Batman: The Animated Series

Season 1 Episode 26

Perchance to Dream

Aired Saturday 9:00 AM Oct 19, 1992 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
139 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Bruce Wayne finds himself in a strange world where his parents are alive and he's never been Batman.

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  • Bat Hatter

    Bats awakes in a world where he never became Batman, all is well in is life and his parents were never murdered. The story can drag about from time to time and in the end we get to see a pretty tense, dramatic realization that has all been conjured by The Mad Hatter
  • Open Your Eyes

    It's Batman doing "Abres Los Ojos" (translation "Open Your Eyes") which was a sci-fi film of course about a man that finds out slowly but surely how unreal reality seems; in fact this episode is uncanily formated the same way as that film.

    We are just as amazed at this alternative reality as Bruce, from the fact that his parients are still alive and he is engaged to Selena Kyle. Batman getting married to Catwoman never thought I would see that in a million years (well actually I have in a far back issue of the Batman comic series but that was also an alternate reality story so that doesn't count.). But most of all the fact that there is no Batman.

    This episode is insightful more into Bruce psyche because we see that even though conciously he wants to be Batman subcounciously he wishes to be Bruce Wayne more. It's a common delema all superheroes (even some supervillan) I've known in the mythology have the desire for normalcy or an ideal existance. This was in "Spider Man 2", "Superman 2", even a little of the anime show "Pritty Solider Sailor Moon"; I know wild analogies but watch them and it does make sense. Sure, I would love to play the superhero role but I don't think I would want to do it 24.7 nor am I entirely sure I would want to do it the rest of my life.

    This give the episode a slight emotional weight because we see that Bruce despite how fantasitic things seem he wants to believe it and so to we because we know what his old life holds and it's pritty dark and lonely place to be.

    The Mad Hatter was indeed at his best in this episode (an of course it was his last) what I really like were his motives where really weren't harmful it wasn't for money or even controling people but genuine which was to help people, make things better for them despite a corrupt means to do it. However what really made him stand out was the interaction at the bell tower, he was really hitting home on Batman's secret desires. But the Mad Hatter always learns the hard way a foundation built on lies can not stand.

    But this episode has one thing that held it back for me from giving it a complete 10 as much as I wanted to. I don't feel Bruce really explored enough of this dream world which would of added more to the emotional factor. There just wan't enough interaction time between his parients and Selena. I think the fault would mainly have to be in episode time limit, the fundamental trouble with episodes is the minamum amount of time only so much ground is covered and with this episode I felt more could of and should of been done; if anything this should of been a two parter but oh well.

    The ending like Batman in the moment made me feel a little empty and sad. Because we know even though Bruce/Batman could obtain or acheive that ideal life if he want to as long as he's Batman that life is nothing but a dream.moreless
  • Bruce Wayne awakes to a so-called "perfect" world, where his parents are still alive and he never became the Batman.

    Somewhat unoriginal because of the fact that many shows air this type of episode, but it was great because of the confusion and the suspense of everything. I was extremely confused by much of the events in the episode, but it was definitely worth watching. I grew up watching batman, and I recently decided to re-watch the episodes. This type of story makes me so glad I did, because of all the excitement that goes on in the lives of both Bruce Wayne and Batman. Also, the drama in stories of the villains and the way they act. The Mad Hatter is one of my favorite characters, and I'm glad he was behind everything in this episode. The final line by the Mad Hatter is a great addition to the episode and really made for a good conclusion.moreless
  • Great episode!! This is one of my favorites (top 10) and it is definitely my favrite with the Mad Hatter.

    Bruce is trapped in a dream world, courtesy of the Mad Hatter!! His parents didn´t die, he is not Batman and he´s getting married to Selina Kyle.

    Great dialogue thru all the episode. We really symphatize with the Mad Hatter towards the end. Batman is really pissed off after finding out the true, but, however, the Mad Hatter could not know why.

    Truly smart episode, excellent writting. The only thing detracting from a perfect score is that it feels rushed sometimes, as we don´t get to see Bruce getting acquainted with his new life.moreless
  • One of the most intriguing episodes of the entire series. As always with "Batman", great voice acting, writing, and animation. A must see episode for any fan of the series.

