Batman: The Animated Series "The Dark Knight's First Night" (lost original music of animated series pilot episode; 1990)

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The title card used for the short on DVD.

Status: Lost

Batman: The Animated Series was a popular animated TV show based around the popular DC Comics character Batman. The show lasted from September 5th, 1992 to September 15th, 1995 and is generally considered one of the greatest animated series of all time due to its sophistication, mature writing, brilliant voice acting, its orchestrated soundtrack, its artistic ambition, and faithfulness to its source material among other things.

In order to pitch the show to Fox executives in 1990, Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski, the show's creators, produced a short two-minute pilot entitled The Dark Knight's First Night to show what they were planning to do with the project. The clip shows Batman attacking a group of thugs attempting to steal some expensive jewelry, before disappearing into the night as Commissioner Gordon and the police arrive. The project was greenlit, and two years later the first episode of Batman: The Animated Series aired.

The original music

The pilot was never shown on television, and very few people knew of its existence until July 6th, 2004 when it was released on the Batman: The Animated Series - Volume 1 DVD as a bonus feature.

The original music used for the pilot had been misplaced by this point, however (as explained before the pilot begins) and was replaced with the show's opening theme song. No version of the original music with or without the pilot footage has ever resurfaced, and it is unknown if any copies of it still exist.

User maxnugget on the toonzone forums claimed to have a copy of the pilot with the original music on a thread talking about it and claimed that it was a piece composed by Danny Elfman for Tim Burton's 1989 Batman movie (though he never specified any specific track). His claim has never been verified, however, and he has never posted his alleged copy online, leaving the original version still lost.


The version of the pilot released on DVD.