Tonight, Gotham Season 3 begins. As we saw from last season’s finale, Professor Hugo Strange’s monsters are on the loose and it seems like the Gotham PD is going to spend a lot of time trying to haul them all back in. It’s a change of direction for a show that spent the first two seasons dealing with mobsters, ancients cults and psychos. However, showrunners are excited for the journey into the sci-fi realm.
So far, Gotham has done an amazing job at setting up a dark and grizzled world. Characters like Oswald Cobblepot, Fish Mooney and Carmine Falcone got the ball rolling in Season One. By season two, Edward Nigma, Theo Galavan and The Maniax (led by possible future “Joker” Jerome) extended the villains’ reach into the city. Executive Producer Ken Woodruff spoke to The Hollywood Reporter and revealed that, yes, the villains are crucial to the show’s success, but there’s another “character” that the show truly revolves around.
“The whole idea is you show how a city like Gotham, which is the title character in a lot of ways, how a city turns dark and how a city enables villains and supervillains to exist. We’re telling this story of how that crazy world that Batman exists in came to be, not just these individual villains that also make our world.”
One of the best parts about watching Gotham is never knowing who you can trust. At one point, Jerome seemed like a good guy, until he turned into a psycho doing a Joker impression. Countless other characters have gone through the same progression (and others will as season three progresses), but they were all grounded nut-jobs. Now thanks to Hugo Strange, new characters – complete with new powers – can cause chaos within city limits.
“The last season was really an attempt to say, this is how supervillains exist; this is why. They didn’t just pop into being, they were birthed out of Indian Hill and some of the things that were going on in the city at the time. That was always the goal. And how it changes the show going forward is that we can still always pull from that Carmine Falcone mobster, more gritty, noir-ish world to tell stories, but we can also have this new element of Man Bat or Firefly or Mr. Freeze and the technology that surrounds that. We just have a bigger canvas to paint from, basically.”
The show has already delivered a bucket-load of familiar faces from the Batman mythos. Riddler, Penguin, Two-Face, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Clayface, and so many others have already caused headaches for James Gordon and the rest of the GCPD. A new season brings plenty of new faces, and one new introduction has the showrunners giddy with excitement.
“We started diving into the character of the Mad Hatter and the actor that we cast [The Walking Dead’s Benedict Samuel], and we wanted to spend more time with him. We were really intrigued with how he’s not just a villain who blows stuff up. He’s a villain who can actually needle into the psyche and the emotional space of our heroes.”
The Mad Hatter could become a major factor in the first half of Gotham‘s third season. Samuel’s performance has apparently been so good, the show changed the season’s tagline. Gone is the “Heroes Will Fall” mantra, and instead the first few episodes will fly under the “Mad City” banner. So don’t expect Gordon to completely go off the reservation early on, but know the challenges the GCPD face this season will rival anything we’ve seen so far.
“The idea and notion of heroes falling is the bigger thing that we’re accomplishing for the season as a whole. If last season was about, ‘How did supervillains come into existence,’ then this season is about the other half of that, which is not only ‘Do you need supervillains to exist for a city to fall,’ but also. ‘You need your heroes to fall.’ That can mean either they die, they’re killed, or they’re disfigured or rendered incapable of helping, or they turn into villains themselves. That’s a bigger theme for us for the whole season, but in terms of the immediate first 11, Mad City makes sense. There are literally monsters running around.”
Monsters and Psychos and Mobsters… oh, my!!! For any Batman fan, watching Gotham is a must. However, if you’re finally considering watching the series, now is the perfect point to jump in. It’s a fresh start for Gotham, bringing monsters and mayhem into the fold. So, set your DVR’s for 8 P.M. tonight for the kickoff of Gotham‘s season three.