Birds of Prey

Season 1 Episode 2

Pilot

5
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 09, 2002 on The WB
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
105 votes
8

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
The Batman legend takes an unexpected turn when the Caped Crusader vanishes from the crime-ridden city of New Gotham and his legacy is taken over by a trio of beautiful and relentless heroines - the Birds of Prey. Barbara Gordon started out as Batman's protege, Batgirl, but an attack by The Joker left her confined to a wheelchair. Reinventing herself as Oracle, she takes under her wing Helena Kyle, the secret daughter of Batman and Catwoman, who quickly grows into the fierce and beautiful "Huntress," and Dinah, a teenage runaway who is drawn to the city by meta-human visions. With the help of the only honest cop in New Gotham, Detective Jesse Reese, the Birds of Prey fight their first battle against a mysterious madwoman who is bent on their destruction. (TV-14,L,V)moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A follow up to the Batman Legend and DC Comics Earth-2 Series. Barbara Gordon/Oracle, Helena Kyle/Huntress, and Dinah Lance/Black Canary join forces to battle the evil meta-human villains of New Gotham. Detective Jesse Reese is the honest cop who helps.moreless

    7.5
    The decent pilot that aired for the series Birds of Prey follows the how and why of how the Birds come together. Barbara Gordon who had been Bat Girl was shot, paralyzed, and forced into a wheel chair. She becomes Oracle. Helena Kyle-Wayne offspring of Batman and Catwoman becomes the Huntress after witnessing her mother murdered and not being able to stop it. Dinah Lance comes to New Gotham for a new start and joins the team. She is a meta-human with the power of clairvoyance and psychic powers. Knowing what I do about the character there will be much development during the show.



    Together they become the Birds of Prey three together protecting New Gotham from the evil that embraces the night.



    Dr. Harleen Quinzel is the cover for Harley Quinn evil paramour of The Joker bent on bringing New Gotham to its knees for what it did to The Joker. Her character is the focal point of the evil that faces the Birds of Prey as The Joker was to Batman.



    Overall the acting was a little weak but it is a nice start to the DC Earth-2 series that dealt with New Gotham after Batman left the void there. The sets look credible and the overall feel to the story is pretty good for television versus the Gotham world we have seen in TV and movie forms. I will be watching all of the episodes and giving my views on the different episodes and how the short series progressed and what there is to like and dislike about it in general.



    Thanks for reading...moreless
  • There is no way that this show should have gotten past the pilot!

    3.5
    Though I understand at this point its really silly that I'm writing this, seeing as this show has already been canceled, but I don't think any of the reviews reflect the sheer disappointment I had in watching this show. Though the storyline, occasional flashback sequences, and character development are quite honestly the elements of the show I fault the most. It was the shows ability to make all of the characters strong and weak that made me lose interest. I'm an avid Smallville fan who respect the duality conflict as much as the next guy, but when its literally the first issue that comes across my screen its speaks volumes of the show. I hope that people keep taking chances with comic book show, I would watch them all, but only as long as we are not constantly inundated with the idea that "Its hard being a superhero."moreless
  • We are introduced to the birds of prey. Batman and Catwomen\\\'s lve child the Huntress and Batman former protege Batgirl, now in a wheelchair, becoming not only the back bone but the brains of the operation as well. Helena is an intersting character to wmoreless

    10
    We are introduced to the birds of prey. Batman and Catwomen\\\'s lve child the Huntress and Batman former protege Batgirl, now in a wheelchair, becoming not only the back bone but the brains of the operation as well. Helena is too mysteryous to try and understand right now, thoguh if fully deveoped she could be an intersting charcter. I wish that I could have this show back it was a classic.moreless
  • Classic. Batman,the Joker and the birth of Oracle plus a very hot Huntress in the form of Ashley Scott.

    9.1
    A Great start to a decent enough show that should've been picked up for a second season (although admittedly with a few tweaks here and there) as a companion to the WBS SMALLVILLE show.



