** 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
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 Wax Museum.
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.
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
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.
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."
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
"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 too anachronistic.
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."
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.
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
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.
Watch for Phyllis Diller as Scrubwoman in #39.