'Gotham' | EW.com

TV

'Gotham'

Ben McKenzie, Sean Pertwee, and Jada Pinkett Smith star in Fox's upcoming series about the notoriously troubled city

Take a chaotic 1970s New York, add a gothic layer of heightened comic-book style, mix up all the cars, architecture, and props so you can’t quite peg the time period, and then you have something close to Fox’s version of Gotham City on this Batman-free Batman prequel series. ”The lead of the show is the city, and it’s falling apart and corrupt,” explains director-exec producer Danny Cannon (Nikita). ”The genesis is, What would a criminal do if he thought he could get away with pretty much anything?” Gotham introduces nascent villains such as the Penguin (here a lowly henchman who holds his trademark umbrella to keep his boss dry in the rain) and the Riddler (a socially awkward police forensic tech) and details their rise to power. Standing in opposition: Det. James Gordon (Ben McKenzie), lacking Batman’s gadgets and saddled with a partner (Donal Logue) whose motivations are unclear. ”[Gordon] is strong and smart and tough,” McKenzie says, ”but he’s going to make wrong decisions and trust the wrong people.”