"Gotham's Ultimate Criminal Mastermind" Talkback


Mar 7, 2005
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Just like "The Icy Depths", during Season Three's run, one of the crew of TB revealed that one episode would feature a new-to-the-show villian in an episode that was a "old fashioned Batman". The villian was known as Dave. Then later it was D.A.V.E. Meaning it was a machine.

After "Thunder", we had two more episodes left of the season and I knew that while the Freeze/Penguin one wouldn't be suitable as the final episode, the D.A.V.E. one would. So we waited and waited, it kinda seemed long but it was actually three months. But the month before its US airing, this episode aired elsewhere and the people who caught loved it (more so than "Icy Depths"). Now it has aired, and I've been waiting for it, let's check it out shall we...

The episode: starting in Arkham, Dr. Strange presents a new way to fight crime: D.A.V.E. A powerful machine that copies the chararteristics of every villan so it can beat every one of them. However, it goes haywire and later, goes to a factory to build itself a new body. Then, D.A.V.E. boadcasts a message to everyone in Gotham that its the ultimate criminal mastermind and everything is secure to him. Nothing is safe. Dave enters the buiding where he is confronted by Batman, but D.A.V.E. knows every single movement Batman makes and escapes. D.A.V.E has what he wants. After much study in the cave, Batman figures out something...

Batman discovers that D.A.V.E.´s escape was no accident, and that the only person that coud prepare such error was Dr. Strange himself. Strange reveals to Batman that D.A.V.E. was created to confront and study Batman because Strange also programmed his own thoughts into the machine. The door bell rings in Wayne´s house, Alfred answers the door and D.A.V.E. is there. Asking if Batman is home...

This episode was actually pretty good. Whenn I heard the good things about Icy Depths then saw it, it wasn't as good as I thought. Great thing it was repeated here. As a season finale, it serves the Batman as a character in psychogical views. In the last act, it changes from Batman vs. DAVE to Bruce Wayne vs. DAVE as DAVE came up with a perfect way to defeat Batman as the side of someone. One of many examples of why the episode was good.

The main highlight was D.A.V.E. At first I thought the more human voice would be on the 50/50 side, but it did work on the level that it was designed to be human in villianly which is its how its designed as an A.I. Other times it could too much but when in times where its not in the good side, it doesn't ruin the effect on the screen. Since it has all the data on every villian, on Strange's part, Batman would be included as how he fights is equal to Batman's fighting moves. In many times, I thought of Terminator when seeing him in action. Sometimes when watching I thought DAVE was like a cyborg because while its an A.I., it did act like it was a human being being supprted by machines to stay alive. Of course, this isn't the case for real. Its a machine 100%.

Hugo Strange returns. We can tall that he had a new voice actor replacing the late Frank Gorshin. As performaces go, the new actor did his job pretty well. He does homage Gorshin's voice instead of ripping it off, that was good as you shouldn't do something in the negetive side to someone, even someone who passed away. When DAVE goes haywire, Strange becomes all worried and off guard and we believe. Then when he smiles at DAVE's appearence in the city, we know now he is involved. When Batman confronts him, Strange is now seen as an obsessed scientist who has become a villian like who he talks and studies on. At the end of this episode, Strange has moved on from mysterious, obsessed, to an enemy.

The story was good and well written. It focused on Bruce Wayne and Batman in each other's sides and what would each of the sides do in situations extreme to each other personally. The motiviation was reexplored and DAVE's plan against him in the batcave was handled maturly. The plan of having your secret identity revealed but your butler saved or secret identity saved but butler gone all came down to: he's still just one amn and what can he do. These stories are always good. This is no exception.

Overall; animation, voice acting, and sound were good as usual. The story was matured and with this epsiode, Season Three comes to a close. As an ending to the season: it goes back to who and what the main character is. A good...great end.

RATING: 9/10
This episode was alright.
It was also the first episode I've seen in a couple of months :D

oh crap,i missed it!

it looked like a good episode from what i saw in the screen caps.
This epsidoe was pretty good. At first i thought that dave was going to resemble overdrive's look in teen titans , when he escaped from arkem. cause you could see all the static electrixity through the wires.

then dave build himself into a robot. then i thought we where going to get a parellel to Heart of steal & His silicon soul, but im glad that the story went on a new perstigious route.

with twist & turns around every corner. when batman's baterang was flying towards D.A.V.E., i thought it was robins birdarang cause it looked really red. but i frogot robin wasn't showing up untill season 4. but if he did show up in this ep it would of been a total surprise.

the end was pretty good, i thought he was going to save alfred & let his identity be exposed. then everybody in the crowd wouldn't belive batman is bruce wayne. they did this scenerio in spiderman TAS, where spidey's mask was pulled & his villians refused to belive that peter parker was spiderman.

but alas they didn't. but i can't wait till season 4 when robin, harley, & others are going to show up.

