Chronicling the courageous sacrifices that a select group of elite leaders make is one of the key factors of creating a powerful and relatable superhero story. But before those fearless and celebrated icons are formed and needed to protect their fellow residents, an evil force must overcome their cities. The recent launch of the current fourth season of Fox’s acclaimed action driven series, ‘Gotham,’ is showcasing an entirely new chapter in the rise of the great DC super-villains, who are shaping the way their rivals are training to defeat them.
‘Gotham’ follows the young police detective, Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), as he navigates the dangerously corrupt title city. The crime show also chronicles the birth of one of the most popular superheroes of modern time, Batman, the alter ego that adolescent Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) assumes later in life. Season 4 of the police procedural will showcase the emergence of the criminal landscape Gotham City is best known for, with Jim at the forefront of the fight against the most depraved and unhinged villains. While Gotham City fights for normalcy, a new hero will rise, as Bruce begins to assume responsibility for the city’s well-being.
Executive producer Danny Cannon was joined by several members of ‘Gotham’s ensemble cast, including McKenzie, Robin Lord Taylor, Jessica Lucas and Erin Richards, at the drama series’ special sneak peek panel at the Tribeca TV Festival last night. Before the panel began, the actors and actresses generously took the time to give exclusive interviews on the red carpet, and talk about their characters’ evolutions and futures on the show.
The subsequent sneak peek panel began with the world premiere of the ‘Gotham’s upcoming second episode of the current fourth season. The episode, which is titled ‘The Fear Reaper,’ is set to debut this Thursday, September 28, at 8pm ET. Following the screening, the performers and executive producer discussed what’s in store for the rest of Season 4.
The inaugural New York City-based Tribeca TV Festival, which is running this weekend, from Friday until today at Cinepolis Chelsea theaters, is an extension of the Tribeca Film Festival. The spring film festival, which has highlighted television programs over the past couple of years, has transitioned its TV program into a standalone fall television festival. The Tribeca TV Festival is the first dedicated television festival to have been created by a film festival.
Taylor stopped on the red carpet first to discuss details about the trajectory of his character, Oswald Cobblepot, who’s most commonly known as The Penguin. “When we left last year, Penguin was resolved to never trust, or give his heart to, anyone again. He just cut himself off emotionally” from the rest of the title city’s residents. “Every time he’s opened himself up, someone has hurt him terribly. So this year, he’s acting with that idea in mind.”
But the actor also pointed out that “there are so many forces that are working against him that he can’t see. It’s known that he does have a weakness, which is that deep down, he is a compassionate person. There are always people in Gotham City who are willing to exploit that. You’ll have to tune in to watch whether or not he turns out on top!”
One of Taylor’s favorite things about the crime series is that Penguin will use that hidden compassion to form new, and reignite old, alliances. “James Gordon and Penguin were very much locking horns in Season 1, but then they broke apart and did their own thing. But they always come back to each other,” the performer pointed out.
Taylor then revealed that “this year, (James and Penguin) come back together in a really big way. Everything keeps circling back. Now that we have the time, we can circle back to older relationships. We’ll see how they deepen, change and adapt to what’s going on now in Gotham City. So I think that new alliances are definitely forming, just as old alliances are coming back together.”
Then showing his gratitude over having the upcoming ‘The Fear Reaper’ episode premiere at the Tribeca TV Festival, and being able to participate in the ‘Gotham’ Season 4 sneak peek panel, the actor enthusiastically proclaimed, “It’s been an honor and a privilege! We’re a New York-set show, and we film here, and we’re supremely proud of that. So to have the television festival here is really nice. It’s also really nice to be recognized as a main driving force in New York television today.”
As McKenzie then paused to talk about his character of James Gordon, the actor divulged that the police procedural show’s protagonist “has changed a lot since he was a rookie detective. He’s now a much more mature and pragmatic guy. He will change quite a bit more over the course of this season.
“In the beginning of this season, he starts off by needing the help of a gangster, (Carmine) Falcone.” The mob boss, who had ties to James’ father, has appeared in a recurring role since the first season. But after James seeks out, and finds, the criminal, the detective realizes that “he has gotten a different Falcone than he expected,” the performer acknowledged.
“So (James) is making interesting alliances,” McKenzie also mentioned. He then revealed that in the beginning of Season 4, the officer is “against the Penguin, but later in the season, allies with him.” The actor added that he’s enjoying that the show “is creating a big world, where all of these characters can interact, and either flow together or apart. It feels like any ally you walk down in Gotham, you can find, and bring out, a new character” to collaborate with as they strive to reach their goals.
Lucas also stopped to discuss her character of Tabitha on ‘Gotham,’ and revealed that the current fourth season “picks up about three months where we left off (in Season 3). Tabitha’s still reeling from the fact that Butch and Barbara are dead, and she no longer has any allies. So she’s now starting a relationship with Selina, who’s really starting to mentor her, and teach her everything she knows about using a whip and fighting,” the actress shared. “But Tabitha then finds out that Barbara is still alive. That changes (Tabitha’s) dynamic for the rest of the season.”
Further speaking of having allies during the current fourth season, Lucas divulged that she’s not sure if Tabitha “wants to have those relationships, necessarily. But I think she’s smart enough to know that you can’t survive without allies in Gotham,” the actress pointed out. “At the end of the day, it’s about survival. She doesn’t want to be in contention with everybody, so she has friends. But is (Tabitha) going to fully forgive (Barbara)? I don’t know about that!”
Lucas also expressed her appreciation over having ‘Gotham’s ‘The Fear Reaper’ episode premiere at the Tribeca TV Festival. “I’ve always been a fan of the Tribeca Film Festival. So I think it’s amazing that they’re doing a TV version and branch now, because I think television has come such a long way. There’s such incredible television out there. So I really feel honored to be a part of this festival.”
When Richards then paused to talk about her character of Barbara on the action drama’s current episodes, the actress admitted that between Seasons 3 and 4, the former ally of Tabitha and Selina “has changed a lot. She died at the end of last season, so when you see her again this season, she’s a completely new person. She has a completely new look, and is feeling like a more zen version of herself, which is interesting and unsettling at the same time.”
Richards added that “As we see (Barbara) go through this season, she’s going to be battling against who she used to be, and who she’s becoming. There will be new elements, like Selina, Tabitha and Ra’s al Ghul, to pull her into different directions.”