Batwoman (TV series)

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Batwoman
"BATWOMAN" written in a metallic font over a dark background with a red/orange bat symbol in the background
Genre
Based on
Developed byCaroline Dries
Starring
Composers
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes20 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Production locations
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time42–43 minutes
Production companies
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original networkThe CW
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1
Original releaseOctober 6, 2019 (2019-10-06) –
present (present)
Chronology
Related showsArrowverse
External links
Website

Batwoman is an American superhero television series developed by Caroline Dries. It is based on the DC Comics character Batwoman and shares continuity with the other television series in the Arrowverse. The series premiered on The CW on October 6, 2019, and is primarily filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with location filming in Chicago, Illinois. In the first season, Batwoman follows Kate Kane overcoming her demons and past to become Gotham City's new symbol of hope as the vigilante Batwoman.

In May 2018, it was announced that Batwoman would appear in "Elseworlds", the Arrowverse series' 2018 crossover, with an announcement two months later that a series centered on the character was in development from Dries. Ruby Rose was cast as Kate Kane in August of the same year. In January 2019, the series received a pilot order from The CW, to be considered for a series order in the 2019–20 television season. The show was picked up to series in May 2019 and in October 2019 a full season of 22 episodes was ordered. Production on the first season ended early due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the first season with only 20 episodes.

In January 2020, The CW renewed the series for a second season, which is set to premiere on January 17, 2021. In May 2020, Rose had exited the series, and two months later, Javicia Leslie was cast as Ryan Wilder, a new character that is set to take up the position of Batwoman.

Premise[edit]

Three years after billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne and his vigilante alter-ego, Batman disappeared,[a] his cousin Kate Kane sets out to overcome her demons and become a symbol of hope by protecting the streets of Gotham City as Batwoman.[1][2] During this time, she contends with the Wonderland Gang led by her thought-dead twin sister Beth Kane who is operating as Alice.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Ruby Rose as Kate Kane / Batwoman (season 1): An out lesbian and Bruce Wayne's maternal cousin who, armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, dedicates herself to defending Gotham in Batman's absence.[2][3] Gracyn Shinyei portrays a younger Kate.
  • Rachel Skarsten as Beth Kane / Alice: Kate's presumed-dead twin sister and leader of the Wonderland Gang with an ever-changing personality as she sets out to erode Gotham's sense of security.[4] Ava Sleeth portrays a younger Beth.
    • Skarsten also portrayed an alternate version of Beth who was displaced from her native Earth during "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and appeared on Earth-Prime. This version did not get lost during the car accident. She was later killed by August Cartwright, who mistook her for Alice.
  • Meagan Tandy as Sophie Moore: A military academy graduate turned high-level Crows agent. She is Kate's estranged ex-girlfriend and Julia's lover who serves as one of Gotham's protectors.[5]
  • Nicole Kang as Mary Hamilton: Kate's stepsister and a medical student/influencer-in-the-making who makes it her mission to provide aid to those living in Gotham's under-served communities.[5] She eventually discovers Kate is Batwoman and joins her.
  • Camrus Johnson as Luke Fox: A staunch Batman loyalist and son of the late Lucius Fox who keeps Wayne Tower secure in Batman's absence. After Kate becomes Batwoman, he comes to understand that Gotham needs a new hero and becomes an ally to her.[5]
    • Camrus Johnson also portrays his Earth-99 counterpart.
  • Elizabeth Anweis as Catherine Hamilton-Kane (season 1): Kate's stepmother and one of Gotham's most powerful citizens who made her fortune as a defense contractor and the CEO of Hamilton Dynamics.[6] After Alice poisoned her and Mary, Catherine chose to give Mary the antidote.
  • Dougray Scott as Jacob Kane: Kate and Beth's father and a former military colonel with a chip on his shoulder who commands a private security agency, the Crows, in an attempt to protect Gotham more effectively than Batman could.[7]

LaMonica Garrett also stars on "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Two" as Mar Novu / Monitor, a multiversal being who tests different Earths in the multiverse in preparation for an impending "crisis" orchestrated by his polar opposite, Mobius / Anti-Monitor.[8]

Recurring[edit]

Introduced in season one[edit]

