** Episode Guide #4 **
#61 THE PENGUIN'S NEST
#62 THE BIRD'S LAST JEST
12/7/66,12/8/66. Written by Lorenzo Semple Jr. Directed by Murray Golden.
Once again, Penguin appears to go straight (also see #51/52 and
#73), opening Then Penguin's Nest, a restaurant catering to the wealthy, a
ruse to collect handwriting samples for forger Ballpoint Baxter. Batman and
Robin come to the aid of Chief O'Hara, locked in a trunk and tumbling into a
pool which Penguin is about to electrify.
This teleplay has its foundation in a good comic book story, Batman
#36 (9/46), with the same title as episodes #61, written by Alvin Schwartz.
The published version moves along more quickly, unencumbered with the baggage
of a cliffhanger.
After many requests of Bill Dozier for an acting role in the series,
writer Stanley Ralph Ross finally managed to capture the highly coveted,
non-speaking role of Ballpoint Baxter in #61. "If you're real funny, you're
going to get laughs without lines," Ross recalled Dozier telling him. "I
tripped and I was wearing these thick bottle glasses," said Ross. "From that
point on, the crew called me Ballpoint." Ralph Ross was the most frequent
series writer with his name appearing on 27 episodes.
Batbits: Watch for Ted Cassidy's Batclimb cameo in #61 as Lurch.
"Why, you're no dance teacher! You're Catwoman!" -Dick Grayson to Miss Klutz
Boff! Z-zwap! Uggh! Cr-r-a-a-ck! Ooooff! -fight scene from #63
#63 THE CAT'S MEOW
#64 THE BAT'S KOW TOW
12/14/66,12/15/66. Written by Stanley Ralph Ross. Directed by James B. Clark.
Catwoman plots to appropriate the voices of Chad and Jeremy with a
Voice Eraser when the singing duo stop over at Wayne Manor. She locks the
Dynamic Duo inside a huge echo chamber where the sound of a dripping faucet
is magnified ten million times. Chad and Jeremy were good friends of casting
director Michael McLean, who asked that they be worked into a script.
Jay Sebring portrayed the operator of Mr. Oceanbring's Salon for Men.
"He was a famous hairdresser," recalled Charles FitzSimons. "He had his own
salon and was very expensive. And he was a friend of Bruce Lee's." Among the
stylist's star clients were Bill Dozier, Stanley Ralph Ross, Milton Berle,
Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra. At the time, a Sebring original ran $50 with
subsequent trims at $26. Along with Sharon Tate, he was one of the victims of
Charles Manson and friends in 1969.
BatBits:Watch for Steve Allen's cameo as TV host Allen Stevens, and
Don Ho's reverse Batclimb cameo, both in #64.
#65 THE PUZZLES ARE COMING
#66 THE DUO IS SLUMMING
12/21/66,12/22/66. Written by Fred De Gorter. Directed by Jeffrey Hayden.
Shakespeare-spouting Puzzler gasses guests at the christening of a
new supersonic plane and relieves them of their jewelry. At the Puzzler's
balloon factory the Dynamic Duo are sent skyward, unconcious in an aerial
balloon, the basket holding our heroes set to fall back to earth when the
balloon reaches 20,000 feet.
Fred De Gorter's script actually began as a Riddler vehicle entitled
"A Penny For Your Riddles/They're Worth A Lot More!" probably intended as
an early second season episode. Frank Gorshin was unavailable, so De Gorter
rewrote the script for a new villain, Mr. Conumdrum, titled "The
Conumdrums are Coming/The Duo is Slumming," changed to the Puzzler (actually
a Superman villain in the comic books). As a result, the Puzzler is merely
a lightweight Riddler copycat.
Robin's stuntman Victor Paul remembered filming the fight on the
Lear Jet in #65. "The owner is standing there watching us. They're
trying to shove me into the engine. The fat henchmen got on the wing and
the plane titled down. It actually leaned way over, and touched the ground.
The owner ran out and said, 'What are you doing? This is a two-and-a-half-
million-dollar-plane and you guys are going to ruin it!'"
BatBits:Watch for Andy Devine's cameo as Santa in a Batclimb in #66.
#67 THE SANDMAN COMETH
#68 THE CATWOMAN GOETH
12/18/66,12/29/66. Story by Ellis St. Joseph. Teleplay by Ellis St.
