Batman: The Animated Series (1994) – Riddler’s Reform, Baby-Doll and Time Out of Joint

 

Season 3 of Gotham’s Caped Crusader, Batman (Kevin Conroy) continues with Riddler’s Reform, which aired 24 September, 1994.

Is it possible that Edward Nygma (John Glover) aka The Riddler has gone on the straight and narrow… Batman and Robin (Loren Lester) refuse to believe it’s true. But it seems that Nygma has sold his likeness and gags to a businessman, Charles Baxter (Peter Mark Richman), and the two seem to be off to a lucrative start.

But burglaries around Gotham have a very familiar sound… Can the heroes prove the Riddler did it, or is there someone else at work? And despite trying, or fooling everyone, Riddler seems close to actually committing a crime again, but is he pushed to it because Batman won’t leave him alone and give me a chance at being up and honest?

And that opens up all manner of questions… does Batman need Riddler to be a villain? Can no one be reformed in Gotham? It may have all been a ploy, but isn’t it odd that Batman never gives the baddies the benefit of the doubt?

William Katt, the Greatest American Hero makes an appearance as Zowie, one of Riddler’s men!

Riddler-7

Baby-Doll aired 1 October, 1994. The story follows an actress with a unique look, one that makes her look eternally child-like, but over the years, she’s become washed up, and now, wants revenge on the canceled show’s cast and crew.

Baby Doll, or Mary Louise Dahl (Alison La Placa) is bitter, vicious, and completely opposite to her appearance. The characterization of Baby-Doll seems more in line with Animaniacs than it does the Batman universe, but it’s still a fairly decent story.

Apparently Dahl left her show to pursue a serious career, but because of her condition, she wasn’t taken seriously. Now, she’s kidnapping the cast and crew to take revenge on them, for not coming back to the show when she wanted to go back…

The downside to this episode, is that it ends up being fairly generic once you get past the set-up. It’s just a rescue story, with a pint-sized villain at its heart. Course, much like the character, it’s hard to take the story too seriously.

The stories are definitely becoming more duo-centric as opposed to the line Dark Knight that the series started with.

Baby-Doll-13

The final episode this week is Time Out of Joint, sees the return of the Clock King (Alan Rachins). This one aired 8 October, 1994, and saw the villain using a device that allows him to move at an accelerated rate as compared to the rest of the world.

Temple Fugate aka the Clock King raids an auction that Bruce and Dick are attending, and steals a piece right out from under their noses. When this test run works, Fugate has a plan of revenge that he wishes to exact on the Mayor (Lloyd Bochner).

Batman and Robin are keeping a watchful eye, but will they be quick enough to stop the Clock King turned Speedster?

I get that the choice to augment Robin’s role in these stories was that of the broadcast channel, Fox but by doing that, it takes away some of the darker elements of the first couple of seasons, and as solid as the show is, and it’s damn solid, it feels like lighter fare now.

And yes, I get that the show is fictional, but I still have a hard time accepting Batman, and now Robin, just standing around the Mayor’s office, in costume, plain as day. He should be in shadows…

Doesn’t change the fact that this is still fantastic television!

More next week, same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel!

tempusclock

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