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
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.
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!
POISON IVY: Ha!
SCARECROW: The great Batman, scared out of his mind! How does it feel?
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 à la Clayface into Poison
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
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.
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