Preview: Television to get more “super” this fall
DC Comics is currently planning a “Justice League” film, but two of it’s members will be getting their own TV shows this fall, with the debuts of Batman prequel “Gotham” (Premiering September 22nd) on FOX and “The Flash”. (Premiering October 7th on CW) with these two new additions on the schedule, Television will be getting more super, with these two shows joining the current crop of superhero shows, “Marvel’s Agents of Shield”, and “Arrow”.
In this, the year of Batman’s 75th anniversary of his original comic book debut, the successful franchise will get a new spin.
“Gotham”, which will air in the slot preceding the second season of last year’s hit “Sleepy Hollow”, is set in the Batman universe but won’t feature Batman at all. Sort of. It will feature the character of Batman’s secret identity Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) as a young boy, before he became Batman.
The series main focus will be on Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) long before he becomes Police Commissioner. When we first meet Gordon in the series pilot, he is a new cop on the beat in Gotham City, paired with hardboiled, possibly corrupt Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue).
When Wayne’s parents are killed, Gordon is on the case to solve the crime and forms an unlikely friendship with young Bruce.
During his investigation, Gordon is pitted against the ruthless and seductive gang boss Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) and her henchman Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) who eventually becomes the super villain The Penguin.
A lot of characters we’ll meet on “Gotham” will be future Batman villains. Over the course of the series, we’ll learn how they become villains. For example, The Gotham Police Department’s forensic scientist Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) speaks in sort of cryptic language, and has a penchant for riddles. We also meet a 14 year old cat loving, pick pocket named Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) who will become Catwoman.
The new series will also eventually feature the origins of other future Batman villains such as The Joker, Two-Face, The Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, and Dr. Hugo Strange.
As for Batman’s superhero companion The Flash, his new show is a spin-off of hit show “Arrow” and stars Grant Gustin, who first appeared as The Flash’s alter-ego Barry Allen in the middle of season two of Arrow.
Barry Allen is an assistant police forensic investigator who wakes from a nine month coma and discovers he has the power of super human speed. He takes on the identity of The Flash and defends Central City from the forces of evil.
This isn’t the first time The Flash, who first made his comic book debut in 1956, has appeared on prime time. Another Flash series debuted in September 1990 on Thursday nights on CBS, but was up against stiff competition from “The Simpsons” on FOX and “The Cosby Show” on NBC, and was cancelled after only one season.
John Wesley Shipp, who played Barry Allen/The Flash on that series, will have a recurring role on the new series as Barry’s father Henry. The character Oliver Queen/Arrow (Stephen Amell) will make an appearance in the first episode.
Will these two new shows become long running hits or, borrowing from fellow Justice Member Superman, will they met their ultimate match in the form of television network Kryptonite known as Cancellation?
To find out, tune in, same time, same channel.
Special Fall TV Preview by Chuck Brutz for Pennsylvania Bridges