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How Robin came to know the Bat Cave as home is told on Fox series


Revenge is sweet may not be a sentiment that parents want to pass on to their children, but Batman producer-story editor Paul Dini assures that a special two-part "Robin's Reckoning" episode this week will show the importance of a father, or at least a father figure.

The parental image comes in the guise of Batman himself, who tries to prevent ward Robin (a.k.a. Dick Grayson) from exacting revenge on the gangster responsible for his parents' death.

"Robin's Reckoning" traces how Bruce Wayne (Batman) came to take the orphaned Dick Grayson into his home.

"It's based on the original, classic, comic-book story from the '40s," Dini says. "It's been updated and made new and the story hasn't ever been seen on television before."

Dini acknowledges that it's "a hard-edged and sad story," but that "it's a good one and really delineates how Bruce Wayne adopts Dick Grayson."

Nine-year-old Dick is part of a family of aerialists, the Flying Graysons, when his parents are killed during a show. Wayne, who is in the audience, takes the boy in. As Batman, Wayne tracks down the killer and scares him out of town.

When Dick grows up and becomes the crime-fighter Robin, the gangster returns to Gotham City and it's up to Batman to talk sense into the revenge-bound Robin.

"I think kids as young as two can identify with this," insists Dini. "All kids have the fear of losing their parents, and in this story not only does Batman become a father figure, but there is a fantasy fulfilled about solving crimes and the idea that Batman is looking out for him. Older kids are going to want to see Robin's origins."

The message, Dini says, is about "knowing who to count on, that you are not alone and that as hard as life gets, there are people around you who love and support you. That's the ultimate message of this show. Everyone is looking for someone to care for them."

"Batman: Robin's Reckoning" airs Monday and Tuesday at 5 p.m. on Fox. For ages 2 and up.


"Let's race," a popular youthful exhortation, is off and running on The Magic Box (Tuesday 5-5:30 a.m. Learning Channel). Featured are people who run races, the classic tale of the tortoise and the hare, the secret of skateboarders and a story about a string. For ages 4 and up.

Curiosity about "those things growing out of their heads" is answered on Mother Nature's "Animals With Antlers," which looks at how male deer, elk, caribou and moose constantly eat to develop their antlers during the summer. (Perhaps their mothers tell them , "Eat and you'll grow big.") Blood vessels in their velvet, the fuzzy skin surrounding their antlers, nourishes the growing protrusions. Near rutting season, the velvet sloughs off, exposing the antlers' branch-like bone. The clatter of clashing antlers marks the beginning of rutting season. But the sparring sessions are short-lived because the male's antlers fall off soon after mating. For ages 9 and up.

As dino-mania sweeps the nation, it seems that networks and cable channels are pulling out dinosaur shows left and right. For those who still haven't gotten enough, the Disney Channel will present two shows about the extinct creatures on Saturday.

Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs (3-3:30 p.m.), a 1985 documentary hosted by "Laugh-In's" Gary Owens, features a series of interviews with experts, film clips and visits to museums.

Owens, along with Eric Boardman, also hosts Prehistoric World (3:30-4 p.m.) which is a lighthearted look at prehistoric mammals. For ages 4 and up.

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