Pennyworth
Pennyworth (TV series logo).png
Also known asPennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler (season 3)[1]
Genre
Based on
Developed byBruno Heller
Danny Cannon
Starring
Composers
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes30 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Running time47–71 minutes
Production companies
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original network
Original releaseJuly 28, 2019 (2019-07-28) –
present (present)
Chronology
RelatedGotham

Pennyworth is an American television series that premiered on July 28, 2019, on Epix, based on DC Comics' Batman character of the same name. The series was developed for television and is executive produced by Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon, and stars Jack Bannon as Alfred Pennyworth, a younger version of the iteration of the character previously portrayed by Sean Pertwee in Heller's and Cannon's Fox series Gotham (2014–2019), with the series serving as a prequel to both Gotham, and V for Vendetta, by Alan Moore, David Lloyd, and Tony Weare.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8] Ben Aldridge, Hainsley Lloyd Bennett, Ryan Fletcher, Dorothy Atkinson, Emma Paetz, Paloma Faith, Polly Walker, James Purefoy, and Jason Flemyng also star.

The second season began filming in January 2020, but the filming was paused in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[9] The second season premiered on December 13, 2020.[10] In October 2021, it was announced that the series would premiere on HBO Max for its third season, although it would still continue to air on Epix in addition.[11] The third season, marketed with the subtitle The Origin of Batman's Butler, was released on October 6, 2022.[1]

Premise

Pennyworth explores the early life of the titular Wayne family butler, Alfred Pennyworth, a former British soldier of the Special Air Service (SAS), years before the events of Gotham. After serving in the Malayan Emergency, he aims to form his own security company in an alternate history London,[12] which combines aspects of the early 1960s with invented events and practices inspired by V for Vendetta, such as a modern civil war and televised public executions.

In the first two seasons, Alfred becomes a target of the fascist Raven Society, a group conspiring to take over the British government, working against them with American agents of the CIA-affiliated No Name League, Thomas Wayne and Martha Kane, the future parents of Bruce Wayne, to whom is born his older future-long-lost sister, Samantha Thomas Wayne, in the second season finale.[13]

Cast and characters

Main article: List of Gotham and Pennyworth characters

Main

Recurring

Guest

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
110July 28, 2019 (2019-07-28)September 29, 2019 (2019-09-29)Epix
2104December 13, 2020 (2020-12-13)December 27, 2020 (2020-12-27)
6March 7, 2021 (2021-03-07)April 11, 2021 (2021-04-11)
310October 6, 2022 (2022-10-06)November 24, 2022 (2022-11-24)HBO Max

Season 1 (2019)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Pilot"Danny CannonBruno HellerJuly 28, 2019 (2019-07-28)[a]
Former British SAS soldier Alfred Pennyworth becomes caught up in the conflict between American agent Thomas Wayne and the shadowy Raven Society.
22"The Landlord's Daughter"Danny CannonBruno HellerAugust 4, 2019 (2019-08-04)[a]
Alfred's side job as a security consultant brings him to the attention of local crime lord John Ripper.
33"Martha Kane"Bill EaglesBruno HellerAugust 11, 2019 (2019-08-11)[a]
American No Name League agent Martha Kane hires Alfred to assist her on a dangerous mission.
44"Lady Penelope"China Moo-YoungBruno HellerAugust 11, 2019 (2019-08-11)

Martha enlists Alfred to help get the name of the new leader of the Raven Society.


The episode title refers to British mid-1960s Thunderbirds television series character Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward.
55"Shirley Bassey"Rob BaileyBruno HellerAugust 18, 2019 (2019-08-18)

In the wake of Esme's murder, Alfred is slowly pulled out of his depression by Ripper, who insists that an enemy of Alfred killed her.


The episode title refers to 1960s British singer Shirley Bassey.
66"Cilla Black"Bill EaglesBruno HellerAugust 25, 2019 (2019-08-25)

Ripper sends Alfred to a witch who gives him clues to find Esme's killer. Lord Harwood's memory returns.


The episode title refers to 1960s British singer Cilla Black.
77"Julie Christie"Clare KilnerSeth SinclairSeptember 8, 2019 (2019-09-08)

While Thomas and Martha visit Crowley's mansion seeking Patricia, Alfred closes in on Esme's killer, Captain Curzon. Arthur Pennyworth actively participates at a Raven Society meeting.


The episode title refers to 1960s British actress Julie Christie.
88"Sandie Shaw"Jon EastDanny CannonSeptember 15, 2019 (2019-09-15)

As Alfred hunts down Curzon with help from Bet, Lord Harwood plots his return to power.


The episode title refers to 1960s British singer Sandie Shaw.
99"Alma Cogan"Rob BaileyBruno HellerSeptember 22, 2019 (2019-09-22)

Alfred is offered a way out of prison as the Prime Minister plots against both the Raven Society and the No Name League.


