Imagine a TV show all about the life of Alfred Pennyworth.
The thrills of watching him fold laundry! The nerve-wracking intensity of watching him boil an egg!
Oh, and also he helps Batman fight crime and stuff.
Okay, so maybe in reality we won’t be seeing anything about Bruce Wayne in this new show. Cable network Epix has ordered a ten part series which will focus on Alfred’s origins from before his time with the Wayne family.
What’s so interesting about that? Who wants to see Alfred attending butler school and learning to lay out cutlery?
Well, in his canonical backstory in the comics as well as in some TV and movie incarnations, Alfred is a former member of the British secret forces.
This new TV show will focus on Alfred’s time as a secret agent working in London in the groovy 1960s. Essentially, this is the best premise for a comic book TV show since the dawn of superheroes.
A Good Fit for TV
While many modern TV shows have impressive special effects budgets, it’s often difficult to create something that looks good on the small screen which also works for episodic content.
Funky superhero costumes, visually distinct super powers, and computer generated building destruction always end up looking just a little corny on TV, regardless of how much effort went into the shows.
For no particular reason, I’m just going to put a picture from “Inhumans” here.
With the Alfred show, it’ll be possible to tell a compelling story that fits within the constraints of the medium, since there’s no need for costumes or flashy special effects.
I also think that focusing on a character that we know very little about is a good idea. There are a lot of prequel superhero shows among DC’s current lineup, and the best ones are the shows with the freedom to do different stuff.
I want to see Alfred surrounded by a collection of colorful characters that we’ve never seen before. I want the sensation of not knowing whether a character lives or dies. It’ll be nice if this show isn’t tied to having a certain villain live until Batman shows up, even if making this happen means coming up with a convoluted origin story that has too many twists and turns.
Again for no reason, I’ll just drop a picture from “Gotham” here.
I like the idea of an Alfred show. The character has seen some very interesting incarnations over the years, and I’d love to learn more about his backstory.
I also think that ten episodes is the perfect lengthy for a project of this nature. It’ll be long enough to tell a solid story, while short enough to prevent things from getting stale.
So roll on the Alfred Pennyworth TV show. Batman may get all the credit, but we all know that the Wayne family’s butler is the real genius behind the Dark Knight.