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As both the Marvel TV series on ABC and the DC series on The CW have shown us, comic book shows are built for spinoffs, and it’s not at all beyond the realm of possibilities for Gotham to get its own companion show. And while it’s solely been rumor talk for a while now, it looks like DC Comics might be taking a big step in that direction, as the company has just registered a trademark for what appears to be a new TV project, and it’s going by the name Pennyworth, as in the Wayne family butler, Alfred.
If you’re like me, you’re already jumping up and down and affecting a British accent, but it’s probably way too early to be doing such things. The trademark is for a “production of live-action, dramatic comedy television series,” according to Gizmodo, so the obvious guess is for it to be a Gotham spinoff of some kind, but there are any number of solutions to this that don’t end in a second Batman prequel on Fox. But what if it is?
Regardless of coming across looking like a nutbag in his quasi-guardian position over Bruce – particularly during tonight’s episode when he let himself get hit in the face as a way of tiring his attacker – actor Sean Pertwee is pretty perfect for the part. The actor hasn’t been a stranger to television over his 30-year (or so) career, but Gotham has been his biggest small screen role by far, and while it would be extremely odd for the character to get his own project outside of the flagship series’ events, I’m all about seeing this guy in action more.
As far as what it could be about, I have exactly zero concrete assumptions. It could itself be a prequel that follows Alfred in his years before being hired by the Waynes, although that would likely rule Pertwee out of the running. Perhaps it would be something like Agent Carter, a limited series to air during Gotham’s lengthy hiatuses. Or maybe it’s not about Alfred at all. Perhaps it’s about Alfred’s daughter Julia Pennyworth, whose comic book presence has grown over the years, or someone else in Alfred’s family.
To back it up even further, what if it isn’t actually a TV series at all? Perhaps this will be a short web series that will go up online and possibly during Gotham commercial breaks, as The Walking Dead has recently done with the 16-part Flight 462. Or maybe they’re setting something up with a streaming outlet. Hell, this potential project might even be connected to Batman v Superman’s Alfred, and not the Gotham version at all. Nothing confusing there.
Lots of big things are happening on Gotham right now, from Bruce deciding to run off to Mr. Freeze’s debut to Hugo Strange getting weird with the Penguin. Not to mention Lori Petty’s Joker-ette. Can the show swiftly and smartly take Alfred out of all this madness in order to give him his own adventures? We’ll just have to wait and see.