The World's Finest Presents
Episode #028 - Dreams In Darkness
Original Airdate - November 3rd, 1992

When Batman attempts to thwart the Scarecrow's plan to poison Gotham's water supply with a chemical that induces non-stop nightmares and hallucinations, the Dark Knight is infected with the concoction. Unable to tell reality from fantasy, he is committed to Arkham Asylum. He must find a way to escape and stop the Scarecrow from plunging the people of Gotham into a nightmare without end.

Media by Bird Boy
Review by Robin III, Batman Fan
Written by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Directed by Dick Sebast
Supervising Composer Shirley Walker
Music Composed by Todd Hayen
Animation Services by Studio Junio Inc.

Kevin Conroy as Batman / Bruce Wayne
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Alfred Pennyworth
Richard Dysart as Dr. Bartholomew
Takayo Fischer as Dr. Wu
Loren Lestern as Robin / Dick Grayson
Henry Polic II as The Scarecrow / Jonathan Crane
Ron Taylor as Orderly

Screen Grabs


BATMAN (narrative): 'There's always time to heal' the doctor told me, but he was wrong. There was no time left. Not for me, not for him, and not for Gotham City.
BATMAN: I need to know what has affected this man.
WU: Why?
BATMAN: Because it may have affected me too.
BATMAN (narrative): Some thought I had gone mad, others thought I always had been until they put me where they thought I belonged.
BARTHOLOMEW: Eh. . . I hope I'm not disturbing you?
BATMAN: Isn't that why I'm here? Because I'm. . . Disturbed?
SCARECROW: It's time for the greatest controlled experiment in mass-madness to finally begin!
BATMAN: Robin! Alfred! You've got to help me!
ROBIN: It's too late for that, Bruce. You've lived in darkness too long!
ALFRED: Yes, do come along, Master Bruce, it's time to go home!
SCARECROW: The great Batman, scared out of his mind! How does it feel?
BATMAN: No-o-o-o-o!
SCARECROW: An entire city, screaming in fear. I wonder if we'll be able to hear it?

Review (Robin III): A superb look into what the people of Gotham experience when exposed to the Scarecrow's fear gas. There are many very well done hallucinations that Batman experiences such as his parents death, an attack by members of the rogues gallery, and smaller panic attacks like seeing Scarecrow's goons as monsters, and confronting a snake which is really just an electric cord.

Excellent animation also in this episode, especially during the Thomas and Martha scene (Batman running in slow motion / the gun tunnel) and during the villain attack (Two-Face melting la Clayface into Poison Ivy).

The story's background is also introduced through a flashback narrated by Batman, which is quite powerful. Through this method, the episode doesn't seem to be crammed into half-an-hour as it would be if everything were happening in this time period and not in a memory.

Since this episode is on a video cassette, (The Adventure of Batman & Robin - "Batman"), I highly suggest you purchase it today. It is an excellent piece of work and is surely one of the better episodes of Batman.

Review (Batman Fan): A really intense and psychological episode that gave us a look inside Batman's mind and to see what his true fears really are.

One of the coolest and most unique things about this episode is we have a supposedly insane Batman narrating the story for us. Never before was this done in an episode, and it completely worked here as we weren't really sure what to expect and whether to believe Batman or not. It gives so much more depth to hear his prespective then for us to sort of be along for the ride with him. Possibly the coolest thing about this episode is we see Batman in Arkham as a prisoner! It's ironic to think after all the trouble he went through, leading a double life and everything to put the criminals of Gotham in their, he's just ends up as a victim of his own mental problems. Another interesting aspect was the fact that the doctors had trouble believing him because they thought he was insane to begin with. This led to the conflict of not only Batman trying to convince himself he wasn't insane, but convince others that he wasn't as well to end up saving the city. It's also really fun to watch a hero suffer with their internal demons and such, and Batman fighting for his sanity was a heck of ride to watch. The fact that he was able to do his job despite his fear hallucinations and the fact that he may be insane just proves to us how strong Batman is mentally and how in control of his emotions and his mental state he really is.
The hallucinations Batman experiences in this episode are amazing, from witnessing his parents murder again, in an emotional sequence of terror, to having all his rogues and friends attack and betray him, they really dug deep into Batman to dig out what he'd fear most. I think that's great character portrayal. The hallucinations were very symbolic and touched on every aspect of Batman's personality and mentality, you could tell that he was really tortured by these hallucinations, as the animation contributed to that visually.

I always like the way this episode looked, very dark and creepy to make that eerie feeling that Batman's in Arkham, but it's also very smooth and vivid which I liked, the animation is great in this episode, especially with the action. I liked how Batman envisioned Scarecrow's thugs as zombies, and he ultimately overcomes his fears to stop Scarecrow's plan. All the fights, from the one with Torchy, to the ending ones were well executed and looked great as did the hallucinations. One of my favorite action scenes is Batman's escape from Arkham, which was really suspenseful and fun to watch, and the music added to that affect.

While Scarecrow was the bad guy of the week, he really wasn't the main focus. His plan was pretty standard, poison the water supply with his toxin, but the execution of his plan was brilliant and really scary. His dialogue was very creepy, from his line about wondering if he'll be able to hear the screams from here, to his diabolical laugh, it was all well done, and kudos to the VA. The way he was hidden in the shadows as the mastermind behind the plan only added to the creepiness.

The ending with the bat in the Batcave hovering over Bruce with his shadow engulfing him is a great visual ending to an awesome episode.

Rating: *****
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