The fall television season is upon us, and the coming weeks will see the debut of some highly anticipated new shows (as well as the return of some favorites). Not least among these is Fox’s Gotham, and in the run up to its rapidly-approaching premiere date, we’ve see loads of promotional material, including trailers, TV spots, and lengthy previews on executive producer Bruno Heller’s approach to the world-building of a pre-Batman Gotham City.
Ben McKenzie leads the expansive cast as Detective James Gordon, an officer whose idealism conflicts with his new partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) and his world-weary cynicism. While this dynamic was long-promised to be the key to the show’s themes, the pilot, in our own Andrew Dyce’s opinion, made the character seem too basic and two-dimensional.
Still, as a new featurette on Bullock (above) illustrates, Donal Logue can chomp the scenery with the best of them. And while the tension between Bullock and his (relatively) by-the-books young partner may be too straightforward as the series finds its footing, there are hints in this character video that as the show’s first season progresses, the line between a good cop and a bad cop will become less and less clear.
As for Bullock, Logue points out that:
In order to survive in this city, he’s had to kind of develop his own brand of morality.
This description of Bullock’s philosophy is also an apt way to sum up that of young Bruce Wayne’s future alter ego. We know we’ll see early versions of famous Batman villains like the Penguin (Robin Taylor), the Riddler (Cory Michael Smith), Hugo Strange, Harvey Dent and Mr. Freeze, along with various teases of the Joker, but as the trailers have indicated, the central mystery haunting Gordon is the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne.
It may be wishful thinking in the long run, but hardcore Batman fans might yet be rewarded with not just the novelty of exploring the origin stories of Jim Gordon and Batman’s eventual Rogues’ Gallery, but an interesting exploration of the same kind of moral gray area Batman operates in. As Logue points out:
It’s never quite black and white, there’s always gradations of gray. And so I think he sometimes has to do bad to accomplish good and I think he’s quite used to it.
So Gotham may need time to really figure itself out, but curious Batman fans are sure to tune in for the show’s premiere. Whether or not the series will be able to successfully develop the main characters’ conflict is another story.
Gotham premieres Monday, September 22nd @8pm on Fox.