DC Animated Universe

"The Forgotten" is the twenty-third episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It depicts Bruce Wayne losing his memory and being turned into a slave. When indigent men start disappearing from the Bowery, Bruce goes undercover as lowlife Gaff Morgan to investigate. He soon ends up as an amnesia victim forced to work with other kidnapped men in a treacherous and remote mining camp.


It's another peaceful day in Gotham City and Bruce Wayne volunteers at the Dock Street Rescue Mission, of which he is also a major benefactor. The priest thanks Bruce for his help and mentions that people are disappearing, mainly homeless people who frequent the soup kitchen, but one of his volunteers has disappeared as well. Although the priest has reported this to the police, they haven't bothered to look into the situation as the disappearance of homeless people has not ranked high on their investigative list.

Gaff Morgan is struck

Gaff Morgan is struck from behind while distracted.

That night, Bruce dresses up in a shabby outfit (labeled "Gaff Morgan"), fixing himself to look like an old vagrant. He also takes a lower-end car and drives it to the Old Bowery Wharf in an attempt to look inconspicuous. Gaff Morgan searches the city's slums and eventually a couple thugs "offer" him a job. After a brief fight, Gaff manages to disable both thugs and watches a stray cat on the fence. However, this distraction is all that a third thug needs to strike him over the head with a blackjack and knock him out.

Later, Gaff wakes up chained to a cot in a remote shack out in the middle of the desert. Two men, Dan Riley and Salvo Smith greet him and ask his name. Gaff, however claims not to know. The group goes to have their breakfast but the boss of the camp, Biggis, demands that they get to work or they'll "all end up like... him". An unfortunate man is pointed out at random and shoved into a small metal box, that magnifies the heat of the desert sun. Gaff tries to save the man but Riley stops him.

Back at Wayne Manor, Alfred greets Bruce but finds that he's not there. Finding this strange, Alfred starts to wonder what's happened.

Meanwhile, Gaff works away at a mine while he talks to his newfound friends. Unfortunately, he still can't remember anything but Riley tells him to hang onto his hope. Riley and Smith explain that they were both in the docks area and were kidnapped. Smith claims that he was unemployed while Riley was a steamfitter at the Gotham Navy Yard and a volunteer at the soup kitchen, the Dock Street Rescue mission, and was kidnapped. Gaff suddenly starts to remember something. Riley continues and mentions that he has a family. Just as the conversation finishes, there's a cave-in, a disaster that happens all too often due to the poor integrity of the mine.

Alfred continues to have problems as there are people who are asking for Bruce but he only tells them to call back another day. Looking to save his friend, Alfred checks the cars and sees that the Studebaker is gone. Using the tracking device, Alfred finds that it's in the Bowery, a low-income section of Gotham.

The Forgotten beggars

Bruce Wayne is mobbed by beggars.

Elsewhere, Gaff wanders a hall filled with funhouse mirrors. As he looks at one of his reflections he hears laughing. One of the mirrors has the image of Bruce Wayne who is laughing hysterically. Confused, Gaff looks at the image which turns into the Joker and pulls him from the building. Suddenly, Bruce is wandering through the slums and generously gives cash to homeless people, but is soon overwhelmed by a mob of homeless people begging for handouts. Just then, Gaff awakens in a cold sweat and recalls the Dock Street Rescue Mission.

Work continues in the mine and Smith makes the mistake of blowing a raspberry at Biggis after Biggis hypocritically refers to them as "lazy scum". As punishment, he is sentenced to be thrown into the box but Gaff and Riley intervene. Though they fight well, they are soon overwhelmed and thrown into the ovens themselves.

Back in Gotham, Alfred finds Bruce's car in a junkyard and takes the tracking device. There he sees two thugs get into a truck. Thinking that they might lead him to Bruce, Alfred plants the device on their truck and waits to see where it ends up.

Out in the desert, Gaff and Riley sweat it out in the metal boxes. Time passes and Riley begins to lose his mind. Finally, he cries that he has lost his family. This sparks Gaff's memory of his earlier years of being with Martha and Thomas Wayne and he remembers who he really is. He shouts to Riley that they'll escape and breaks his way out of the box. Bruce runs from the mine and is quickly pursued by the mine's guards. He makes his way into Box Canyon, which is believed to be a dead-end, but Bruce begins to climb his way out.

Over the canyon, the Batwing flies, piloted by Alfred, but more the onboard computer acting as autopilot. Finding the tracking device, Alfred orders the Batwing to land, despite the computer's warning of the danger of Box Canyon. Fortunately, Bruce is nearby and meets up with his friend.

