Donal Logue Hints At ‘Gotham’ TV Series Setting, Style & Core Conflict

Published 1 year ago by , Updated April 15th, 2014 at 11:23 am,

Gotham TV Setting Style Bullock Details Donal Logue Hints At Gotham TV Series Setting, Style & Core Conflict

The creators of Fox’s upcoming dive into the Batman mythology, the Jim Gordon-focused Gotham TV show have wasted no time in getting casting underway. With The O.C.‘s Ben McKenzie playing the Gotham police officer who would become Batman’s ally on the other side of the law, Donal Logue (TerriersSons of Anarchy) will be playing his mentor, Harvey Bullock. But aside from the core characters, the actual setting, time period, and core story of the series are still something of a mystery.

Thankfully, Logue has opened up about the casting process and his early knowledge of Gotham‘s Bullock, providing a few hints as to just how strongly the show will be sticking to big screen (and small screen) versions of Batman’s hometown. Not to mention teasing that the morality of vigilante law will be the core of the series, not simply re-imagining classic villains.

Speaking with NerdRepository, Logue revealed that like many casual fans, Harvey Bullock’s appearance in Batman: The Animated Series is his primary reference as well. But don’t expect to see him doing an impression anytime soon:

“It’s dangerous, because my kids watched the animated series and I remember listening to it over the speaker on road trips up to Oregon, I would hear it. It’s that tricky thing where I’m not that guy, I don’t look visually like the guy even in the cartoon.

“It’s interesting that there’s something that exists that you can watch, but Ben obviously is not going to be tied to the cartoon and who Gordon is in that. I’m going to have to take a little bit of license and bring Bullock more towards me, and not me more towards the dude in the cartoon.”

Harvey Bullock Batman Animated Series Donal Logue Hints At Gotham TV Series Setting, Style & Core Conflict

The character has been fleshed out in the comic books over the years, and his role – a crooked reflection of Jim Gordon’s upright and moral character – has been seen in nearly every Batman film, whether live-action or animated. From the first official details concerning Gotham‘s take on the detective, he may simply be a little “rough around the edges,” as opposed to downright dirty.

With Bullock working to keep the status quo in a corrupt city, and Gordon (returning from military service) being faced with a harsh reality, Logue foresees their differences in enforcing – or simply understanding – the law as the heart of the series:

“I guarantee that is the complete and utter core of the conflict. One guy’s been around Chinatown for a long time, and knows how it has to work. Someone who’s come in from a more idealistic world – not to say non-violent, he’s coming back from the war – steps into it, and absolutely there’s a huge moral quandary… there’s kind of an ambiguous line between good and bad. We have to let certain bad guys do certain things, in order for the greater good, for this machine to keep working.

“And what is law? Is law this platonic form of truth that floats in space that is fixed, or is it something that’s this arbitrary thing where it’s like “the law is me and you, right now, in this car. Whatever we determine, that’s the law.” And that’s the kind of thing that will be a conflict in this show.”

harvey bullock Donal Logue Hints At Gotham TV Series Setting, Style & Core Conflict

As compared to the rest of the series’ casting – and those roles still on their way – Logue’s selection is less than shocking; as an established actor in a wide range of both drama and comedy, it was only rumors that he’d be playing Jim Gordon that raised eyebrows. Concerns subsided when it was revealed his role would be Detective Harvey Bullock, but according to Logue, when rumors first arose he was only “one of a number of people, it very easily could have been someone else.”

So now that the ages of both Gordon and the young Bruce Wayne also set to appear, the question remains of exactly when the series will be set. Will it keep Batman as a modern figure, and set the series twenty years in the past? Or perhaps leap into the near future? Logue eludes the question, but does give a sense of what fans can expect:

“What I do love about Gotham, that I can say so far, is that it creates this incredible world that, for me, you can step into things that almost feel like the roaring 20s, and then there’s this other really kind of heavy Blade Runner vibe floating around.

“There are elements of it that are completely contemporary and there are pieces of it that are very old-fashioned. I’m excited to see which way they go with the production design and wardrobe and all that kind of stuff… there were a couple of examples of modern technology, but maybe an antiquated version of it, that gave me a little bit of sense that it’s certainly not the 50s and the 60s… But it’s not high tech and it’s not futuristic, by any means.”

That setting may seem odd for a comic book adaptation, but it is actually an accurate description of most depictions of Batman’s city: a blend of old-fashioned wealth (complete with top hats and flapper dresses) and a seedy underworld at home in any near-future supercity. So it seems Gotham will be keeping that tradition alive for fans of the feature films, even if the exact time period is hard to pin down.

Tim Burtons Gotham City Donal Logue Hints At Gotham TV Series Setting, Style & Core Conflict

It would probably be too optimistic to assume that the showrunners are aiming to take a serious look at the philosophical role of law in a modern society, as opposed to introducing new takes on recognizable Batman villains. However, Logue knows a whole lot more about Gotham‘s goals than any fan (or skeptic), and even in a show like Arrow, the kinds of moral dilemmas Logue alludes to aren’t even a factor, amounting to little more than lip service. In other words: there is certainly room for a show to tackle the issues cited by the actor.

