Fox’s ‘Gotham’ May Be A More Complicated Drama Than We Thought

By February 18, 2014

Donal Logue is one of my favorite character actors. I first really became aware of him from the work he did on the sitcom “Grounded For Life,” but as I got older and my tastes matured, I noticed that Logue has consistently popped up in some solid films and TV shows over the years. My favorite thing he’s ever done is the short-lived FX series “Terriers” – seriously, check that out if you haven’t seen it – and now he’s confirmed to be heading back to TV as Harvey Bullock on Fox’s “Gotham” series, which is the origin story for Commissioner Gordon.

Ben McKenzie will play a young Gordon, and a few other roles have already been cast, and seeing Logue portray the gruff and morally complex Bullock should be a highlight of the series. But the premise of the show does feel a little like something the CW would create, and we’re wondering if the series will actually be any good or if it’s just another in a long line of things created to cash in on name recognition and building “properties” that a studio wants to exploit. In a recent interview with Nerd Repository (via ComingSoon), Logue indicated that the show may actually end up being better than we’re expecting – it could delve into some deeper territory than we thought. His most relevant quotes are below:

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 then someone comes in who’s like ‘No, I have a much more black and white view, I’m not into this notion of moral relativism. There’s right and there’s wrong.’….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.

He also talked about the look and feel of the production design:

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. It has this anachronistic element to it where it feels like it’s either New York in the ’70s, or it kind of exists independently of time and space in a way, and you can dip into all of these different genres. So I’m excited by it…..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. No one’s making a joke about how “there’s no way you can press a telephone button and have a piece of paper show up in another machine.” There is an acceptance of a certain technological reality. But its not high tech and it’s not futuristic, by any means.


That idea of Gotham City having a sort of ineffable quality to it, especially regarding when it’s set, is really appealing to me and has been ever since I watched “Batman: The Animated Series” as a kid. I love the idea of filmmakers (or showrunners, in this case) being able to play with the visual conventions of film noir, but not necessarily be constrained by the technology of that time on a storytelling level. And with Logue’s comments about the vague nature of how these characters perceive the law, we could be in for some more complex television than just “a show about the early days of Commissioner Gordon.”

Looking forward to “Gotham”? Let us know what you think below.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at,,,, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.
  • Michael O Chafin

    Interesting read