The episode title refers to 1960s British singer Alma Cogan.
1010"Marianne Faithfull"Danny CannonBruno HellerSeptember 29, 2019 (2019-09-29)

While Lord Harwood stages a coup, Alfred, Bazza, and Dave Boy help Thomas and Martha rescue the Queen from the Sykes sisters. Lord Harwood, Francis Gaunt, and the Sykes are arrested. Alfred is pardoned, but finds himself trying to stop his father from assassinating the Queen and Prime Minister.


The episode title refers to 1960s British singer Marianne Faithfull.

Season 2 (2020–21)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
111"The Heavy Crown"Danny CannonBruno HellerDecember 13, 2020 (2020-12-13)
Several months passed since the last season. Lord Harwood escaped and his Raven Union has the British Army's backing, having taken over most of the UK. The Queen and what remain of the League are besieged in London. Alfred runs a bar and does side jobs for both sides, being paid by Aziz — now a League council member — to kidnap Salt, a supposedly minor Raven Union functionary. He is collecting money to leave the country for the USA. Meanwhile, Martha Kane has risen to lieutenant position in the League, and meets with a returning Thomas Wayne, now named CIA section leader, who tells her that the USA will remain neutral in the conflict, and that he is engaged to be married. Bet Sykes now works as a captain in an interrogation center of the Raven Union, and unhappy with her job, kills her superior and escapes with an art student prisoner. Salt is sprung from Aziz's team by Gully, Alfred's old SAS captain, and is revealed to have been working with him. It is also shown that Salt is working on project Stormcloud, a poison gas weapon.
122"The Burning Bridge"Danny CannonBruno HellerDecember 20, 2020 (2020-12-20)
The CIA tasks Thomas Wayne to find dirt on Archbishop Potter, as he is an open opponent of nuclear warfare. He meets with Alistair Crowley who agrees to ruin the Archbishop's reputation for a kiss. Alfred and his friends get ready to leave the country with the money they accumulated. Alfie feels conflicted over leaving Sandra behind and gets into arguments with his mum, who wants to stay. Mrs. Gaunt learns about Stormcloud and seemingly talks Harwood out of using the poison gas. Amateur criminals kidnap Alfred's mother on the behest of a masked "Mr X" in return for the money, but it is revealed it was Lt. Aziz who set up the whole thing and shows up as Alfred frees his mum, resulting in the kidnappers getting away with the money. Meanwhile, Bet and Katie stay in hiding as Bet realizes she cannot contact Lord Harwood.
133"The Belt and Welt"Rob BaileyJimmy DowdallDecember 27, 2020 (2020-12-27)
After a strange dream involving his father, Alfred gets the idea that it was Captain Gully who stole their money. He gets his whereabouts from his wife, and confronts him, but Gully swears on his honor it wasn't him, and invites Alfred to do a robbery with his crew, which he declines. Meanwhile, Crowley seduces the Archbishop to the ways of the flesh and releases incriminating photos of him involved in an orgy, which causes Potter to resign and commit suicide. Martha, realizing from a comment by Alfred that it was Thomas who hired Crowley, confronts him and is deeply disappointed. Bet and Katie take refuge at the home of a teacher of the latter, and Bet finally gets in contact with Lord Harwood. Despite both Mrs. Gaunt and Salt trying to talk him out of saving her, Harwood orders Salt to bring back Bet alive, but Salt's policemen open fire at the house. Daveboy realizes he once drunkenly bragged to someone about the money, which prompts Alfred to notice a 500£ ring on the finger of one of his waitresses, Sheri. She reveals it was given to her by Vic Dobson, a small time crook. They track Vic to his home at the carnival caravan, and he and Alfred fight in the hall of mirrors, where Alfred mortally wounds him in self defense. Sheri grabs the money and tries to escape in a car, but drives into fuel barrels, with the explosion killing her and destroying the money. Bazza is mortally wounded by the explosion and makes Alfred and Daveboy swear to not give up and make it to America as he dies.
144"The Hunted Fox"Rob BaileySeth SinclairDecember 27, 2020 (2020-12-27)
At Bazza's funeral, Gully Troy shows up and Alfred agrees to do a robbery with him. Thomas visits Martha, asking for her help as his sister Patricia is in love with a seductive fashion designer, who proposes to her at a party. Meanwhile, Bet Sykes and Katie smuggle themselves into London and find Bet's sister who runs an S&M sex toy shop. The Queen listens to the candidates' speeches, with Ripper proposing to free criminals and use them in their army, while Aziz tries to appeal to the democratic and moral values of people. Aziz gets elected as prime minister. Alfred and Troy successfully rob the Lord Mayor's coach, stealing the hidden gold he carried. During the celebration, Alfred gets angry at seeing Troy abuse his wife, and they nearly come to blows, but then he agrees to do one last job with him. Alfred secretly kisses Mrs. Troy though. Thomas and Martha work together as Martha proves to Patricia the fashion designer's infidelity by tying him up as he was trying to seduce her while naked, and Patricia terminates the engagement. Thomas and Martha reconcile and have sex. Lord Harwood starts showing signs of mental imbalance, starting to consider using the poison gas, and is shown to be medicated by Salt. Salt subtly suggests to Mrs. Gaunt to reach out to Aziz and try to begin peace talks. The Raven leadership attends a demonstration of Stormcloud and is shown how capable it is of quickly and efficiently killing prisoners. Unknowingly, they are being filmed by an undercover Lucius Fox.
155"The Bleeding Heart"Jon EastHannah BoschiMarch 7, 2021 (2021-03-07)
Mrs Gaunt meets with Prime Minister Aziz and warns him in vain to surrender or risk Stormcloud being deployed in London. Salt tells Lord Harwood about Gaunt's secret meeting, who, no longer trusting her, has her imprisoned. Martha and Thomas deepen their relationship, while Thomas receives a message from Lucius Fox asking to be extracted. Katie learns all the terrible things Bet has done, but still decides to stick by her and try to help her change. Alfred learns from Thomas that the tickets to America cost more than he assumed, making it necessary for them to work with Gully Troy again. They plan to rob a fixed wrestling match and make off with the winnings, however due to the fighters getting into a squabble, the match ends sooner than expected. An unmasked Banjo, one of Gully's men, kills several civilians in the chaos following the explosion heard from the safe being blown up. Alfred's mother realizes where he got the money from and expels him from her house. Alfred gives in to the advances of Gully's wife, Melanie, and they have sex. Meanwhile, Gully takes Banjo to the woods and executes him.
166"The Rose and Thorn"Jon EastBruno HellerMarch 14, 2021 (2021-03-14)

