Batman: The Animated Series 25th Anniversary #68: Trial

Trial was first broadcasted on May 16, 1994 with a script by Paul Dini from a story by Dini & Bruce Timm and directed by Dan Riba.

Gotham’s new DA, Janet Van Dorn, is out to capture Batman, but both she and him end up captured by some of Batman’s main enemies instead. They are soon put on a kangaroo trial by the Joker (the judge), Two-Face (the prosecutor), the Ventriloquist (the bailiff), Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, the Mad Hatter, Killer Croc, the Scarecrow & the Riddler (the jury) in front of other criminals held at Arkham. If the defense (Batman and the D.A.) can prove that Batman is not the cause for everyone’s turn to crime, they will be set free. When the jury gives the verdict of ‘not guilty’, the villains have little intention of following through on their deal.

Some notes of interest in this episode, Henry Polic II, the Scarecrow’s voice actor, was recuperating from throat surgery during the episode’s production, so his character has no dialogue in it.

More interesting, Van Dorn mentions in this episode that Harley Quinn was once a doctor at Arkham before the Joker corrupted her mind; a backstory which is later shown in The New Batman Adventures episode “Mad Love”.

If you love to watch the Rogue’s Gallery of villains, then this is the episode for you because they are all in this one and they steal the show easily.

What’s great about this episode is that it makes you wonder for yourself if Batman is just as dangerous as the people he fights. There has been definite proof in some episodes where you can make the argument that Batman does more damage than he actually prevents it and even the new DA has her suspicions too, which makes the fact that she has to defend somebody that she doesn’t believe is on the right side of justice either all the more exciting and intense. Stephanie Zimbalist of Remington Steele fame is great in this episode as Van Dorn.

Trial makes for one of the more intense and exciting episodes the show has done bringing all the villains together in a story to determine whether or not Batman is actually more of a good guy or a bad guy and it keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire episode and is more than worth the watch.

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