The Animated Batman That Almost Was

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Animated Batman That Never Was

This is going to be hard for many people to believe, but way back in the mists of time there existed a world without an Internet. It wasn't quite the Stone Age, but the dust wasn't fully off the chisels yet. We had computers, and we were learning how to hook them together, but you had to call up an individual site using your phone line and a modem. Imagine that to go to a website you had to plug in its phone number, then wait, then log into it. Then to go to another website, you had to hang up with that one, and dial up another one. Yes, that was life. (It also snowed every day, and we walked to school barefoot uphill both ways.)

In the late 1980s, I dialed into a site -- actually we called them Bulletin Board Systems, or BBS in those days -- called ExecuNet, and ran across an interesting little document that I printed -- on paper that had a trail of little holes on either side and perforated edges. After several moves, disasters, and sundry other life events that usually cause one to lose track of minutiae, I still have this document, which I take as a sign from the gods that it is meant to be shared with the world.

The document was written by one J. Michael Straczynski, and while he wouldn't be elevated to Geek Demigod until 1993 when he introduced us all to BABYLON 5, he was keeping himself busy writing television episodes for MURDER, SHE WROTE and JAKE AND THE FATMAN -- as well as scripting episodes of cartoon series like HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERS and SHE-RA PRINCESS OF POWER.

What you are about to peruse is a Writer's Bible -- a document that serves as a precursor to a television series that lays out who's who, what's what, and how's how, for all writers to follow when they come onto the series. Prepare yourself for a journey into 1988, and bear witness to: the Batman Animated Series that never was, pitched to Nelvana, a script that pre-dates the Bruce Timm series by five years.