Alfred buys three tickets to America from the money gained in the robbery. He tells Sandra he is leaving and breaks up with her. Prime Minister Aziz and the Queen recruit him for one last job against his will by blackmailing him with their knowledge that he had a fling with Melanie (Mrs. Gully). Alfred, Daveboy and Martha spring Lucius Fox from the Raven Union though it is a bloodshed. Alfred's mum reconciles with him and agrees to accompany him to America, if he abstains from further violence there. Lucius tells Thomas that Stormcloud is ready within a week and could kill everyone in London via a fear-induced chemical attack, but Thomas can do little but warn CIA upper management. Martha is revealed to be pregnant with Thomas' child. Meanwhile, Aziz manipulates Ripper (who wants his position) and Alistair Crowley against each other, which ends with Ripper confronting Crowley to threaten him, but ends up with Ripper drugged and institutionalized as he has terrifying hallucinations and cannot tell fantasy from reality.

In the Raven Union, Salt manipulates an eager young lieutenant to speak up for Mrs. Gaunt, while also further drugging and manipulating Harwood, who makes him a baronet and names him chief advisor. Under the influence of the drugs, Lord Harwood has a mental breakdown and beats the lieutenant to death, and is locked up, allowing Salt to take over.
177"The Bloody Mary"Catherine MorsheadJimmy DowdallMarch 21, 2021 (2021-03-21)
The CIA forbids Thomas and Lucius to alert the League about Stormcloud — as long as the US government doesn't know about a chemical weapon, they won't intervene and they want the conflict resolved quickly. Against their orders, they go to Martha and give the footage to Aziz, both of them deciding to stay in England. Thomas decides to go to medical school. Meanwhile, Alfred is approached by Gully with a job offer, but declines. Gully, suspicious of him, attacks Melanie and tries to kill her, but she wounds him and escapes to Alfred. He buys her a ticket as well, but in the end decides to stay in England and fight, his mother and Daveboy staying with him. Melanie boards the plane to America with Patricia Wayne. In Harwood manor, Bet and Peg Sykes overpower the guards and try to rescue Lord Harwood, but get surrounded by the army. Realizing that with him dead, Salt will not have the legitimacy to lead the Raven Union, Lord Harwood pretends he wants to surrender to Salt directly, but then draws his weapon on him calling him a traitor and gets shot dead, distracting the army for the Sykes sisters to escape.
188"The Hangman's Noose"Catherine MorsheadSeth SinclairMarch 28, 2021 (2021-03-28)
After Lord Harwood's funeral in London, Salt demands the unconditional surrender of the Queen, threatening to unleash Stormcloud. Martha tells Thomas she is pregnant, but refuses when he wishes to marry her. Bet and Peg kidnap Vikki, Salt's mistress, but Katie talks Bet out of hurting her. Alfred goes to visit Gully and resolve things, but his gang ambushes him. Gully leads Alfred to the woods, stabs him then hunts him. While wounded, Alfred gets the upper hand after creating a trap from branches, however he refuses to kill Gully. Delirious from his wound, he swears to an apparition of Bazza that he wants to make a difference and serve a higher purpose. Daveboy and Mrs. Pennyworth arrive and save Alfred. Meanwhile, the Raven Union high council elects Salt as Chancellor, and it’s revealed that Alfred's father is alive, bound to a life-support wheelchair.
199"Paradise Lost"Rob BaileyHannah BoschiApril 4, 2021 (2021-04-04)
Thomas, Martha and Lucius approach Alfred for assistance in breaking into the Raven Union to steal Stormcloud much to Mrs. Pennyworth’s disapproval. Alfred finds Sandra and makes love with her before embarking on the mission. Martha seemingly agrees to Thomas’s proposal of marriage. Bet and Peg force Vikki to arrange a meeting with Salt. Alfred manages to secure Stormcloud and escape but not before Salt captures them. Salt sends Mr. Pennyworth to talk with Alfred to his disbelief. Alfred refuses his offer to join the Raven Union. Meanwhile, Bet and Peg locate and free Mrs Gaunt. While escaping, Bet runs into Alfred and releases them before parting ways. Alfred and the team fail to escape and gets trapped again. Salt grants Mr. Pennyworth another chance to persuade Alfred to join the Union. Mr. Pennyworth betrays the Union as Alfred kills the guards and they steal Stormcloud before leaving the Raven Union compound. On the way out, Alfred calls Aziz to inform him about their success.
2010"The Lion and Lamb"Rob BaileyBruno HellerApril 11, 2021 (2021-04-11)
Mrs. Pennyworth learns her husband is still alive. While everyone celebrates at the League HQ, Gully storms in looking for Alfred and accidentally breaks the capsule, revealing it to be inactive. Salt reveals Stormcloud is already in London and arrests General Thursday, intending to detonate it despite the League's surrender. Martha says yes to Thomas and Aziz marries them on the spot. Having second thoughts about letting his family die for his cause, Mr Pennyworth tells Alfred Stormcloud was smuggled into London inside Lord Harwood's coffin. Alfred and Daveboy locate the bomb and Lucius tries to deactivate it. Meanwhile, Salt is attacked by the Sykes sisters in his penthouse and beaten up, but manages to get the detonator and trigger it. Alfred offers to swallow the capsule, but Gully volunteers — the detonation is averted, but he turns blue and dies. Mr Pennyworth says goodbye to his wife and then unplugs his life support to pass away. Six months later, the New Raven Alliance, led by Frances Gaunt, assaults London, while Martha gives birth to a baby girl. Alfred leads the counterattack with Daveboy, Bet and Kathie, and are joined by a revived Gully, who now has life-draining powers.