    The pilot had it all, a flashback showing the event from the comic-book THE KILLING JOKE, an appearance by the bat and a Mark Hamill voiced Joker.What more could you ask for??



    Sadly, Birds of Prey suffered the same fate as 1990s THE FLASH and with the success of SMALLVILLE I feel the time would be right to bring back BoP for a second season with a few minor changes.moreless
  • Better than I expected.

    7.5
    I never saw "Birds of Prey" during its original run. I knew it existed, but all I'd seen as far as promos was a promotional ad in a Disney Adventures magazine and I very brief commercial on my UPN affiliate, which carries The WB lineup after its shows has run.

    Besides that, my friend and his younger brothers all liked it.



    The other day I decided to download the pilot to see what it was like, because I'd heard a lot of bad things and lots of good things about it.



    I think the pilot is alright, it's MUCH better than I was expecting. A lot of people criticize it for being so corny, but it's only a little more corny than The WB's Superman series, "Smallville". The acting was mediocre, especially at the beginning, but seemed to improve over the course of the episode.



    The show is so far good enough for me to check out a few more episodes, because I rarely judge a series by pilot alone, unless it's so bad I can't stand the thought of another minute. This show reminds me a lot of "Cleopatra 2525", which is also extremely campy and corny but I love it anyway.



    "Birds of Prey" is no worse than the 60s and 90s Batman movies. It has all the corny lines the heroes say, the less-than-realistic movements of the characters, etc. All that's missing is Halle Berry as Catwoman (yes, I actually like that movie).moreless
Ian Abercrombie

Ian Abercrombie

Alfred Pennyworth

Dina Meyer

Dina Meyer

Barbara Gordon/ Oracle

Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

Jesse Reese

Mia Sara

Mia Sara

Dr. Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn

Rachel Skarsten

Rachel Skarsten

Dinah Lance

Ashley Scott

Ashley Scott

Helena Kyle/ Huntress

Aaron Paul

Aaron Paul

Jerry

Guest Star

Chris Ellis

Chris Ellis

Larry Ketterly

Guest Star

Mark Hamill

Mark Hamill

Voice of the Joker

Guest Star

Shawn Christian

Shawn Christian

Wade Brixton

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (11)

    • The newspaper article headline about the man who was killed while Dinah watched reads "Local Businessman Killed In Bus Accident." But when the man is run over, the vehicle is a black semi truck.

    • The WB thought Helena's costume was too revealing so after the pilot, you never see Helena wear that outfit again.

    • Brandy Ledford was considered for the role of Barbara Gordon.

    • If Helena has been going to therapy with Dr. Quinzel for three months, why are they just now discussing why Helena is there? The way it looks, this is the first time they really discussed the issue.

    • Maybe they'll answer this down the road but it would seem that Harleen had a public villainous persona as "Harlequin". So...neither Barbara or Helena are suspicious that there's a woman with the somewhat awkward name of "Harleen Quinzel"? Now, if Harleen was never an actual supervillain and public partner of the Joker this makes sense, and they haven't really clarified this yet. If we find out she was the Harlequin in "public" this makes the two women look really stupid.

    • Barbara maintains a public identity as a school teacher, as established here and in subsequent episodes. But "Mr. J" knows who she is - he went to his apartment and shot her. So...shouldn't Harleen know Barbara was Batgirl too? Couldn't he get the information to her (through a lawyer, doctor, something?) to have her finish his revenge?

    • Helena enters the grounds of Ketterly's manor, looks in one window, and announces that he's home alone. How does she know that? If it's heightened senses, they haven't been working well the rest of the episode: she all but lets a hanging suicide slap her in the face, lets Reese get the drop on her, and a minute or two later manages to lose Ketterly in the house.

    • In the mindscape, Helena is in her young uncostumed form. When Barbara confronts the yougner version and pulls out the knife, the blood oozes upward for whatever reason, but its a reverse of an earlier shot of older Helena in costume. In the next shot Helena is back to her young, uncostumed version again in the mindscape.

