Pennyworth (TV series)

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Pennyworth
Pennyworth (TV series logo).png
GenreCrime
Drama
Based on
Starring
Composer(s)
  • David E. Russo
  • Komeil S. Hosseini
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Production company(s)
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original networkEpix
Original releaseJuly 28, 2019 (2019-07-28) –
present (present)
External links
Website

Pennyworth is an American crime drama television series, based on characters published by DC Comics and created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, that premiered on July 28, 2019, on Epix. The series is executive produced by Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon and stars Jack Bannon as the titular character, alongside Ben Aldridge, Ryan Fletcher, Hainsley Lloyd Bennett, Paloma Faith, and Jason Flemyng.

Premise[edit]

Pennyworth explores the early life of the titular Wayne family butler, Alfred Pennyworth, a former British SAS soldier who is forming his own security company in 1960s London. Alfred becomes a target of the Raven Society, a group conspiring to take over the British government, and begins working against them alongside American agents of the No Name League, Thomas Wayne and Martha Kane, the future parents of Bruce Wayne/Batman.[1]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Jack Bannon as Alfred Pennyworth: A former British SAS soldier who works as a bouncer at an exclusive London club while starting up his own security company.
  • Ben Aldridge as Thomas Wayne: A young American doctor and agent for the No Name League from Gotham City who is impressed with Alfred's skills and hopes to hire him. Wayne is actually an undercover CIA agent working undercover in the No Name League.
  • Hainsley Lloyd Bennett as Deon "Bazza" Bashford: A playboy and longtime friend of Alfred's who served with him in the army.
  • Ryan Fletcher as Wallace "Dave Boy" McDougal: Another longtime army friend of Alfred's who has a drinking problem.
  • Dorothy Atkinson as Mary Pennyworth, Alfred's mother
  • Ian Puleston-Davies as Mr. Pennyworth, Alfred's father
  • Paloma Faith as Bet Sykes: A sadistic sociopath who worked as an enforcer for the Raven Society.
  • Jason Flemyng as Lord James Harwood: The former leader of the Raven Society, who are conspiring to take control of the British government.
  • Polly Walker as Peggy Sykes, Bet's sister
  • Emma Paetz as Martha Kane: An American agent for the No Name League who hires Alfred to assist her on dangerous missions. She develops a crush on Alfred during their missions.

Recurring[edit]

  • Emma Corrin as Esme Winikus: A nightclub dancer and aspiring actress who falls in love with Alfred
  • Jessica Ellerby as The Queen[2]
  • Danny Webb as John Ripper: A local crime lord who develops a friendship with Alfred.
  • Richard Clothier as the Prime Minister.
  • Anna Chancellor as Frances Gaunt: A doctor and the new leader of the Raven Society.

Episodes[edit]

No.Title [3][4]Directed byWritten byOriginal air date [4]International debut
1"Pilot"Danny CannonBruno HellerJuly 28, 2019 (2019-07-28)[a]4 September 2019
Former British SAS soldier Alfred Pennyworth becomes caught up in the conflict between American agent Thomas Wayne and the shadowy Raven Society.
2"The Landlord's Daughter"Danny CannonBruno HellerAugust 4, 2019 (2019-08-04)[a]11 September 2019
Alfred's side job as a security consultant brings him to the attention of local crime lord John Ripper.
3"Martha Kane"Bill EaglesBruno HellerAugust 11, 2019 (2019-08-11)[a]18 September 2019
American No Name League agent Martha Kane hires Alfred to assist her on a dangerous mission.
4"Lady Penelope"China Moo-YoungBruno HellerAugust 11, 2019 (2019-08-11)TBA
Martha enlists Alfred to help get the name of the new leader of the Raven Society.
5"Shirley Bassey"Rob BaileyBruno HellerAugust 18, 2019 (2019-08-18)TBA
In the wake of Esme's murder, Alfred is slowly pulled out of his depression by Ripper, who insists that an enemy of Alfred's killed her.
6"Cilla Black"Bill EaglesBruno HellerAugust 25, 2019 (2019-08-25)TBA
Ripper sends Alfred to a witch who gives him clues to find Esme's killer. Lord Harwood's memory returns.
7"Julie Christie"Clare KilnerBruno HellerSeptember 8, 2019 (2019-09-08)TBA
While Thomas and Martha visit Crowley's mansion seeking Patricia, Alfred closes in on Esme's killer, Captain Curzon.
8"Sandie Shaw"Jon EastDanny CannonSeptember 15, 2019 (2019-09-15)TBA
9"Alma Cogan"TBATBASeptember 22, 2019 (2019-09-22)TBA
10"Marianne Faithful"TBATBASeptember 29, 2019 (2019-09-29)TBA

Production[edit]

Jack Bannon as a young Alfred Pennyworth.

