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On TV Today's Date:

The Batman
The Big Chill
Original airdate 11/06/04

For those of us beginning to wonder if the WB would ever show a new episode of this show, The Batman returns to introduce us to Mr. Freeze.

While on a three hour tour, the cast of Gilligan's Island is held up by Freeze. The police are unable to track him down, but Batman is on the scene with his trusty villain tracking goggles. He follows the trail back to Freeze's hideout and the two battle.

(Pay no attention to the following origin being a mixture of Joe Chill and The Joker.)

Turns out that Batman has encountered Mr. Freeze before, or at least his alter ego Victor Fries. Victor had been a small time jewel thief who, while trying to escape from a heist one night, ran into Batman and eventually fell into a cryogenic chamber. He woke up 1000 years in the future, met a robot named Bender and went to work for Planet Express Delivery on a generally better but now-cancelled series.

Back in the present, Batman gets a taste of revenge served cold and doesn't like it one bit. After being put on ice by Freeze, almost getting captured by the police, suffering hypothermia and nearly giving up the Mantle of the Bat, Batman does what he always does.

A musical montage! Nope, he invents his way out of the problem.

Equipped with a snazzy light blue thermal costume that is sure to be available in toy stores before Christmas, Batman goes after Freeze for round two.

I don't know what it is about Mr. Freeze that inspires writers to force every cold, ice and frosty themed pun into a script, but the pattern is repeated here. For God's sake people, did we learn nothing from Batman & Robin?

One reason there may have been such a long break between episode is the network may have been trying to cover up the fact that this episode is identical to the Bane episode. Batman fights new villain, Batman loses, Batman invents new gadget, Batman defeats new villain. It's a simple formula that kids watching the show probably won't pick up on, but makes for repetitive TV for this mature Bat fan.

If you or your kids are at all interested in Batman and Mr. Freeze, go rent the animated Batman: Subzero.

Michael Goodson


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