Long before Gary Oldman perfectly embodied the heroic father figure Jim Gordon in “Batman Begins,” the future commissioner of the Gotham police force was a fan favorite. Now, he’s getting his own story courtesy of FOX. “Gotham,” the new drama scheduled for a fall release, got its first two trailers yesterday, giving us our first live action glimpse of the new Gordon, this time portrayed by Ben McKenzie.
The shorter, 48-second version aired last night during the premiere episode of “24: Live Another Day,” while the longer look is getting lots of play online. Racking up more than 1 million views in less than a day, “Gotham” looks to have some steam behind it (and not just from the quite gassy sewer grates pouring out of the ground). Now the question becomes, “Can it hold onto those numbers?”
Fox thinks so. The network already gave the show a series commitment, trusting the early feedback and solid buzz. While the title alone is alluring enough to watch a two-minute preview, the contents within may not be enough to earn another 41-minutes of viewers’ evenings come fall. McKenzie is the key. With plenty of bells and whistles dancing around him, including Jada Pinkett Smith in what appears to be stripper’s robes, villain after villain popping up, and even Donal Logue of “Vikings” and “Terriers” fame, McKenzie will need to prove himself capable of the shouldering the emotional core of the show.
Luckily, he’s done that before. Growing up on the “The O.C.” (well, he already grew up — he was 25 when it premiered) and following up with the gritty cop drama “Southland,” McKenzie is a proven force on TV, and, arguably, batting 1.000 as a leading man. Can he keep the hot streak alive? Check out the trailer below and let us know if you’ll be tuning in when “Gotham” arrives this fall.