Season 3 (2022)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date [19]
211"Well to Do"Rob BaileyBruno HellerOctober 6, 2022 (2022-10-06)

With the powers of Gully, now called Captain Blighty, the League wins the civil war. Five years later, Alfred's security agency has expanded (including Daveboy and Bet Sykes), and several new people with powers emerge, whom they capture for MI5 Science branch - for whom Martha Wayne now works as an agent alongside Lucius Fox. Thomas and Martha have a 5-year old daughter named Samantha, who is babysat by Mrs Pennyworth. Apparently, a nuclear crisis between Russia and the USA has just been averted (where Kyiv and Miami have been destroyed). Aziz is still prime minister of England. Sandra has gone on to have a career as a famous pop singer.

A doctor slashes the throat of a man with a scalpel and runs away. MI5 identifies the man as a CIA agent, but the Americans do not come forward, meaning the business he was in was top secret. A young woman named Jessica Thistle runs away from home, and her nanny hires Alfred to look for the missing girl. They find her in the ashram of Sister Susie, a hippie drug dealer, and extract her to return her to her parents. Meanwhile, Patrick Wayne, Thomas's father, whom he hasn't seen in years, shows up to reconnect with his family, alongside his girlfriend Virginia Devereaux. Martha suspects there is more to this visit. Bet Sykes is still on the trail of John Salt, who escaped from prison and is missing. She tracks down a former Raven leader and takes her and her husband hostage in their home, and when they resist, kills them and takes their baby, also finding a ledger with coded messages. The next day, Patrick asks Thomas' help in locating a Waynetech employee, Doctor Glubb, who ran away with priceless company secrets. Patrick asks for Martha's help, revealing to Thomas (who was unaware) that she is on active MI5 duty. Virginia chastises Patrick and threatens him to use more direct methods. When receiving a call that "the girl is in position", she gives the order to go ahead. The next morning, Jessica stabs her parents to death with a knife, then in a daze, walks to Alfred's home and collapses in the door.
222"Many Clouds"Rob BaileyJohn StephensOctober 6, 2022 (2022-10-06)
Aziz questions Alfred about the murder, and it is revealed the nanny who hired him was a fake. Thomas confronts Martha about her working as a field agent, but she lies that her job is not dangerous. Thomas asks Alfred to work for his father and find Dr. Glubb. While watching over the comatose Jessica in the hospital, Daveboy confronts and kills a CIA agent who was trying to kidnap her. The fake nanny, a hired actress, visits Alfred's agency, having been stabbed on the way, revealing Americans hired her. Alfred and Daveboy move Jessica to Sandra's penthouse for safekeeping. Mrs P. answers an advertisement in the papers seeking companionship, but leaves insulted when the man suggests they go to a hotel to have sex. Following up a clue about incense on the dead CIA agent's clothes, Martha infiltrates Sister Susie's ashram and questions her. She tells her that she was paid by the CIA to help run drug tests on her commune, but never saw any results. CIA agents show up and kill Sister Susie, but Alfred and Daveboy shoot them before they could kill Martha, who finds a hidden Waynetech camera behind a false mirror. Patrick talks to Thomas, and tells him the details - Dr. Glubb created psychotropic drugs for the CIA as part of Operation Lullaby State, which is developing mind control. Martha and Alfred realize Jessica killed her parents under the influence of the drugs, and something was used to trigger her - at the same time, when one of Sandra's songs is played at her flat, Jessica goes into a trance and starts to kill the partying people with a knife. She is shot at the last second by Daveboy before she could kill Sandra.
233"Comply or Die"Jon EastRobert HullOctober 6, 2022 (2022-10-06)
Below the fake MI5 front, Lucius visits the people with special abilities kept there. Gully, feeling down and caged, escapes using Fox to open the elevator for him with the retinal scanner. Alfred is contacted by MI5 to bring him back. Martha and Thomas exchange information, and Thomas talks to Patrick who is alerted to Martha knowing about the CIA's involvement in Operation Lullaby State. Feeling responsible for Jessica's death, Daveboy attends her funeral, causing a scene when trying to make a speech while drunk, but impressing an attending Sally Prufrock. Alfred finds Gully at a horse race betting office, and manages to mollify him, then disable him with a killswitch on the back of his armor. However, the patrons, angry at losing a bet, attack them to try and sell Gully's armor. Lucius arrives, giving Alfred the time to disarm them. Gully reveals he is still in love with Melanie, and wants to escape and find her. Alfred finds out his mum lied to him and went on a date. While at a playground with Mrs P. and Samantha, Martha is approached by Dr. Glubb. He tells her he wants to work for MI5 in return for money and protection from the Americans. He also reveals he tried to make the same deal with the Thistles, who were murdered before he could complete it. Before leaving abruptly to escape the CIA, he warns Martha that Patrick Wayne is not the one she should worry about. Virginia, revealed to be a CIA agent, sees Martha leaving and authorizes an operation to tie up loose ends. While talking with Thomas, she drugs him and then operatives carry him away, to the impotent protests of Patrick. Alfred visits Sandra and comforts her. Thomas returns seemingly unaware of anything happening, however during dinner he gets a phone call that starts playing Sandra's song to him. Thomas hallucinates that Martha is a sadistic prison warden, and attacks and stabs her, but Mrs P. knocks him out before he could kill her.
244"Silver Birch"Jon EastHannah BoschiOctober 13, 2022 (2022-10-13)
