To end the incredible WB TV Showcase, most of the cast of Gotham along with Executive Producer John Stephens came out to talk about the second season with some of the fans of the show. In attendance were Benjamin McKenzie (Jim Gordon), Michael Chiklis (Nathaniel Barnes), Cory Michael Smith (Ed Nygma), Erin Richards (Barbara Kean), Robin Lord Taylor (The Penguin), Jessica Lucas (Tabitha Galavan), and James Frain (Theo Galavan). In case you missed it, here are our…
Eight Things We Learned from the Gotham Panel
Barnes in Charge
Before the panel we were treated to a clip from this week’s episode of Gotham featuring the introduction of new commissioner Nathaniel Barnes played by Michael Chiklis and if the clip made one thing clear it is that Nathaniel Barnes means business. Chiklis joked that “he’s a real wallflower.” in response to Barnes’ dramatic introduction. He said that primarily “Barnes serves as a mentor to Bens character.” When asked if the new commissioner uunderstands what he’s getting himself into with the villains of Gotham, Chiklis said very seriously “This is going to be a war.”
Make no mistake. This season of Gotham is quite a departure from the second in a very interesting way. During the panel, the first few episodes of the show were likened to shows like Game of Thrones due to the high rate of character deaths including a huge surprise in the third episode. According to executive producer John Stevens “We want the show to feel dangerous. We want to always have that feeling of surprise. Gotham’s a dangerous place.”
When asked about her transition from seemingly normal to complete psychopath, Erin Richards recounted that she found out pretty early on that Barbara was gonna go off the deep end. More recent developments have “released her from all of the shakles of her previous self.” The moderator asked if they had any intention of turning her into a female version of the Joker as there has been a ton of internet buzz suggesting that Barbara would make an excellent Joker following Jerome’s early exit. All the cast members could say about that was “very true”. The question also came up later in the fan questioning whether there is any possibility of Jermoe ever coming back? “No comment” they answered but after further prodding Stevens relented that “we probably have not seen the last of that fellow.”
In response to a question about Cobblepot’s journey in the upcoming season, an excited Robin Lord Taylor explained that “What’s he’s gonna go through is gonna be one of the biggest challenges he’s ever faced in his entire life.” He commented that he was very excited to make a penguin announcement. After getting the nod from Stephens, Taylor explained that we would get more involved in the Cobblepot lineage this season. Obviously, Carol Cane previously played Oswald’s mother but we never got a look at his father. Bubbling with glee, Taylor announced that his father will be played by Paul Reubens AKA Pee Wee Herman. Besides being an excellent match for the Penguin created on Gotham, Batman fans will remember that Reubens previously played Penguin’s father in Batman Returns.
Riddle Me This
According to Cory Michael Smith, who plays Ed Nygma AKA The Riddler, producer John Stevens was really testing his patience. The slow burn of turning the character from disturbed to truly derranged was a long time coming. Recent developments have let Smith really explore that side of his character more. “The crack that happened after he killed someone…he’s able to confront these two sides of himself. I can really get gnarly and nasty and dirty with this guy.” Smith even added that this week Nygma “mans up” and finally just has a confident “Go out with me” moment. Finally when asked about the interaction between Riddler and Penguin, Stephen said that they have a big storyline this year that came directly from fan reactions at a previous con. Also his apartment, which we will see soon, is apparently great.
Galavan the Family
Both Galavans were relatively quiet throughout the panel. However, when asked about the relationship between Tabitha and Barbara, Jessica Lucas explained that their chemistry comes from the fact that “Barbara is the first female energy that she has been around for a long time.” On the subject of Theo, James Frain described his character as having a long history with the city. James also said that Theo will “need to take on every major character from the story and it is going to get very dark.”
As we meet Jim in Season 2, he is on a moral slope downward. Ben McKenzie said that in Gotham “Sometimes you have to play a little fast and loose with the rules.” He also mentioned that in relation to the arc of his character, the first three episodes have some “little nuggets sprinkled in that are going to pay off later.” Finally when asked about the future of Barbara and Jim, McKenzie left the door wide open. “Could they find themselves in a non adversarial relationship in the future? Possibly.” Also apparently a love triangle involving Jim in episode eight is going to be epic.
One Last Thing
When asked by a fan from the crowd who their favorite all time villain was, Robin Lord Taylor stood up and proclaimed “Donald Trump!” The panel erupted in applause and that was that.