Shortly thereafter, the mine guards run to Biggis fearful of a giant bat. Batman makes his presence known and is attacked. Biggis joins in on the chase, offering a thousand dollars to the man who kills Batman. In the darkness of the mine, Batman easily manages to evade notice and disable the guards. Biggis tries to escape but Batman is right after him. During the chase, Biggis trips and drops his oil lamp onto crates filled with explosives. Batman shoves him onto a water flute and dives into the river after him. The mine is destroyed in the ensuing explosion while Batman and Biggis fall into a lake. Batman apprehends Biggis.

The Forgotten return

Bruce, Riley, and Smith return home at last.

Back at home, Riley is reunited with his family and offers his home to Smith and Bruce. However, Bruce declines the offer and reveals his true identity, telling his friends that if they're looking for work, he can help. Bruce then heads for home, leaving Smith half-joking that maybe he can get amnesia and wake up a millionaire too.

Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • Bruce Timm has stated he didn't want to do this episode as he felt there wasn't enough space to meaningfully address the issue of the homeless. "Sean Derek was big on doing shows with social messages. And my big problem with message shows, is that you can't solve the world's problems in a half hour cartoon. If you raise the issue of homelessness, what can you do? It makes the [episode] look very exploitive, because you're just using the problem as an exotic background. You can't discuss the problem on any meaningful level in a 22-minute action cartoon. So I put in the dream sequence with Bruce in the barracks where these multitudes of people are looking to Bruce for a handout, and he doesn't have enough money for them all, and they're surrounding him and suffocating him. It's not enough for him to put a band-aid on the problem at the end, by offering the two guys a job. It just doesn't work."[1] Notably, a similar issue in regard to the homeless was re-addressed later on in the DCAU, arguably in a much more meaningful way, with the Static Shock episode "Frozen Out".
  • Broadcast Standards and Practices undercut the episode's message by refusing to let the production crew show anyone except men as homeless. As Boyd Kirkland explained, "there was a sequence at the beginning where Batman is wandering around the city, trying to find out why people were disappearing. It was staged with homeless people hanging around on sidewalks: families, mothers and kids. They made us take all that out of the boards. They said it was too much for kids to see that maybe a woman or a family can be out on the streets. They specifically asked that we only show men as homeless."[1]

Production inconsistencies[]

  • The Batwing's hazardous landing in the canyon is inconsistent with other episodes showing it to be capable of taking off, hovering and descending in a straight vertical line, akin to modern-day VTOL airplanes. However, this may be due to Alfred's lack of proficiency in piloting/commanding the vehicle, as well as his demanding the Batwing land now so as not to stray from Bruce.


  • This is the first episode where Batman is shown to be captured on screen, albeit out of costume. The previous episode, "P.O.V.", shows him captured, but it is strongly implied that it was part of his plan.
  • Alfred makes a brief reference to Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who claimed what is now San Diego for Spain.
  • Bruce Timm revealed in the DVD introduction for this episode that one of the main difficulties in using one-time villains is making them memorable. Thus, Biggis' trademark was to be fat and revolting. In fact, according to Timm, voice actor George Murdock ate food as he read his lines. It worked so well that the slurping and gulping sounds he made were kept for the character as part of the soundtrack.
  • This is the first episode to feature Alfred away from Wayne Manor.
  • Biggis' huge appetite, physique, and slobbering voice are very reminiscent of Mr. Creosote from Monty Python and the Meaning of Life.
  • In Bruce's hallucination, the Joker's laughter is provided by Kevin Conroy.
  • One of Biggis' men is named Paur, a reference to series director Frank Paur.


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman
Joker (Hallucination) (uncredited)
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Alfred
Lorin Dreyfuss Salvo Smith
Dorian Harewood Dan Riley
George Murdock Boss Biggis
Ian Patrick Williams Ivan
Richard Moll Computer
Jay Thomas Guard 1

Uncredited appearances[]


Alfred: That's odd. Only vampires loath daylight more than Batman.

Riley: Hey, you can't give up hope. Down here it's all we've got to hang on to.

Biggis: (chewing noisily while watching his men working hard in the scorching sun) I've never seen such lazy scum.

Alfred: This must be the place. Bring us down.
Batwing: Negative.
Alfred: But Master Bruce is down here, we have to land.
Batwing: Impossible, area too confined.
Alfred: Land, you bucket of bolts!
Batwing: Your funeral.

Batwing: Watch your step.

Alfred: I... I... I claim this land for Spain.

Biggis: Stop! We'll be killed!
Batman: Stop, and we will be.

Biggis: Don't let me drown!
Batman: When you taste the prison food, you'll wish I had.

Smith: Hit me, Riley.
Riley: Hit you? Why?
Smith: Maybe I'll lose my memory and wake up a millionaire too.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Episode Guide" - Cinefantastique Vol. 24 #6/Vol. 25 #1 (February 1994)