I forgot to mention that i was surprised that hugo starnge was behind the whole scheme. & that he got locked up at the end:eek: . i wonder who will be the new phyhcatric ward, since hugo strange is out of commisson.

i didn't know another vocie atcor was playing him, i thought frank gorshin was playing him, but you really can't tell that it is a different actor, cause the the new voice actor playing hugo stange sounded just like frank gorshin.
It could be Frank Gorshin, we don't know.

Remember Gorshin died and I remember the talk while back on a recast.

But it maybe Gorshin. When LoG interviewed Matsuda, it was after Cat and the Bat aired and the voice work on Riddled was already done. So Gorshin could've done his voice on this episode before his death.
After missing last week's new episode, "The Icey Depths", I made sure to rise bright and early to catch the season finale (and the 2nd new episode Kids WB has offered in as many months). I think it is worth noting that at this point, something odd has happened; I had missed a new episode of THE BATMAN and I honestly didn't care. Now, if I had missed an original run episode of TMNT, I would have been FURIOUS; same for JLU. Heck, I'd have been miffed to have missed a new episode of TEEN TITANS. But by Season 3 of THE BATMAN, I could go without seeing a brand new episode in months and merely shrug, "meh, I'll catch it on reruns". This is something different from me. When the show began, I would spread venom reviewing all their sub-par episodes and using THE BATMAN for "old geezer" style rants against modern youth. It redeemed itself by the end of Season 1 and into Season 2, though, and after a steady break between episodes, I eased off my position a little. I realized my expectations for THE BATMAN were too high, that I was expecting it to be something it wasn't, and wasn't trying to be. I realized THE BATMAN aspires to be care-free action fluff; how "mindless" depends on the episode. Much like your average episode of, say, KIM POSSIBLE. It was unfair expecting it to be more than that, so I stopped bothering. I found myself enjoying the newer episodes more, and even giving lame episodes less venom. Save some brain-cells for TMNT reviews, after all. But, THE BATMAN had righted itself and was trucking along quite well in its sophmore season.

And then came Season 3, and with it, the loss of Yin, an originally created policewoman that Batman'd spent two seasons having development with, and in comes Batgirl (with a younger Gordon as her father). Suddenly Batman was bogged down by "sidekick" syndrome, in which he can no longer have much tension or development with any character, let alone a female one, so long as that darn kid is around. Much of the season spent time on Batgirl wanting to be accepted as Batman's partner and help him fight crime, while in the process nearly getting him killed or otherwise creating hassles nearly half the time. "Thunder" saw her arc conclude, and now we get a finale in which Batman is at his best; alone.

As I have said before, sidekicks are a product of their times, the Golden Age. In the 30's-50's, every superhero was almost a clone of each other, and nearly all of them had some teenage hanger-on at some point. It was made to symbolize the "father/son" dynamic, but when "Seduction of the Innocent" and likely other sources felt this was bordering on pedophilia, we got some "girl" sidekicks (Supergirl, Batgirl, Batwoman, etc). But the problem is that the age of the sidekick came and went, and for some heroes, especially as they are in the 21st century, sidekicks seem irrational. Batman, as he is understood character-wise in 2006, does not seem like the sort of person who would gladly bunk with a cadre of bright colored youngsters and fight crimes together. He's too intense, too passionate, etc. But because they were in canon for over 60 years, we have to deal with them. That doesn't mean I don't have to call it as I see it. I would have rathered Batman spent some time alone, because that is where he is best. However, the show's geered towards kids. Kid's WB has a fetish for every show they air centering around young characters, because kids I guess can't relate to "adults" (of course, how us 80's kids managed to relate to towering robot adult Transformers I guess is a mystery). Plus, adding in new characters is a great way to have fodder for new writing, especially if one has reached a peak. Had THE BATMAN reached a peak for solo Batman? One never knows, but this episode shows that Batman doesn't need to babysit to be effective.

Hugo Strange (voiced originally by the late Frank Gorshin; I dunno if this is still his work or that of another actor) reveals his latest trinket to Gordon, Wayne, and various other legal and media sources; D.A.V.E. (Digitally Advanced Villain Emulator), a computerized A.I. system that is infused with all the minds of the super-criminals inside Arkham, presumably to help the police plan their motives in advance and catch them. However, the machine actually THINKS it is a criminal, so the obvious questions are "why would it help us" and "what happens if it escapes"? Both come to pass, as D.A.V.E. escapes the room and goes offline, into Gotham's data-stream to plan the ultimate crime for the Batman. So in a sense, Batman is supposedly fighting a force that's more clever than all of his rogues at their best; certainly a threat worthy of a season finale.

