Can Gotham buck the trend for hyped shows?

Last updated 13:04 28/02/2014

You would have thought that after nearly four decades of watching television I'd have learned not to get too caught in the hype.

Time and time again eagerly anticipated television shows (I'm looking at you in particular Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) arrive on our screens and are a poor relation to what was promised.

But despite this I'm still ridiculously excited about the prospect of Gotham - the television show that will show how a young Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon became the men we know them today.

Throw in the origin stories of classic DC Comics bad guys like the Penguin and you have a potential for genius.

Traditionally these shows have been relatively good - once Smallville got out of the 'freak of the week' issues of the first couple of seasons it turned into an excellent show for a couple of years before fading badly.

And Arrow has taken one of the less-fashionable superheroes of our ages and made him relevant and interesting again.

The potential with Gotham is clearly increased by the quality of films featuring the Dark Knight over the last few years. While The Dark Knight Rises cleary had some faults - the least of which was Bane's imcomprehensability - the trilogy by Chris Nolan was stunning.

Unfortunately none of those deeply involved in that trilogy will be involved with Gotham, but I'd be surprised if they didn't use the tone and feel of those films to influence how they play Gotham.

I'm guessing what I'm saying is it's more likely to be a dark show with occasional humour than a rip-off of the wonderfully camp 1960s television show and film ("Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!").

The cast announced so far has been equally intriguing. 

Southland alum Ben McKenzie will play James Gordon. If you haven't seen McKenzie in Southland then you've missed a treat. Gritty just doesn't describe that show or its standard of acting adequately.

Sean Pertwee, son of former Doctor Who Jon, will play Alfred Pennyworth - but instead of the bumbling idiot of the past, Alfred will be a former marine who will protect the young Bruce Wayne after the death of his parents.

Throw in the always awesome Donal Logue (Sons of Anarchy, Life) as Detective Harvey Bullock, Gordon's (surprise, surprise) 'rough-around-the-edges' partner and mentor (no-one does rough-around-the-edges as well as Logue) and Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney, a sadistic gangland boss, and it's looking impressive.

However there are things that can go wrong...

Fox won the rights to this show and will debut it sometime in the 2014/2015 television season.

However they don't have the best of claims when it comes to dealing with quality television series.

They're the ones who cancelled the wonderful Firefly after a single season and then spent so much time messing around with the first six episodes of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse show that people turned off before it got really good.

They're also the network that gave a full-season pick up to Dads, the single-handed worst sitcom of all time, so much so that it's actually offensive.

And Glee has officially been renewed for a sixth season despite anyone who cared actually stopping watching in the third season.

The other major worry for me is creator Bruno Heller and executive producer Danny Cannon.

Heller co-created Rome which was pretty good but didn't last too long. He also helms The Mentalist, which I enjoyed to start with but descended into boring, seen this before weekly storylines while the Red John bigger picture moved along too slowly.

By the middle of the third season I was out and ready for something else.

Cannon's record is even worse. He directed the original Judge Dredd, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, and Goal!

And his television history is even worse - he directed a pilot called Capital Law, co-created Dark Blue and produced and directed the pilot for Alcatraz.

Oops, not exactly a stellar career there, Danny boy!

Still, not even they could screw up a television show set in the Batman universe, can they?

Let's hope not, because if they do then I'll be going all Joker on someone's ass!

What do you think? Are you looking forward to Gotham? Or does it fail to excite?

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