When “Gotham” premieres on FOX, it will follow a young James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) as the man who will eventually become police commissioner of Gotham City and Batman’s most treasured ally. The series will show the influences on both Gordon and Gotham City that help them to to become what they are when Batman finally makes his appearance.
One of those influences is Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), Gordon’s partner and mentor, who happens to be a bit more old school than Gordon is later. For Logue, the character is something he wants to create from scratch, even though he’s been exposed to at least one version of it in the past.
“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,” he tells Nerd Repository. “It’s that tricky thing where I’m not that guy, I don’t look visually like the guy even in the cartoon. Then there’s that weird thing where I don’t want to take someone’s choice from the cartoon and match it. I want to create a character.”
The world being created around “Gotham” is helping to that end. Logue says there are parts of the show, which begins shooting in March, that feel like the “roaring ’20s.” However, he continues, “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.”
In a way, it almost sounds like the direction “Bates Motel” is taking, where there are modern conveniences like iPhones, but the series as a whole feels slightly dated, as if it is taking place decades ago. Considering the heavy mafia influence present in many forms of the “Batman” story, having some elements of the ’20s doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all.
As for his “rough-around-the-edges” detective butting heads with the young and idealistic Gordon, it’s practically a foregone conclusion for Logue. “I guarantee that is the complete and utter core of the conflict,” he says. “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.”
Logue also says that, starting with the pilot, “Gotham” will introduce fans to young versions of the villains they’ve come to know and love. “For me, that’s the really interesting part: ‘Oh, so that’s where you come from, Riddler’,” he says. “I don’t know if I’m not supposed to say it, but yeah. I think it’ll be fun.”