DC Comics’ animated series Harley Quinn lands on E4 tonight, putting an entirely new spin on classic characters from the Batman mythos.
The Big Bang Theory‘s Kaley Cuoco lends her voice to the zany antihero, as she breaks free of the Joker once and for all to follow her dream of becoming the world’s most fearsome super villain.
Fans of the comic books can expect cameos from some of DC’s biggest names as well as certain characters from the fringes, as teased by writer and producer Patrick Schumacker in an interview with RadioTimes.com.
“We wrote 26 episodes of the show and, within those 26 episodes, there was not a single character that went unused that we wanted to use,” he said. “You’re going to see all of the classic big bads of the Batman universe, so Penguin, Two Face, Bane and Riddler.”
Schumacker continued: “We quickly expand the villain universe beyond Gotham City, because one of the aspirations that Harley has during the season is to get noticed by the Legion of Doom, which is veneration for what she’s trying to achieve – it would be like getting a call-up from Manchester United.”
Feel free to substitute your chosen football team into that analogy, but you get the idea.
Viewers should be warned that Harley Quinn is not for kids, featuring strong language and graphic violence from the very beginning, but Schumacker and his team had to ensure the reputation of DC’s famous heroes went untarnished.
He said: “Superman has to remain a pure hero, Batman has to remain a pure hero. You can’t go and make the Justice League villains, you can’t recalibrate their morality.
“So we tried to find ways to make them funny… For instance, Batman is sort of the straight man, the wet blanket, the humourless foil to Harley’s prankster, which you see from the pilot.”
Suffice to say, the anarchic world of Harley Quinn is a far cry from the cosy comfort of The Big Bang Theory, which is partly why Kaley Cuoco found the series so appealing.
She came on board after a two-hour meeting with Schumacker, where they discussed the character and her new direction in the series.
He added: “Most of it was just how excited Kaley was at the opportunity to do this departure from The Big Bang Theory, where she was this very nice mid-western girl, to be this supervillain and to do this kind of comedy by way of Quentin Tarantino, in terms of the violence at least.
“It was clear that she would be able to capture Harley’s manic quality… I think Kaley was so on board with going nuts in the recording booth, maybe it was cathartic for her or something.”
Harley Quinn premieres on Thursday 7th May on E4 at 10:30pm