    • Between when Alfred wakes her up and she interrupts his conversation with Barbara, Dinah still showers incredibly fast (this problem was also in the unaired pilot).

    • Dr. Quinn says Bruce Wayne "is one" of the wealthiest men in the world - present tense. So he's still around? It's implied that Barbara Gordon has no way to find him since he disappeared/went into exile. Why not just call Bruce up?

    • When Helena first puts the knife to her chest, you can see the blood already dripping downwards. In the next scene, the blood is beginning to drip down, just like in the other scene. Shouldn't the blood be pretty much way down there?

  • QUOTES (18)

  • NOTES (10)

    • This episode was nominated for a ASC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Movies of the Week/Mini-Series'/Pilot for Network or Basic Broadcast TV.

    • Music
      Stop Crying Your Heart Out by Oasis
      On a High by Duncan Sheik
      The Wreckoning by Boomkat
      Kiss My Lips by Bon Voyage
      All You Wanted by Michelle Branch

    • When Helena's on the prowl, you hear a panther snarl off-screen. Apparently they decided it wasn't working because later in the series, you never hear it any more.

    • German title: "Batmans Erbe" (= "Batman's Heritage")

    • The scene of Huntress diving out the window, landing on an adjoining roof and running off while the detective watches from the window, is an almost shot-by-shot copy of the same move in the pilot of 'Dark Angel.' The amusing part - Ashley played a recurring character in the second season of the show.

    • The aired pilot features a few additions from the original, unaired pilot. These include Helena briefly explaining how she knew Larry Ketterly, Helena and Barbara arguing over the comm system, and a scene between Helena and Ketterly, before Helena falls to Ketterly's mental attacks.

    • One of the most noticeable cuts in the episode's re-airing were at the end where the final scene is deleted. They just end with the scene when they allow Dinah to stay.

    • In later showings of this episode, some scenes were cut out because of the extra footage shown during the premiere.

    • The premiere of the series on October 9th, 2002, ran ten minutes longer than the usual episode, which led the episode to having a 70 minute run.

    • Roger Stoneburner portrays the role of The Joker, but Mark Hamill provides the voice, who also did the voice of The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series. So, to cut it down, you are seeing Roger, but hearing Mark.

  • ALLUSIONS (6)

    • Helena: Once again, "Big Sister" is watching.
      Barbara's use of computers to track people's actions has reminded Helena of the all-pervasive and sinister monitoring done by "Big Brother" in the George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. In the novel, people are constantly being reminded, "Big Brother is watching you."

    • Helena: Wasn't exactly Father Knows Best.
      According to Helena, her relationship with her father Bruce Wayne bore no resemblance to the classic 1950s sitcom Father Knows Best, which starred Robert Young as an ideal father who always had the right advice to help his children through their troubles.

    • Barbara's Shooting
      The Joker's shooting of Barbara/Batgirl happened very similarly in the comics. The story was originally published in the Batman: The Killing Joke graphic novel, written by Alan Moore in 1988.

    • Helena: Is your spider sense tingling?
      Obvious cross-company allusion to the big '02 superhero movie, long-time comic book, and DC Comics' competitor: Spider-Man.

    • Helena: There's been a lot of weird things in meteor showers.
      When Barbara is explaining about powers/gifts to Dinah, Helena adds in that remark. The writers/producers for Birds of Prey also produces Smallville, so the line was pretty much added for a laugh for viewers of both shows.

    • McNally: You gotta lay off the twilight zone...
      The Twilight Zone, which McNally used when telling Reese to back off, is a television series that ran in three different versions, in years 1959, 1985, and 2002. The series was a collection of various tales that range from the tragic to the comedic, but are usually laced with a wicked sense of humor and an unexpected ending. The 2002 version that airs on UPN is actually one of the competitors for Birds of Prey.

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