Saturday, July 15, 2017



"Racing around like the Caped Crusader, 
you've turned this into a schoolroom brawl between you and him."
DC Ron Ludlow

First off, I just want to say how much I hate it when a TV show can't come up with a good title for an episode.  It's bad enough almost all of them use "Pilot" for the first episode (as if coming up with a title is too much of an effort if the show doesn't sell.)  But at least you know where that episode stands in the listings if you want to research it.  There's nothing about this episode title to give me a clue as to what the plot was about.

I don't want to give it away, but the best damn TV show episode of the year, any genre, didn't have an episode title either (although it seems most fans have come up with the perfect one anyway.)  All it had was a numerical demarcation, almost like a chapter listing.  It's only because that episode will wind up being one of the most talked-about TV shows of the year (and perhaps ever!) that I'll always know what the title stood for.

Okay, rant over....

This episode took place in May, 1995 - long after the career of the original Batman ended in the main Toobworld.  Afterwards, it became common knowledge that millionaire Bruce Wayne had been Batman; his ward Dick Grayson was his sidekick Robin, the Boy Wonder, and that the Batcave (with such accouterments as the Batphone, the Batmobile, and the Batpoles) had been hidden away under stately Wayne Manor.  It's doubtful that this information... information... information... had been released while Bruce's Aunt Harriet Cooper was still alive.  But after she passed away sometime around 1969, and after Bruce Wayne was forced into retirement, the shadowy arm of UNIT known as "UNReal" set to work on a project that was antithetical to their usual policy.

First another recap as we always have new visitors to Inner Toob.....

"UNReal" is my own creation regarding the name of the shadow organization.  They may be known by another designation established in another TV show of which I am not aware.    As I just mentioned, it is a division of UNIT engaged in keeping the general public clueless about certain people and events which might otherwise cause mass panic.  The origins of this shadowy organization could probably traced back to Shakespeare, who was a front for the organization using his talents as a playwright to chronicle real events - not just the History Plays, but also the presence of witches, fairies, and ghosts among the populace.  Believing such tales to be fictional entertainment, the great unwashed (back then, that was literal!) would think anything untoward which they might have seen was simply some kind of stunt or practical joke.  A company of players acting in the rough.  For alls I know, it goes back even farther than that.

The goals of the organization began to take shape during the Victorian period with the aid of Dr. John Watson, who informed his readers that many of the events described in his book had been altered slightly and that names had been changed.  The effect was pervasive, putting most of the general public into the mindset that everything about Sherlock Holmes was fictional, including the Great Detective himself.  This gave Holmes the freedom to work unimpeded by gawkers.

Watson was assisted in this endeavour by Dr. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who posed as Watson's literary agent (working out of the offices of Mr. Rodney Pringle.) But he was in fact a member of the governing board for UNReal's predecessor.  (That is until his obsession with the world of the Fae and his vocal arguments regarding its existence made him a liability to not only the work of the organization but to the existence of the magical folk and to the access into Fairyland.)

It is rumored that over the years, the UNReal Council has include Watchers, Librarians, Warehouse agents, Torchwood agents, Men of Letters, particular magickers, one of the aforementioned Fae or two, and even aliens (although not always known to be not of that Earth.)  As a matter of fact, a few years after the War To End All Wars, a Martian anthropologist named Exigius 12 served on the council without anyone knowing who he was.  (As far as they were concerned, he was Mark LeMartin, a former screen actor who made only one movie - at least until the timeline was revamped.)  

Another adviser down through the years was known to be of alien origin, a Time Lord. However, the Council of UNReal was usually involved in cleaning up the messes in which he was involved rather than accepting his advice (such as getting the public to believe the damage done to Big Ben was not an alien attack but due to maintenance repair.)  However there have been occasions when this alien has been drafted into 

Among those whose exploits were most obfuscated by UNReal were the aforementioned Time Lord, agents from another arm of the overall organization, UNCLE, plus Fringe Division, James Bond, superheroes, and attacks by Cylons, Cybermen, Daleks, Canamids, Terminators from the Future and various monsters like werewolves, reanimated humanoids, and the occasional vampire.

So Batman was eventually under the auspices of UNReal, but with a difference.  Once Batman was too severely injured to continue, UNReal stepped in to maintain the illusion that Bruce Wayne was still operating in Gotham City as the Caped Crusader.  Unlike the others, they didn't want the people to doubt the Batman's existence; instead they wanted them to continue believing it was Bruce Wayne under the cowl.  There was no use denying it anyway; after all, too many people had seen the Bat-signal in the sky above Gotham City over the years.

One of the first measures taken by UNReal was to underwrite a television series about 'Batman' and they found the perfect actor to play the role because of his remarkable similarity to the real Bruce Wayne - the televersion of Adam West.

By the time of the injuries suffered by Mr. Wayne, Richard Grayson was ready to step into the role of Gotham City's protector.  He operated under a double secret identity - not only as Batman, but as Bruce Wayne as the Batman.  He still lived at the stately Wayne manor house, but it had now been outfitted to staff a small army of UNIT officers to maintain the security of the property.