Thomas is arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London, while Martha undergoes surgery to save her life. Patrick Wayne hires Alfred to break his son out and send him back to the USA, without Virginia's knowledge, offering to pay a million pounds. Alfred tries to explain to Aziz that Thomas was under the influence of a mind control drug, to no avail. Dr. Glubb, unable to make contact with Martha, is offered a deal by a mysterious person via a phone booth. Using a grappling hook gun and automatic lockpick developed by Lucius, Alfred and Daveboy break Thomas out of the Tower, becoming fugitives, but Aziz intercedes so that no charges are pressed. Daveboy attends a gallery exhibition at Sally's request, with whom he had a wild night of sex, meeting the flamboyant artist Francis Foulkes. Alfred takes Thomas to his home, disrupting an awkward date his mum was having. As Thomas refuses to leave the country without his family, Alfred confronts Patrick Wayne, soon finding out when Thomas bursts in that Virginia is his CIA handler, a rogue agent wanting to develop the mind control drugs further. She pulls a gun on them and Patrick reveals Virginia sent agents to kill Martha, but then the police burst in to arrest everyone, as Alfred called them in advance. The CIA agents find Aziz and the police waiting for them at the hospital, where Martha has safely pulled through the operation. Alfred is released and goes to his office, finding Sandra there, and they end up sleeping together. Meanwhile, a tied up Dr. Glubb meets his mysterious ally, a man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask.
255"Rhyme 'n' Reason"Jill RobertsonRobert HullOctober 20, 2022 (2022-10-20)
Thomas' and Martha's relationship is strained due to the mind control assassination attempt, and they sleep in separate rooms. Patricia, Thomas' sister arrives unexpectedly, lodging up with the Waynes, and after Thomas tells her the events and how he feels about their father's behavior, this gives him the impetus to leave for Gotham to confront him, taking his gun. Prime Minister Aziz hires Alfred to act as security for Zahra Khin, the rebel leader of the former British colony Kalpoor who is in London for the summit but is not backed officially by the British government. After thwarting an assassination attempt on her life, Alfred takes her to his bar, where they unveil that her head of security was a traitor and deliver him bound and gagged to the Kalpoor president. Bet Sykes tracks down Mrs Gaunt, now working as a doctor. Gaunt tries to dissuade Bet from revenge, and offers to take the baby from her, but Bet refuses. Mrs Gaunt still tells her where she can find John Salt, but asks her to minimize the bloodshed. Mrs Pennyworth reconnects with Roger, her date from last time, and they meet and dance together. Daveboy attends a new art exhibition event at Sally's request, organized by Francis Foulkes, where paint is poured on empty canvases and the guests. Sally convinces Daveboy to take a drug with her that she says will "link their dreams". It is revealed that Dr. Glubb works for Foulkes, who is the man in the V mask, and gave out the Lullaby State drug to select guests at the party for an undisclosed reason. Glubb warns him that without giving the subjects concrete instructions, it is not known how the drug will take effect, which is something Foulkes wants. Alfred accompanies Zahra to her hotel room and they talk and have sex, with her revealing that she is in London because she received information that her father who was supposedly assassinated 10 years ago is still alive. Alfred goes back to the pub and tells a still hallucinating Daveboy that it was them who kidnapped Zahra's father. Meanwhile, Bet Sykes tracks down and shoots an unfazed Salt multiple times, who rises back again, revealing he is now a cyborg as Bet is taken captive.
266"Hedgehunter"Jill RobertsonJohn StephensOctober 27, 2022 (2022-10-27)
In a flashback, we see how Zahra's father was kidnapped, with a close friend of his betraying him to Alfred. In the present, Alfred and Zahra get ready to meet with the man who offers information about her father's whereabouts. In Gotham, Thomas arrives in Wayne manor and confronts his father, who does not try to excuse himself for his actions, but reassures Thomas that he loves him. Alfred confronts Aziz, aware that 10 years ago they kidnapped Zahra's father for MI6, and thus British intelligence would have him today, but Aziz denies knowing about any plot. Alfred threatens to break ties with him after this last job. Meanwhile, Bet is interrogated by Salt who reveals he too developed a supersoldier like Captain Blighty. After threatening the baby, he learns Francis Gaunt betrayed him, and orders Bet executed, but she escapes. Daveboy, still hallucinating, eats a letter Sandra gave him to deliver to Alfred. Alfred goes home for his spare gun and finds his mum and Roger together, which surprises him. After finding a room full of babies all belonging to Salt, Bet finds her baby, but is stabbed in the back by Salt. She triggers his extending spike implant through his heart, seemingly killing him. Alfred and Zahra meet with the contact, who tells her that her father is on a secret island prison at the Hebrides, and if she'd give the name of all her major supporters to the Kalpoor president, the British government would release him. Alfred disagrees, saying this is a trap and she was manipulated. The contact recognizes Alfred by his voice, and tells Zahra how it was Alfred who kidnapped her father, something Alfred admits. After a tense standoff, Zahra shoots the contact instead, but then breaks up with Alfred, telling him she never wants to see him again. A dying Bet leaves the baby on a bus to be sent to her sister Peggy, as she succumbs to her wounds. As the drug wears off, Daveboy realizes he cannot remember the last 2 days' events, as Alfred tells him they will go to the Hebrides to perform a prison break. In Gotham, Patrick Wayne leaves a bar, and a masked figure shoots him dead in an alley. The figure is revealed to be Thomas Wayne.
277"Don't Push It"Danny CannonJohn StephensNovember 3, 2022 (2022-11-03)
288"Red Marauder"Sheree FolksonHannah BoschiNovember 10, 2022 (2022-11-10)
299"Rag Trade"Rob BaileyRobert HullNovember 17, 2022 (2022-11-17)
3010"Highland Wedding"Rob BaileyBruno HellerNovember 24, 2022 (2022-11-24)

