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Review: ‘Gotham’ Season 5 Episode 1 – “Year Zero”
Writer: John Stephens
Director: Danny Cannon
Starring: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, Jessica Lucas & Chris Chalk
Review by Steve J. Ray The moment that fans of Gotham have been waiting for (and dreading in equal measure) has arrived. The final season of the show is here, and if the rest of the series is of a similar quality to the opening episode, then we’re all for a treat. It’s Year Zero in Gotham City.
Season four ended with a bang… quite literally. The machinations of Ra’s Al Ghul and Jeremiah Valeska led to the government abandoning Gotham City, blowing up the bridges and tunnels, and leaving the citizens of Gotham cut off from the mainland.
No Man’s Land
I decided to re-watch the pilot episode before embarking upon the swan-song season of this hugely underrated series… and I’m glad that I did. Danny Cannon directed both episodes, and the parallels between the two – as well as the differences – helped highlight what I love about this show. Sadly though, they also reminded me of everything I’m going to miss.
Gotham has always been the “Red headed step-child” of the DC Comics based T.V. shows. For some reason it has always divided audiences; even die-hard Bat-fans either love it or hate it. After watching the pilot again I can see some of the reasons why. The show works best grounded in reality, far more than any of the CW shows, even the “Grim and gritty” Arrow.
Seasons two and three of Gotham crept into the realms of super-science/supernatural, which worked for some viewers, but further alienated others. More recently, particularly in season four, the show stepped back into a more realistic world where the writers drew from the source material for inspiration. This year follows suit, and this opening episode epitomises everything that’s great about this series.
A City At War… With Itself
There is a jump in time between the season four finale and this chapter. Over three months the city has been chopped into territories run by several gangs, with one district held by Jim Gordon and the GCPD. Fans of the original “No Man’s Land” mega-crossover (which ran through all the bat titles between 1998 and 2000) will find all this very familiar… apart from the fact that it’s all completely different.
Gotham’s writing team have cleverly taken this event and melded it with Scott Snyder’s “Zero Year” from Batman issues 21-27 and 29-33 (2013 and 2014). In the comics “No Man’s Land” featured an experienced Batman in hostile territory, while the “Zero Year” showed us the Caped Crusader at the beginning of his crime fighting career. These elements mesh beautifully with a young Bruce Wayne and Captain James Gordon trying to stop their city from eating itself alive.
Bruce Wayne And The Citizens Of Gotham City
As well as the direction and realism of this show, another of it’s greatest strengths is its ensemble cast. Seeing David Mazouz as he was in the pilot, and again as a young man in this new episode show his growth; not just in stature (he’s a few inches taller than Ben McKenzie now) but as an actor. David and all his co-stars are in excellent form in this season premiere.
For me the real backbones of this series are Bruce, Alfred, Selina, Gordon, Oswald and Edward Nygma. The standout performances this week come from the brilliant David Mazouz, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith and Robin Lord Taylor. These wonderful talents never cease to impress, and Jessica Lucas shows us that hell hath no fury like a Tabby scorned. Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue are also great this week.
The one negative of this episode was that there wasn’t quite enough Alfred for me. Knowing the excellent chemistry between actors Sean Pertwee and David Mazouz, however, I’m sure that this will be rectified over the next 11 episodes.
Yes dear friends, Gotham is back. This season promises to be even bigger and better than anything that came before. We will see strange alliances made and foes become allies. All of our old friends (and enemies) are back, but not all of them will still be with us by the time the series ends. We also seem to be on track to meeting new characters too, with talk of witches and the sound of jesters bells.
(This review was originally published on the Dark Knight News Website on January 4th 2019)
It's very rare that the worlds of geeks and music collide in a powerful way, but Professor Elemental has made that happen.
'School of Whimsy' sees Brighton's finest export solidify his career with his strongest album to date. Over a ten year journey Paul Alborough has helped create the phenomenon of Chap-Hop, a mix of hip hop and a tongue-in-cheek take on English gentry.
The character of Professor Elemental has allowed Paul to push the boundaries of his music, as well as allowing him to show the world his love of anything nerdy. His songs are littered with references to superheroes and comics, and have a huge underlying message of positivity.
Luckily, Fantastic Universes' resident music ninja Scott Hamilton managed to chat not only with Paul, but also with the crazy genius that is Professor Elemental. Here's part one where we talk to Paul about his musical career, his love of comics and what we can expect from the Professor in the future…
I make it no secret, readers, that I love two games more than the air I breathe. Dungeons and Dragons, and Magic: the Gathering. Despite being made by the same publishing company, Wizards of the Coast, they've made almost no crossed streams.
The talk of Wizards wanting to publish a new setting for their supplemental campaigns left many wondering where we can go. This is no mere Plane Shift - like those of Zendikar or Kaladesh, leaving us with races and statistics, and prompts on where to go. This is a full, world guide. And it's RAVNICA!
Next to nothing is known about this supplement. It appeared on Brazilian Amazon then later on an American version of the site. The product description features very accurate portrait of the Acumenopolis in the heart of every Magic player. All we can do is speculate.
As an avid player of both games, I have exceedingly high expectations for this supplement. It needs to deliver new races seen on Ravnica. Goblins of…
a cold, wet, dreary morning as I sit on the bus heading to work, but
I'm smiling and in a cheery mood. Why? Because I'm listening to Professor
Elemental's "School Of Whimsy!" For
the uninitiated, Professor Elemental is the country's finest example
of Chap-Hop Emcee. Marrying beats and rap, with a nod towards geek
and UK culture. It's certainly more tongue in cheek than the likes of
other rappers, but that is part of it's charm. The
Prof is one of us, a geek, someone who'd like to try and focus on
having fun. Yeah, you can look deeper into the meanings behind the
lyrics but, you know what, sometimes it's just about trying to put a
smile on your face. "School
Of Whimsy" is the latest collection of tunes from the Brighton
based rapper and he's dropping a solid gold set of tracks. The lessons
here aren't maths, geography and the like. These are life
lessons, learned from experience, by being there an…