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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)
Rob Lane provides the bottom end in Ryan Hamilton and the Traitors. Onstage he’s a blur of hair,
throwing shapes with his trusty bass like a full on rock star. Away from the
band, he heads up his own project Straight
To Video, a mix of rock/punk music which draws influence from eighties
culture in general, as well as creating some cool merchandise to go along with
the music. Rob was cool enough to chat to us recently about
music, the eighties and being a geek.
Scott Hamilton: Would
you like to tell us a bit about yourself Rob? Rob Lane: Hey
Scott.... Thanks so much for reaching out! So, I guess I start with introducing
myself.... my name's Rob Lane... a bass player from the East Midlands /
Nottingham / Derby area. I've been actively playing with various bands for the
best part of 20 years. For over ten years I was the bassist for Nottingham
Power Pop Rockers TEENAGE CASKET COMPANY...
we had a pretty good run from 2003 through to November of last year, …
Article by Adam Ray A new month. As I write and rewrite, the world outside my window looks like it can produce lots of snow mana; but nothing will keep me from reporting on Pauper staples, powerful mana rocks, zero mana counters, Elves, and Centaurs. Adding to the already bursting hordelings, I feel that Goblins will be well represented in this format for Red decks. Find ways to buff this spiky boy, and you'll be off to the races. Welcome Temur's most powerful commander, and the preview card for Jimmy and Josh. Animar returns representing the original Commander preconstructed decks. With Kaalia reprinted in the Commander's Anthology, many were hoping for more of the original Commanders to come back with a vengeance; and here's the elemental with creature electromancy, looking to shine on Commander tables in foil once again. A one mana 2/2 that doesn't untap unless you cast a green spell feels well costed, right? Nettle Sentinel is a mainstay in Pauper Elves, Pauper Sto…
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…