Cast: Ben McKenzie, Jada Pinkett Smith, Donal Logue
Release Date: Now Available On Blu-ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 9.5/10
Before there was Batman, there was Gotham City. Everyone knows the name of Commissioner Gordon, but what of his rise from rookie detective to Police Commissioner? What did it take to navigate the layers of corruption in Gotham City, the spawning ground of the world’s most iconic villains? Gotham tells the story of the world’s most iconic DC Comics Super-Villains and vigilantes from the very beginning, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. From executive producer Bruno Heller (The Mentalist, Rome), this crime drama follows GCPD Detective James Gordon’s rise through a dangerously corrupt city, while also chronicling the genesis of one of the most popular DC Comics Super Heroes of our time. Although the crime drama follows Gordon’s turbulent and singular career, it also focuses on his unlikely friendship with the young Bruce Wayne – with his mentorship a crucial element in developing the mythology of Gotham City.
Reimagining the roots of Batman’s home town, ‘Gotham’ follows Detective James Gordon, a young and fearless cop who refuses to abide by the corrupt rules that govern the town, law enforcement indirectly controlled and run by the criminal element of the city. Dragging his new partner Harvey Bullock into one troublesome situation after another, Gordon begins to gain recognition by the cities officials, yet after he is ordered to murder a young criminal in order to prove that he can play ball, he refuses and begins taking steps to expose the corrupt city officials, reaching up the ladder to the mayor and possibly beyond. Meanwhile, Gordon makes a young friend in the orphaned child billionaire Bruce Wayne as he refuses to accept the lies and generalizations the law claims are responsible regarding the killing of his parents whose murder was Gordon’s first case.
‘Gotham’ is a refreshingly unique take on the world of criminal enterprise revolving around the city where many years from now Batman will arrive. The scenery and atmosphere of this town is brilliantly captured with a disturbing beauty that contributes tremendously to the refreshingly dark aura the show exudes. The series makes the wise decision to concentrate the majority of its focus on the character of Gordon and those revolving around him and the Gotham City Police Department, especially as the only real issue I found with the series was the decision the creators made to include the character of Bruce Wayne whose story and appearances often feel uncomfortably out of place. The casting couldn’t be more spot-on for many of the roles, although Donal Logue easily steals the show in his flawless portrayal of Detective Harvey Bullock. While the fellow hardcore Batman fans will have to step back from so many aspects of what they are familiar with, ‘Gotham’ is an impressive and unique dark journey into the origins of a city so overpopulated by crime.
Fans of Batman and the DC Universe as a whole will almost surely want to make certain to pick up a copy of ‘Gotham: The Complete First Season’ on Blu-Ray to add to their collections. The Blu-Ray release delivers phenomenal high definition video and audio presentations on all 22 episodes from the debut season in addition to a number of great extras fans won’t want to miss out on including Deleted Scene(s) on a number of episodes, some enjoyable and informative Behind the Scenes Featurettes and more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) making this a definite must own.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Gotham: The Complete First Season’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the show’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio on all of the first seasons episodes. The video presentations look fantastic as a whole, delivering sharp and beautifully detailed presentations on every episode, holding up impressively even during the numerous fast moving and darkly lit sequences which are quite common in the series, never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or indiscernible. Overall, these are impressive high definition video presentations that should easily satisfy the fans.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on all 22 Season One episodes. These lossless multichannel soundtracks sound wonderful, providing a clean, detailed and regularly aggressive audio presentations on each episode of the debut season, utilizing all five available channels regularly to surround the viewer with the shows fantastic music in addition to any number of action related auditory effects, yet never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, just as with the video presentations, these are top notch 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtracks that shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Gotham: The Complete First Season’ includes a number of worthwhile extras. Included on the release are Deleted Scene(s) on a number of episodes. Also included are a number of Behind the Scenes Featurettes, each exploring different aspects of the series and what was involved in bringing it to life, they are ‘Gotham: Designing the Fiction’ (20 minutes), ‘The Game of Cobblepot’ (26 minutes), ‘Gotham: The Legend Reborn’ (22 minutes) and ‘Gotham Invented’ which is broken down into three parts: ‘Building Our Gotham’ (approximately 13 minutes), ‘Paving the way for the Caped Crusader’ (7 minutes) and ‘Fractured Villains of Gotham’ (11 minutes). We are additionally treated to ‘DC Comics Night at Comic-Con 2014 presenting Gotham, The Flash, Constantine and Arrow’ (30 minutes), a ‘Gag Reel’ (5 minutes) and a number of ‘Character Profiles’ (each approximately a minute or two) .