Batman: The Animated Series - Why FOX Shot Down And Banned One Powerful Episode

"Batman: The Animated Series" is, in the eyes of many, the definitive adaptation of the Caped Crusader's corner of the DC Universe, and for good reason. It has action, drama, legendary villains, and unforgettable locales, all wrapped in a retro-futuristic aesthetic. The program also drifts into pretty mature territory from time to time, with plenty of brutal deaths and shocking moments to go around. At the same time, Fox executives weren't afraid to put their collective foot down when they felt Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, and the rest of the team went too far.

For example, Fox shut down a fascinating concept for an episode, titled "The One and Only Gun Story" in its first draft. The episode would've followed the "life" of the infamous gun that was ultimately used to kill Thomas (Richard Moll, Kevin Conroy) and Martha Wayne (Adrienne Barbeau) on that fateful night in Gotham City's Crime Alley. We'd see where else it ended up after that pivotal moment in Bruce Wayne's (Conroy) life and how its very existence impacts him. "Batman: The Animated Series" writer and producer Alan Burnett told Den of Geek that Fox Kids considered the plotĀ "a little bit too much," so the episode was scrapped.

While it may not have worked for a kid-oriented show, the concept behind "The One and Only Gun Story" is fascinating and powerful. Thankfully, other pieces of Batman-centric media haven't held back when it comes to showcasing the weapon's significance.

Other pieces of Batman media have highlighted the importance of the gun that killed the Waynes

It's no secret to anyone with even just a passing knowledge of Batman that in the majority of the character's incarnations, the death of Bruce Wayne's parents is paramount to the creation of his superhero persona. Comics, movies, cartoons, and more have depicted that tragedy in pretty similar ways, effectively reminding fans of the Dark Knight's origin. Meanwhile, no piece of DC media puts the focus on the specific weapon that did the job quite like "The One and Only Gun Story," though that's not to say there haven't been other attempts.

Arguably the most prominent is 2022's "The Batman," which follows Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) a mere few years into his Batman career. Thus, his fighting style is unrefined, his detective skills need work, and his ability to maintain the balance between his two personas is lacking, to say the least. Even his suit is a bit clunky, though it does bear a crucial detail: the bat emblem across his chest is made from the exact gun that killed his parents. Somehow he managed to track it down and turn it into a symbol. Perhaps there's an interesting gun story to be told about that firearm's history.

The death of the Waynes and the gun that did it are both major elements of most Batman stories. Even though we didn't get to see an episode dedicated to the weapon on "Batman: The Animated Series," at least projects like "The Batman" were able to put it on full display.