While The CW’s DC TV landscape is winding down, we still have a new series arriving this month, and that is Gotham Knights, following the next generation of heroes. This review is a spoiler-free take on the first six episodes of Gotham Knights season 1, which premieres on Tuesday, March 14th, at 9 PM on The CW.
Many are and probably already have likely asked themselves, ‘Another Batman-related show without Batman?’ and while that is understandable, it’s not a hidden fact that there is a huge saturation of the Dark Knight in live-action out of any DC property. But similar to Batwoman, Gotham, and Titans, Gotham Knights actually stands on its feet as a post-Batman world, with the central premise being about these teenagers having to clear their names after being framed for Bruce Wayne’s murder. Whether or not the result of who killed Batman will be satisfactory remains to be seen, but Gotham Knights definitely make a good case for getting you to tune in.
It would be impossible to talk about Gotham Knights without addressing the marketing that has received criticism because it’s important to remember that 1-2 minute trailers don’t sum up entirely what a show is going to be. From watching the first six episodes, the marketing is definitely not showing Gotham Knights’ actual potential. There is definitely room for improvement, and some of it does evolve throughout the season that we have seen so far. But to judge something entirely from
A fair expectation to have in mind as a viewer, especially if you are a long-time DC Comics fan, is that there is definitely a reinvention of some of the lore when going into Gotham Knights. It is very much a world after Batman, and how they deal with the Caped Crusader no longer exists. This cast of characters will, for most mainstream audiences, be new as far as DC players go. One of the strongest cast members is, without a doubt, Navia Robinson’s Carrie Kelly, who is our biggest connection to the established Batman world. With this being Carrie’s live-action debut, Robinson brings her to life wonderfully and will easily become a fan favorite. The young ensemble gets to work a lot together throughout these first six episodes, and as a whole, they mesh really well. Each episode that we have seen so far also does put them through new challenges without feeling repetitive. Hopefully, they can maintain that quality throughout the rest of the season.
Misha Collins’ Harvey Dent gets on a very intriguing trajectory in the middle of the season that allows Gotham Knights to go a bit deeper into his character before he eventually becomes Two-Face. it’s no spoiler that Harvey has a dark destiny, but it’s the journey of how he gets there that will be fascinating to follow. Gotham Knights definitely take its time with Harvey, but once you get to the middle of the season, expect to see Collins’ character go through quite a number of obstacles.
With this being a 13-episode season, the first six episodes do a solid job in progressing the overall storyline, as a lot of mysteries do get explored while getting closer to being resolved. If we were to look at the idea of solving Batman’s murder, it’s something that really would be a one-season arc, with later seasons ideally seeing them as the Gotham Knights.
From a production aspect, the new iteration of Gotham City is one of the better ones that we have seen in live-action. With most of The CW-DC dramas filming in Vancouver, it’s refreshing to see Gotham Knights go in a different direction visually. This version of Gotham City feels cinematic, and for any long-time Arrowverse or DC TV viewer, you will come to appreciate the aesthetics of this show’s visual representation of Batman’s infamous home. A massive bonus to the show’s benefit is the involvement of Gotham and Pennyworth’s Danny Cannon, who is no stranger to the world of Batman and has helped create another fascinating take on the Caped Crusader’s universe. You can also tell that the creative team is more than familiar with the Batman lore, with Batwoman’s Abrams, Fiveash, and Stoteraux coming over and creating a new version of the Gotham universe.
The bigger mystery is, will Gotham Knights be something that gets to live for several seasons? With the nature of The CW right now, anything can happen. All that one can hope is that Gotham Knights season 1 gets to round everything out as much as possible while leaving the door open for more adventures if season 2 were to be greenlit. But from these first six episodes, Gotham Knights is a worthy DC mystery drama that takes viewers into a familiar world but also is offering something new at the same time. Gotham Knights will definitely be something worth tuning in for if you are looking for a new DC drama.
“Pilot” — (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) (TV-14, DLSV) (HDTV)
SERIES PREMIERE — Batman is dead, and a powder keg has ignited Gotham City without the Dark Knight to protect it. In the wake of Bruce Wayne’s murder, his adopted son Turner Hayes (Oscar Morgan) is framed for killing the Caped Crusader, along with the children of some of Batman’s enemies: Duela Doe (Olivia Rose Keegan), aka The Joker’s Daughter, an unpredictable fighter and skilled thief who was born in Arkham Asylum and abandoned by her father, Harper Row (Fallon Smythe), a streetwise and acerbic engineer who can fix anything, and her brother Cullen Row (Tyler DiChiara), a clever transgender teen who is tired of being polite and agreeable. With the charismatic and hard-charging District Attorney Harvey Dent (Misha Collins) and the GCPD hot on their trail, Turner will rely on allies including his best friend and formidable coder Stephanie Brown (Anna Lore), and unlikely Batman sidekick Carrie Kelley (Navia Robinson). But our Knights will soon learn there is a larger, more nefarious force at work within Gotham City. This team of mismatched fugitives must band together to become its next generation of saviors known as the “Gotham Knights.” Also starring Rahart Adams as Brody March. Danny Cannon directed the episode written by Natalie Abrams, Chad Fiveash & James Stoteraux (#101). Original airdate 3/14/2023. Every episode of GOTHAM KNIGHTS will be available to stream on The CW App and CWTV.com the day after broadcast for free and without a subscription, log-in or authentication required.”
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