Gotham: Season 1 (Blu-ray) – Series Review
Follow Genre: Drama, Crime, Thriller
Distributor: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Episodes: 22
Duration: 44 min (per episode)

Gotham: Season 1 (Blu-ray) – Series Review

Site Score
Good: Great 'origin' story, Acting performances, Subtle winks to many characters
Bad: Doesn't follow the original story when it comes to a lot of characters
User Score
(3 votes)
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Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)

We all know the original tale of Bruce Wayne and how he became Batman, one of the most beloved vigilantes. The tragic death of both his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne, has scarred Bruce, but also made him become the feared superhero that gets rid of all the criminals who roam the streets of Gotham city. Nonetheless, we never get the chance to actually see Bruce grow up and become the man he is ‘today’. Thanks to Gotham, we see Bruce growing up, but more importantly we see how Jim Gordon, one of the only righteous policemen in Gotham, started his own campaign of cleaning up the city. Sadly, during this period many of the renowned villains started coming into the picture as well, be it when they were still young or already had some experience under their belt.


After a fun night out the Wayne family strolls down the dark streets of Gotham city, only to reminisce about the pleasant evening they had. Sadly, the family of three is surprised by a mugger, who seemingly only wants cash. Even though Thomas Wayne decides to listen to the command of the thug, the criminal still isn’t happy before the two adults are turned into lifeless bodies. Bruce (David Mazouz) gets spared, but is scarred by the tragedy of seeing his parents murdered before his very eyes. In the shadows a young Catwoman, Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova), witnessed the gruesome murder as well and she will surely be of importance later, when she actually decides to help other people.

James Gordon (Ben McKenzie), a new detective in the Gotham City Police Department arrives on the scene and due to his curiosity, he gets charged with the case of finding the murderers of the Waynes. This is not well received by his partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), who rather stays low, especially in high priority cases. Bullock, compared to Gordon, is a cop who normally does not do his stuff by the book and for this case it seems to be his approach once again. He has a good understanding with one of the local figureheads of one of the mafia dons that run the city. He visits Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), who runs one of Don Carmine Falcone’s (John Doman) clubs and tells James that they need some private time in order to work things out. James immediately knows that the club is not kosher but hesitantly agrees, especially due to the screams coming out back. He decides to investigate and sees Fish’s henchmen beat up one of Mooney’s ‘disloyal’ employees. James, as righteous as he is, tells them to stop or face the consequences. Nonetheless, there is not much he can do, but when he notices that the deal between Harvey and Fish turns out to be an idle attempt of framing someone else for the Wayne murders, James decides that he will bring every criminal to justice.


Due to his approach he gets in the way of the mafia that runs the city, mainly Don Falcone. Due to this, Falcone offers him a deal: Kill Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), the future penguin, or be killed. Even though James is in quite the predicament, he still upholds his ideal of justice and ‘fakes’ killing the penguin, which will come back to haunt him later on, whilst sometimes offering comfort and some extra information. When the city notices that James will become a liability, it seems the war of good versus evil has already commenced, even without the help of Batman.

Whilst the series features a young Bruce Wayne and his trustworthy butler Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee), it’s James and Harvey who will eventually do most of the crime solving work, to clean up the city, one corrupt citizen at a time. It mainly shows the evolution of the ‘old’ James Gordon we know from the series or the movies, that cleaned up most of the GCPD.

On the other hand, we see the forming of ‘The Penguin’, one of the biggest criminal masterminds from the Batman universe, even though he does not quite resemble the ugly being we know. Instead of being a disfigured man, who actually looks like a penguin, we are offered a young, weird looking man with a limp, who has earned him the birdlike nickname due to his handicap. Nonetheless, it’s enjoyable to see that this man is truly a mastermind in many ways.


Whilst we have never seen a kidlike Bruce, he does his part quite well and it truly feels like a child from a well behaved upbringing is capable of opening a new world, albeit a very grim one. Supporting him is Alfred who, unlike in the movies, is a lot younger and a particularly good fighter, that will fend off all those who are after Bruce. Without spoiling too much about everyone’s personality and how they evolve, you’ll be delighted to know that the series will also have a lot of subtle winks to many of the famous characters that are featured in the other Batman movies and comics.

The pace of the series might be slower than the action flicks that are often related to the Batman franchise, as this is mainly a detective series and a diverging origin story of many of the characters we have seen on so many occasions. That being said, most of the 22 episodes can be viewed fairly separately, although it is advised to keep track of the thread that runs through all of the episodes.

Acting performances are simply topnotch, even if you consider that some very young actors are in the lead of this series. We all know that ‘child/teen’ actors aren’t always that experienced or that enjoyable to watch. Nonetheless, David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova certainly steal the show when they get their screen time. Donal Logue and Ben McKenzie portray the ideal married-couple-police-partner duo and they also show that they are able to truly make their character evolve over the episodes of the first season. Robin Lord Taylor makes us forget about the original penguin (albeit not completely) and shows us that the villain we have seen so many times can also be portrayed in a different fashion.


The Blu-ray edition of the first season offers ample extras for those who wish to learn more about this series. Certainly a fun way of spending your time after watching all of the episodes, awaiting the second season. Of course, typical things like ‘deleted scenes’ or ‘gag reels’ can be found upon the Blu-ray set.


Gotham Season 1 offers us a glimpse into the heads of many of the famous characters that roam throughout the Batman universe. Nonetheless, these characters might not always resemble those we’ve come to see on many occasions, but on the other hand it shows us a great interpretation of how the lives of many character could have started off. Toss in a great well-known storyline, as well as top notch acting performances and you’ve got yourself a great series to watch. It seems the DC universe is still expanding with every release they make and truth be told, we hope to see even more releases such as this one.


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Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)
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Gotham: Season 1 (Blu-ray) - Series Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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