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"Paging the Crime Doctor"

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Batman: The Animated Series episode
Paging the Crime Doctor-Title Card
"Paging the Crime Doctor"
Airdate: September 17, 1993
Production Number: 53
Airdate Order: 64
Animation Services by: Dong Yang Animation Co., LTD.
Teleplay by: Randy Rogel & Martin Pasko
Story by: Mike W. Barr & Laren Bright
Directed by: Frank Paur
Episode images (8)

"Paging the Crime Doctor" is the fourth episode of the second season of Batman: The Animated Series. It first aired on September 17, 1993.

Plot

Crime Doctor Hurt

Batman lays comatose on a cable car.

A lone armored truck drives the night streets of Gotham. An ambulance drives up behind it and the drivers pull over. However, the ambulance drivers pull out a gun and blow out the truck's tires. They then hurl a gas bomb into the truck causing the drivers to pass out and crash. A trio of criminals crawls out of the ambulance and steal its cargo. They muse over how easy the job was but Batman comes to disabuse them of that notion. The crooks put up a fight but Batman manages to force them to crash and proceeds to apprehend them. However, one of the criminals takes hold of the stolen cargo: a surgical laser, and fires it at Batman. His cowl is grazed and though the laser malfunctions, Batman is thrown off balance just long enough for the crooks to throw him from the bridge. They believe Batman is dead, but he has luckily managed to land on a cable car and escapes, albeit dazed.

The thugs run off to Rupert Thorne who is going to see a doctor, his own brother Matthew Thorne, who specializes in helping criminals. Rupert is skeptical that his thugs managed to kill Batman but he's got other things to think about. He gives Matthew the medical laser, but Matthew is not happy. Rupert mentions how he thinks that there is no reason for the contempt. However, Matthew relates how he failed to report a bullet, as is required by law, that he removed from Rupert on his insistence, which cost him his license, and now has an illicit practice. Rupert is unsympathetic and starts yelling at Matthew. Suddenly, he starts having heart problems and falls to the ground.

Meanwhile, Leslie Thompkins treats a few patients and is visited by Batman. He falls to the ground in front of her and she diagnoses him with a concussion. She prescribes him some medicine and tells him to stay in bed the whole day but she knows that he won't and reminisces on how Thomas knew Bruce was stubborn too.

After taking some x-rays of Rupert, Matthew diagnoses him with a tumor that's pressing against the aorta and restricting the flow of blood into the heart. He tells Rupert that it could be removed easily, but it must be done in the hospital. Rupert refuses, knowing that his enemies will bribe the doctors to kill him "by accident". Not wanting to see his brother die and eager to recover his license (which Rupert promises him if he helps), Matthew talks about Leslie Thompkins whom can help him. Rupert sends his thugs over but Matthew insists on going with them.

Rupert's thugs go to retrieve Leslie, who knows about Matthew's criminal activities. She refuses to help save Rupert and Matthew regretfully allows the thugs to take her by force.

Back at Rupert's hideout, Leslie and Matthew prepare for the surgery. Leslie is skeptical that Matthew will really get his license back, but Matthew is sure his brother won't turn on him.

Crime Doctor Thank

Matthew Thorne thanks a very angry Leslie Thompkins.

Meanwhile, Batman checks a fabric sample and learns that the thugs were working for Rupert Thorne and wonders why he would want a surgical laser. Deciding to pay Leslie a visit, he and Alfred find the entire place in shambles. Searching the room, they find a picture of Leslie and Thomas when they were still in medical school. Reading the message on the back, "Thanks for all the good times with my two Best Friends. Love, Matt". Alfred remembers that Matthew was a colleague in medical school. Bruce looks up the school's yearbook and finds Matthew Thorne's picture. Realizing the connection to Rupert, he deduces where Leslie is.

The operation successful, Matthew and Leslie leave the operating room. Unfortunately, Rupert had left his thugs with orders to kill Leslie once it was over. Batman arrives, but one of the orderlies ambushes him. Batman is still suffering from his concussion and finds it difficult to maintain focus, especially when the orderly hits him directly in the concussed spot. It only gets worse when the orderly manages to get hold of the surgical laser and starts firing on him. Fortunately, Batman manages to outsmart and defeat him.

As Batman deals with the orderly, Matthew wants to leave Leslie alive and take her home, but the thugs say that if he interferes with them killing Leslie, the deal is off. Matthew agrees, but says he wants it done his way: he'll give her an injection which will be quick, painless, and can be made to look like she died of a heart attack. Leslie is unsurprised at the fact that she'll be killed and disgustedly calls Matthew no better than his brother. However, Matthew sticks Rupert's thug with the injection causing him to pass out. Matthew then tells Leslie that they have to leave. She's surprised that Matthew sided with her but he says that his license isn't worth a person's life. Leslie's relieved knowing that Matthew is back to his old self. Unfortunately, the thug is discovered by another thug and he calls for help.

Crime Doctor Talk

Dr. Thorne and Bruce talk about Thomas.

Matthew and Leslie make their way up the elevator to the roof of the building while Batman arrives and handles the thugs. Unfortunately, one of them manages to get into an elevator and onto the roof.

On the roof, Matthew manages to jump to the next rooftop, but Leslie isn't sure she can make it, and only leaps after the thug starts firing at her. She jumps and barely manages to grab onto the edge. Matthew struggles to pull her up, giving the thug the perfect opportunity to kill them, until Batman stops him. Matthew is unable to hold onto Leslie and she drops. Batman saves her before she hits the ground.

Later, Matthew's being held in custody and receives a visit from Bruce, who is willing to help with the legal costs, and offers to put in a good word to the judge. Matthew is skeptical about Bruce's intentions, however, and when he learns that Bruce wants something he promptly refuses. Bruce explains that he doesn't want anything illegal: he simply wants to know more about his father, Thomas. Taken aback, Matthew happily accepts and the two begin to talk.

Background information

Home video releases

Production inconsistencies

  • Thomas Wayne's note to Leslie in the yearbook misspells "Leslie" as "Lesley".

Trivia

  • While at Leslie Thompkins's home, Bruce Wayne picked up The Caduceus, a book that contained the photographs and names of all the medical graduates from Thomas Wayne's, Leslie's and Matthew Thorne's year. The book had a caduceus sign on it with only one serpent instead of the traditional two. The Caduceus is often confused with the real symbol of medicine, the Rod of Asclepius.
  • The orderly who Batman struggles to fight slightly resembles Lucas from "Prophecy of Doom".

Cast

Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Alfred
Cop (uncredited)
Rodger Bumpass Hoffman
Joseph Campanella Matthew Thorne
Linda Dangcil Woman
George Dzundza Chubb
Armored truck driver (uncredited)
Gary Kroeger Beechum
Diana Muldaur Leslie Thompkins
John Vernon Rupert Thorne

Uncredited appearances

Quotes

Leslie: Your father, God rest him, he called you stubborn from the day you were born. Always used to say you had a very hard head. He didn't know the half of it.


Alfred: Very close friends they all were. Called themselves the "Three Musketeers" in fact.


Alfred: "Rose", "Thorne", of course. How clever in a prosaic sort of way.


Leslie: (saved from fall) I thought I told you to take the day off.


Matthew Thorne: Sorry, Mr. Wayne, Matthew Thorne is no longer for sale!



Previously produced episode:
"Mudslide"
Episodes of
Batman: The Animated Series
Next produced episode:
"Zatanna"
Previously aired episode:
"The Worry Men"
Next aired episode:
"House & Garden"

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