With a “Crisis” looming over the Arrowverse this year, the DC heroes of The CW will need all the help they can get. Some assistance will come from Gotham City in the form of Batwoman. The new series starring Ruby Rose premieres this fall, and the cast and creators were on hand at the 2019 TCA to discuss all things Kate Kane.
Joining the panel were Ruby Rose (Kate Kane/Batwoman), Dougray Scott (Jacob Kane), Rachel Skarsten (Alice), Meagan Tandy (Sophie Moore), Nicole Kang (Mary Hamilton), Camrus Johnson (Luke Fox), Elizabeth Anweis (Catherine Hamilton-Kane), and executive producers Caroline Dries and Sarah Schechter.
Even though this is an Arrowverse show, Batwoman is still part of the Bat-Family, so the panel started talking about the possibility of a Batman/Bruce Wayne cameo. “We like to say never say never,” said EP Caroline Dries.
Ruby Rose talked about her “origin story” with the show. “First I had a talk with the EPs about what the show would look like. It was amazing,” she said. “Auditioning for it, I felt like it was a perfect fit. I love Caroline, Sarah, and Kate.” There is one drawback to playing Gotham’s current protector, however, “I was allowed to ride a motorcycle before, but they don’t want us to ride them in case things happen,” Rose said, “I can... when I finish the show.”
The Batwoman costume consists of a long red wig to help conceal Kate’s identity. When asked how it would affect her fighting, Dries said “It will come up in episode 3 when she embraces becoming Batwoman. In the pilot, she’s trying to disguise herself from her nemesis, but it’s a gradual realization that she needs to hide her identity.”
Rose added about the suit, designed by Colleen Atwood, “I still remember putting it on the first time. It’s a magical feeling. It’s not like Halloween. This thing fits me like a glove. It’s been designed for my body and feels like a second skin for the most part. You feel faster and stronger and bulletproof.”
The conversation moved to Kate as a character, and if her faith would factor into the show, “Yes, Kate is a Jewish woman. We’re trying to incorporate that without it being a huge thing in the story, said Dries.” For example, in the pilot, the girls are supposed to be on their way home from their Bat Mitzvah, so it was awkward to shove into dialogue, so how will people know? In our hearts, we know she is Jewish.”
Rachel Skarsten is no stranger to the world of both the CW and DC, as she played Dinah Lance in 2002’s Birds of Prey TV series, “[This is an] incredible homecoming for me. They foster such a wonderful sense of family within the network. Everyone knows I’m a huge Batman fan, so to come back to this world is a real trip.” As it pertains to her character and series antagonist Alice, Skarsten said, “It is so much fun to play a character you can make a meal out of it. All of the writers have given me such off the wall things to do. I think the best crazy is one that is grounded in a really serious reality. It makes it crazier when they are so normal then they switch on a dime. I’m trying to do that with Alice, but at the same time, sometimes it’s fun to go bonkers.”
The creators then let us in on some known members of the Rogues Gallery that will be making an appearance on the show, “We’re going to explore other canon villains. We want to go where people haven’t been recently,” said EP Sarah Schechter. “We will see Tommy Elliot (Hush), and we’re bringing in Magpie who is a Batman villain,” added Dries. We hope we get to see Elliot’s descent into madness play out on screen.
Meagan Tandy discussed the current relationship between Kate and Sophie. “Their relationship when training in military school was genuine. It ended so abruptly, so there wasn’t closure. When Kate comes back to save her ex, some sparks happen.” Rose added “[We’re] also touching on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” - there is a lot of weight on the scene with them, and I took it into account. People are still dealing with that right now.”
Dougray Scott brought up the father/daughter relationship played out through the series. “Yes, the relationship between Kate and Jacob starts with conflict because he sent his daughter away. He’s very protective. There’s a lot of love there. The revelations that come up through the season are surprising. He’s lost his wife, his daughter and keeping the one that’s still alive. Throughout the season, it will go up and down, a connection and reconciliation and then a loggerhead.”
Jacob Kane is not the only family member Kate interacts with during the series. Nicole Kang talked about the step-sister relationship Kate and Mary have. “I find it’s interesting that sometimes people in your family see you better and clearer than you see yourself sometimes. I’m Kate’s number one fan. I believe she sees the best in Kate. She sees the ways she is hurting and trying. She’s come back to Gotham, and that’s exciting. Mary is hoping for a chance to create a closer relationship.” Rose added, “Mary is the better sister. Kind and sweet to Kate. She has tunnel vision and is not getting the peripheral vision of her family; it’s just this. What happens throughout is I discover her secret, and there’s a whole other side to her, it lifts one of the many layers. Other people are doing great things. It allows Kate to be less shut off.
Regardless of the medium, Gotham City has been just as much a character in the Bat-Mythos as Commissioner Gordon or Alfred. “Cinematically, we wanted to do our own thing. We purposefully shot it in Chicago and Vancouver instead of NY where Gotham was shot.”
Luke Fox is the son of Lucius and is a hero in his own right as Batwing in the comics. Camrus Johnson discusses his and Kate’s relationship on the series, “ Luke more than anything, wants to make sure Gotham is safe. If you’re going to wear my suit, then you’re going to do something for the city. It takes a while for them - because there’s a lot of tension there. It’s like the brother-sister dynamic. They have to become besties because they have to watch out for each other.”
When asked about her excitement for the upcoming crossover, Rose remembered a moment from last year. “I loved seeing that iconic moment of Batwoman and Supergirl. It felt incredible, and I do believe there will be more of that.” From what we’ve heard already about the Crisis (Kevin Conroy?), we are confident Rose’s statement rings true.
Batwoman premieres Oct. 6 on the CW.