(Written for Beamly)

We’re all a little superhero mad at the minute, but is Channel 5’s new series Gotham worth watching for non-superhero fans and Batman fans alike? Here’s five reasons why I think Gotham is a show that you should be keeping an eye on.

1. For fans of Batman or any superhero universe, we get to see what Gotham was like before there was a Batman.

We know that Gotham needed a hero, but how did things get so bad? Based on characters appearing in DC Comics’ Batman franchise, Gotham is based around the early days of Detective James Gordon, working to find the man who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents and get rid of the corruption Gotham City police force. It’s brilliant to see the dark world of Gotham in so much depth, and to get to know the character’s we love from the franchise before Batman was around.

2. We get to see the origins of the franchises biggest villains.

We all have our favourite Batman franchise – whether it’s Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Tim Burton’s darker films, or Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever – and from them we have our own favourite film. But a big reason as to why we have a favourite Batman film is because of the central villain(s).

Batman villains are some of the best in any superhero films, and we have so many to choose a favourite from. There’s Bane, Catwoman, The Riddler, The Penguin, The Joker, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Hugo Strange, Mister Freeze… I could go on. We may know their names and the subsequent evil they spread in Gotham, but the TV series introduces us to many of these characters before they snapped. And you may even find yourself taking a liking to them.

3. Because Ben McKenzie hasn’t done anything this good since The OC.

And that was a long time ago! Ben McKenzie plays the lead role of James Gordon and he’s actually pretty fantastic. James Gordon is an excellent character in the Batman franchise so the focus on him and his actions is a great premise for the TV series, and McKenzie plays him perfectly.

4. An all-round brilliant cast, generally

We can’t just applaud McKenzie’s role because the whole cast is pretty spot on. There’s some huge talent with the likes of Jada Pinkett Smith, who plays mobster Fish Mooney, Donal Logue as Gordon’s partner Harvey Bullock, Sean Pertwee as Bruce’s beloved butler Alfred, Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot, and a host of young talent including David Mazouz as a young Bruce, and Camren Bicondova as Selina “Cat” Kyle.

5. Because let’s face it, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD wasn’t that great.

So whilst we wait for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ant-Man, Wonder Woman, Deadpool, Guardians of The Galaxy 2, X-Men: Apocalypse, a third Captain America film, a third Amazing Spider-Man film, a Fantastic Four reboot, a Green Lantern reboot, another Wolverine sequel, and many other Marvel and DC superhero films, Gotham fills the void nicely until then.

So get watching Gotham on Monday nights on Channel 5, and catch up with the first few episodes on Demand 5 if you’ve missed them.