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** Episode Guide #2 **
#21 THE PENGUIN GOES STRAIGHT
#22 NOT YET, HE AIN'T ***
3/23/66,3/24/66. Written by Lorenzo Semple, Jr. & John Cardwell.
Directed by Leslie H. Martinson.
Penguin apparently dumps his criminal past when he routs several robberies and establishes the Penguin's
Protective Agency to guard society's wealth. One of Penguin's first successes as the sentinel of aristocracy
is to nab Batman and Robin while they are switching Sophia Starr's real jewelry for fakes. Marks the series'
first use of the Batcycle.
Leslie Martinson utilizes a lengthy, 69-second take with Batman, Penguin and Robin in close-up during the first
half of #21. It makes for an interesting contrast against the more typical constant cutting. Another 35-second
take at the end of that episode utilizes a Hitchcockian traveling camera which begins on Penguin/Gordon/O'Hara
and finishes on the Doomed Duo, suspended behind a shooting gallery.
The idea of the Penguin going straight has been part of the character's history in comics. It was previously
used on numerous occasions, and among them: Batman #41, 70, 76; and Detective Comics #171.
In a hilarious sequence, Batman remotely wrestles control of the Batmobile from Penguin after the dastardly
bird has hijacked the vehicle. The scene obviously influenced a sequence in 1992's BATMAN RETURNS, where
Penguin remotely took control of the Batmobile while Batman was driving.
BatBits: Hairstylist Kathryn Blondell recalled, "They made a very expensive wig for Burges,
who actually went out the night before and decided to have his hair dyed. He wound up using his own hair."
#23 THE RING OF WAX
#24 GIVE 'EM THE AXE **
3/30/66,3/31/66. Written by Jack Paritz and Bob Rodgers.
Directed by James B. Clark.
Riddler seeks to plunder the Lost Treasure of the Incas. The Caped Crusaders are drugged, tied up and suspended
over a vat of boiling wax by the Riddler's Remote Control Enormous Candle Dipper, facing doom at Madam Soliel's
Riddler had only been used in three comic book stories before his appearances on the TV series (Detective Comics #140,
142, Batman #171) with the first two occasions way back in 1948. Therefore, it is nearly impossible to contrast a
TV version of the villain with that of the comics. In fact, much of Riddler's future print characterization had a
foundation in Frank Gorshin's intense interpretation.
"The biggest problem with [doubling] Frank," recalled stuntman Eddie Hice, who doubled for Bruce Lee on GREEN HORNET,
"was always the green leotards. He kept himself in real good shape. That's how I got the job, incidentally.
I'm built like he is. When I showed up, Gorshin just went nuts. He says, 'Well, riddle me this. Look at this.'
Every time they'd get a double for Gorshin, the guys didn't look right. They were kind of hanging out. They had a
lot of problems [with weight]. Victor Paul called me. I was doing another show on the lot. Green Hornet.
I was doubling for Bruce Lee. Anyway, I jumped over there and I got into the green tight outfit and they slicked
my hair back. When I showed up, Gorshin just went nuts. He says, 'Well riddle me this. Look at this.' And from
then on I started doubling for him. Even if his [costume] tore or something, they could take my coat off and put
it on him. [There was always a double outfit.] That's how unique it was." Hice also doubled John Astin in #79/80.
BatBits: Based on "A Hairpin, A Hoe, A Hacksaw, A Hole in the Ground!" from Batman #53
(7/49) by Bill Finger.
#25 THE JOKER TRUMPS AN ACE
#26 BATMAN SETS THE PACE **1/2
4/6/66,4/7/66. Written by Francis and Marian Cockrell.
Directed by Richard C. Sarafian.
The Joker plans to pilfer the Maharajah of Nimpah's solid gold golf clubs, but instead kidnaps the Maharajah.
The Dynamic Duo, in pursuit, are tied up and locked in a chimney filled with lethal gas. Some great ideas are
heisted from a Joker comic book story in Batman #53.
BatBits: Series guest stars reportedly received $2,500 for their nefarious appearances.
Cathy Ferrar said "Gleeps! It's Batman!" in episode#1, gained some notoriety and became known as the "Gleeps Girl."
She returned in this episode with an additional five syllables to her role ("Crime is certainly rampant these days.")