Development[edit]

On May 16, 2018, it was announced that Epix had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of ten episodes. The pilot episode was expected to be written by Bruno Heller and directed by Danny Cannon, both of whom were also set to executive produce the series. Production companies that were slated to be involved with the series include Warner Horizon Television.[1][6][7][8] On February 6, 2019, it was announced during the Television Critics Association's annual winter press tour that the series would premiere in June 2019.[9]

On April 24, 2019, it was announced that the series would premiere on July 28, 2019, on Epix.[10]

Casting[edit]

In October 2018, it was announced that Jack Bannon, Ben Aldridge, Ryan Fletcher, Hainsley Lloyd Bennett, Paloma Faith, and Jason Flemyng had been cast in series regular roles.[11][12][13][14][15] On December 4, 2018, it was reported that Polly Walker had joined the cast in a recurring capacity.[16]

On March 20, 2019, Emma Paetz and Jessica Ellerby were cast in the series with Paetz as Martha Kane and Ellerby as The Queen.[2]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography for the series commenced on October 22, 2018 at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in Leavesden, Hertfordshire, England.[11] Additionally, a number of shots were taken in London, including selecting the landmark building Florin Court as the home and neighbourhood of one of the series lead characters.[17] Principal photography for the series wrapped on May 24, 2019.

Reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 70% based on 23 reviews, with an average rating of 7.56/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "While intriguing characters and impressive set-pieces make for an engaging spy-thriller, Pennyworth doesn't add much to the greater Batman mythos."[18] On Metacritic the series has a weighted average score of 62% based on reviews from 8 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[19]

Writing for The A.V. Club, Sam Barsanti gives the program a C, noting that Pennyworth "would almost be more entertaining if you changed some of the names and jettisoned the comic book connection entirely—at least then there’d be no distracting questions about why Thomas Wayne has a sister and why he’s secretly working for the government instead of becoming a rich doctor back home. As it stands, though, the show is as entertaining as it is frustrating, feeling sort of like an adaptation of a comic based on Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies (with all of the Britishness that implies)."[20]

Broadcast[edit]

In the United States, the series premiered on July 28, 2019, on Epix. In Canada, the series premiered on Showcase on September 4, 2019, six weeks behind the Epix schedule.[21]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The first episode was made available on July 21, 2019 to subscribers of Epix Now, and the second and third episodes on July 28, 2019.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Petski, Denise (May 16, 2018). "Batman Prequel Pennyworth From Gotham Duo Gets Series Order at Epix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Petski, Denise (March 20, 2019). "Pennyworth: Emma Paetz & Jessica Ellerby Cast In Epix's Batman Prequel Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  3. ^ "Showatch: Pennyworth". The Futon Critic. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Epix Schedule". Epix. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  5. ^ Frederiksen, Eric (July 20, 2019). "Check out Pennyworth early with an EPIX 30-day trial". Batman News.
  6. ^ Holloway, Daniel (May 16, 2018). "Batman Prequel Pennyworth Lands Series Order at Epix". Variety. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  7. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 16, 2018). "Gotham Boss Sets New Batman Prequel Series at Epix". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  8. ^ Maas, Jennifer (May 16, 2018). "New Batman Prequel Series Arrives at Epix Ahead of Fox's Final Gotham Season". TheWrap. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  9. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 6, 2019). "Gotham EP Danny Cannon Teases Batman Prequel Series Pennyworth". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  10. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (April 24, 2019). "Pennyworth Batman Pre-Prequel Gets Epix Premiere Date, New Teaser". TVLine. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (October 15, 2018). "Pennyworth: Jack Bannon To Star In Title Alfred Role On Epix's Batman Prequel". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 15, 2018). "Pennyworth: Ben Aldridge To Play Thomas Wayne In Batman Prequel On Epix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  13. ^ Petski, Denise (October 16, 2018). "Pennyworth: Ryan Fletcher & Hainsley Lloyd Bennett Set As Regulars In Batman Prequel On Epix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  14. ^ Boucher, Geoff (October 19, 2018). "UK Pop Star Paloma Faith Cast As Pennyworth Villainess in Epix's Batman Prequel". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  15. ^ Boucher, Geoff (October 30, 2018). "Epix Batman Prequel Pennyworth Adds Jason Flemyng as Villain". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  16. ^ Petski, Denise (December 4, 2018). "Pennyworth: Polly Walker To Recur In Batman Prequel On Epix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  17. ^ Steves, Ashley (30 January 2019). "Filming Batman prequel series Pennyworth". Backstage. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  18. ^ "Pennyworth: Season 1 (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  19. ^ "Pennyworth". Metacritic. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  20. ^ Barsanti, Sam (July 25, 2019). "Batman prequel Pennyworth feels like a comic book, just not the one it's actually based on". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  21. ^ "Pennyworth: Schedule and Videos". Showcase. August 5, 2019. Retrieved September 18, 2019.

External links[edit]