BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES - THE LION AND THE UNICORN (1995)
Kevin Conroy, Loren Lester, Efrem Zimbalist JR, Kate Mulgrew, Adam Ant, Roy Doctrice, Londinium, Red buses, Cockney Accents
Written by: Mary Poppins?
Directed by: The Queen Of London, England?
Bruce Wayne – “London, England?”
WHAT IS IT? It’s the worst episode of Batman: The Animated Series ever!
GOOD IDEA/BAD IDEA: Batman: The Animated Series was one of the greatest animated shows ever. No, scratch that, Batman: The Animated Series was one of the greatest TV shows ever produced! Most episodes were brilliant examples of clever plotting, snappy dialogue and adult themes that demonstrated just how brilliant Batman stories could be. Even the ‘not so good’ episodes were still highly enjoyable and light years ahead of the cartoon crap that was on TV screens at the time. However every good show has a dud episode and in the case of Batman: The Animated Series, the episode The Lion And The Unicorn was a titanium turd! The story saw Batman leave his beloved Gotham City in search of his butler Alfred, who had been caught up in a spot of ‘personal’ business and it involved a trip to London, England! There were two reasons as to why it was a shit episode; one was because it featured the return of crappy villain the Red Claw (whose accent bordered on racism) and two because it saw Batman in London...England! As a general rule of thumb American shows should never do a ‘London’ episode, because all the scenes usually involve images of red buses and pillar boxes alongside dodgy Cockney accents that just irritate English viewers, who fail to recognise what is on screen. Does London even look like that? Does anyone except Dick Van Dyke even talk with a Cockney accent?!? Either way the episode was very dull and was twenty minutes of Batman: The Animated Series that even die-hard fans of the show would have preferred had never existed.
WHAT’S THE STORY?
Billionaire Bruce Wayne’s loyal wage slave Alfred Pennyworth is dusting the priceless... erm... crap that’s cluttering up stately Wayne Manor when the telephone rings with a call... from London, England! Alfred answers the phone and is quickly informed that his pal Frederick has gotten himself into a bit of bother and needs Alfred’s help to sort it out. Sick of dusting and cleaning up after Bruce, Alfred jumps at the chance to jet off to his homeland of London, England, and he dashes off to the airport!
Bruce Wayne and his loyal live-in houseboy Dick Grayson wake up (separately) to find Alfred gone and the dusting half completed. This displeases Bruce, but as he’s the World’s Greatest Detective it’s not too long before he finds the post-it note stuck to the fridge that informs him that Alfred’s gone on holiday! Angered Bruce tells Dick to get dressed (into his superhero costume) and soon Batman & Robin head off to London, England!
Meanwhile... in London, England...
Alfred and his old friend Frederick get mixed up in some very dull spy shenanigans involving lame terrorist the Red Claw... who sounds suspiciously like Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager, doing a dodgy accent.
Batman & Robin arrive in London, England, to find that everyone speaks like they belong in the movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks. This excites Robin as he’s always had a thing for Eglantine Price, but Batman reminds him that they have an important mission to complete and there’s no time for dicking about. Robin quickly remembers what a bitch it is having to put his own pop tarts into the toaster now that Alfred’s AWOL and so agrees to get back to the business at hand. So they search the streets of London, England, until they stumble across Alfred, his best bud Frederick and the villainous Red Claw arguing about some top secret nuclear missile codes...
...or something?! Batman & Robin try their best to understand what the hell is going on, but with all the crap accents flying back and forth the Dynamic Duo don’t have a clue who to root for and so instead Batman fights the Red Claw and stops her deadly scheme. With Red Claw’s plan thwarted Batman orders Alfred to leave London, England, on a plane bound for Gotham.
Back in Gotham...
Alfred returns to his day job, cleaning out Bruce’s bidet.
Bruce and Dick vow never to return to London, England, and instead spend the afternoon watching the Super Bowl followed by reruns of Cheers.
LONDON CALLING: *Alfred hates Americans.
*Bruce hates the English.
*Dick is still confused as to what nationality the Red Claw is?! Either way, he hates her.