It looks like Gotham, having found its feet, has big plans for the future that include adding more familiar faces and leaving some out for good reason.
Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller has talked about why the series was so busy at the start: “We front-loaded [the show with iconic characters], which we had to do, both for story purposes and marketing purposes. We had to let people know it’s not just a hum-drum police procedural, it’s about these larger than life characters. If you do that you can’t just say, ‘Here’s one larger-than-life character, now wait for next season.’
“Once we introduced those initial characters—Penguin, Riddler, Ivy, Selina—then we’ve slowed down with those aspects and we’re bringing in those iconic D.C characters in a much more measured way, which was always the intention. You have to have that amount of spice in the show to make it pop and different. Once the wheels are turning, it’s much easier to bring those characters in in subtle, organic ways. That’s the plan, anyway.”
Moving forward with characters, he says: “That aspect of the show—which characters to use and when — is a source of constant discussion. And that may well have been an issue that came up and was dropped. We haven’t got Harley Quinn in it. Riddler’s girlfriend is coming up. And Harley Quinn is definitely planned for later on, but so far no.
“You can’t just keep pumping these characters into the show in a comic book sort of way, because you get the Super Friends effect—which isn’t a bad effect, but then you have spaceships and need to go underwater and get wacky villains and the rest of it. You have to work as a character piece first. First it has to be real.”
Heller also confirmed they will reveal “how Robin’s parents got together” a sort of “prenatal origin story for Robin.”
So that’s what they mean when they say universe building, huh?