FOX's Gotham isn't quite like the other comic book-based shows on television; rather than featuring a costumed hero at the center of it all, pulling off amazing and superhuman feats like The Flash, Supergirl, and even Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s central character Daisy "Quake" Johnson, Gotham revolves around Detective James Gordon and the Gotham City Police Department.
The series, taking place several years before Batman will ever hit the scene, has had its share of larger-than-life characters, but showrunner Bruno Heller has stayed away from superheroes for a particular reason:
"I don't think superheroes work very well on TV. Probably because of the costume thing," Heller revealed at the Edinburgh Television Festival.
The writer and producer further expounded that he believes it's a central conceit of TV that keeps them from working very well.
"TV is about real people and faces, and not so much about magic and the supernatural things," he said, explaining why Gordon is the center of Gotham, and not some superhero or vigilante.
Of course, that doesn't mean the show hasn't gone far. With characters like the face-changing Clayface or the resurrected villain Azrael (pictured above), the series explores the strange, but always with a careful eye.
"It’s a tricky combination, because you have to keep it real and unreal at the same time," Heller explained.
"Every season is moving towards the world, in which Batman has to emerge to save the day. So every season is doubling down on the chaos and anarchy that is overtaking Gotham. So, things keep getting worse.”
That anarchy, as well as the realism of the show, will both be pushed to the limit in Gotham Season 3, which sees the bus full of monsters from the Indian Hill facility in the previous season finale unleashed upon the city. That means creatures with preturnatural abilities, and major changes for the current citizens of Gotham City.
Gotham returns to FOX on Monday September 19 at 8 p.m.