  • Greyston Holt as Tyler: A Crows agent and Sophie's soon to be ex-husband.
  • Brendon Zub as Chuck Dodgson: A former Crows agent who serves as Alice's second-in-command in the Wonderland Gang and lover.
  • Rachel Maddow as the voice of Vesper Fairchild: A snarky gossip maven and media personality.[9]
  • Gabriel Mann as Tommy Elliot / Hush: A real estate mogul and former childhood friend of Bruce Wayne, who later becomes the villain Hush.[10]
  • Brianne Howey as Reagan: A bartender, one of Kate's love interests, as well as Magpie's sister and former accomplice.
  • Rachel Matthews as Margaret "Margot" / Magpie: Reagan's sister who operates as a jewel thief.[10]
  • Christina Wolfe as Julia Pennyworth: A British spy, daughter of Alfred Pennyworth, and Kate's ex-lover turned Sophie's lover.[12]
  • Sam Littlefield as Jonathan "Johnny" Cartwright / Mouse: A disfigured member of the Wonderland Gang with a talent for voice mimicry and impersonation who considered himself Alice's brother figure.[13] After losing interest in Alice's goals, she poisoned him. Nicholas Holmes portrays a younger Johnny.
  • John Emmet Tracy as August Cartwright: Mouse's father who fished Beth out of the river following the accident and imprisoned her for his own nefarious purposes. Kate accidentally kills August in anger for what he did to Beth.
    • Sebastian Roché provides the face and performance for Dr. Ethan Campbell: A well-known plastic surgeon and philanthropist,[14] who is a disguise August wears whilst finding Mouse and Alice in the present day. Alice later destroys the disguise when exposing August.

Introduced in season two[edit]

  • Shivani Ghai as Safiyah: The compassionate and charismatic ruler of a small community on the island of Coryana.[15]
  • Leah Gibson as Tatiana / The Whisper: A skilled assassin and henchwoman working for Safiyah whom she has a crush on.[16]
  • Nathan Owens as Ocean: "A zen gardener and thinker with a complicated past."[16]
  • Alex Morf as Victor Zsasz: A charismatic, skilled hitman with high, unpredictable energy who proudly carves tally marks onto his skin for every victim he kills.[17]

Episodes[edit]

Batwoman series overview
SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankAverage viewers
(in millions)
First airedLast aired
120October 6, 2019 (2019-10-06)May 17, 2020 (2020-05-17)1171.61[18]
2TBAJanuary 17, 2021 (2021-01-17)[19]TBATBATBA

Season 1 (2019–20)[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
1"Pilot"Marcos SiegaCaroline DriesOctober 6, 2019 (2019-10-06)T15.101541.86[20]
2"The Rabbit Hole"Marcos SiegaCaroline DriesOctober 13, 2019 (2019-10-13)T13.219521.45[21]
3"Down Down Down"Dermott Daniel DownsHolly Henderson & Don WhiteheadOctober 20, 2019 (2019-10-20)T13.219531.22[22]
4"Who Are You?"Holly DaleNancy Kiu & Denise HarkavyOctober 27, 2019 (2019-10-27)T13.219541.29[23]
5"Mine Is a Long and a Sad Tale"Carl SeatonJerry Shandy & Ebony GilbertNovember 3, 2019 (2019-11-03)T13.219551.16[24]
6"I'll Be Judge, I'll Be Jury"Scott PetersJames Stoteraux & Chad FiveashNovember 10, 2019 (2019-11-10)T13.219561.09[25]
7"Tell Me the Truth"Michael A. AllowitzCaroline Dries & Natalie AbramsNovember 17, 2019 (2019-11-17)T13.219571.01[26]
8"A Mad Tea-Party"Holly DaleNancy KiuDecember 1, 2019 (2019-12-01)T13.219591.01[27]
9"Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Two"Laura BelseyDon Whitehead & Holly HendersonDecember 9, 2019 (2019-12-09)T13.219581.71[28]
10"How Queer Everything Is Today!"Jeffrey HuntCaroline DriesJanuary 19, 2020 (2020-01-19)T13.219600.79[29]
11"An Un-Birthday Present"Mairzee AlmasChad Fiveash & James StoterauxJanuary 26, 2020 (2020-01-26)T13.219610.67[30]
12"Take Your Choice"Tara MieleEbony GilbertFebruary 16, 2020 (2020-02-16)T13.219620.85[31]
13"Drink Me"Dermott Daniel DownsJerry ShandyFebruary 23, 2020 (2020-02-23)T13.219630.82[32]
14"Grinning from Ear to Ear"Michael BlundellDenise HarkavyMarch 8, 2020 (2020-03-08)T13.219640.75[33]
15"Off with Her Head"Holly DaleNatalie AbramsMarch 15, 2020 (2020-03-15)T13.219650.75[34]
16"Through the Looking-Glass"Sudz SutherlandNancy KiuMarch 22, 2020 (2020-03-22)T13.219660.77[35]
17"A Narrow Escape"Paul WesleyDaphne MilesApril 26, 2020 (2020-04-26)T13.219670.63[36]
18"If You Believe in Me, I'll Believe in You"James BamfordJames Stoteraux & Chad FiveashMay 3, 2020 (2020-05-03)T13.219680.64[37]
19"A Secret Kept from All the Rest"Greg BeemanJerry Shandy & Kelly LarsonMay 10, 2020 (2020-05-10)T13.219690.70[38]
20"O, Mouse!"Amanda TappingHolly Henderson & Don WhiteheadMay 17, 2020 (2020-05-17)T13.219700.74[39]

