Batman: The Animated Series (1992) – His Silicon Soul, Off Balance and What is Reality?

 

Batman (Kevin Conroy) has his hands full once again this week, as he continues to save and protect Gotham from evil. Up first is His Silicon Soul following on the trail of the two-parter Heart of Steel, this story was broadcast on 20 November, 1992.

H.A.R.D.A.C. (Jeff Bennett) seemingly got more duplicants made than we originally thought, and it seems there is one of Bruce Wayne/Batman running around convinced it’s the real deal.

I love that this is a follow-up to a previous story, maintaining the continuity the show has made for itself. When the duplicant is injured it returns to Wayne Manor for help, where Alfred (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) is stunned at the appearance of the robot. Batman, meanwhile, investigates an incident that looks like his work, but isn’t.

The duplicant Batman and the Dark Knight himself seek out the computer and robots creator, Dr. Rossum (William Sanderson). The episode actually has some rather poetic moments as the robotic Batman deals with its memories, and refuses to believe he’s only a computer creation.

From Rossum, both of them track down what remains of H.A.R.D.A.C. for answers, but the duplicant gets there first, and the computer repairs the robot, and upgrades him, getting the droid back on to H.A.R.D.A.C.’s original plan of replacing humanity, one by one, starting with Batman.

Will the Dark Knight be able to stop him?

This and the previous part of this story feels very much like Batman’s take on Blade Runner, and therefore, for me, is a lot of fun.

Silicon_Soul_Last

Off Balance aired 23 November, 1992, and sees the introduction of Talia (Helen Slater) and Ra’s al Ghul (David Warner) to the animated series.

When the villainous Count Vertigo (Michael York) starts proving himself a threat, Batman teams up with a strange new ally, Talia al Ghul. But, the episode opens up with Batman investigating the League of Shadows (also called the Society of Shadows), as it seems they have finally moved into Gotham, and may be working with Vertigo. They are also proving to be very  difficult for the Caped Crusader to track down and get answers out of.

Vertigo steals a powerful sonic drill from Wayne Tech, an encounter with Batman almost prevents him, but Talia interrupts, and the baddies get away.

When they encounter one another again, and pursue Vertigo in earnest, there is a nice chemistry between the two characters, and it’ll be fun to see more of the two of them together in the future, in what will no doubt end up being a tragic romance.

offbalance

The final episode this week is What is Reality? and sees John Glover return as Edward Nygma, aka The Riddler. The episode aired 24 November, 1992, and plunged Commissioner Gordon (Bob Hastings) into some serious trouble.

 

The Riddler traps Gordon’s consciousness inside a virtual reality construct and Batman is going to have to go in after him. Computer problems, tied to riddles are plaguing all of Gotham, even at the DMV where Dick (Loren Lester) is waiting with Alfred to pay his traffic ticket(!).

Gordon and Batman confer about the case, when the Riddler arranges for a special delivery to GCPD, a ticking crate addressed to Gordon. Bats and Robin investigate inside is a virtual reality helmet and computer that Robin goes to work on, while Bats works to solve riddles that reveals that Nygma is tracking down all hard copies of files with his name in them, to erase himself from existence.

Gordon and Robin experiment with the VR, but Gordon is locked within it, trapped.

Batman has to go in after his friend… will he be able to save Gordon and foil the Riddler once again? Robin lends a hand while Batman confronts Nygma on his own turf, and together, perhaps the two of them can save the day, and Gordon’s life.

See you next week, same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel!

riddler reality

 

 

 

 

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