Southland’s Ben McKenzie Returns to the Beat as Gotham’s Jim Gordon


Ben McKenzie in Southland

Former “O.C.” star Ben McKenzie recently graduated to adulthood with TNT’s critically acclaimed but little seen “Southland,” and now he’s putting the uniform back on for FOX’s “Gotham,” the network’s pre-Batman Batman TV show from “The Mentalist” creator Bruno Heller.

Curiously, this won’t be McKenzie’s first foray into Batman-land. He recently voiced the Bat himself in the original animated movie “Batman: Year One,” based on the Frank Miller comic book about the early days of the Caped Crusader. Which makes perfect sense, since “Gotham” is also being envisioned as a Year One for the show’s Commissioner Jim Gordon, Batman’s longtime ally in the Gotham police force.

Although the show was originally spun as a Batman show without Batman, that has since changed, with Fox’s Kevin Reilly recently saying this:

The show will track Bruce from a child (around 12 years old) until he puts on a cape (in the finale). We will see how they get to become what they are as Gotham is teetering on the edge,. It is an operatic soap with a larger than life quality.

I’m guessing, of course, that you’ll have to stick around for a long, long time as Bruce Wayne ages, along with Ben McKenzie. I’m guessing there will be a final episode where the show fast-forwards to the future for that final pick-up shot of Bats in the suit. Or some such.

But yes, it does appear as if “Gotham” will mostly be about Jim Gordon as he rises through the ranks of the Gotham PD. That could be interesting, I guess, though I’ve never found Gordon to be particularly all that interesting a character.

We shall find out soon enough.

Commissioner Gordon from Batman Year One

Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at)
  • Aegon the Conqueror

    It would be cool if the show gets connected with Arrow.

    • Nix

      If it was on the CW, then maybe. Not if it’s on Fox, though. The two networks would never let their shows connect. It tells you just how lacking in foresight WB is to allow a rival network to get one of their prized shows.

      • Dedpool

        Exactly! That was just silly.

      • Ian

        But in past years the CW and Fox made a crossover between Buffy and Angel. It wans’t easy, but both networks allowed it.

        • Nix

          They were both owned by Fox but IIRC, they both aired on the WB before the WB became the CW.

  • 0ptik

    I thought Gordon was pretty badass in Year One. Hopefully he’s that kind of guy instead of the “signal batman, tell him whats up, and mop up” versions.

    • Dedpool

      Most likely he will be! This is basically a prequel to “Year One” in a snese. I mean a lot will change obviously. But this could be a really fun show. I want the major Gotham families involved, like the Elliots, The Cobblepotts, the Kanes, and The Waynes (well tehir legacy) as well as mentions of the Court of owls, the Crime families like Maronis, and The Falcones.

      • JasOn Vu

        let pray for that. I hope they don’t introduce batman rogue gallery in his early year. I didn’t like what they did with smallville after season 5, they kept teasing us, while destroy the superman universe too.

        • Dedpool

          Well we won’t be seeing Batman at all. Or even a Bruce out solving crimes (at least we shouldn’t) so this will be more of a crime show, with the GCPD (or at least Gordan and maybe a few others) taking the heroic role

  • JasOn Vu

    this is bullshit, i swear they will introduce many of batman’s rogue
    gallery and fuck up the batman universe , just like what they did with
    small ville. Please don’t fuck it up, the batman universe is one of the
    coolest in DC.

    • Dedpool

      Well they can do that without messing everything up. Gotham was crime ridden way before Brucve became Batman, and they will most likely weave that into the story. You’ll have characters moving towrd their destinies. like Penguin, and Black Mask, maybe a pre-Joker sociopath.

      • Aegon the Conqueror

        Sociopath I can handle, but the minute they try to give the Joker a backstory I will fucking murder them!

        • Dedpool

          Well if it’s a good one, I’m fine with it. Just don’t want something I’ve seen before. Not like they’re trying to do a backstory for the Ledger version. Comics one has had a few.

          • Aegon the Conqueror

            A few yes with none of them being definitive. I doubt even Joker knows his own origins. That’s why I liked the Ledger version, they made a nod towards that with Joker changing his story everytime.

          • Dedpool

            I loved that too. But since this is Pre-Batman which means Pre-Joker, they can allude to a character becoming the Joker, without it actually be him. I liked in “Mask of the Phantasm” we got to see him as a low level hitman for Crime families.

          • Aegon the Conqueror

            I much rather prefer the quiet family man portrayed in the Red Hood origins story. Failed comedian that comedian that became the joker. It’s scary cause the original character is very much an every man, meaning it could happen to anyone.