One outcome of this was that none of the arch-villains (unfortunately unseen and therefore unknown by the audience of the Trueniverse) who faced off against this Batman ever bothered to unmask the Caped Crusader to reveal his true identity since it had become common knowledge.

As for the original Batman/Bruce Wayne, he retired to a hidden estate known as Silverstone once owned by a multi-millionaire named J. Beresford Tipton.  Tipton had passed away in the early 1950s and Wayne was able to procure the property from the estate thanks to the mediation by the Gotham Trust Bank and the coercion of Ms. Ferrett from the IRS, who convinced heir Wilfred Tipton it was in his best interests to sell in order to pay off the back alimony owed to several of his ex-wives.

At Silverstone, the former Batman took on a new name and continued the "hobby" of the original benefactor.  It is unknown by what name he was known, but it had no connection to the original Mr. Tipton.  His heirs, If he could no longer help the public in his guise as a superhero because of his debilitating injuries, then he figured he could use his personal fortune to help them in other ways.  

Sadly, the original Bruce Wayne passed away just this year and I don't have any further information on what happened to his philanthropic foundation.  As for Batman 2.0, Grayson eventually retired as well.  He wasn't forced into it as happened to his mentor, but instead he had fallen in love.  In order to safeguard his future bride, Grayson trained another to take his place - a young man who had started out in the role of Robin, following in the footsteps of the original.

Earth Prime-Time is not the same as the Earth of the comic books, and even then there are thousands of those in that particular multiverse.  There's no reason to believe the next Robin HAD to be Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, or Damien Wayne from the comic books.  But whoever they were, each in turn recruited their own Boy Wonder (perhaps even a Girl Wonder) to carry on the tradition in much the same way as practiced by the Walker Family over generations in the jungles of Africa.

As for Richard Grayson and his wife, they retired to Alaska, somewhere near Cicely, the Alaskan Riviera, to raise a family.  Their son became the founder of the family tree which would lead to Amanda Grayson, the mother of Star Fleet officer Spock from Vulcan.

Remember DC Ron Ludlow?  it was his statement to his partner, DC Marty Brazil, which got us off and running on the topic of the Caped Crusader....

As I stated, Ludlow mentioned Batman in May of 1995 during their investigation of the Neil Chettle case (Chettle was ripping off the life savings of pensioners.)  By that time, it's quite likely that Toobworld had its fourth Batman, with UNReal still maintaining the illusion that he was Bruce Wayne.  (Of course, by this point they may have been claiming he was Bruce Wayne Jr.  (After all, it had been forty years since the original Batman was at the apex of his career and you can only suspend the disbelief of the public for so long.)

Now that was over twenty years ago, so I would not be surprised by the presence of another hero in the guise of Batman since then.  Five heroes named Batman protecting Gotham City and getting world-wide recognition as all being the same man.

It wasn't just the coppers of Sheffield, the region from whence the ancestors of Broadway producer Maxwell Sheffield originated, who knew about Batman.  British Toobworldlings from all over the Sceptr'd Isle knew of his existence and the resultant TV series, from Father Dougal and Del Boy to the living puppet Zippy! 

Since the 1960s there have been other incarnations of Batman across the greater Toobworld multiverse.  Most of them were in the Tooniverse (which had one crossover into the main Toobworld), and then there was the presence of Batman's identical counterpart, seen at a televised roast, as well as Wayne Enterprises in Charm City - but both of those are to be found in Doofus Toobworld.  A younger version of Bruce Wayne, still a boy and not yet the Batman, can be found in the Land O' Remakes, the dimension known as Toobworld2.  (For the time being 'Gotham' shares the same TV dimension as 'The Adventures of Lois and Clark'.)

But so far I have yet to see an actual portrayal of one of the succeeding Batmen in the main Toobworld, although I might have to look closer at some possibilities in the Bat-Blipvert department.....

'Out Of The Blue'
'The Millionaire'
'The Man From UNCLE'
'The Girl From UNCLE'
'Doctor Who'
'Sherlock Holmes'
'The Rivals Of Sherlock Holmes'
'Houdini & Doyle'
'Galactica 1980'
'The Adventures Of Lois & Clark'
"Legends Of The Super-Heroes: The Challenge"
"Legends Of The Super-Heroes: The Roast"
'My Favorite Martian'
'The Odd Couple'
'Northern Exposure'
'Star Trek'
'The Phantom'
'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'
'Warehouse 13'
'The Librarians'
'The Twilight Zone'
'The Odd Couple'
'The Suite Life of Zack and Cody'
'The Suite Life on Deck'
'Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles'
'The Magicians'
'The Nanny'
'Coronation Street'
'Only Fools And Horses'
'Doctor Who'
'Dempsey And Makepeace'
'Father Ted'
'The Thick Of It'
'Climax!' ("Casino Royale")

O'BSERVATIONS - All of this conjecture about Bruce Wayne and Batman only applies to Earth Prime-Time, and by that I mean only the main Toobworld in the greater TV Universe.  It certainly is NOT the position of DC Comics and I certainly don't expect it to meet the criteria of the shared universes which are shepherded by my colleagues in this past-time.

No comments: