Batman: The Animated Series has finally arrived on Blu-ray!

Hurrah!

To celebrate this milestone release, I am publishing Batman: The Animated Series: Revisited – a collection of posts which focus specifically on the show’s recent upgrade to high definition (HD). For the past few days I’ve been watching episodes – commenting on the upgrade, the stories themselves and my recollections of watching them when they first aired in the UK.

In this post, I’m taking a quick break from watching the episodes in order to talk a little about the way in which the series aired.

As previously noted, episodes of Batman: The Animated Series initially aired in the UK in a different order to how they aired in the US, so while working my way through this boxset I’ve been trying to figure out a broadcast order. This is something which is not an easy task, as the show had a bit of truncated broadcast on this side of the pond, appearing on at least two different Saturday morning shows and two different TV stations.

Thanks to YouTube user ADC TV Collection I have acquired at least some of the information about the broadcast order – well, the episodes that appeared on Saturday morning kids show, What’s Up Doc?, anyway. After What’s Up Doc? it all gets a little bit hazy, with some guesswork thrown in for good measure.

Whats up doc

ADC TV Collection has uploaded every episode of What’s Up Doc? onto YouTube, so I’ve combed through all the episodes and have worked out the UK broadcast order for the first 54 episodes of Batman: The Animated Series.

The order us Brits saw the episodes in is as follows:

  • 1 The Cat and the Claw – Part 1
  • 2 The Cat and the Claw – Part 2
  • 3 On Leather Wings
  • 4 Pretty Poison
  • 5 Be a Clown
  • 6 The Forgotten
  • 7 P.O.V
  • 8 The Last Laugh
  • 9 Underdwellers
  • 10 Two-Face – Part 1
  • 11 Two-Face – Part 2
  • 12 Heart of Ice
  • 13 Nothing to Fear
  • 14 Feat of Clay – Part 1
  • 15 Feat of Clay – Part 2
  • 16 Christmas with the Joker
  • 17 Fear of Victory
  • 18 The Clock King
  • 19 The Joker’s Favour
  • 20 I’ve Got a Batman in My Basement
  • 21 Mad as a Hatter
  • 22 The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy
  • 23 Night of the Ninja
  • 24 Heart of Steel – Part 1
  • 25 Heart of Steel – Part 2
  • 26 Vendetta
  • 27 Eternal Youth
  • 28 Appointment in Crime Alley
  • 29 Beware the Gray Ghost
  • 30 Dreams in Darkness
  • 31 Perchance to Dream
  • 32 The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne
  • 33 Cat Scratch Fever
  • 34 Moon of the Wolf
  • 35 Off Balance
  • 36 What is Reality?
  • 37 The Mechanic
  • 38 Terror in the Sky
  • 39 The Laughing Fish
  • 40 Zatanna
  • 41 Robin’s Reckoning – Part 1
  • 42 Robin’s Reckoning – Part 2
  • 43 The Man Who Killed Batman
  • 44 Joker’s Wild
  • 45 Birds of a Feather
  • 46 The Demon’s Quest – Part 1
  • 47 The Demon’s Quest – Part 2
  • 48 His Silicon Soul
  • 49 Prophecy of Doom
  • 50 Day of the Samurai
  • 51 Fire from Olympus
  • 52 Blind as a Bat
  • 53 If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?
  • 54 Tyger Tyger

From this point on (in early 1994), as far as I can tell What’s Up Doc? stopped airing episodes of Batman: The Animated Series. The episodes pretty much ran up until the end of the second season of What’s Up Doc?, but didn’t quite see the season out.

Before What’s Up Doc? finished it’s second year, Batman: The Animated Series was dropped from the show’s line-up and was replaced by episodes of Tazmania.  When What’s Up Doc? returned for its third year, in late 1994, Batman: The Animated Series was nowhere to be seen and to my knowledge the show didn’t return to ITV until 1995 when Scratchy & Co began airing episodes of Batman: The Animated Series as part of its Saturday morning line-up.

I distinctly remember the two-part story, Shadow of the Bat being the first episodes to air on Scratchy and Co, so I guess these two episodes would have been #55 & #56, but beyond this I have no idea of what order the rest of the episodes would have aired in.

I know Scratchy & Co aired all of the episodes that fell under the banner of The Adventures of Batman & Robin (i.e. Batman: The Animated Series Season Two) and I remember episodes such as Almost Got ‘Im, Mudslide, Harley and Ivy, Worry Men, Read My Lips and Paging the Crime Doctor airing too, I just don’t know what order they appeared in.

I have no recollection of when See No Evil, It’s Never Too Late or I Am the Night aired, but I presume it was during the Scatchy & Co days. That is, unless they appeared elsewhere on ITV.

The New Batman Adventures

Image: ©Warner Bros. Animation

I don’t believe ITV aired any of episodes that appeared under the banner of The New Batman Adventures, so after the first 85 episodes ITV was done with Batman. I know these episodes aired on SKY at some point during the early ‘00s, but I don’t know exactly when or in what order. I would guess that SKY aired the episodes in production order, but I could be wrong.

If anyone reading this blog can help fill in the gaps it would be much appreciated, as I’d love to know the complete broadcast order for Batman: The Animated Series in the UK. Let me know in the comments section if you have the details and I’ll update the list accordingly.

More tomorrow…