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Donal Logue talks character, setting, villains, and more for Fox's Gotham

Feb. 18, 2014by: Paul Shirey

Last week it was announced that Sons of Anarchy and Terriers actor Donal Logue would be joining Fox's Gotham series as Detective Harvey Bullock, the "rough-around-the-edges" partner of a young James Gordon, played by Ben McKenzie. There's been a growing list of actors joining the show, playing a variety of different DCU characters and Logue recently addressed the  setting, themes, characters, villains, and technology of it all with Nerd Repository.

On the setting and time period of Gotham:

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 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. My main concern to start with, I was just going over this relationship between him and Gordon, just to find out how that dynamic plays out. Just to do my homework, basically.

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.

On Logue's "rough-around-the-edges" Bullock conflicting with McKenzie's "idealistic" Gordon:

Not only do I foresee it, 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.

On whether or not Bullock is a recurring character:

Contractually, I’m obligated to be there. I’m gonna be around, for sure. But the story falls squarely on Jim Gordon’s shoulders, and this awesome world where we get to meet the super infamous villains of Gotham City for the first time, when they’re young. For me, that’s the really interesting part: “oh, so that’s where you come from, Riddler.”

On old villains being shown in a new light:

I don’t know if I’m not supposed to say it, but yeah. I think it’ll be fun. There will definitely be Gotham villains that you’ve come to know and love being shown in a light that… maybe it’s the first time that light’s been shone on them.

The more I hear of this show, the more interested I become. DC has shown a propensity for creating solid TV shows and it feels like they're on the right track here. I love the technological toss ups, that leave the film somewhere between futuristic and classic, much like Alex Proyas' DARK CITY. I see a lot of potential there. This really sounds like it'll be a fun show.

Gotham begins shooting in March with an eye towards a Fall debut.

