Given how many characters received drastic overhauls, reaction against the redesigns of this era are understandable. But surely most can acknowledge that Gotham's SWAT officers have received a massive upgrade since their debut in the pilot?
Also, "Over the Edge" is notable for some of the best lighting in the series' run. TMS really outdoes itself in the color composition here.
Mayor Hamilton Hill and the Riddler make very rare appearances during the New Adventures era. But, given that this is a dream, I guess they didn't appear at all.
I Love the '90s
A parody of Johnnie Cochran, one of O.J. Simpson's defense attorneys (and frequent target of parody in these days), appears with Harley Quinn and the rest of Batman's "victims." This joke character will also appear in the episode "Joker's Millions".
Approved By Broadcast Standards & Practices
One of the most gruesome shots of Batman is the image of Batgirl's body falling off a building and landing atop her father's squad car. Originally, the scene was going to portray the crash as being head-on, but censors ordered it animated from a different angle. Bruce Timm was able to work in a more horrific view of the action -- her father's from inside the car. Amazingly, the network found this less disturbing than the original plan. (Timm has indicated he was stunned they didn't realize how much worse the scene would play this way.)
Battle of the Barbaras
What makes "Over the Edge" so great is its ability to use shock value as a character statement. The nightmare isn't only the worst fate imaginable for Batman fans -- it's the private fear lurking in Barbara's subconscious. Our "gimmick" story is the manifestation of her conflicted loyalties between her father and Batman. It's her personal morality tale, dramatizing her guilt over becoming a vigilante. Barbara, studying to become a cop, and the Commissioner's daughter, living out a fantasy life some part of her is rejecting. That fear is projected into this fantasy, as she imagines herself responsible for the death of two men she loves.
Did the story truly need a sequel? No, but let's not blame the Beyond comic for trying. Since "Over the Edge" says so much about Barbara's psychology, it's a legitimate place to begin an exploration of her character. And while the story has a strong concept, the execution just whimpers out. Perhaps it would've worked better as an actual episode. With not only a musical score but truly talented voice acting selling the story, there's a better chance Barbara's redemption tale could've competed with its inspiration.
That’s all for now. If you have any episodes of an animated series you’d like to see paired with its tie-in comic, just leave a comment or contact me on Twitter.