Set in a crime-ridden city that’s seen better days, Gotham follows the adventures of Detective Jim Gordon (Ben Mckenzie), as he joins the Gotham police department and attempts to clean up the streets.
Partnered with disreputable cop Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), Gordon must contend with villains like gangster Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett-Smith) and psychopath Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), whilst attempting to help an orphaned young boy named Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz).
Ah, you got me – despite its police procedural facade the big sell of Gotham is its connection to the superhero Batman, immortalised in comics and films for decades.
There’s no sign of the caped crusader yet, as his alter-ego Bruce Wayne is only about 12 and the series takes place a few years before he decided pointy ears and capes were a really rad look – but young Master Wayne is a central character in the series.
For now, it’s all about Batman’s home city Gotham itself, a sort of municipal origin story – how a city got so bad that it needed a billionaire to dress up like a flying rodent and punch criminals in the face.
The key moment from Batman’s classic origin – how his parents were gunned down in an alley by a mugger – takes place in the first episode, but the ongoing investigation has been elevated into a series arc, alongside week-by-week crimes for Gordon and Bullock to solve (which may include references to future Batman characters themselves).
Are other iconic Batman characters in it?
Sure – avian villain The Penguin (played by Robin Lord Taylor) has a large role, although at this point he’s still going by the name Oswald Cobblepot, and his more outrageous accoutrements (e.g. penguin-shaped submarine, umbrella gun, bird robots) are yet to come.
There’s also a young Catwoman, while Poison Ivy and quiz-themed baddie the Riddler (currently a police scientist) put in a few appearances too. Read our extensive guide to the Gotham characters here, or you can see a few of them in this short trailer from Channel 5:
Why should I watch it?
If you’re a fan of Batman, crime procedurals or Ryan from The OC getting into fights, then Gotham is worth checking out for the next few weeks.
You know where to find it – same Bat-time, same Bat-channel….