The answer to the question “just how many Batman characters can Gotham cram into its first season” continues to become a larger number. Joining the ranks of The Riddler, Penguin, Two Face, The Electrocutioner and more, The Joker will be making an appearance before the show’s first season concludes in the next few months. Who he will actually be, or how he will be introduced, is still up in the air, but executive producer Bruno Heller confirmed that he will show his face in some form or another.
Heller’s initial idea, as he told TVGuide.com, was to wait for a while before introducing Batman’s most well-known villain to the show, but those plans of changed. Most likely this change is a symptom of Fox extending the show from 16 episodes to 22 episodes.
“We’ve said you’re going to be waiting a bit longer for it, but this is America — nobody wants to wait,” Heller tells TVGuide.com with a laugh. “So, we will scratch the surface of that story, yes. But just scratch it — a little tap on the door.”
Heller said previously in an interview with EW that Gotham has purposefully “front-loaded” the show with iconic Batman characters for story and marketing purposes, and that still appears to be the case – even as the first season heads into its 14th episode.
We had to let people know it’s not just a hum-drum police procedural, it’s about these larger than life characters. If you do that you can’t just say, ‘Here’s one larger-than-life character, now wait for next season.’ Once we introduced those initial characters—Penguin, Riddler, Ivy, Selina—then we’ve slowed down with those aspects and we’re bringing in those iconic D.C characters in a much more measured way, which was always the intention. You have to have that amount of spice in the show to make it pop and different. Once the wheels are turning, it’s much easier to bring those characters in in subtle, organic ways. That’s the plan, anyway.
So far in its first season Gotham has already proved that it is not sticking to the established Batman timeline entirely. Harvey Dent’s brief appearance had him closer to the age of Jim Gordon, which would make him much older than adult Bruce Wayne when the two meet later on. As well, serial killer assassin Victor Zsasz shows up in the world of Gotham much sooner than he should compared to his place in the Batman universe. So what The Joker’s role in the city of Gotham – as well as when and where he appears – is a complete mystery.
How the villains are portrayed so far has varied from villain to villain. Penguin has been played fantastically by Robin Lord Taylor, while The Riddler has been little more than a weak caricature played by Cory Michael Smith.
One of Batman’s other iconic villains, Dr. Jonathan “Scarecrow” Crane, is making his debut in tonight’s episode, and Robin’s parents are expected to show up at some point before the first season ends. There are still eight episodes left (counting tonight’s), so the show has plenty of time to introduce The Joker and however many other big names it wants before the season ends.
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Last Updated on January 12, 2019.