|"Beware the Gray Ghost"|
|Batman: The Animated Series episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||Boyd Kirkland|
|Written by||Dennis O'Flaherty (story), Tom Ruegger (story and teleplay), Garin Wolf (teleplay)|
|Original air date||November 4, 1992|
"Beware the Gray Ghost" is the eighteenth episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It was directed by series regular Boyd Kirkland and was first aired on November 4, 1992. The episode features guest star Adam West, best known for his portrayal of Batman in the 1960s Batman television series. West plays an actor known for his role as the Gray Ghost, a character that resembles Batman antecedent The Shadow.
The episode opens with a flashback of a young Bruce Wayne watching The Gray Ghost, a black-and-white television show, and the episode cuts between the flashback and events in the present, which mirror those of the show: a whirring sound is heard, a building is destroyed by an explosion, the Gray Ghost goes into action while Batman does the same in reality, and the police receive a ransom letter from "The Mad Bomber".
In the present day, Batman makes the connection between the explosion and the television show but does not know what happened as he fell asleep before it was over. He tracks down Simon Trent, the actor who portrayed the Gray Ghost. Now unemployed, typecast and short of money, Trent sells his Gray Ghost costume to toy shop owner and collector Ted Dymer. The next morning he finds his costume back in his apartment with an anonymous letter to meet in an alley. When Trent and Batman meet, Trent gives Batman a copy of the show from his personal archive (the production copies having been destroyed in a vault fire).
Learning the source of the whirring noises are remote-control toy cars armed with explosives, Bruce realizes the next target will be the Gotham Library. The library is defended from a wave of toy cars, but Batman is trapped by another wave of them. He is rescued by Trent, who is wearing the costume.
At the Batcave they discover a captured toy car has Trent's fingerprints on it, from which Trent realizes the Mad Bomber is Dymer, who reveals he is carrying out the attacks to raise money so that he can buy more toys. Batman and Trent capture Dymer, and his toy store and weaponry are destroyed.
Trent is hailed as a real-life hero, prompting a resurgence in the Gray Ghost's popularity. His complete archive of the Gray Ghost television series is released, providing him with both fresh income and a revitalized career. Bruce visits him at the product launch and asks for an autograph, explaining the Gray Ghost was, and "still is," his childhood hero; in realization, Trent smiles as Bruce leaves.
"Beware the Gray Ghost" has been very positively received by critics. The A.V. Club gave the episode an A and called it "smartly written and gorgeously animated".
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