Batman: The Animated Series (1993/1994) – The Worry Men, Paging the Crime Doctor and House and Garden

 

The Mad Hatter (Roddy McDowall) is up to his mind-control tricks again this week, as he menaces Gotham and Batman (Kevin Conroy) in The Worry Men. This one aired on 16 September, 1993, and sees the Mad Hatter stowing devices inside little dolls that he has delivered to Gotham’s socialites and elite via Veronica Vreeland (Marilu Henner).

Vreeland is back in town after an expedition to the Rain Forest with tiny souvenirs for all of her friends, and social circles, little Worry Men, Bruce is given one, as is Bruce’s friend who runs a security firm, Hayden Sloan (LeVar Burton). They are meant to whisper all of their problems and worries to the little dolls and then place them under their pillow and wake refreshed, and worry free in the morning.

But is all a ruse but the Hatter to learn the city’s secrets, and gain control over all of Gotham . It seems even Bruce may have fallen victim to the trap, when 20 million goes missing.

Batman runs down leads starting with Vreeland, following a trail that takes him right to the Mad Hatter, who may be ready for the Dark Knight this time!!

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Paging the Crime Doctor aired on 17 September, 1993, and was the last episode until May of 1994. Dr. Matthew Thorne (Joesph Campanella), crime boss Rupert Thorne’s (John Vernon) younger brother has lost his medical license.

Once a colleague of Thomas Wayne, and Leslie Thompkins (Diana Muldaur), he is now forced to serve as a doctor for his mobster brother and his gang.

Rupert comes to his brother to perform his heart surgery, and has promised that he will get Matthew’s license reinstated if he performs the operation. Matthew turns to Thompkins for help, asking her to assist in the operation, when she refuses, he has her kidnapped, forcing her to help him with his brother’s surgery.

Batman tries to track down his missing friend, unaware that the clock is ticking; Thorne’s thugs are under orders to kill Thompkins after the operation is complete. Will Batman be able to save her in time? And how long will Matthew labor under his brother’s thumb?

It’s nice to see Thompkins again, she’s always a welcome return, and I love how she treats Bruce. You get the feeling this is a conversation she has had a number of times with him.

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The final episode this week, House and Garden aired 2 May, 1994. Pamela Isley aka Poison Ivy (Diane Pershing) is released from Arkham Asylum, supposedly cured. She’s got a new life, with a husband, her psychologist, Dr. Steven Carlyle (Peter Strauss) and even seems to love his two children.

Could she be on the straight and narrow? If so who is behind the attacks around Gotham by sentient plants?

There is some weirdness going on in this episode, including the concept of Bats driving the Batmobile around in daylight, and making a social call on the Carlyles with Commissioner Gordon (Bob Hastings), as well as hanging out in trees and bell towers during the day…

Batman calls in Robin (Loren Lester) to help, interrupting what would have been a comfy study date with a pretty young co-ed. But before Dick can leave, he’s attacked and kidnapped by a strange plant.

Batman investigates trying to track down his ward, and shadows the seemingly innocent Isley. But there are mysteries here that the Dynamic Duo uncover, and Poison Ivy may not be such a perfect picture of domestic bliss as she and her family pretend to be!!

But maybe she really is happy?

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

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