“Listen, junior, this job ain't about getting even.”
— Detective Don Owen
Owen (Chi McBride, “Boston Public”), a hardened cop, is trying to educate his inexperienced partner, Walter William Clark Jr. (Theo James, “Downton Abbey”), in CBS' “Golden Boy,” premiering at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
These sorts of lines fill the first few episodes of “Golden Boy,” which is unrelated to the Clifford Odets Broadway play of the same name. The TV show is about a New York Police Department commissioner, CBS' second after “Blue Bloods.”
In this, which airs for two Tuesdays before switching to its regular 8 p.m. Friday time slot, Commissioner Clark relays how he came to this vaunted position at an age when he would have been lucky to make detective. He's telling a reporter his story, and the action flashes back to his beginnings as a beat cop who acted decisively during an armed hostage situation. After three years on the job, he's made a homicide detective.
Within seven years Clark is commissioner.
“He is prepared to do anything to rise in the ranks,” James says. “He is going to be someone you may think is a good guy, but how he got the job is not clear-cut. I like to think of him as not just whip-smart. In terms of police savvy, he is a bit of a genius.”
On-screen, James adopts a Queens accent, masking his natural British lilt. Like others in this series, James did ride-alongs with officers to research his character.