DVD Review: 'Copper'

BBC America's “Copper” makes a solid case for New York City-based police procedurals set long before the days of DNA workups and due process.
Oklahoman Published: November 2, 2012
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‘Copper'

“Copper,” the latest crime drama from “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Oz” creator Tom Fontana, makes a solid case for New York City-based police procedurals set long before the days of DNA workups and due process.

“Copper” takes place in the Five Points area of lower Manhattan in 1864, the same setting for Martin Scorsese's “Gangs of New York,” and while Fontana is clearly operating on a much smaller budget than Scorsese, he capably evokes the squalor of the notorious slum and the moral ambiguity of 19th century law enforcement.

Tom Weston-Jones plays Kevin Corcoran, an Irish immigrant who fought for the Union in the Civil War and returned to Manhattan to discover that his wife is missing and his young daughter is dead.

Now working as a New York City police detective, Corcoran is naturally haunted by the loss of his family, resulting in his ongoing protection of Annie (Kiara Glasko), a young girl rescued from prostitution.

Regardless of the case at hand, Corcoran's Civil War past is never far behind him: His main allies are two men from his Union Army days — wealthy scion Robert Morehouse (Kyle Schmid) and Dr. Matthew Freeman (Ato Essandoh), a black coroner working within the rudimentary confines of mid-19th century medical technology.