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Mega Buzz: How Will Gotham Handle Two Classic Comic Book Villains?

Boss teases the impact of Mr. Freeze and Hugo Strange

Adam Bryant

The upcoming second half of Gotham's second season will feature the "rise" of two more iconic Batman villains.

Viewers already got a peak at Mr. Freeze (guest star Nathan Darrow) in the midseason finale, but he will figure heavily in the next couple of episodes. And the show plans to be pretty faithful in adapting the character. "We're taking it back to the roots of the origin story," executive producer Bruno Heller tells TVGuide.com. "It's about him and his wife before he became a bad guy, how he became a bad guy. It's very much a story of the heart rather than a story about technology and super-villainy. It's a doomed romance. It will make people cry."

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Gotham is taking a similar good-guy-turned-bad approach with its other major Season 2 villain: Dr. Hugo Strange (BD Wong). "He's very much not a 'mwa-ha-ha' villain," Heller says. "He is a man filled with the joys of science. He doesn't think of himself in any way as a bad person. He is the essence of scientific progress and the joy of hope for the future that science promises. He shows us how even that sensibility can be warped into something evil if wrongly used."
But don't think that these flashy newcomers will detract from baddies like Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor). Rather, look for those stories to converge as Penguin continues to try to be the king of Gotham. "He is very much challenged," Heller says. "Gilzean begins to feel that he deserves a crack at the throne, and Tabitha is still around to cause trouble. But Pengin's life veers off in a totally unexpected direction that we're very excited about. Dr. Hugo Strange has a profound effect on Penguin. He makes a new man of him in many ways."
Gotham returns Monday, Feb. 29 at 8/7 on Fox.
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