As a design, D.A.V.E. resembles a cross between Johnny-5 and a Zeta Robot (once he assembles a body in a factory, that is, and painfully "borrows" the coat of some poor worker). His voicework is good enough. Naturally, he also borrows from some other famous robots. His "3 dot" motif resembles Brainiac, only is inverted. B:TAS fans may remember the last memorable A.I. that an animated Batman faced; HARDAC, from the "Heart of Steel" two-parter (which spawned a sequal, "His Silicon Soul", where Batman faces a robot doppleganger). Brainiac's goal is to record all information from life and then destroy the original; HARDAC wanted to replace all humans with robots. D.A.V.E simply wants to commit the perfect crime, but naturally there is more than that. Which is good, because otherwise he would have a hard time explaining why he commits the same flaws as many other Bat-rogues (namely, overconfidence).

D.A.V.E first goes after Gotham's computer center to steal their files, something which sounds simular to the Riddler's plan in "Riddled" (and why not? He has Riddler's patterns inside his programming), and naturally Batman arrives. They have a decent fight, but D.A.V.E. escapes, leaving Batman to save himself from a fall. Physically, Batman is obviously no match for D.A.V.E., who can catch Batarangs and knock him all over despite martial arts. So, you'd think Batman would use that arsenal he uses when it is plot convient; explosives, maybe a Freezerang, maybe even the...groan...Bat-bot. But you'd be wrong. And hence, that is the dilemma of going overboard on Bat-tech in the beginning, as this show has. He has so many toys, that we wonder at times why he doesn't use them more often so he doesn't have as much trouble. But of course, then drama would fly out the window. The action is good here; THE BATMAN usually does well with it.

Next D.A.V.E. announces his plans live on Gotham's teletrons and announces his crime, which is to affect everyone by draing the bank accounts of EVERYONE in the city to induce panic. We don't see much panic, however, and before long Batman analyzes D.A.V.E.'s hard-drive design and sees that his "escape" was no accident; it was programmed by Strange. Paying Strange a visit, he finally gets to see how twisted the mad doctor is. Strange reveals his fascination with Batman and his wish to study him, even by inventing a machine to fully challenge him and study him (as well as draw his attention; hence why D.A.V.E. boasts about his crimes and leaves Batman alive). The commerical comes on yet another cliffhanger; D.A.V.E. visitting Wayne Manor, having done what no other rogue has yet done (least in the series); figured out who Batman is!

Batman rushes back to the cave, only to find D.A.V.E. there with quite a trap planned; a garish choice to either save Alfred, or his secret identity (from being broadcast and downloaded into every Gotham computer). D.A.V.E. also analytically explains how he figured out Batman's identity from scanning Gotham's files (looking for age demographic, wealth level to fund Bat-tech, and finally motivation, and Wayne fit all three). By mentioning the death of his parents, D.A.V.E. helps set the tone for the show and indicate that even when its not muggers in alleys, Batman's crusade against crime is all due to that moment. Amazingly, this sort of stuff never happens when Batgirl is around doing her best Ron Stoppable routine. Unable to beat D.A.V.E. physically (and stuck on being "Stubborn Karate Man" to try anything else, like a gadget; as I have noted elsewhere, Batman has two modes of attack in most incarnations; "Omnipotent Gadget Guy" or "Stubborn Karate Man", and few writers know how to balence the pair), when Batman uses his guile. He asks D.A.V.E. to reveal his own origin, "like every villian has", and basically it works much like introducing a simple logic puzzle to computer rulers used to work for Capt. Kirk; the thing shorts out because it can't explain it. D.A.V.E. is then crushed and Strange is sent to his own insane aslyum, but the "ultimate criminal mastermind" may in fact be HIM.

The episode served decent action and some suspence along with it. Considering I am tired of Penguin and unimpressed by Mr. Freeze here, maybe it is for the best that I didn't see "Icey Depths" yet, although I will try to catch it sometime. A finale should feel like it is an "ending" of sorts, and this one does. Strange's ruse is revealed, Batman squares off against his ultimate foe, and his motivation is reaffirmed. See what can happen when he's not babysitting?

Alas, Robin is coming next season. Get out the Bat-diapers.
Binker said:
It could be Frank Gorshin, we don't know.

Remember Gorshin died and I remember the talk while back on a recast.

But it maybe Gorshin. When LoG interviewed Matsuda, it was after Cat and the Bat aired and the voice work on Riddled was already done. So Gorshin could've done his voice on this episode before his death.

Yeah maybe.
Kevin Michael Richardson takes over the role of Hugo Strange from the late Frank Gorshin
Then he did a good job cause you really coulnd't tell the difference between frank gorshin's voice of the character & kevin michael richerdson voice of the character.
I know I've heard
the voice of D.A.V.E. somewhere
else, but I can't figure out where.​
Dread said:
Kid's WB has a fetish for every show they air centering around young characters, because kids I guess can't relate to "adults" (of course, how us 80's kids managed to relate to towering robot adult Transformers I guess is a mystery).

Thing to remeber ion Transformers is that they used humans in the role of sidekicks (ie. Spike and his son in Transformers the movie). The humans were weaker and created the dynamic of a sidekick.
Correction: Richard Green did Hugo Strange in this episode.
dread, ever thought about doing reviews for a living?

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