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Pennyworth Season 3 Evolves Alfred From His Season 1 Queen-Loving Ways

Season Three of Pennyworth, now retitled Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler for the totally oblivious and chronically inattentive viewer, features a time-jump from the wild 1960s London to a gonzo 1970s London under the helm of showrunner and creator Bruno Heller. In the first season, Alfie Pennyworth (Jack Bannon) fought off a coup by fascists and shagged the Queen. In the week of Her Maj's passing, we feel obliged to let readers know about that crucial element of our hero's personal history. Batman can never beat the fact that in this series, his future butler is far cooler than he'll ever be. You could say that everything that happens after Season One is a consequence of Alfred shagging the Queen.

Pennyworth: Season 3 has Changes After he Shagged the Queen
"Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler" key art: HBO Max

Every season of Pennyworth is different from the last, as the series (originally on Epix, which nobody watches, but now on HBO Max, where hopefully faithful DC fans will find it more accessible) moves through its bonkers alternate history timeline. Season Two had Alfie and his mates, along with American spy Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge) and his bride-to-be Martha (Emma Paetz), fighting the English civil war after Alfie's father fell in with fascists in Season One and attempted to blow up the Queen with a suicide bomb. In Season Three, a stranger's new world is starting to take shape. Bruce Wayne still hasn't been born, nor have any of his rogue's gallery emerged yet, but supernatural types and individuals with odd powers and costumes are starting to appear more and more frequently in season 3's 1970s setting on top of the period haircuts and bellbottoms. True to his no-nonsense Cockney nature, Alfie takes it all in stride.

"It's hard to make him raise an eyebrow," Pennyworth creator Bruno Heller said. "That's his most ferocious reaction to things: 'Oh, this is happening now, okay,' and then he'll deal with it." Alfie's friends, the Waynes, meanwhile, are more concerned with domestic issues. Following the birth of their daughter (a deliberate swerve to wrongfoot fans), Thomas and Martha are unnerved by the unexpected arrival of Thomas' father, Patrick Wayne, and his lover Virginia Deveraux (Lorraine Burroughs), who are, of course, up to no good. "Patrick Wayne's arrival reminds us that this is the Batman world, and this is a very dysfunctional family," This is the DC Universe – all families are dysfunctional. To paraphrase the poet Philip Larkin, "Your mum and dad, they fuck you up, they don't mean to, but they do." That is the defining principle of the DC Universe these days. That and Leo Tolstoy's dictum, "All unhappy families are unhappy in their own way." You can see that in Alfie's parents and Thomas Wayne's dad in this show.

So before Season Three of Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler premieres, we recommend that you watch the first two seasons, especially the first season, to commemorate the passing of the Queen by watching an alternate universe where she chooses her best boyfriend of all time: two-fisted Cockney hero Alfred Pennyworth. Nice one, Your Majesty.

Pennyworth, sorry, Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler is on HBO Max.

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Adi TantimedhAbout Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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