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