At the time, she observed, "It's been phenomenal. I've done dozens of dramatic shows...but I never got this kind of
"How many times must I tell you? Queens consume nectar and ambrosia, not hot dogs." -King Tut to Nefertiti
#27 THE CURSE OF TUT
#28 THE PHAROAH'S IN A RUT **1/2
4/13/66,4/14/66. Written by Robert C. Dennis and Earl Barret.
Directed by Charles R. Rondeau.
A student riot endows a Yale professor with a head wound, and the delusion that he is King Tut, Great King
of the Nile, setting up an Egyptian Sphinx in Gotham's Central Park as ruler of the city. Captured by Tut,
Batman finds himself subjected to the ancient Theban pebble torture which is supposed to render him a mindless
slave. Thanks to Victor Buono's delivery as Tut, this episode is good for a few yucks when Buono is on screen.
Makeup man Bruce Hutchinson recalled the original ornate makeup job planned for Tut, which made him look like
a drag queen. "We both looked in the mirror and fell on the floor. He said, 'I couldn't go out of this trailer
looking like this. I'd get arrested.' So we took all the makeup off and just put that funny little gold beard
on him. It worked much better."
BatBits: These episodes mark the series' first use of an original major antagonist for
Batman, one not previously found in the comic books.
#29 THE BOOKWORM TURNS
#30 WHIlE GOTHAM CITY BURNS **1/2
4/20/66,4/21/66. Written by Rik Vollaerts.
Directed by Larry Peerce.
Bookworm, the well-educated master of stolen plots, toys with Batman and threatens to blow up the Amerigo
Columbus Bridge. However, the blow-up is only a pictyure enlarged on a warehouse wall. Bookworm traps the
Dynamic Duo inside a monstrous recipe book with billowing steam about to turn our heroes into the Cooked Crusaders.
These episodes recycle some classically successful Batman plot devices such as a stolen Batmobile, Wayne Manor
violated and big props. Comic book writer Bill Finger's decades of classically memorable Batman scripts certainly
influenced the content of these installments.
Like the Riddler, Bookworm is one more interchangeable antagonist who frequently and intentionally leaves clues
and hopes to rub out that Batnuisance. Instead of originating more devices and manic villains, of which there
were many in the generally untapped comic books, Batman writers fell into an ultimately lethal Batformula and
redundancy eroded the series' success.
Roddy McDowall gives the Bookworm a wonderful, edgy quality. The villain had volumes of potential, and was
even supplied with a smidgen of origin/motivation: he could only copy, not write/create anything original,
not unlike the series' scripters. Unfortunately the character never returned.
For the scene of Robin strapped to the clapper of Big Benjamin, the giant bell in the Wayne Memorial Clock
Tower, art director Serge Krizman recalled building a belfry well set that was 40-feet high. "I couldn't
find a bronze bell that was eight-feet high so it had to be made all out of plastics," said Krizman.
Cinematographer Howie Schwartz had to resort to a 9.5mm wide-angle lens to get it all in.
Victor Paul, who was Burt Ward's stunt double and, along with Hubie Kerns, the series' stunt coordinator
added, "I was hanging upside down in this giant bell tower. I'm always the guy hollering for Batman.
I'm tied on this six-foot gong inside a bell that's 12 feet in diameter. They're swinging me back and
forth. Then I told them, 'The blood is starting to go to my head. I can't hang upside down forever.'"
BatBits: Jerry Lewis was the first cameo Gothamite during a Batclimb. Aired in 1966,
these epsiodes appeared during National Library Week.
#31 DEATH IN SLOW MOTION
#32 THE RIDDLER'S FALSE NOTION *
4/27/66,4/28/66. Written by Dick Carr.
Directed by Charles R. Rondeau.
The Riddler turns moviemaker, capturing his criminal escapades on film. Robin is strapped on a conveyor
belt in a lumberyard, about to be sawed in two as Riddler records the event. Batman comes to the rescue,
but liberates a dressed dummy. Meanwhile, the Riddler is about to drop Robin from the ledge of a high
building, similar to a well-known Harold Lloyd stunt.
This teleplay's story originated in the comic books as a Joker adventure, and was insufficiently modified
to a Riddler-oriented vehicle. Batman comic book villains are not so easily interchangeable. The ultimate
demise of the Batman series could very well be traced to episodes #29-32, the series' first low spots.
