Batman: The Animated Series – Perchance to Dream

by Alan Rapp on July 16, 2019

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Batman: The Animated Series – Perchance to Dream
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Batman: The Animated Series - Perchance to Dream television review

Throwback Tuesday takes us back to Gotham City for Kevin Conroy‘s favorite episode of Batman: The Animated Series. After a night fighting crime, Bruce Wayne (Conroy) awakes to a world where his parents are alive, he is engaged to Selina Kyle (Adrienne Barbeau), and someone else is patrolling the streets as Batman. Initially distrustful of all he sees, Bruce eventually comes to accept his new reality. However, the discovery of his inability to make sense of the written word reawakens his suspicions that he is trapped with a dream world and he redoubles his efforts to discover the truth. For a series that enjoyed playing on noir themes, “Perchance to Dream” is full of them as the unseen villain gaslights our hero (albeit as a gift rather than a form of torture).

It doesn’t happen often, outside of Batman Beyond, but “Perchance to Dream” does allow for Batman to come face-to-face with Bruce Wayne. Realizing the Dark Knight is the key, Bruce runs from the police and climbs the cathedral in the cemetery to confront the source of the dream. The reveal of the Mad Hatter (Roddy McDowall) is well done, as is the confrontation between Batman and the criminal in the real world after Bruce escapes the dream which is full of anger, frustration, and regret. The plot is similar to the comic story “For the Man Who Has Everything” which would later be explored on Justice League and adapted for Supergirl.

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