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On TV Today's Date:

The Batman
The Big Dummy
Original airdate 11/27/04

A new crime figure rears his tiny head in Gotham, but Gotham's supply of henchmen haven't quite caught on that it's not always good to ask questions about the sanity of their employer. Especially when he can give you a really nasty splinter.

The puppet Scarface makes his debut on The Batman and it's clear from the beginning that he's been hit with the makeover stick. Gone are Bruce Timm's pinstripes and derby hat (a close duplicate of the comics). Instead, the big dummy has been modernized with leisure suit, gold chains and clean shaven (sanded?) head. The update makes him look like a bald headed Al Pacino from Scarface and strangely enough, the look works. Good thing the Ventriloquist can't really pronounce his "effs." It helps that Scarface gets his voice from Simpsons legend Dan Castellaneta. Every so often you can hear shades of Krusty the Clown in his voice.

While Scarface and crew steal seemingly random items from around town, Bruce Wayne must juggle the crime fighting biz with Alfred's insistence that Bruce date more women. Or really, any woman.

The faithful manservant introduces Bruce to an online dating service through the Bat-computer and after Bruce and a girl share an instant message conversation, they make a date. Not having any of the interactive toys myself, it does make me wonder - does this scene cause the toy Batmobile to unexpectedly fog up?

Ultimately, however, Bruce must come to terms that Batman is his true calling and women just aren't his thing for now. Maybe there is a special place in his heart for someone in a green swimsuit and pixie boots, hmmm?


While the main plot of "The Big Dummy" follows the formula I've complained about in recent weeks, Scarface's ultimate goal was interesting and clever enough to make up for it. This proves that at least someone on the writing staff has some fresh ideas for the Bat-franchise.

Good episodes have been few and far between, but good ideas are there if you look for them. Until next time, Bat-fans…

Michael Goodson


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