|Coppers Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones) and Maguire (Kevin Ryan)|
I had an opportunity to visit the Toronto set back in early May. The producers, Cineflix and BBC America, have build this gigantic recreation of the Five Points neighbourhood of lower Manhattan, circa 1864, inside what was once an enormous car parts factory.
|One small corner of the huge Five Points set; five streets, three alleyways|
|Everything in this shot is inside an old car factory|
Initial reviews for Copper have been mixed. A lot was expected from Levinson and Fontana and the duo may be cursed with high expectations. The word "lacklustre" has come up a few times in U.S. reviews. (The series nevertheless opened strong on BBC America Aug. 19). John Doyle in the Globe and Mail calls it "surprisingly bland."
I don't think he's wrong, although I thought the pilot set everything up tidily and gave up the requisite murder of the week. British actor Tom Weston-Jones, as the copper in question, detective Kevin Corcoran, is watchable in a understated, Clint Eastwood-meets-Jim Morrison kind of way.
Fontana and Levinson were proud of the way the set captured the claustrophobic nature of the grim Five Points ghetto but this may also be a turn off for viewers.
For more on Copper, read this feature I wrote for The Canadian Press.