Season 2[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In May 2018, The CW president Mark Pedowitz and Arrow lead Stephen Amell announced at The CW's upfront presentation that Batwoman would be introduced in the Arrowverse series' 2018 crossover, "Elseworlds", which aired in December 2018, fighting alongside the other Arrowverse heroes, with Gotham City also appearing.[40][41] In July 2018, it was reported that The CW was planning to develop a series around the character, to air in 2019 if picked up. The series, said to only be a "script-development deal", was written by Caroline Dries, who would also serve as an executive producer with Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schecter, and the character's co-creator Geoff Johns. The series would be produced by Berlanti Productions and Mad Ghost Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.[2] The following month, Pedowitz noted the pilot would be completed "for mid-season".[42]

In December 2018, Dries submitted a "strong" script for a potential pilot episode, according to Nellie Andreeva of Deadline Hollywood.[43] That led to the series receiving a pilot order from The CW the next month, to be considered for a series order in the 2019–20 television season.[44][43][45] As of April 2019, the series was considered "a lock" at The CW, and reportedly had a writing staff in place.[46] On May 7, 2019, The CW ordered the show to series.[47] On October 25, 2019, the series was picked up for a full season of 22 episodes.[48] On January 7, 2020, the series was renewed for a second season, which is set to premiere on January 17, 2021.[49][19]

Casting[edit]

Casting for Kate Kane was expected to begin after the announcement of the intended series in May 2018,[50] with the intention of casting an out lesbian actress.[51] In August, Ruby Rose was cast as Kate Kane / Batwoman.[3] In late January 2019, Meagan Tandy, Camrus Johnson, and Nicole Kang were cast in the series regular roles as Sophie Moore, Luke Fox, and Mary Hamilton, respectively.[5] This was followed shortly by the casting of Rachel Skarsten as Alice,[4] Dougray Scott as Jacob Kane,[7] and Elizabeth Anweis as Catherine Hamilton-Kane.[6]

The casting of Rose as Batwoman was met by backlash on social media and received intense criticism.[52][53] DC Comics, which owns the rights to the longtime comic book superheroine Batwoman, reintroduced the character in 2006 as a lesbian of Jewish descent. Some online reactions attacked Rose for not being Jewish, while the main focus of the criticism was the assertion that the fact she identifies as gender fluid made her "not gay enough."[53] Rose left Twitter and deactivated public commenting on her Instagram account following the backlash.[52]

Recasting of Batwoman[edit]

In May 2020, Rose announced she would be leaving the series ahead of its second season;[54] it was mutually decided between Rose, the studio, and the network for her to leave.[55][56] The producers reaffirmed their commitment to the series and finding a new actress of the LGBTQ community to lead future seasons.[54] No reason was given at the time for Rose's departure.[54] Rose later called being the lead of a series "taxing" and stated her back surgery following an on-set accident in 2019 was a contributing factor in deciding to leave, saying it was "time for me to take a break to fully heal and then return" to acting. Spending time in isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic also allowed Rose "to just think about a lot of different things and what you want to achieve in life and what you want to do," which allowed her "a great opportunity to have a dialogue about a lot of things" with the producers.[57]