BatBits: Based on "The Joker's Comedy Capers!" from Detective Comics #341 (7/65)
by John Broome. Francis X. Bushman, who played Mr. Van Jones, a well-known film collector, was a silent
film star who was voted most popular leading man in American films from 1914-1917. He died August 23, 1966,
just months after his BATMAN appearance, at age 83.
#33 FINE FINNY FIENDS
#34 BATMAN MAKES THE SCENES **
5/4/66, 5/5/66. Written by Sheldon Stark.
Directed by Tom Gries.
Penguin and his fiends capture and brainwash Alfred, forcing him to reveal secrets about Bruce Wayne's
upcoming Multimillionaire's Annual Award Dinner. Batman and Robin are caught in the Penguin's umbrella
field, gassed and then locked inside a vacuum tank. Similar to many third season episodes, Alfred plays
a pivotal role.
In 1966, Adam West commented on the series' hectic schedule, noting, "The demands are so inordinate that
I must get away from it all every weekend at the beach. It's hard work. On a shooting day (we shoot every
day, except weekends), I work from 7 in the morning to as late as 10 and 12 at night."
Noted Willaim Dyer, West's stand-in, "When we finished the first season, we went right into the feature.
Then we went to New York to promote it."
BatBits: An average of nine pages of script were shot each day during the first and
second seasons. Scripts ran about 67 pages in length for two episodes.
"You dipped your dipthong. People from Philidelphia are known for that."
-Batman to Dick Clark
#35 SHOOT A CROOKED ARROW
#36 WALK THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW *
9/7/66, 9/88/66. Written by Stanley Ralph Ross.
Directed by Sherman Marks.
The Archer pillages stately Wayne Manor and distributes his loot to the destitue. Batman and Robin bag
Archer, but impecunious Gothamites manage to raise bail with $50,000 in milk bottle deposit money.
The Archer then commandeers an armored truck containing $10,000,000 in cash earmarked by the Wayne Foundation
for distribution to Gotham's poor.
Archer, Bookworm and Minstrel are probably the most ill-conceived villains in the series. All three stories
show a lack of understanding about Batman's `history, about supervillains and at times, even about camp. All are
handicapped by modest origins, but Archer, a Robin Hood retread complete with merry men henchmen, simply seems
Dialog coach Milton Stark remembered that Art Carney "was very sad," during his stint as The Archer.
"Something was happening in his personal life then. I went to a dressing room to help him. He said,
'Gee, kid, I hope you don't mind, but I don't feel up to it at the moment. I'm comfortable, I know my lines.
I'll call you when I'm ready.' But the moment he got in front of the camera, he turned it on. That's like
a racehorse when they hear the bell, off they go. It's amazing."
BatBits: Watch for a Batclimb cameo by Dick Clark in #35. A villain named "The Archer"
first appeared in Superman #13 (November-December 1941).
The criminal wore a green archer's costume and worked alone, extorting money from wealthy victims whom he
would murder if they refused to pay.
"I'm not just pussyfooting around this time, Batman!" -Catwoman
#37 HOT OFF THE GRIDDLE
#38 THE CAT AND THE FIDDLE ***1/2
9/14/66, 9/15/66. Written by Stanley Ralph Ross.
Directed by Dan Weis.
Catwoman hits the Gotham Guardians with her paralyzing Catatonic cat-darts and tosses them out of a 12th
story window. At the Pink Sand Box club the Duo is surprised when their table suddenly spins around,
throwing them into a metal chamber with super-heating floor.
BatBits: Watch for James Brolin as driver Ralph Staphylococcus in #38. Brolin was roomate to the show's casting director,
Michael McLean, which accounts for his appearance in several episodes.
#39 THE MINSTREL'S SHAKEDOWN
#40 BARBECUED BATMAN? 1/2*
9/21/66,9/22/66. Written by Francis and Marian Cockrell.
Directed by Murray Golden.
The Minstrel, a lute-playing electronics genius, threatens to sabotage the computerized Gotham City
Stock Exchange. The Dynamic Duo is captured and hoisted onto a rotating spit over an electronic radar grill.
A weak episode: Van Johnson's Minstrel is just too dumb a villain, with extremely awkward motivations and origins.
BatBits: Watch for Phyllis Diller as Scrubwoman in #39.
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