Production

Jack Bannon as a young Alfred Pennyworth.
Jack Bannon as a young Alfred Pennyworth.

Development

Epix gave the production a series order for the first season consisting of ten episodes in May 2018, a prequel to the Fox series Gotham.[2] The pilot episode was written by Bruno Heller and directed by Danny Cannon, both of whom are also showrunners and executive producers. Production companies involved with the series include Warner Horizon Television.[13][20][21][22] At the 2019 Television Critics Association's annual winter press tour held in February, the series was confirmed to premiere in June 2019.[23] The premiere date was revised to July 28, 2019, on Epix.[24] The day following the series premiere, on July 29, 2019, Cannon confirmed that Pennyworth would serve as a loose prequel to V for Vendetta as well as a direct prequel to Gotham, with the British Civil War depicted in the series' first season eventually leading to the formation of the Norsefire government of V for Vendetta.[4][5][6][7] Characters wearing V's Guy Fawkes mask were later introduced in the series' third season, set five years after the first two seasons,[25] with Heller confirming a direct crossover would take place in October 2022.[8]

Season two began filming in January 2020;[9] it premiered December 13, 2020.[10]

Casting

Jack Bannon, Ben Aldridge, Ryan Fletcher, Hainsley Lloyd Bennett, Paloma Faith, and Jason Flemyng had been cast in series regular roles in October 2018, with Bannon starring as the lead title character.[26][27][28][29][30] Polly Walker had joined the cast in a recurring capacity in December.[31]

Emma Paetz and Jessica Ellerby were cast in the series as Martha Kane and The Queen, respectively in March 2019.[17] James Purefoy, who was previously cast (and replaced) as V in V for Vendetta (2005),[16] was later cast in the second and third seasons of the series as Captain Gulliver "Gully" Troy / Captain Blighty.[15][32]

In October 2022, Heller and John Stephens expressed interest in Jada Pinkett-Smith reprising her role from Gotham as a young Fish Mooney in a future season of Pennyworth, with Heller confirming with regards to the series' future Bruce Wayne casting for the eventual flashforward series finale: "I think we had the best Batman out there in David Mazouz. I'll bring him back."[33]

Filming

Principal photography for the series commenced on October 22, 2018, at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in Leavesden, Hertfordshire, England.[26] 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.[34] Various scenes were filmed at Chatham Dockyard in Kent, where the streets stood in for East London in the 1960s.[35] Principal photography for the series wrapped on May 24, 2019.

