Wednesday 26 October 2016

Gotham Season 2 won't disappoint, promises Sean Pertwee

Published 02/01/2016 | 00:06

Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth in Gotham (Channel 5)
Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth in Gotham (Channel 5)

Gotham star Sean Pertwee has said fans "won't be disappointed" with the second season when it debuts on Channel 5.

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The US drama, based on DC Comics' Batman characters, focuses on James Gordon (played by Southland's Ben McKenzie) before he became the city's police commissioner and Batman's confidant.

The young Bruce Wayne is portrayed by Touch star David Mazouz, while Pertwee convinces as a hard-nosed Alfred Pennyworth, Wayne's butler, legal guardian and mentor.

"It's a different season," Pertwee said during an interview with the Press Association.

"It's less stand-alone episodically compared to the last season. There are bigger story arcs of four or five episodes so you'll get interaction with a lot of the characters now," he promised.

"It feels cinematic, it's got a confident gait now. You won't be disappointed - we're very, very, proud of it."

Reaction to the first season was mixed, with New York Magazine calling Gotham "a mishmash of current action and comic-book-movie cliches" and The Huffington Post dismissing it as "too dour".

British showrunner Bruno Heller acknowledged the mistakes made in the premiere run.

"We tried to tell too many stories," he conceded. "This season, we're able to sharpen the focus."

Pertwee said he hoped aficionados on this side of the pond will like what they see.

"It's our world that we're letting people into and the fans have been extraordinarily flattering to us in America so far. I think the English fans will follow suit."

The first season concluded with a turf war, resulting in The Penguin (a scene-stealing turn from Robin Lord Taylor) battling his way into power over Gotham's underworld.

In Season Two, which has been themed Rise Of The Villains, Gotham will continue to follow the evolving stories of the city's most malevolent miscreants.

There is an increased scrutiny on old favourite Edward Nygma/The Riddler (Cory Michael Smith).

Meanwhile, billionaire industrialist Theo Galavan (played by British actor James Frain) and his sister Tabitha Galavan, also known as Tigress (Jessica Lucas) are new to Gotham.

Talking about developments for his own character, Pertwee said: "Alfred is unleashed in season two and you'll see why he was employed by the richest man in the world."

Born in London, Pertwee toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company before landing roles in series including Agatha Christie's Poirot, Cold Feet and The Tudors.

Since signing on for Gotham, he has been based in New York.

Asked to account for the growing number of British stars across the Atlantic, Pertwee said: "I really don't know."

He added: "I don't want to take anything away from the brilliance of Americans, but it's just strange there are so many of us there.

"The bizarre thing is there's lots of actors of my generation: Lennie James, Damian Lewis, James Purefoy, Mark Strong - there's so many of us. It must be chance or maybe our theatre background."

For now, Pertwee is happy to be working on a big-budget US television series, but when asked if he intends to follow his late father, Jon Pertwee, on to the BBC's Doctor Who, he responded firmly in the negative.

"Too big boots to fill. I could never do that. I'd love to, at some point in my life, do something as an ode to my father and also as an ode to the show. It's an institution, it something that makes you proud to be British.

"But how can you top my dad? You can't. He was my Doctor Who."

:: Gotham: Rise Of The Villains starts on Channel 5 at 10pm on January 11.

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