|Index||5 reviews in total|
William sanderson doing the voice of karl rossum is wonderful, as he the role is essentially the same in blade runner, as sebastian the genetic replicant engineer. Heart of Steel was one of my favorite episodes when I was a kid, and HARDAC is on my mind from time to time! I just watched Blade Runner and noticed their voices were the same so I came to IMDb to check it out. I probably haven't seen this episode in ten years, so I was pretty happy to have picked up on it. I think it tipped me off when Sanderson says he " built his friends". Whomever was doing the voice casting for this particular role definitely has good taste.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Wow, just wow. Talk about a change of pace for the series. Even if it's only for this two part story line, the show basically becomes "Terminator". Along with "Terminator", there's hints of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", "Ghost in the Shell", and even "2001: A Space Odyssey". I love this change, I absolutely love it. Without any already established villain like Joker or Penguin, the episode has this air of mystery to it as to who the villain is. And unlike other attempts where this has kind of failed, the villain being a sentient group of androids is actually a good twist. If robots gaining sentience mixed with Batman doesn't sound awesome, then I don't know what does. I can't wait to see "Part 2" of this story line. Hopefully it has more of the same themes.
Machines in the form of unusual looking robots are Batman's chief foe
in this two-part adventure. The first robot is unlike anything I've
ever seen: animated or in some sci-fi movie. It's a briefcase than
turns into a walking octopus-like creature! It takes pictures of the
Wayne Enterprise security system and attacks people with some nerve gas
and a laser.
This is one mean and fascinating brief case!
It goes on from there, with a big computer - HARDAC - able to clone human beings. One, for instance, takes the place of Inspector Gordon. Another infiltrates the Bat Cave.
There are all kinds of happenings in this very fast-moving episode.
A curious blending of The Terminator, Stepford Wives and the Fleischer
Superman serials in look and feel. That's the best way I can think of
to describe 'Heart of Steel', a swerve into hard science fiction (for
this show, at least, although it absolutely works). The animation is
upper-tier (especially favorable of Batman in action scenes) and the
lighting casts just the right noir tinge to such an eerie story.
All of this is setup (replacing human beings with cyborgs) but man, does it whet your appetite for the payoff. I hadn't seen this in a very long time, so the subtle homage to "Blade Runner" feels especially novel. It's just not something you'd expect to see on a Batman cartoon.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
1992 saw the dawn of a new age in television animation with the birth
of "Batman: The Animated Series," an homage to The Dark Knight, as well
as a tribute to the comics and vintage animation of the 30's and 40's.
"Heart of Steel" (both parts) presents the show at its finest, with
spectacular animation and a riveting storyline, reminding viewers of
the pitfalls of technology.
The plot involves a super-computer replacing influential Gothamites with robot doubles. One of the first to succumb is Police Commissioner Gordon. Mayor Hill, along with other civic leaders comes next. At the top of the list is playboy/financier Bruce Wayne, who, of course, is Batman.
This installment presents a young Barbara Gordon (the future "Batgirl") delving into the mystery when she notices that her father is not the man that she knows and loves. She shows the resourcefulness and ingenuity that would later serve her well as Batman's crime-fighting ally.
One of the main pluses of this installment, along with other episodes in the series, is the voice-over talent. Kevin Conroy deftly balances the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman with the skill of a trained actor. Veteran voice-over artist Bob Hastings is the tough-as-nails Commissioner Gordon, while Melissa Gilbert (of "Little House on the Prairie" fame) is Gordon's daughter. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., himself a veteran of television and the movies, is appropriately "British" as the loyal butler, Alfred.
Besides the aforementioned recurring characters, "Heart of Steel" has William Sanderson as inventor Karl Rossum, Jeff Bennett, appropriately cold and calculating as the voice of the supercomputer, and Leslie Easterbrook as the sultry "Randa Duane" who is not as she appears to be.
The first five minutes of the episode are quite thrilling as a "suitcase" takes on a life of its own and gets through the security at the Wayne Enterprises Building.
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