DCAU #94: Time Out of Joint

IN THIS ONE... The Clock King is back, this time with temporal technology.

CREDITS: Written by Steve Perry and Alan Burnett; directed by Dan Riba.

REVIEW: I'm not going to dispute the fact that the machine that speeds up or slows down time doesn't lead to some very cool bits - Batman running with a developing explosion in his hands, the Batmobile caught in time, the various tableaux of frozen moments - but what the heck is this doing in the Batman show?! Given that Batman and Robin use it to turn themselves into super-speedsters in time for the climax... It just doesn't feel of a piece with the rest of the series, like it's a Justice League script that went back through time (and in fact, there IS a Justice League episode that features the Flash running with a developing explosion in his hands).

Is that the whole of my criticism of this episode? Pretty much. There are some comical elements I like, like the Mayor making fun of the giant gavel he has to yield to open a new courthouse, and Robin gets a few good one-liners. I also like that they wait before letting us in on the Clock King's point of view, leading with mystery, then with wonder. Odd that they name-drop Veronica Vreeland and do nothing with her. So yeah, this is mostly about finding a cool SF episode inappropriate for the world the series has built.

IN THE COMICS: Robin uses the phrase "faster than a speeding bullet"; one wonders if he knows of Superman, who strictly speaking has yet to debut.

SOUNDS LIKE: Roscoe Lee Browne (Barney Miller, Soap, Kingpin on the Spider-Man cartoon) voices Dr. Wakati.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - Cool stuff, it just doesn't belong on BTAS.

2 comments:

Andrew Gilbertson said...

Wow. Gonna have to completely disagree. The show has genre-stretched before, to its benefit, and this is a fantastic episode. It's easy to look back in hindsight, with other shows and say this would have been better for one of them, but when this was all that there was, it was simply another genre exploration, like the adventure serial setting of the previous Ra's al Ghul two-parter. And honestly I think it works quite well here - fun and exciting some cool visuals, and it allows Batman and Robin to go somewhere they hadn't been before. It would have been interesting, during the Justice League, to give them a taste of what it's like to be Superman or the Flash, but predating those things I think it works well as its own entity.

Siskoid said...

The retro-30s/40s feel of BTAS supported those genre ideas better, I felt, than the high-tech sf showcases here.

(And even in the case of Ra's al Ghul vs. the Mummy, I had similar problems with a villain being contorted to where the story made sense for them.)

 

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