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Mad As A Hatter
Season 1, Episode 24
Mad as a Hatter Title Card
Air date 8 October, 1992
Directed by Frank Paur
Written by Paul Dini
Music by Shirley Walker
Airdate Sequence
Previous
The Forgotten
Next
The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy
Production Sequence
Previous
Appointment in Crime Alley
Next
Dreams in Darkness

Mad As A Hatter is an episode of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series. This episode introduces The Mad Hatter to the show. The villain was rarely used in comics and his appearance on the series helped improve his portrayal in the comics.

"Mad as a Hatter" is the 27th episode produced and the 24th episode aired.

SynopsisEdit

Jervis Tetch develops a form of mind control which he implements by placing devices in people's hats. He uses this to impress Alice, a woman he's attracted to, turning all of Gotham City into a wonderland to please her at every whim. When he learns she's in love with another, the jealous Tetch decides to use his mind control power to do away with her, emulating a figure he idolizes: The Mad Hatter.

PlotEdit

Jervis Tetch is a scientist who works at Wayne Enterprises on a project on using microchips to increase the brain's potential. Tetch has developed a technology that allows him to control the minds and bodies of any animal or person he wants by using micro-chips attached to his brain and to the other person. He is testing his invention when his secretary, Alice enters the laboratory to announce the unexpected visit of the head of the WayneTech division Marcia Cates, and Wayne Entreprises owner Bruce Wayne.
MaaH 11 - Jervis Tetch

Tetch and his invention

Tetch is embarrased to tell them that the project isn't complete but Bruce Wayne thinks it is fine and gives the man more time despite Cates displeasure. Tetch starts feeling down and Alice cheers him up, but in doing so, Tetch develops a romantic feeling towards Alice which would be turned awry when he learns that she is in a relationship with a man named Billy.

Tetch falls into a depression and he starts to think about forcing Alice to like him using his mind-control device. Later he learned that Alice had argued with Billy and they had broken up and he takes the chance to invite Alice to spend the night with him in Gotham. Tetch uses his mind-contol device to make the people in Gotham do what he wants and pretends to be a well known man in the city. He controlls them by placing some cards on their heads that are controlled by his device installed inside his top hat, making him look like the hatter from Alice in Wonderland. When the couple are at the park, two goons try to mug them but Tetch uses his controlling cards and tells them to jump to the river. At that moment, the police radio sends the message to all the units about two men climbing the Gotham bridge above the river.
MaaH 14 - Jervis and Alice

Tetch invites Alice

Batman listens to the transmission and heads towards the bridge. He arrives in time to eject the Batmobile's seat and reach the top of the bridge in just a few seconds. Batman tries to stop the thugs but they wouldn't listen. The three of them fall to the water when batman uses his Batglider to stop the fall and they land on the bridge. Upon landing the men lose the cards attached to their heads and they recover their consciousness while Batman takes the cards to further examine them. Tetch walks Alice home and he is happy for the wonderful time they had that night. When Alice enters her home, Billy is waiting inside and they both reconcile.

In the Batcave, Batman examines the cards and remembers that his employee, Jervis Tetch, was working in a similar project at WayneTech. Alfred also indicates that the card is too similar to the one depicted in a book of Alice in Wonderland. Batman also remembers that he saw the same illustration at Tetch's laboratory.

The next day, Tetch arrives at his office and learns that Alice and Billy are together again and that they were going to get married. Tetch is angry and when Marcia Cates tells him that Bruce Wayne is looking for him, he uses one of his cards to control her. A few moments later, Bruce personally arrives at Tetch's office and asks Alice for him. Alice tells Bruce that Tetch and Cates had left the building together some time ago. Alice then receives a phone call from Billy and after she hungs the phone, she starts crying disconsolately. Bruce becomes aware that all the events are a bit weird. It is later revealed that Tetch is controlling Billy and he made him call Alice and tell her what Tetch wanted.

MaaH 52 - Hatter grabs Alice

Hatter kidnaps Alice

When Alice arrives at her home, she finds that it has been covered with big flowers all over the place. Tetch is waiting for her but she is scared of him and at the fact that he knew about Billy when she didn't tell to anyone. Before Tetch could explain, Batman appears from the shadows and questiones Tetch about his experiments and then Tetch calls two mind-controlled men in disguise to fight Batman while he takes Alice with him using his mind-controlling cards. Batman struggles with them but after removing their masks, the mind-controlling cards drop as well and they stop fighting.

Batman learns where The Mad Hatter got the card from and goes to Storybook Land where Mad Hatter sends several of his mind control victims, among them Cates and Billy, after him. The Hatter tells Batman that in order to catch him, he must first harm innocent people. Batman refuses to fight them and he uses a smoke pellet from his Utility Belt to create a distraction, which allows him to remove one of the cards from them. He frees Billy from the mind control and Batman tells him to take the masks off the others as they wouldn't attack him.

MaaH 70 - Tetch

Mad Hatter defeated

The Mad Hatter takes Alice away from there and Batman follows them into a maze of cards. After struggling for a while Batman finds his way out and confronts Tetch in the tea table of Wonderland. Tetch drops one of the maze's walls on Batman and gets ready to strike Batman, when the dark knight used his Batarang to cut the rope of a hanging statue above them. The statue falls to the ground, leaving Tetch trapped inside and Batman takes the top hat, removes the mind-controlling device and destroys it. Alice is free of the mind-control and she and Billy are reunited much to The Mad Hatter's sorrow.

CastEdit

Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Alfred
Steve Bulen Police Dispatcher
David Haskell Billy
Roddy McDowall Jervis Tetch/The Mad Hatter
Kimmy Robertson Alice
Loretta Swit Marcia Cates

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