The only time that something peaceful happens for the people of Gotham City these days is when Gotham goes on hiatus and its villains are necessarily quieted. Everyone better look out, though, as the Fox drama is coming back, and it’s bringing with it not only the rise of The Riddler but the introduction of Ra’s al Ghul, to be played by Game of Thrones vet Alexander Siddig. This new version of Ra’s is still something of a mystery, but now we know he’ll change up the character dynamic. According to executive producer John Stephens:
He’s going to be the answer to a question that we begin to pose fairly early on when we get back, when we start to see these forces at work in Gotham. We’re posing this enigma of what is behind all these things. His reveal will be an answer and a further question once he comes on the scene because he’s such an enormous character in the Batman canon. What are his plans for Gotham? What are his plans for Bruce and how is that actually going to change Bruce going forward, because Bruce’s encounter with Ra’s al Guhl is definitely going to change his and Alfred’s relationship from this point forward.
Is it just me, or has everyone else been kind of amused with the way Gotham City’s biggest and baddest villains, as well as its elite police force, are tied so strongly to the life of a teenage boy. Granted, Bruce Wayne is about as important as a teenage boy can get, what with his billionaire legacy and endless assets, but it’s still somewhat silly to think about him being a target in some fashion for nearly everyone. Especially the Court of Owls and, now, Ra’s al Ghul, who might have something to do with that nefarious organization.
But what exactly is Ra’s going to get into once he makes his presence known in Gotham City? And what’s he going to set up that messes with Bruce and Alfred’s relationship? There are two scenarios I foresee. One involves Bruce meeting Ra’s and actually falling in line with whatever plot the villain has cooking, with it presumably being presented in the least malicious way possible, which would obviously give Alfred much reason to worry and attempt to talk his employer into better decisions. The other scenario would possibly have Ra’s al Ghul playing into Alfred’s past in some way that sets up an emotional obstacle between the protector and his ward.
Gotham is already packing an assortment of Batman’s most famous foes, each at different levels of maximum villainy, with Ra’s al Ghul being one of the few major rogues left to make an official appearance in this super-heightened world. And so, as it has gone with others, showrunner Bruno Heller and his creative team apparently wanted to make sure that they were handling the iconic villain in the right way, as not to butt heads with the other live-action versions of the character that we’ve seen in recent years, including Batman Begins‘s Liam Neeson and Arrow‘s Matt Nable. But apparently talking about the character’s differences would give it all away. Here’s what else John Stephens told TV Guide.
I think we all know about how Ra’s al Guhl figures into the creation of the Batman mythology from our own knowledge of the canon and Christopher Nolan’s movies. It’s a little hard for me to talk about without totally letting the cat out of the bag.
Might we see more signs of Batman in the near future? Find out when Gotham finally returns to Fox to close out this wildly exciting Season 3 tonight, Monday, April 24, at 8:00 p.m. ET. While we might not see Ra’s al Ghul immediately, you can see everything else heading to the small screen in the near future by heading to our midseason premiere guide and our summer TV schedule.