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Ben McKenzie Teases Gotham’s Appeal, Batman’s Origins & A Unique Bond

BY The Screen Spy Team

Published 10 years ago

Ben McKenzie Teases Gotham's Appeal, Batman's Origins & A Unique Bond

Gotham is one of FOX’s more exciting dramas to hit TV this Fall.

The series, which is scheduled to hit our TV screens on Monday nights following Sleepy Hollow offers a unique slant on the Batman universe, tracking the rise of famous DC Comics super villains and vigilantes.

Ben McKenzie (Southland) stars as James Gordon (he of future commissioner Gordon fame), a young cop, destined for greatness who is forced to navigate a dangerously corrupt city teetering on the edge of chaos.

Speaking at FOX’s Upfronts presentation today, Gotham star Ben McKenzie describes the upcoming series as “titillating.”

“[Audiences] really aren’t going to want to miss an episode because in the pilot alone there are so many iconic characters from the Gotham universe,” the actor says. “If you miss an episode you’re going to miss a glimpse of a character who will probably reappear later … but you might have missed it. So check it out.”

With shows like the CW’s Arrow and ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD paving the way for even more superhero content on TV this Fall, How will Gotham stand out from what’s already on offer?

“The way that this show is going to stand out from everything else that’s on television is both in its scope and in its depth,” says McKenzie. “You’re taking the biggest canvas you could possibly paint on – the world of Gotham and DC – and you’re infusing it with all these elements from the writing to the directing to the acting to the production design that are going full-board to creating a depth of viewing experience. So in my mind it’s going to be the best of the scope of Network TV with the depth of a character-driven drama that you might find on high-end cable.”

Although the series is fir my Gordon-focused, Gotham plans to introduce a wealth of familiar faces including the iconic Batman, who first enters the young cop’s life following the brutal murder of his parents. McKenzie explains their unique relationship.

“James meets bruce at the scene of his parents’ murder, and y’know, he doesn’t know who he is. James sees himself in Bruce. He sees a young boy of approximately the same age as he was when he lost his father, and so he confides in Bruce immediately that he suffered a similar pain and that he understands what he’s going through.”

“And he’s there not only to solve the mystery of who committed this crime and get justice but to be what he ends up becoming – to be a surrogate father figure, a mentor, and also a kindred spirit,” he says.

“I think there relationship will be fascinating because it will have elements of a mentor/mentee relationship, and it will have elements of a peer to peer relationship. Bruce is so smart, so intuitive. He has to be. This is the guy who’s going to save the world at some point.  He is otherworldly intelligent and intuitively attuned to all kinds of different things that most 10 or 12 year old boys would never be attuned to.  But he still needs guidance as any young man would. James is a beautiful play-off of that because he’s just a man. He’s entirely fallible.”

Catch Gotham Mondays at 9/8c this Fall on FOX.

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