Only time will tell, but what are your hopes for Gothams style, setting, and conflicts? Are you looking for something a bit lighter than Nolan’s film trilogy, or is dark and gritty what you’re after? Sound off in the comments.


We’ll keep you updated on Gotham as development continues.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: NerdRepository

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
TAGS: Gotham
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  1. I’m not sure what version of Bullock you’re referring to. While it’s true that pre-Crisis he was a crooked cop, in almost all of the following iterations of the character he’s been portrayed as a brutal but good-hearted guy, never giving in to corruption and always supporting Gordon. You may be thinking of Flass, Gordon’s corrupt partner in “Year One” and “Batman Begins”.

  2. It sounds odd and might be good but Gotham without batman? I think this show will get him in eventually and connect to JL. or just stay as a batman show. But I have a bad feeling about.

    • Why?

      Gotham itself has always been a sort of an interesting character in and of itself, to me at least. Sort of like a background character that lets Batman and the others take the spotlight. I’m glad they’re going to explore it more in this show.

      • Is it interesting? I haven’t read many comics other than new 52 Justice league , dark, Shazam (no spoilers please here in the Uk I read DC universe and we are about 6 months behind the rest of the world) In the Dark Knight trilogy it was interesting to see the building up of Gotham by the Wayne family in Batman Begins but after that Gotham turns into a typical American city. If they did Batman then I would be interested hopefully a channel will pick it up here otherwise I probably give it a miss.

        • Honestly haven’t read Shazam (and yeah, I’m in the UK too) but going by the older comics, yeah, the amount of crime and corruption going on in Gotham means that I’ve always wanted to see a show that explored it without a focus on Batman.

          • How are we meant to approach Batman in the new 52? I just buy the DC universe comic every 6 weeks but there are 2 batman comics and a superman one now as well but I think they have been rebranded. I can’t really say much about Gotham as all I’ve seen is the DK trilogy that was very good. To me Batman is the only draw and Gotham is just a setting.

            • darthmaul, just like arkham asylum, gotham is more than just a setting. they both have a history that tells how they became the way they r. they’re just as important as batman, joker, gordon, etc. in the graphic novel “arkham asylum: a serious house on serious earth”, joker says that gotham is the real madhouse while arkham is the real world.

              • I like the quote! I still don’t really see it. I haven’t read many comics and that’s probably why. I don’t think that Gotham is a character but Serenity from Firefly is if that’s what they mean.

    • Well, the story of Gotham takes place before Bruce become Batman. Gotham will, I guess explore a bit on a 10 year old Bruce Wayne. Between Gotham and Constantine, I’m more looking forward on Gotham because they’ve got an interesting cast.

  3. Sounds good. He’s making it seem like a more developed thing than I had imagined. If they create an interesting dynamic between Bullock and Gordon, then it should be a watchable show. There are so many characters in the world of Gotham City that can be teased, if not shown.

  4. i definitely think they need to make the series dark & gritty. we need to see the pain & suffering of the citizens to get a better understanding of what makes gotham the cesspool of crime & corruption it really is. to make the series light takes away from the basis of the actual batman story itself. doin’ that would almost make it like the ’66 series w/ adam west. i think they should use the arkham games as a bit of inspiration for the tone & style of gotham.

  5. I’ve been trying to hold my tongue, but a show called “Gotham” without Bruce Wayne as the central character? That’s like a show called “Metropolis” with Jimmy Olsen or Perry White as the lead. Don’t give me second bananas!!! Give me a show about a young Wayne, torn apart by his desire for revenge, and the father figure Alfred, honestly trying to inspire Bruce to the greatness of his real father. Don’t get me wrong, I like Gordon, but his own series? Could you make a show called “Smallville” with Jonathon Kent as the lead instead of Clark? I’ll watch a few episodes, but if it doesn’t deliver, I won’t waste my time.

  6. Smallville with Johnathan Kent as lead character is not even equivalent to James Gordon in “Gotham”. Honestly, James Gordon is much bigger than Johnathan Kent. When this show is announced, I was excited to see it. Something new and fresh. James Gordon is an interesting character, he has that self-righteousness quality like Batman.
    Once reading the Batman: Earth One, I was so interested in Gordon than Bruce Wayne/Batman.

    Since this show is focusing on a young James Gordon, I want to see the struggle he has to face. Gotham before Batman was a city full of fear and lost of hope. I can see this show do so well.
    “Gotham”, I have a feeling that it’ll be mix of Almost Human element of crime drama and The Following’s dark atmosphere.

  7. Really looking forward to this show, and am loving everything I’m hearing about it so far. I’m a little bit iffy about an 11 year old Bruce though, don’t really know how they’re going to actually use him. Anyway, the idea of it being off the topic of Batman and more on Gotham itself, I find, is very intriguing. Gotham is a character in itself, and to see all the characters’ past will make up for an interesting ride if the writers end up doing it well. This show can be very awesome, I just hope they take advantage of the premise.

  8. I think this show would be better if most or all of the main charcters were villains and the plot centered around their deals and corruption and how they evade gotham police.