Reception

On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has an approval rating of 73% based on 30 reviews, with an average rating of 7.30/10. 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."[36] On Metacritic the series has a weighted average score of 60 out of 100 based on reviews from nine critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[37]

Writing for The A.V. Club, Sam Barsanti gives the program a C, noting: "[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)."[38]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season has an approval rating of 60% based on 5 reviews.[39]

Broadcast

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.[40] Pennyworth season one received its UK premiere on StarzPlay on Friday, October 25, 2019.[41] The series is moving to HBO Max starting with its third season with Epix receiving a second-run window.[42] The third season, subtitled The Origin of Batman's Butler, and loosely adapting V for Vendetta, premiered on October 6, 2022 on HBO Max.[1][25]

Tie-in comic

A tie-in comic of the titular character, set after the events of the third season during the Cold War, was released in August 2021. The story is written by Scott Bryan Wilson with interior art duties handled by Juan Gedeon.[43]

Notes

  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.[18]

References

  1. ^ a b c Vejvoda, Jim (August 10, 2022). "Pennyworth: Exclusive Season 3 Trailer Reveals Title Change for DC HBO Max Series". IGN. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d Kade, Leigh (July 19, 2019). "New "Pennyworth" Series Confirmed Same Universe as "Gotham"". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved July 19, 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b c Heller, Bruno (October 12, 2020). Pennyworth Season Two Cast & Producer Interview – EPIX. Popverse. Retrieved October 12, 2020 – via YouTube.((cite AV media)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ a b Gomez, Manny (July 29, 2019). "EPIX'S Pennyworth: Setting Up 60's DC London And The Road To V for Vendetta – SDCC2019". LRMonline. Retrieved July 29, 2019. “The arcing story this season is about a civil war that is brewing, and that came from a conversation from myself and Bruno [Heller] where we were considering doing V for Vendetta, we were like “that is much a very 80’s 90’s kind of show, what would it be in the 60’s?’ What kind of world would be have to create, like in Gotham there would eventually be Batman in this there would eventually be V for Vendetta [Norsefire and V]. So we took that brewing civil war as a stepping stone.” – Danny Cannon((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ a b Heller, Bruno (December 11, 2020). (Video) Pennyworth: Bruno Heller Talks Season 2, V for Vendetta, & The War That Breaks London. CBR Presents. Retrieved December 11, 2020 – via YouTube. “The V for Vendetta world conceptually — it's [like] where this world may or may not end up. What [V for Vendetta creators Alan Moore, David Lloyd and Tony Weare] did so well was to create a [Fascist] version of England that felt like England. It wasn't Nazi Germany imposed on that world. It was very much the parochial, familiar world of England transformed into something dark. That's what we've tried to do, and what [Cannon] did so brilliantly with the visuals, particularly in this season. It's England with this shadow across its face.” – Bruno Heller((cite AV media)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ a b Zachary, Brandon (December 13, 2020). "(Article) Pennyworth: Bruno Heller Talks Season 2, V for Vendetta, & The War That Breaks London". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved December 13, 2020.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ a b Harper, Rachael (February 5, 2021). "Pennyworth Season Two Secrets: What's It All About, Alfie?". SciFiNow. Retrieved February 5, 2021. “One of the few stories that have been told in this kind of world is V for Vendetta [and] conceptually, this [civil war is a] prequel to V for Vendetta. God, I wouldn’t hold us up against Alan Moore, but with comic books you have to find a throughline, and that’s very political [for Pennyworth].” – Bruno Heller((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ a b Weiss, Josh (October 6, 2022). "NYCC: Season 3 Of 'Pennyworth' Actually Shared A Set With Matt Reeves' 'The Batman'". Syfy Wire. Retrieved October 6, 2022. “There's all sorts going on in this season,” echoed Jack Bannon, who plays the suave Mr. Pennyworth, going on to tease a giant step toward a world inhabited by the Caped Crusader. “We visit Gotham, there’s an early version of Clayface, and V for Vendetta is in there as well.” That's right! V for Vendetta (the dystopian masterwork conceived by Alan Moore, David Lloyd, and Tony Weare) will somehow factor into the new season — perhaps in the same way Doomsday Clock brought the characters of Watchmen into the mainstream DC Universe a few years back. Fans immediately made the connection to V after the official Season 3 trailer showed off a number of individuals wearing Guy Fawkes masks. Co-creator, co-showrunner, and executive producer Bruno Heller was able to confirm the crossover to us, but refused to give up any further details. “I can't tell you what because then we'd be giving it away,” he said.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ a b Pennyworth Panel – Jack Bannon, Ben Aldridge, Paloma Faith – MCM London. Geektown. October 25, 2019. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved October 26, 2019 – via YouTube.
