Time Out of Joint

Time Out of Joint is the seventy-fifth episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It depicts the return of the The Clock King and his continued vendetta towards Mayor Hill. It was originally aired on October 8, 1994.


Bruce and Dick sit through an charity auction featuring an antique clock from the reign of Louis XVI. Meanwhile, Temple Fugate, The Clock King, walks up to the building. Amazingly, he disappears after pushing a device on his hip. He enters into the building and the clock disappears as soon as it's sold. Outside, Fugate holds the clock and is pleased with the trial run, he then throws the clock into the trash and heads out into the night.

Later, Batman and Robin watch a security tape with Commissioner Gordon. Watching it in slow motion they see that a hand appears behind the clock just before it disappears. This rules out the possibility of there being an invisible man and helps to confirm for them that Temple Fugate is behind the heist. Batman warns Gordon to watch the Mayor and the duo heads out into the night.

Elsewhere, a scientist, Dr. Wakati, checks on his tests with devices that alter time. One device has slowed down the descent of an iron ball to the point where it falls at a rate of one tenth of a millimeter per week. Another device accelerates the growth of a plant so that it grows from a seed and dies within seconds. Just then, Fugate, under the guise of Wakati's butler, Harold, enters and talks to him about the device. Wakati's has plans for the device but is worried that people may not yet be ready to make proper use of his discovery.

Later on, Fugate takes the time device and heads out to meet Mayor Hill. Hill isn't worried about Fugate, thinking that he's well protected by a police task force. However, Fugate turns on his device and everything seems to be frozen in time. He makes his way up to the Mayor's office and slowly knocks on the door. The knocks come so quickly it sounds like machine gun fire. Fugate starts to hassle the mayor preventing him from calling for help or escaping. However, Batman and Robin jump in and try to stop him. Unfortunately, they are no match for Fugate's device and are unable to catch him and only manage to drive him off.

While escaping down the stairs, Fugate trips over a woman who had fallen on the stairs earlier and breaks the device. The police now notice him and try to stop him, but before they can get him, Fugate manages to get the device to work again. Escaping from both Batman and the police, Fugate finds the Batmobile and gets an idea. Back in the Mayor's Office, Batman and Robin look at the broken pieces of Fugate's device. Batman believes that Fugate didn't make the device and is determined to find out who did. Fugate returns to the house of the scientist and find that Wakati is in his room. Fugate reveals that he's been using the device and has plans for the doctor.

Meanwhile, Batman and Robin determine where the Fugate may have gone and that he's using Dr. Wakati's technology. They make their way up towards Wakati's home, but a time device planted on their car activates and traps them in a bubble of slow time. Cars start passing them as streaks, hours start passing like minutes and according to Batman, if they are hit by one of the cars, they'll trigger an atomic explosion. Finding the time device, Batman destroys it with a grapple gun and they escape the trap. They then calculate they were trapped for 48 hours, making it imperative that they hurry.

Thinking that he's free from his enemies intervening, Fugate goes to the new Courthouse opening where the Mayor is to celebrate its opening by pounding a hammer onto a podium. Activating his device, Fugate attaches a bomb to the podium and steps back. Batman and Robin make their way to Dr. Wakati's house and find that he's been trapped in slow time by his own device. They free him and discover that Fugate plans to kill the Mayor at the new courthouse. However, the dedication will take place in just two minutes. Unfortunately, there is no phone or reception for cell phones and radios in the area. Batman grabs up one of the time devices and tells the doctor to teach them how to use it. Using the time devices Batman and Robin speed down the road.

Meanwhile, the courthouse dedication continues with Fugate watching. Wanting to savor the moment, he activates his time device but Batman and Robin arrive. Unfortunately, they are too late to stop the triggering of the bomb. Batman grabs the bomb and uses his time device to slow down the explosion and rushes it into the river. While Batman takes care of the bomb, Robin easily captures Fugate. Later, with Fugate arrested, Dr. Wakati says that people are not ready for his invention and won't share it.



  • Batman's premonition of Fugate's survival and return at the finale of "The Clock King" turns out to be correct, but Fugate's manner of escape from his seemingly-inescapable death remains unrevealed.
  • While by no means the first use of the term, "Time Out of Joint" was the name of a modern art exhibit (disguising a more sinister device) presented by the Clock King in the 1966 Batman episode "The Clock King's Crazy Crimes".
  • Robin seems to know about The Clock King since he is the first one to mention him in the episode, however, before this episode, Robin and The Clock King hadn't met
  • In the Mayor's office, when Fugite is tied up in the Bat-Rope, when Batman calls for Robin, the green in Robin's costume changes into the same colour as his skin.



  • Story by Alan Burnett
  • Teleplay by Steve Perry
  • Directed by Dan Riba
  • Music by Shirley Walker
  • Animation Services by Dong Yang Animation Co.

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