This year, it’s going to be an odd Autumn. Or I should call it Fall, since that’s the American word for it. Usually I’m gearing up for the new series but not now. The Big Bang Theory has ended and the DC ‘Arrowverse’ shows have finally bored me out of watching them. The Flash‘s sententiousness, Legends of Tomorrow‘s sink into farce, I really can’t be arsed any more.
But there’s a new show in town and that’s Batwoman, starring Ruby Rose as Kate Kane, cousin to Bruce Wayne, spinning out of her appearance in last year’s Crisis on Earth-X crossover.
It’s taken a while to get here and I’m intrigued enough to give it the Four Episode Test, and this is the first.
The set-up is that three years ago, Batman disappeared. So too did BruceWayne but nobody connected the two. Gotham is now defended by Crowe Security, a private firm created by Jacob Kane (Dougray Scott): very professional, very Hi-Tech. But into Gotham erupts the mad girl, Alice (Rachel Skarsen, once of the short-lived Birds of Prey series) with her Wonderland Gang, kidnapping Crowe operative, Sophie Moore (Meagan Tandy).
This draws back Kane’s daughter Kate, who’s been honing her combat/survival skills in order to join the operation. Kate, the only living relative of Bruce Wayne, is an intense, independent woman and openly lesbian. In military training, she and Sophie were in love, against the rules (Kate doesn’t like rules…), only Sophie signed the form when they were busted and stayed on whilst Kate was expelled.
Kate’s back to track down Sophie. She’s haunted by her own family tragedy: a murderous attack on the family car, Kate escaped, Batman abandoned them, her mother and her sister Beth left to drown. But that’s not the truth: something went wrong, the tragedy haunted Batman/Bruce.
All this is discovered when Kate breaks into the now shut-down Wayne Enterprises building, all this still functioning Hi-Tech guarded by one ineffectual security guard, Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson, doing a modified version of Echo Kellum’s Curtis Holt on Arrow). Kate discovers cousin Bruce’s secret and has his suit adapted to fit her much smaller, lithe frame, to save Sophie from Alice.
So that sets up Batwoman in her quest to track down and neutralise Alice, who she suddenly realises, in one of those flash-of-inspiration moments, is her long-thought dead sister Beth.
I’m going to mark that last bit down as too-cliched-for-words. I’m also reserving judgement on Kate’s ‘don’t like rules’ schtick, because the maverick who does things their own way borders too closely onto the asshole who wants their own way all the time, no matter what damage they cause. Otherwise, the set-up is cool, slick and, insofar as anything like this can be, realistic. Let’s see where it goes.