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1:16PM on 02/18/2014
I'm looking forward to seeing this.I hope Bullock is a recurring character.
I'm looking forward to seeing this.I hope Bullock is a recurring character.
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1:38PM on 02/18/2014
This show has the potential to be great. I was concerned about Fox making it too modern, but what Mr. Logue says about the "timeless" quality of the series sets me at ease - sounds a bit like the tone of Batman: The Animated Series and I think we can all get down with that. Hope Montoya shows up eventually.
This show has the potential to be great. I was concerned about Fox making it too modern, but what Mr. Logue says about the "timeless" quality of the series sets me at ease - sounds a bit like the tone of Batman: The Animated Series and I think we can all get down with that. Hope Montoya shows up eventually.
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1:44PM on 02/18/2014
Sounds awesome. So far every decision about this show has been flawless and I hope that quality shows when Gotham finally premieres.
Sounds awesome. So far every decision about this show has been flawless and I hope that quality shows when Gotham finally premieres.
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1:51PM on 02/18/2014
kinda sounds like the cartoon time period wise im digging it cannot wait to see this now since all the kickass casting has started
kinda sounds like the cartoon time period wise im digging it cannot wait to see this now since all the kickass casting has started
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2:12PM on 02/18/2014
I'm looking forward to seeing this.I hope Bullock is a recurring character.
I'm looking forward to seeing this.I hope Bullock is a recurring character.
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2:17PM on 02/18/2014
I still can't get over one of the executives in charge of this whole series actually coming out and saying that this show will follow Bruce Wayne "up until he starts to become interesting." Wow. So what does that say about the parts we see that's going to be covered in the series?? But I'd hope this series is centered more on Gordon than a 10 year old Bruce. Seeing the origins of every one of Batman's villains COULD be interesting, at least in theory. We'll just have to wait and see how it
I still can't get over one of the executives in charge of this whole series actually coming out and saying that this show will follow Bruce Wayne "up until he starts to become interesting." Wow. So what does that say about the parts we see that's going to be covered in the series?? But I'd hope this series is centered more on Gordon than a 10 year old Bruce. Seeing the origins of every one of Batman's villains COULD be interesting, at least in theory. We'll just have to wait and see how it actually turns out.
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2:53PM on 02/18/2014
DC has a propensity for making really great TV shows? With Arrow excluded (too easy), can you please name one live-action show DC has produced which has been qualified as a "really great show"? There last live-action series, Smallville, was the CW at their best - catering to the lowest common denominator to get ratings. And even still good ratings on CW are "cancel fodder" on any other network. The only other show I can think of is Birds of Prey which I believe was cancelled after a few
DC has a propensity for making really great TV shows? With Arrow excluded (too easy), can you please name one live-action show DC has produced which has been qualified as a "really great show"? There last live-action series, Smallville, was the CW at their best - catering to the lowest common denominator to get ratings. And even still good ratings on CW are "cancel fodder" on any other network. The only other show I can think of is Birds of Prey which I believe was cancelled after a few episodes. And then there's Arrow which has proven to be an amazing show, hopefully they can tap into some of that creative talent for this. But honestly, where are you getting the warm and fuzzy feeling that Gotham will be a sure-fire hit? DC has had a terrible track record so far in adapting their material to live-action TV shows, I believe they are 1 for 4 in good TV (I included both failed Wonder Woman shows that never saw the light of day).
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5:09PM on 02/18/2014
I felt the last few seasons of Smallville were weaker than the first five or six seasons. It started out skirting the superhero stuff and eventually went all out, which kind of changed the dynamic. That said, it showed that you COULD pull that stuff off on live-action TV and I think that really helped influence the more comic book themed Arrow. Overall, it was a great success and deservedly so, IMO.
I felt the last few seasons of Smallville were weaker than the first five or six seasons. It started out skirting the superhero stuff and eventually went all out, which kind of changed the dynamic. That said, it showed that you COULD pull that stuff off on live-action TV and I think that really helped influence the more comic book themed Arrow. Overall, it was a great success and deservedly so, IMO.
4:14PM on 02/18/2014
I'll always defend Smallville. There were some crappy episodes for sure - in fact most of season 6 was terrible, in my opinion. But overall the series was great. The last 4 seasons in particular. John Glover & Michael Rosenbaum were incredible as the Luthors. Erica Durance is the best live-action Lois Lane. And Tom Welling's acting was a bit shakey in the early years but he grew in the role and was solid buy the end. Calling fans of the show "the lowest common denominator" is hateful just for
I'll always defend Smallville. There were some crappy episodes for sure - in fact most of season 6 was terrible, in my opinion. But overall the series was great. The last 4 seasons in particular. John Glover & Michael Rosenbaum were incredible as the Luthors. Erica Durance is the best live-action Lois Lane. And Tom Welling's acting was a bit shakey in the early years but he grew in the role and was solid buy the end. Calling fans of the show "the lowest common denominator" is hateful just for the sake of being hateful.
3:14PM on 02/18/2014
I watched Smallville, which was a really fun show, for it's entire 10 season run, which is a hell of a success. And now, with Arrow, DC is replicating that success, albeit with a slightly darker tone. Never saw Birds of Prey and obviously no one saw Wonder Woman (or Aquaman for that matter) because they had the good sense to NOT air them. Not to mention the fact that DC has continued to have great success with their animated shows and films. There's always going to be casualties, though. Nobody
I watched Smallville, which was a really fun show, for it's entire 10 season run, which is a hell of a success. And now, with Arrow, DC is replicating that success, albeit with a slightly darker tone. Never saw Birds of Prey and obviously no one saw Wonder Woman (or Aquaman for that matter) because they had the good sense to NOT air them. Not to mention the fact that DC has continued to have great success with their animated shows and films. There's always going to be casualties, though. Nobody is perfect, but DC has a good handle on what they're putting out and have showed great caution when something isn't working early on. So, yeah, that's where I am getting my "warm and fuzzy."

I never said Gotham would be a "sure-fire" hit, either, but I am very optimistic.
6:11PM on 02/18/2014

Big fan of the guy, BUT...

Pull him towards you all you want, but Bullock without cigars, stubble, beaten raincoat and fedora is not Bullock. You might say that the look is too od fashioned, but that is the whole point of Bullock. He is an anachronism, a fan of pulp detective novels and movies, and he models himself after them. Lose all that and, you might as well be playing someone else
Pull him towards you all you want, but Bullock without cigars, stubble, beaten raincoat and fedora is not Bullock. You might say that the look is too od fashioned, but that is the whole point of Bullock. He is an anachronism, a fan of pulp detective novels and movies, and he models himself after them. Lose all that and, you might as well be playing someone else
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7:45PM on 02/18/2014
It is very encouraging that he mentions the feel of Gotham being like "the roaring 20s" and that he name-drops Blade Runner because as much as I love the Nolan movies, it felt like Gotham had very little personality in and of itself in TDK and TDKR, it was just Chicago or just Manhattan and that seamy, dark fever dream atmosphere is something that would help propel the series if done right.
It is very encouraging that he mentions the feel of Gotham being like "the roaring 20s" and that he name-drops Blade Runner because as much as I love the Nolan movies, it felt like Gotham had very little personality in and of itself in TDK and TDKR, it was just Chicago or just Manhattan and that seamy, dark fever dream atmosphere is something that would help propel the series if done right.
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