Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-06-11 Entry: "Two Days Of Batman"

Monday's viewing continues the Animated Series of Batman. "Pretty Poison" sees the introduction of Pamela Isley, and apparently she's getting engaged to Bruce's friend, and district attorney, Harvey Dent. Unfortunately, Pamela is a little cuckoo... something to do with Harvey building a penitentiary and nearly killing a plant. So she's become Poison Ivy and intends to take her revenge...

"The Underdwellers" isn't very good... there's a guy called the Sewer King, and he's got a whole bunch of kids working for him in the sewers - stealing stuff, digging, but always staying silent on pain of being put in the light box.

"P.O.V." finishes the first disc, and it's three cops being grilled about a bust that went wrong. They've all got different versions of events, but the outcome is suspension for all three. However, one of them puts the clues together and goes after the criminals again, helping Batman out to collar the whole gang.

"Forgotten" sees homeless people going missing, and Bruce goes undercover to find out what's happening to them. Problem is, when he's captured by the thugs he's hit over the head and loses his memory. So there he is working in some criminal's mine with the other homeless, with no idea that he's Batman... Alfred has to come through with a rescue here, and gets some fun scenes proving he's not particularly helpless.

"Be A Clown" sees the Mayor throwing his son Jordan a birthday party, but he's just insulted the Joker by comparing him to Batman, so there's a little revenge on the cards. Jordan wants to be a magician, and stows away with the Joker (currently pretending to be Jecko the Clown) to learn from him. But when Batman turns up, how long will it be before Jordan realises that's he's working with the wrong guy?

Harvey Dent makes a reappearance in the two-part "Two-Face"... only this time he might not be on the side of the angels. Ooh, and Rupert Thorne makes an appearance as the criminal ringleader that Harvey is determined to bring down. Harvey's got something of a temper on him... oh, okay, multiple personality - he's been supressing his anger for most of his life and it's taken on a persona of its own.

Unfortunately, when Thorne finds out about this, and attempts to make a deal with Harvey, a fight ensues, and Harvey gets seriously scarred on half his face. And now he's at large... and he's got a double-headed coin to make all his decisions for him...

"It's Never Too Late" sees a mob war between two crime bosses - Thorne and Stromwell - so presumably Thorne wins, what with him being in charge in the previous episode... Stromwell's son has been kidnapped and he's willing to meet with Thorne (who obviously is planning a trap). Stromwell seems to have a fear of trains, after some childhood incident. And yes, this synopsis is incoherent.

Hopefully I'll make more sense of "I've Got Batman In My Basement" (which was trying to win an award for dumb episode title). Batman tries to take on a couple of Faberge Egg thieves, but gets attacked by a vulture - a giant South American vulture to be precise! And of course, giant birds are the purview of the Penguin. Lets see, we have a junior detective, and he's following the bird, but Batman shows up to capture the Penguin - obviously he manages to get gassed and the kid has to rescue him and take him back to his crime lab (or basement, as most people would refer to it!).

Tuesday sees more Batman, with "Heart Of Ice" kicking off the viewage, and obviously we get the introduction of Mr. Freeze, who's apparently got a grudge against GothCorp. He was injured and his wife was killed (or nearly so) in a lab accident, caused by the current head of GothCorp... he wants revenge (which pretty much puts paid to the lack of emotion bit), while Batman will settle for giving the police the evidence of the accident.

On to disc 3, and "The Cat and the Claw" becomes our first two parter of the disc with Catwoman's first appearance in the show. Of course, this wasn't originally broadcast as a two parter - the two episodes were separated by a few, but here they're presented together. Of course, Batman and Catwoman spar, and then Bruce and Selina meet the next night when Bruce is being auctioned for a good cause (some big cat sanctuary)... so who should win a date with him?

Ah, there's the other half of the title - Red Claw, the most ruthless terrorist leader - is also in town, and his thugs are causing problems for the police. So - Selina's an animal rights activist trying to buy some land, and Red Claw has other plans for the land.

Okay, maybe these episodes do belong together... that's very much a to be continued... so why were they episodes 1 and 8 in airdate order and 13 and 16 in production?

"See No Evil" has a young girl being visited by an invisible man, who's giving her expensive necklaces. He doesn't sound too happy about the fact that the girl and her mother are moving though... Ah, okay, it's a man in an invisibility suit.

"Beware Of The Grey Ghost" gets us back to the strong episodes - someone's blowing up building and claiming responsibility as "The Mad Bomber" - and it jogs Batman's memory of a show he watched growing up about a crime fighter called the Grey Ghost. However, Simon Trent is now just a penniless actor who can't find work... but he's the only one with a copy of the show... fun tie-in here having Adam West play Simon, and it's nice to see Batman got his inspiration for the Batcave from somewhere...

"Prophecy Of Doom" sees a banker friend of Bruce's being taken in by a seer called Nostromos... who keeps going on about the inner voice and someone being in grave danger... as long as an alien doesn't burst out of someone's chest we'll let the reference go. Oooh... now I know where Chancellor Gowron got his eyes from...

Of course, when Nostromos predicts death for Bruce Wayne, he's got to make it happen by sabotaging his private elevator. Amazingly, Bruce has the Batman costume in his jacket pocket (well, he wasn't carrying a briefcase!) so he can get out.

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