Pennyworth S03: New Title Reminds Viewers Who They've Been Watching
Pennyworth, the wild prequel series to the Batman saga featuring the earlier years of Alfred Pennyworth before he eventually became Batman's butler, will premiere its third season on HBO Max this October with a new title, Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler, to make it clear to viewers what and who the show is exactly about. [Ed. Note: Stay tuned… in 2024… "Aquaman: The Origin of The Guy Who Talks to Fishes, Becomes King of Atlantis & Joins the Justice League"]
HBO Max is calling the show an HBO Original and might be pitching it for newcomers. Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler follows Alfred Pennyworth (Jack Bannon), a former British SAS soldier, who forms a security company in 1960s London and goes to work with young billionaire Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge) and his wife Martha (Emma Paetz), before they become Bruce Wayne's parents. Season three of the psychological thriller begins after a five-year time jump: the civil war is over, and a cultural revolution has changed the world for better or worse – ushering in a new age of Super Heroes and Supervillains.
The series is based on DC characters created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger, the ten-episode series from Warner Bros. Television is executive produced by Bruno Heller, Matthew Patnick, Danny Cannon and John Stephens. The series is produced in the UK at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden.
Aside from Jack Bannon as Alfred "Alfie" Pennyworth and Ben Aldridge and Emma Paetz as the Waynes, the cast includes singer-actor Paloma Faith as a scene-stealing recurring sociopathic villainess seemingly patterned after Myra Hindler, the real-life companion of 1960s Britain's most notorious serial killer Ian Brady, as well as Ryan Fletcher, Dorothy Atkinson, Ramon Tikaram, Harriet Slater and Simon Manyonda.
The first two seasons of Pennyworth were a wild alternate history of 1960s London – World War II never happened, and fascism is still a threat in England – and very British, with lots of in-jokes only people versed in working-class Cockney culture would spot. This was down to showrunner Heller, who previously created the minor HBO hit Rome and then Gotham on Fox. Alfie Pennyworth, as played by Bannon, was a working-class East End action hero, a rarity in genre fiction even today, and the increasingly crazy situations he got into on the show while the young Thomas Wayne and Martha fought against a rising civil war against nationalists in England and even Aleister Crowley showed up on the show. The third season time-jump suggests the show is getting a fresh start story-wise so that newcomers can jump on without watching the first two, but we recommend you watch the first season just to see how hilariously, brilliantly insane it is as British genre thrillers go.
The first two seasons of Pennyworth are currently available on HBO Max.
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