Things are going to get shaken up for the Gotham City Police Department when season 2 of FOX’s Batman prequel Gotham premiere's next month. The comic book origin story meets police procedural series will get some new blood on the force when Detective Gordon’s (Ben McKenzie) one-man war on the crime and corruption is joined by Captain Nathaniel Barnes (Michael Chiklis).
The casting was announced back in July, but now we have our first look at Chiklis in the role, and all appearances show a man who means business and is not to be taken lightly. Dressed sharp, wearing a serious vest and flanked by Gordon and his partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), Barnes stands before a table of guns in the GCPD precinct. While not much is known about the nature of the role, we do know that Captain Barnes starts out a hero to Gordon before possibly devolving into an enemy Gordon can’t handle.
Chiklis is set to make his debut on Gotham in the upcoming season’s fourth episode, entitled 'Strike Force' in a not-so-subtle allusion to the actor’s previous series, FX’s The Shield. This, of course, is neither Chiklis’s first time in the precinct nor his first time tackling the world of comics. Chiklis rose to fame as star of ABC’s The Commish in the '90s before exploring the grittier side of police work as the rough-and-tumble Detective Vic Mackey on The Shield. He’s also known to comic book fans as The Thing from 2005’s Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The actor is clearly in familiar territory with his new role, and is sure to bring some new zest to Gotham.
You can check out the first image of Chiklis on Gotham below (via EW):
New zest is something desperately needed for the FOX series, which earned big audience numbers during last year’s inaugural season, while leaving many seasoned Bat-fans with a bad taste in their mouths with its revisionist history and occasionally nonsensical plotlines. The series suffered from a lack of focus, never quite committing to its promising premise with enough zeal to win over its detractors (despite high points such as Robin Lord Taylor’s Penguin and Logue’s Detective Bullock). Of course, its big numbers last season may have had something to do with its Monday night scheduling, which saw little by the way of competition for the viewing audience. This season finds the show head to head with CBS’s Supergirl, which has the potential to split the audience.
Still, it would seem that FOX remains hopeful. The lack of movement for the time slot indicates faith in Gotham’s ability to draw a crowd, and the network is promising big things this season, including more Joker. Additionally, Chiklis will be joined this season by fellow newcomers Michelle Veintimilla as Firefly, James Frain as the villainous Theo Galavan, and Jessica Lucas as Tigress. More and more, Gotham is showing some serious promise as its second season approaches. If the show can find its footing, then it definitely has some solid ground upon which to build its mythos. Only time will tell, of course, but for now things are looking fairly good.
Gotham season 2 premieres Monday, September 21 at 8:00 PM ET/PT.