http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotham_%28TV_series%29

New live action series on the Fox network, probably this fall, featuring James Gordon and Harvey Bullock investigating the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne, interacting with young Bruce Wayne, Alfred, Oswald Cobblepot, Selina Kyle, and other future Batman rogues.

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Bullock wasn't portrayed as a dirty cop before? That's not what I remember from his early appearances in Batman in the '80s, when he was a stooge for crooked Mayor Hamilton HIll, assigned to be Commissioner Gordon's "assistant" (see here).

I'd forgotten about those earlier references to Mayor Hill. For the bulk of his "career," Bullock has been portrayed as clumsy, oafish, unhygienic and crude, but not corrupt. And in one of the more recent origins, he was originally an actor who changed careers after a ridealong, and turned to drink after seeing what one of Gotham's supervillains did to a bunch of children. Again, not admirable, but not corrupt.

Yes, for the bulk of his "career," Bullock was portrayed as clumsy, oafish, unhygienic and crude, but he was corrupt, too. Hill assigned Bullock to be Jim Gordon's aide just to make Gordon's life miserable, and he had ambitions of pushing Gordon out.

The link shows the specific moment when Bullock went from being a heel to being just a klutz who was gruff on the outside but honest on the inside -- after he gave Gordon a heart attack.

First time I remember seeing Bullock is in the Batman animated series. I thought that he was like Harley, a minor character that came alive mostly because of the talent of the actor voicing him,

...Is a " ridealong " akin to a"  drive-by " ???

  And happening to an actor (Fat and oafish then ?) ???

A "ridealong" is when a civilian spends time riding with police officers in their vehicle during a shift. It's often done by writers doing research for their books or articles, or actors doing research for a role. To offer an example of the former, the late Ed McBain, frequently did so.

To offer an example of the latter, Hal Linden did so to prepare for his role as the captain in Barney Miller. Once, he and the accompanying police officers went into an apartment building on a call, and the suspect they were seeking tried to run past them! Linden stopped him the Barney Miller way: "You can't go -- you forgot to say, 'May I?'"

I just got lucky and stumbled upon a half-hour introduction to the series on Fox TV. The entire program has been posted to YouTube in four parts, clickable below:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Looking at that I realized that they were setting this show in the modern times, which I can understand, but a part of me really wishes they setting in the 1920's when Bruce was originally growing up.

If you're able to watch the 22 minute preview they mention that they deliberately are mixing elements from different time periods. 

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

Looking at that I realized that they were setting this show in the modern times, which I can understand, but a part of me really wishes they setting in the 1920's when Bruce was originally growing up.

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