If Not Gotham We Might Have Had a Show With Batman
Come with me on a journey through the Trousers of Time, to the parallel universe in which we got a different Batman-based network drama and it actually had Batman in it, but was also just kinda weird.
Filmmaker Harry Locke IV has been talking to fan site Voices From Krypton this week about the pitch he was preparing for Warner Bros. right up until they revealed that they had their own Batman show in mind. While Locke admits that he hadn’t managed to get a meeting with the WB before their announcement (perhaps because of it) this wasn’t entirely a pie-in-the-sky endeavor. He’d been joined in his efforts by “an experienced showrunner who had worked on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.”
So what does this mysterious alternate reality in which Locke’s pitch got approved and made hold for us? A Batman show, with Batman, but focusing instead of the regular citizens of Gotham, and with a female character in the lead. Locke says his show would have concerned the life of Olivia Sage, a college student returning home to Gotham after the brutal killing of her younger sister, burning with anger at a system (and a superhero, presumably) who let her family down. While the show as it would have been pitched contained many connections to minor canonical figures in Batman lore (Vicky Vale’s intern, Carmine Falcone’s teenage son) it’s firmly built on a core cast of original characters and is set in a Gotham where Batman and his rogue’s gallery is decently established, setting it apart significantly from Gotham.
While I’ll be the first to say that a direct Gotham Central adaptation, in which Batman appears for only a couple “panels” per story arc, would make great television, I’d also be the first to point out that it might not make very popular television. Of course, Gotham‘s taken criticism for exactly the opposite problem: it’s involving too many canonical characters and calling out barely-at-all-veiled references to them left and right. Somewhere in the middle seems like a good place to put a show about Batman that can’t actually be about Batman.
What do you guys think? Is Locke’s show something you would have wanted instead of Gotham?