As the fifth and final season of Gotham approaches its series finale on Fox, eyes are beginning to turn ahead to its bizarre and seemingly unnecessary “prequel to the prequel” series Pennyworth, naturally focused on a young Alfred Pennyworth. The show will star actor Jack Bannon (The Imitation Game) in the titular role and will air on Epix later this year with a ten episode long first season. While it seems that many are still unsure about the need for a show about Alfred’s past, it seems that the show will be happening just the same. And it might actually be good?
At the recent TCA, Gotham and Pennyworth executive producer Danny Cannon revealed new details about the upcoming series. Set in a 1960’s iteration of London described by Cannon as “13 degrees darker” than fans of something such as Austin Powers might expect for the period piece series. Bannon’s youthful iteration of the loyal Wayne butler has just concluded his service as a British SAS soldier and forms a security company for his new line of work, which quickly leads to Pennyworth being employed by a young American billionaire named Thomas Wayne.
“It’s twenty-something years before Gotham, it’s a very different world,” Cannon explained. “His is the DC version of 1960s London. 13 degrees history is different: It’s not the England we know. It looks and feels like, but if you look a little closer, [you ask], ‘Why is that like that? Why is that building there? What war is he talking about?’”
Essentially the London of Pennyworth is a “poetic reality” according to Cannon, adding, “just like I wanted people in Gotham to search for the darkest part of New York.”
Cannon also promises that the series will be “unhinged, R-rated” in comparison to Gotham. While he notes that ancestors to classic Batman villains won’t be present in the show, Alfred will go toe-to-toe with “archetypal villains and classic villains of British literature; they’re all available to us.” For instance, while Jack the Ripper obviously is no longer alive by even the 1960’s, Cannon teases that he might have descendants walking about the London of Pennyworth.
According to Cannon, the show is already being shown to test audiences and receiving a positive reaction. In the meantime, I’m still hesitant about the show myself, but we’ll see how it all works out. Clearly Cannon has a distinctive plan in mind for this series.
What do you think? Do these new details about Pennyworth excite you? Be sure to comment below!