The following month, a casting notice for a new character named Ryan Wilder was revealed, indicating the series was looking to replace Kane as Batwoman.[58][59] Dries defended the decision to introduce a new character as Batwoman, asserting that the series would continue to "respect everything that Ruby put into the Kate Kane character."[60] She also revealed Kane would not be killed, and her disappearance would be a key storyline during season two.[61] Matt Webb Mitovitch at TVLine and Jill Pantozzi of io9 both felt replacing Kane as Batwoman would be a detriment to the series. Mitovitch felt it would "create more problems than it solves", saying it would take away from the established character dynamics (namely the "central" one between Kate and Alice) and the various plot threads waiting to be resolved from the end of the first season. He added: "a simple if momentarily awkward recast would have kept all established storylines and dynamics intact; Season 2 could then pick up where the solid Season 1 left off. Instead, loyal viewers will be asked to re-invest in something that is significantly new, while also possibly giving up some of the things they liked most about the show."[62] Pantozzi felt the series could have approached the casting of a new lead actor more creatively, given the series exists in "a universe of time travel, doppelgängers, and literal face-swapping". She concluded, "if they are truly doing away with the Kate character it feels like a bizarre move. Fans could much easier come to terms with a simple replacement actress, than having to go through a convoluted story of why a random lesbian has taken up the cowl so soon after Kate did. ... It seems like a lot of explaining to do when there’s a much easier option."[63] Conversely, Collider's Liz Shannon Miller felt a new character was "the right call" and "a big swing" for the series. Miller pointed to the "long-established precedent" in the comics of new characters taking over mantles from others. Like Mitovitch, Miller questioned what the new character would mean for the series' supporting cast, since their connections to Kate were "their primary reason for being a part of the show’s storyline". She also hoped "Ryan Wilder" was a placeholder name, "because the trend of naming strong female characters with traditionally male names has just gotten tired at this point".[64]

In early July 2020, Javicia Leslie, a bisexual Black woman, was cast as Ryan Wilder, the new Batwoman.[65] Rose was supportive of Leslie's casting.[66][57]

Filming[edit]

Production on the pilot episode began on March 4 and concluded on March 25, 2019, in Vancouver, British Columbia.[67][68] Additional filming took place in Chicago, Illinois.[69] Filming for the rest of the season began on July 4 and was set to conclude in mid-2020.[70] On March 12, 2020, Warner Bros. Television shut down production on the series due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[71] Filming for the second season began on September 3, 2020,[72] and will conclude on May 10, 2021.[73]

Release[edit]

Broadcast[edit]

The series debuted on The CW October 6, 2019.[74] In New Zealand, the series is streamed on TVNZ’s free streaming service TVNZ OnDemand.[75] In the United Kingdom, the series is shown on E4.[76]

Home media[edit]

Season 1 was released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 18, 2020. Special features included deleted scenes, a gag reel, highlights from DCTV's 2019 San Diego Comic-Con panels, and a behind-the-scenes featurette entitled "On the Set". The release also included a bonus disc with all five episodes of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event.[77]

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

Viewership and ratings per season of Batwoman
Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes First aired Last aired TV season Viewership
rank
Avg. viewers
(millions)
18–49
rank
Avg. 18–49
rating
Date Viewers
(millions)
Date Viewers
(millions)
1 Sunday 8:00 pm 20 October 6, 2019 1.86[20] May 17, 2020 0.74[39] 2019–20 117 1.61 113 0.5[18]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 80% based on 50 reviews, with an average rating of 6.87/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Though it needs more time to develop its own identity to truly soar, Batwoman's fun and stylish first season is a step in the right direction for representation and superhero shows alike."[78] On Metacritic, the series has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100 based on reviews from 16 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[79]

Accolades[edit]

Awards and nominations received by Batwoman
Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2020 GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Drama Series Batwoman Nominated [80]
Queerty Awards TV Series Batwoman Nominated [81]
[82]
TV Performance Ruby Rose Nominated
Autostraddle Gay Emmys Outstanding Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series Batwoman runner-up [83]
Outstanding Supporting Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series Meagan Tandy Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series Christina Wolfe runner-up
Brianne Howey Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an LGBTQ+ Actor in a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show Ruby Rose Nominated
Most Groundbreaking Representation (Show) Batwoman runner-up

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ It is stated by Kate Kane in the Elseworlds crossover that both Batman and Bruce Wayne have "gone missing."

References[edit]

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