|Season 1, Episode 27|
|Air date||21 October, 1992|
|Directed by||Frank Paur|
|Story by||Tom Ruegger|
|Teleplay by||Jules Dennis|
|Music by||Stuart Balcomb|
Perchance to Dream
Night of the Ninja
The Underdwellers is an episode from the first season of Batman: The Animated Series. It features the new and original villain The Sewer King and this is also his only appearance in the show. Sewer King is the first villain created specifically for the series.
The Underdwellers is the sixth episode produced and the 27th episode aired.
The Sewer King is a preening villain with an army of pet alligators. Making his lair in the moldering labrynth of Gotham's sewers, his modus operandi is to kidnap unwanted street urchins and put them to work picking the pockets of Gotham's elite, which naturally attracts some unwanted attention from the Dark Knight.
A couple of young boys stand atop a train and play chicken with the oncoming tunnel. Batman is right behind them and shakes his head seeing what they're doing. One of the boys sees him and jumps, but the "winner" gets his foot caught in cables and Batman has to save him. He then warns the two boys to play it safe.
Elsewhere, a rather rich-looking woman has her purse snatched by a young boy wearing a green cloak. She calls the police and claims that a leprechaun robbed her. The police don't believe her, but Batman goes after the thief only to lose him in an alley.
Underneath the theater district, a large group of children silently sew clothing, farm, and stow stolen items. However, one of the farming boys hits his leg with a hoe and cries out in pain. One of his friends tries to quiet him but it's too late. A bell rings and the children file into a room lit by a single candle. They come before a man who calls himself their king and he gives them their first lesson: strictly no talking whatsoever. As punishment, he takes the offending boy, Jack and pushes him into a room lit by phosphorescent lights for a few hours. The rest of the children are sent out to commit more robberies.
While the green-cloaked children roam the streets, Batman searches the alley and finds a hidden doorway. Going into the door, he finds his way into the sewers and a message saying "Beware the Sewer King". Batman continues on his search and eventually trips an alarm made of cans connected to a string. A single boy hears this and runs right into Batman. He then backs away and falls onto the subway track and right in front of an oncoming train. Fortunately, Batman manages to save him, and they head to the Batcave, where the boy is left in Alfred's care.
Alfred puts the boy to bed and eventually tries to wake him but the boy refuses to get up. Alfred forces him to get up and tries to take him in for a bath but the boy is still uncooperative.
Back in the underground, the Sewer King enjoys a meal of turkey and asks "Frog" for the rolls. While he gets the rolls, it isn't Frog who gives them to him. The Sewer King realizes that Frog is gone and becomes enraged. He demands that the children find Frog and that they will not eat until they do.
Frog, on the other hand, is being served a breakfast of sausage and eggs with toast. Alfred insists that Frog use his silverware, but Frog simply hides the utensils away under his shirt and eats with his hands. Alfred still doesn't give up and tries to have Frog help with the dishes, but Frog simply steals the silverware and a tray and tries to run. Frog then uses the tray to slide down the stairs. Things take a turn for the worse when Frog grabs an antique blunderbuss and starts pointing it around. Batman now intervenes, and realizing just how serious this is, he asks Frog for help.
Frog takes Batman down to the sewers and his home. Batman is enraged when he sees the children and takes pictures for evidence. He and Frog find the calling bell and Batman rings it so hard it breaks. He then tells the children that their poor treatment is over, but the Sewer King arrives with a couple pet alligators and releases them onto the intruder. Batman easily manages to disable the alligators but the Sewer King threatens to kill a child. Fortunately, Frog swings in and saves the child.
The Sewer King runs and Batman gives chase, but it's a trap. Batman falls towards a pool filled with alligators, managing to save himself by grabbing a pipe. The Sewer King tries to push Batman in but is grabbed and pulled down. Though Batman offers his hand to his enemy it's refused, and the Sewer King falls into the pool where his alligators dive in after him. Batman believes him to be dead, but the Sewer King simply laughs pointing out that the alligators would never hurt him.
Batman continues to pursue him and the chase finally ends in the subway when Batman and the Sewer King both fall onto the track. Batman manages to pull the Sewer King out of the way before a train passes. Bewildered, the Sewer King asks why he saved him. Batman, though expressing a desire to kill the man, claims that he does not pass judgement and will instead hand him to the authorities.
Later, the children are removed from the sewers and Frog embraces his newfound freedom. Watching from afar, Batman smiles as the children are taken in by social workers.
|Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.||Alfred|
|Michael Pataki||Sewer King|