Will Friedle, Kevin Conroy, Chris Mulkey, Sherman Howard
Written by: Stan Berkowitz Directed by: Curt Geda
Walter Shreeve -"It's a neglected sense, hearing. And it shouldn't be, because all too often our first warning of danger, is sound."
BATMAN HAS ALWAYS...
...had the greatest array of villains, from the Joker, Riddler and Two-Face to Poison Ivy, Mr Freeze and Catwoman. They are distinctive, instantly recognisable and can turn an ordinary story into something with a lot more bite. The villains for Batman Beyond had a lot to live up to and although they struggled to compete on a psychological level there was still tales worth being told for the right villain.
Shriek was a perfect example of the right villain with its imaginative use of Walter Shreeve’s 'sound' technology that turned a straight forward episode into a memorable one, mostly thanks to one neat scene! Shreeve was an expert in sound and resident bad guy Derek Powers employed Shreeve to bump off Bruce Wayne by way of an advanced metal suit and a nifty new name. So Shreeve became Shriek and Shriek's techno-suit became a weapon that at one point during the story managed to cancel out sound vibrations (which created a sequence in the episode without sound)! As Batman and Shriek battled it out in a car assembly plant, Shriek used his suit to cut the sound around the two of them and the echo of footsteps was the only noise heard, whilst Batman and Shriek caused silent destruction as they battled it out.
It was an unusual scene broken only when a batarang pierced Shriek’s gauntlet and he received an unwelcome influx of sound. The sudden intrusion upon Shriek's senses caused him to instantly lose his hearing, an ironic twist for a man so in tune with sound, and gave him a personal reason for hating Batman. Classic Batman villains start off with a grudge closely linked to their personal life and then intervention from the Caped Crusader usually caused them to forever transfer their vendetta to one against Batman. That situation provided Shreeve with the step-up from run of the mill villain, to certified Batman villain and he became a welcome addition to the mythology. Without the 'noiseless' scene the episode would have still been fun, but by making use of one great idea it provided a villain with a moment to shine...and sometimes that's all it takes!
WIRED FOR SOUND: * The train sound effect that was used in Shriek should have been familiar to fans of Batman: TAS, as it was used numerous times on that show whenever a train appeared in an episode.
* The land Derek Powers wanted to take control of in Shriek, was an old part of Gotham City and home to the movie theatre where Bruce went the night his parents were murdered.
* During the scene where Bruce walked into the old police station, a wanted poster for the Joker could be seen.