    If asked which "Batman: The Animated Series" episode is my favorite, I would unhesitatingly say "Perchance to Dream." It never ceases to amaze me how well this show is written, voice acted, and animated. Cinematography in an animated series has never been as profound as it is in “Batman.” The episode itself gives great insight into the Batman character. Though at first hesitant to accept a reality in which his parents are alive and one in which he’s not Batman, he eventually does accept this reality. In the conclusion of the episode, there is a tense climax that occurs in an atmosphere of rain, darkness, and lightning. A really intriguing premise with a great conclusion. A must see episode for any fan of the series.moreless
Brian Cummings

Brian Cummings


Guest Star

Roddy McDowall

Roddy McDowall

The Mad Hatter

Guest Star

Adrienne Barbeau

Adrienne Barbeau

Selina Kyle

Recurring Role

Diana Muldaur

Diana Muldaur

Dr. Leslie Thompkins

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • The title "Perchance to Dream" is not only based off a Shakespeare quote, but a Twilight Zone episode in which a man is afraid of falling asleep for fear of being killed in a reality that seems so utopian-like. This plot is similar to that of the Twilight Zone's.

    • It is possible to read in a dream, it just requires self-awareness.

    • There are several events in the dream part of this episode that seem to contradict reality. Notice that the grappling hook and rope that Bruce buys can't possibly be long enough to climb up the bell tower. Also, when "Batman" swings down to the bell tower...where is he swinging from? There's no place nearby higher than the tower. These may all be indicative of the twisted nature of the dream-reality rather than actual errors, however.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Mad Hatter: You of all people! Have the gall to ask me that!? You ruined my life! I was willing to give you whatever life you wanted! Just to keep you out of mine!

    • Police officer: (Bruce climbs up a rope to a roof top to escape the police) That guy moves like Batman.

    • Bruce Wayne: My life is a dream, Alfred. The best dream anyone ever had.

    • The Mad Hatter: Are you the dreamer or merely part of someone's dream?

    • Batman (waking up): You...why did you do this?
      Mad Hatter: You, of all people, have the gall to ask me that!? You ruined my life! I was willing to give you any life you wanted, just to keep you out of mine!

    • Evil Batman: You're not well, Mr. Wayne. You need professional help.
      Bruce: Liar! You know what's going on. This is a dream, and you're the one responsible.
      Evil Batman: A dream? Why do you think that?
      Bruce: I suspected it from the start. I knew I was right when I tried to read the newspaper. The print didn't make sense.
      Evil Batman: Yes?
      Bruce: That's because reading is the function of the right-side of the brain, while dreams come from the left-side. It's impossible to read something in a dream.

    • Commissioner Gordon: Something for the lab boys to play with. Any idea what it is?
      Batman: Yes, the stuff that dreams are made of.

    • The Mad Hatter: This isn't an ordinary dream! What if you're wrong?
      Bruce: Then I'll see you in your nightmares!!!

    • Bruce: You know what I'm talking about. The entrance: to the Batcave. Why is it sealed up?
      : Batcave? I'm sorry, I don't...
      Bruce: That's right Alfred. The Batcave. It's a big hole in the ground with a big car in it that's all black. Remember?

  • NOTES (4)

    • This episode is episode 2 on the Batman: The Animated Series Volume 2 DVD.

    • In his dream as Bruce Wayne starts
      looking at the evening paper, these
      senseless figures show up on the front
      page as follows:



      Then as Bruce takes the first book off
      the shelf and looks into it, 2 similar
      figures appear as what's on the newspaper's front page but upside down and in smaller print on the bottom left side of the book:

      "STQPX" and "GRINE4".

      It's possible that what the front page
      headline is supposed to read could be:

      because it's what that "Batman" did as
      Bruce and Selina Kyle had observed
      earlier out on the street.

    • This episode was Kevin Conroy's favorite performance of the entire series.

    • Kevin Conroy read the voice of Batman, Bruce Wayne, Bruce's father, and the evil Batman in real time, alternating between all four characters without having to pause recording.


    • Batman: Yes, the stuff that dreams are made of.

      This line is taken from an old Humphrey Bogart movie called The Maltese Falcon. It's a statuette of a falcon made out of gold, rubies, and the like, and many die trying to get their hands on it. "The stuff that dreams are made of" alludes that this falcon, in someone's hands, makes them very rich and able to fulfill their wildest dreams.

    • The title of this episode was taken from a famous quote from William Shakespeare's Hamlet.