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Titans: How the pandemic actually played a key role in bringing Gotham to life in Season 3

By Josh Weiss
Titans 301 Still

When speaking with SYFY WIRE over the phone last summer, Brenton Thwaites couldn't give us a firm answer on the status of Titans Season 3. "I wish there was something, mate," said the Nightwing actor, sounding a little dejected. "I wish I even knew if we were shooting. I can’t even say we’re doing Season 3. But I’m sure we are and I’m sure it’s fantastic and I look forward to finding out the story just like you guys."

At the time of our interview, the world was still on lockdown, with most live-action shoots on an indefinite hiatus as humanity attempted to slow the spread of COVID-19. Fast forward to a little over a year later, and the third season is now live on HBO Max. It's quite remarkable how far we've come since 2020 (Delta variant notwithstanding) and while it took a little longer to produce the latest batch of episodes, the show decided to lean into the desolation caused by the global health crisis.

Speaking with Collider, Titans showrunner Greg Walker discussed the look of Gotham City where most of Season 3 takes place. Toronto, Cananda ended up standing in for the fictional DC metropolis... not to be confused with Metropolis.

"When we went to Gotham we just embraced Gotham," he explained. It was funny, because I kept reading anecdotally [that] fans think we got a huge budget increase, but that's not the case. The look changed. And one of the advantages was because COVID required so many people to stay home, Toronto, for the most part, was empty. So you get to see really vast open spaces in a way that you wouldn't normally because there would be too much traffic, or people wouldn't fit into the kind of aesthetic of what we want for Gotham. So Carol Banker, who was our producing director, really pushed for this kind of empty, open, expansive Gotham feel. And that makes it look a lot bigger."

With most of the action unfolding in the Caped Crusader's hometown, the narrative could accomodate classic Batman characters like Barbara Gordon (Savannah Welch), who, in this continuity, is the commissioner of the city's police force. This iteration falls in line with the events of The Killing Joke, in which Barbara is paralyzed by the Joker. "We didn't want to make her a uniformed vigilante," Walker said. "We felt like it was much better that she has a polarity with him and that she represents the same, but sometimes different interests, and has a different attitude about how superheroes function."

The first three episodes of Titans Season 3 — they're titled "Barbara Gordon," "Red Hood," and "Hank & Dove" — are now available to stream on HBO Max. New episodes will premiere, one-at-a-time, every Thursday.