Despite focusing on the early days of Detective (and future Commissioner) James Gordon, Fox’s Gotham TV series has collected a robust stable of supporting actors to play iconic characters from Batman franchise lore. Recently, the show’s producers and official website teased potential appearances from malevolent crime lords and troublemakers like the Joker, the Riddler, and Two Face, in addition to Robin Lord Taylor’s Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin.
However, since Gotham is not an origin story for Bruce Wayne (played by David Mazouz) and his Caped Crusader alter-ego, the showrunners will have room to explore less theatrical personalities that often take a back seat to the city’s masked vigilantes and colorful villains. As a result, the series should provide a unique perspective on non-costumed heroes, including Gordon and Wayne’s caretaker, Alfred Pennyworth, along with Gotham City residents that aren’t quite as virtuous – such as Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue).
While non-Batfans might have initially dismissed Bullock as a stock mentor figure to Gordon, the character actually has a rich history in the Dark Knight canon – serving as shill for corrupt Gotham politicians, a lauded police officer, or something in between, depending on the storyline.
Of course, considering the unique approach of Fox’s Gordon prequel series, there’s no reason to expect that the writers will simply copy and paste any one iteration of the character. In fact, according to the official Gotham character synopsis, it sounds as though Logue will portray a brash but good-intentioned version of Bullock:
Jim Gordon’s partner and mentor, the rough-around-the-edges Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue – Sons of Anarchy, Vikings, Copper) plays loose with police procedure, but gets results — and he does so with old-school, hard-ass panache.
Check out an official image of Logue in the role of Bullock below (click to enlarge):
As mentioned, Bullock has been interpreted many different ways throughout Batman franchise history. Younger fans will likely remember him as a chubby but scrappy (and clever) detective – who was loyal to Gordon but openly disliked the Caped Crusader in Batman: The Animated Series. Still, longtime comic book readers will recall a much more duplicitous version of Bullock – who, in exchange for bribe money from Gotham City’s mayor (as well as other criminal organizations), regularly sabotaged Gordon’s investigations. Similar to Superman’s Clark Kent persona, the corrupt cop form of Bullock was portrayed as intentionally bumbling and clumsy – “accidentally” destroying key evidence, losing important case files, or failing to chase down fleeing suspects.
That said, the casting of a talented actor like Logue paired with the official character synopsis, indicates that Gotham‘s Bullock will be a complicated, and likely overly-aggressive, pursuer of justice – one that does not play by the rules. For that reason, a morally gray police partner is a smart fit for the righteous portrayal of Gordon that we’re expecting from Ben McKenzie – as Bullock will, without question, pull the young detective into situations that defy the GCPD shield and border on criminal behavior.
Gordon has always been a strong defender of the law (though we anticipate Gotham will significantly test those boundaries), should Bullock’s thirst for justice result in increasingly erratic and dangerous behavior, where he might be willing to put innocent lives on the line (if it means taking down criminals), it won’t be long before the partners find themselves at bitter odds.
Fox has promised more Gotham character images in the coming days, so check back soon for further reveals!
NEXT PAGE: Read the Official Gotham TV Series Synopsis
Gotham is in development and expected to premiere on FOX in Fall 2014.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for any future updates on Gotham, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.