenes and unlikely hook ups from time to time. As an alternate reality it does not attempt to retcon history so don’t expect it to match future comic book editions either. Binge on Fox on Demand and catch up with Season 3 Mondays at 8pm.