Over the course of its two seasons and change, Gotham has put a lot of effort into distinguishing itself from other areas of the Batman mythos, putting new spins on time-honored characters. When the Fox drama returns for the back half of Season 3, Gotham will introduce a face that isn't necessarily familiar to comic book fans, but The Dark Knight fans will definitely take note when actor David Dastmalchian shows up. The question is: could Dastmalchian possibly be playing the same character?
In Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, David Dastmalchian played the former Arkham Asylum patient and Joker thug Thomas Schiff, who was the faux Honor Guard who disrupted the Commissioner's funeral and was later held at gunpoint by Harvey Dent. Of course, I know damned well that Gotham is a prequel, so I'm not asking if Dastmalchian is going to be playing the exact same version of the character in a shared-universe way, although that would almost be in line with how awesomely crazy the crime drama has gotten. No, I'm interested to see if he's an alternate take on Schiff.
Why would that even cross my mind beyond the obvious? Well, when Gotham comes back with "Ghosts," it's rumored to be the episode when Cameron Monaghan returns as some form of Jerome Valeska, who will then properly take on The Joker persona. Could it be just a coincidence that Dastmalchian is making his Gotham debut in the same episode where a legitimate Joker arc begins? Absolutely. And it's also possible that showrunner/creator Bruno Heller saw this as a great way to bring an intense-looking actor into his show for a nice easter egg that doesn't actually mean anything. And it's also possible that this is the exact same Thomas Schiff as the one in The Dark Knight, just from the Flashpoint timeline. Comics are cool.
Making things all the more conspiracy-driven is the fact that David Dastmalchian's image was released through Fox as part of the promo materials, but he's not listed on IMDb as part of the cast. That's hardly indicative of anything, since the pages might not have been updated. But I'm still putting it in my pile of "possible proof." It might not stand up in a court (of owls), but I'm comfortable with that.
With Jim in hot water and Barbara aiming for the underworld throne, Gotham has enough going on that it doesn't need to align itself with the hallmark of Batman's live-action adventures, but it wouldn't hurt. Gotham will return to audiences when Season 3 kicks off its second half on Fox starting Monday, January 16, 2017. To see when everything else is hitting the small screen in the near future, head to our midseason premiere schedule.