This year marks the 80th anniversary of Batman’s first appearance in comics, but perhaps more importantly, also marks the first time the Caped Crusader’s butler, Alfred, has received his own prequel television show.
Pennyworth, which stars Jack Bannon (The Imitation Game) as a young version of Bruce Wayne’s caretaker, will arrive to Epix this summer from Gotham’s Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon. A first-look teaser shows off the tone of the series, which plays like James Bond by way of Captain America: The First Avenger. Here’s how DC describes the series in the footage premiere:
Pennyworth blazes largely new ground and is not a spinoff or prequel to Gotham, so don’t look for familiar villains or allies in that brief sneak peek, with one exception. In Pennyworth, we get to know Alfred (Jack Bannon) when he’s a twentysomething former SAS officer who forms a security company and winds up working with a young Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge) in 1960s London. The series also stars recording artist Paloma Faith, Jason Flemyng (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Ryan Fletcher (Outlander), Hainsley Lloyd Bennett (Eastenders), Emma Paetz (Gentleman Jack) and Polly Walker (The Mentalist, Rome).
According to DC’s own report, the series finds Alfred dealing with a “malevolent secret society operating in London,” which we catch glimpses of such in the 15 seconds of footage. Also, tea will be served.
Alfred, first introduced in the pages of Batman as comic relief, morphed into a wiser form of Alan Napier’s version of the character in the 1966 Batman television show. His backstory would later include a life lived as a former Shakespearean actor, army medic, and British spy. He passed on his expertise in disguise and throwing voices to a young Bruce Wayne, after inheriting the post of the Wayne family butler after the death of his father.
Pennyworth, expected to run for 10 episodes, does not have an official summer debut date, but will arrive after Gotham ends its five-season run on April 25.