If I was writing this new Gotham series…
Here’s what I WOULDN’T do in the pilot: Kill Thomas and Martha Wayne.
Instead, open with the Waynes sneaking out of a charity event, confronted by punks with malfeasance on their minds. Then the Waynes are SAVED by young Lt. Gordon.
Have Gordon become a friend to the Waynes, get to know young Bruce during happier times. The prince of the city and its knight defender. Gordon educates Thomas about where the city is hurting the most and Thomas begins directing his charities towards addressing those ills.
Show us who these men are before tragedy.
THEN, either halfway through or at the end of the first season, you have the Waynes at a similar event — make it a charity screening of Zorro — sneaking out the back, and getting gunned down. Without Gordon there to save them.
That way, the Gordon who drapes his jacket over a heartbroken boy isn’t a stranger being nice to an orphan, he’s a distraught man also grieving the loss of dear friends. Of good people in a bad world.
What’s more, he feels personally responsible for both the death of his friends and the life of their son. Let him become a surrogate father to the orphaned Bruce Wayne — and have his paternal impulses conflict with Alfred’s. They both care for the boy and both think they know what’s best for him. New stepdad vs. old stepdad.
But Bruce, not yet aware of the realities of the world — not yet realizing that Jim Gordon wasn’t his father’s personal bodyguard, not understanding that the police can’t be everywhere to save everyone — blames and resents Gordon.
Conflict, entanglements, bonds. Drama.
And you firmly establish Gotham as a show about James Gordon — the things he stands for, the people he loves, his quest to make the city a safer place — not just waiting for Batman to arrive.
But that’s just me.
(Collected and expanded from Twitter.)