BBC America’s Copper: He Walks the Beat, We Wait

It seems like forever ago when we heard about BBC America’s first original series Copper, set in New York City’s Five Points neighborhood in the late 1860’s, just after the Civil War.  Well, it’s currently in production on a giant soundstage in Toronto—Martin Scorcese built his version for Gangs of New York at an Italian studio lot, and that worked well enough. This is at least on the same continent as the original locale.

Frustratingly, however, we have yet to see any juicy production stills with sets or costumes.  So, to bide our time in virtue, we’ll remind you first of the show’s pedigree, as it’s being co-produced by Barry Levinson and is the creation of Tom Fontana (Oz) and Will Rokos (Southland).  Hmm, that didn’t take long, so let’s idle over the cast then, shall we?

Tom Weston-Jones will star as Kevin Corcoran in BBC America’s Copper
Tom Weston-Jones will star as the copper Kevin Corcoran
Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones of MI-5, aka Spooks) is an Irish immigrant and cop assigned to one of the bawdiest, most depraved, perilous, and ramshackle neighborhoods ever to be built over a land-filled pond and adjacent fever swamps. Corcoran’s back from the Civil War. His wife is missing. His daughter is dead. He’s haunted, and therefore, perfect for this beat.

You’ll be shocked, I’m sure, to discover the showrunners have assembled an international cast with even a few more attractive faces to populate their poxy burg.

Kevin Ryan plays cop Francis Maguire in BBC Amerca’s Copper
Kevin Ryan plays cop Francis Maguire
Francis Maguire (Irish actor Kevin Ryan) is another Irish immigrant who’s Corcoran’s partner in the 6th precinct police force.








Franka Potente plays madam Eva Heissan on BBC America’s Copper
Franka Potente plays madam Eva Heissan
Eva Heissan (German actress Franka Potente of The Bourne Supremacy, and even more awesomely, Run Lola Run) is the shrewd Madam of Eva’s Paradise.







Kyle Schmid plays wealthy scion Robert Morehouse in BBC America’s Copper
Kyle Schmid plays wealthy scion Robert Morehouse
Corcoran’s best friends outside the force include two veterans from very differnt worlds than his own, men with whom he served in the Civil War. Robert Morehouse (Canadian Kyle Schmid) is a wealthy industrialist’s son who enjoys slumming when he’s not at home on Fifth Avenue.




Ato Essandoh plays Dr. Matthew Freeman in BBC America’s Copper
Ato Essandoh plays Dr. Matthew Freeman
Doctor Matthew Freeman (Ato Essandoh of Damages) is a physician who serves as Corcoran’s secret forensics consultant and lives in Harlem.




Tessa Thompson plays Sara, Dr. Freeman’s wife, in BBC America’s Copper
Tessa Thompson plays Sara Freeman


His wife Sara Freeman (Tessa Thompson) worries for her husband’s safety, because he keeps defying expectations and societal segregation.




David W. Keeley plays Sergeant Padraic Byrnes in BBC America’s Copper
David W. Keeley plays Sergeant Padraic Byrnes


Sergeant Padraic Byrnes (Canadian David W. Keeley of Rookie Blue) is a corrupt and contemptuous cop, whose first name is likely pronounced Patrick.






Anastasia Griffith plays sophisticate Elizabeth Haverford in BBC America’s Copper
Anastasia Griffith plays sophisticate Elizabeth Haverford


Elizabeth Haverford (British actress Anastasia Griffith, also of Damages) is described as “sophisticated and spirited,” which is all we’ve got at this point.







Given that it’s 19th century New York we’re dealing with, it’s hard to know if it’s lack of public drainage, knowledge of vectors of infection, or adequate nutrition, but each one’s more nightmarishly disfigured than the last!

I guess we’ll just have to watch this summer to see if any of these doomed monstrosities can make a go of it in Gotham. 


  1. M. Daly

    Have followed Kyle Schmid’s work since Blood Ties, enjoying him in Being Human (North American version) at the moment. Can’t wait to see him in this as I love period pieces and this looks like it will really be interesting.

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