  10. ^ a b "EPIX Announces Season Two of "Pennyworth" Will Premiere December 13, 2020". The Futon Critic. October 12, 2020. Archived from the original on November 13, 2020. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 3, 2021). "'Pennyworth' DC Series Eyes Move From Epix To HBO Max". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  12. ^ Topel, Fred (February 10, 2019). "Batman Prequel 'Pennyworth' Goes to an Alternate '60s, Takes a Cue from Christopher Nolan Films [TCA 2019]". Slashfilm.com. /Film. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  13. ^ a b Petski, Denise (May 16, 2018). "Batman Prequel Pennyworth From Gotham Duo Gets Series Order at Epix". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 25, 2018. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  14. ^ Mollo, Drew (February 7, 2019). "When the Pennyworth TV Series Takes Place in Gotham Timeline". CBR.
  15. ^ a b Catig, Gary (October 6, 2022). "'Pennyworth: The Origins of Batman's Butler' goes to the sexy, psychedelic 70s and even Gotham: Jack Bannon and Ben Aldridge on season 3". AIPT Comics. Retrieved October 6, 2022.((cite news)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ a b Pevens, Lane (December 5, 2020). "The Truth About James Purefoy's Decision To Quit 'V For Vendetta'". Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  17. ^ a b Petski, Denise (March 20, 2019). "'Pennyworth': Emma Paetz & Jessica Ellerby Cast In Epix's Batman Prequel Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  18. ^ Frederiksen, Eric (July 20, 2019). "Check out Pennyworth early with an EPIX 30-day trial". Batman News.
  19. ^ "Shows A-Z - Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler on hbo max". The Futon Critic. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  20. ^ Holloway, Daniel (May 16, 2018). "'Batman' Prequel 'Pennyworth' Lands Series Order at Epix". Variety. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  21. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 16, 2018). "'Gotham' Boss Sets New Batman Prequel Series at Epix (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  22. ^ Maas, Jennifer (May 16, 2018). "New Batman Prequel Series Arrives at Epix Ahead of Fox's Final 'Gotham' Series". TheWrap. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  23. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 6, 2019). "'Gotham' EP Danny Cannon Teases Batman Prequel Series 'Pennyworth' – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  24. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (April 24, 2019). "Pennyworth Batman Pre-Prequel Gets Epix Premiere Date, New Teaser". TVLine. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  25. ^ a b Barsanti, Sam (September 8, 2022). "Trailer for the third season of Pennyworth has a truly confounding comic book cameo". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 8, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (October 15, 2018). "Pennyworth: Jack Bannon To Star In Title Alfred Role On Epix's Batman Prequel". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  27. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 15, 2018). "'Pennyworth': Ben Aldridge To Play Thomas Wayne In Batman Prequel On Epix". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 3, 2019. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  28. ^ Petski, Denise (October 16, 2018). "'Pennyworth': Ryan Fletcher & Hainsley Lloyd Bennett Set As Regulars In Batman Prequel On Epix". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  29. ^ Boucher, Geoff (October 19, 2018). "UK Pop Star Paloma Faith Cast As 'Pennyworth' Villainess In Epix's Batman Prequel". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  30. ^ Boucher, Geoff (October 30, 2018). "Epix Batman Prequel 'Pennyworth' Adds Jason Flemyng As Villain". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  31. ^ Petski, Denise (December 4, 2018). "'Pennyworth': Polly Walker To Recur In Batman Prequel On Epix". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  32. ^ Reinfuss, Wiktor (October 7, 2022). "Series Review: 'Pennyworth' Season 3 Premiere". The Cosmic Circus. Retrieved October 7, 2022.((cite news)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  33. ^ Harbet, Xandra (October 20, 2022). "Bruno Heller And John Stephens Talk Pennyworth Season 3 And Gotham Influences – Exclusive Interview". Looper. Retrieved October 20, 2022.
  34. ^ Steves, Ashley (January 30, 2019). "London What's Filming: Batman Prequel Series Pennyworth". Backstage. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  35. ^ "Pennyworth Series 1 (2019)". Kent Film Office. October 28, 2019. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  36. ^ "Pennyworth: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 1, 2022.
  37. ^ "Pennyworth: Season 1". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  38. ^ 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. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  39. ^ "Pennyworth: Season 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  40. ^ "Pennyworth: Schedule and Videos". Showcase. August 5, 2019. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  41. ^ "StarzPlay Sets UK Premiere Date For 'Pennyworth'; Releases Trailer & Key Art". September 11, 2019. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  42. ^ White, Peter (October 16, 2021). "'Pennyworth' Moves From Epix To HBO Max With Season 3 Renewal". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  43. ^ "DC Comics To Publish Sequel To Pennyworth TV Show As Comic". Bleeding Cool. May 26, 2021. Retrieved May 27, 2021.