Joseph and Charles Hoffman. Directed by George Wagner.
Catwoman and Euro-crook Sandmakna, disguised as Dr. Somnambula,
plot to relieve billionaire noodle queen J. Pauline Spaghetti of some of her
wealth. Sandman puts Robin into a trance, pushing a button that brings the
needle of a giant button stitching machine down on Batman, tied to a mattress.
Michael Rennie as Sandman makes for another weak willain, even with the help of
Julie Newmar's Catwoman.
BatBits:Watch for former stripper Gypsy Rose Lee as a newscaster.
William Dyer, Adam West's lighting stand-in got screen credit as a policeman,
and often played cops on the show without credit.
#69 THE CONTAMINATED COWL
#70 THE MAD HATTER RUNS AFOUL
1/4/67,1/5/67. Written by Charles Hoffman. Directed by Oscar Rudolph.
Posing as the Three-Tailed Pasha of Panchagorum, Jervis Tetch, The
Mad Hatter, heists Hattie Hatfield's valuable ruby. The Hatter's
radioactive fumes turn Batman's cowl a contaminated pink. The Dynamic duo
are locked inside an X-Ray Accelerator Tube and Fluoroscopic Cabinet, facing
Charles Hoffman's script makes little use of the Hatter's hat motif.
Hoffman based his material on a comic book story, "The Mad Hatter of Gotham
City" from Detective Comics #230 (4/56), but did little to develop the
BatBits:Hoffman, the series story editor, wrote 22 scripts for the
series, second only to Stanley Ralph Ross.
#71 THE ZODIAC CRIMES
#72 THE JOKER'S HARD TIMES
#73 THE PENGUIN DECLINES
1/11/67,1/12/67,1/18/67. Story by Stephen Kandel, teleplay by Stephen
Kandel and Stanford Sherman. Directed by Oscar Rudolph.
Joker and Penguin collaborate in a series of crimes inspired by
signs inspired by signs of the Zodiac. The Joker's moll, Venus, turns from
her evil ways to assist Batman and Robin, but all three are chained in a
shallow pool, about to be eaten by a giant clam. With the Penguin apprehended
in Part One, this makes for a pretty weak collaboration. Howard Hughes'
former girlfriend Terry Moore plays Venus.
BatBits:These episodes were the series' first three-parter,
simultaneously, simultaneously celebrating the show's one-year anniversary
and helping to open ABC's second season.
"You know I'm violently opposed to police brutality." -Commissioner Gordon
#74 THAT DARN CATWOMAN
#75 SCAT! DARN CATWOMAN
1/19/67,1/25/67. Written by Stanley Ralph Ross. Directed by Oscar Rudolph.
Catwoman's aide, Pussycat, attacks Robin with cataphrenic, turning
him to the Feline Fury's side of the law in a plot to buy plans for the Gotham
City Mint. Batman tracks Catwoman to her hideout but is bound to a mousetrap
with Robin cutting the rope...
One of the series' highlights, with Leslie Gore as Pussycat and
interesting twists including a captured and brainwashed Robin. Writer
Stanley Ralph Ross's numerous wonderful wordplays alone warrant a close
BatBits:The test reel for the series used Burt Ward in several
situations. Recalled Ward, "I did Dick Grayson in the civvies outfit,
Robin doing a scene, and, because I'm a blackbelt in karate (they wanted a
very athletic type of person), I broke a brick with my hand and broke
a board over my head."
#76 PENGUIN IS A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND
#77 PENGUIN SETS A TRENT
#78 PENGUIN'S DISASTROUS END
1/26/67,2/1/67,2/2/67. Written by Stanford Sherman. Directed by James B.
Batman and Robin are coerced by Penguin to appear in a movie with
Batman forced to do 100 takes of kissing scene with Marsha, Queen of
Diamonds. The Dynamic Duo is tied to a giant catapult and readied to be
launched across Gotham City. But Batman remotely commandeers the Batmobile
to eject a safety net. Rejoining the production, they are dressed in chain
mail armom and about to be pulverized as scrap metal in a high-pressure
hydraulic crusher. Another multi-part show that would be improved if
Robin stuntman Victor Paul recalled shooting the huge trash
chutes in #77. Said Paul, "This magnetic crane picks up Batman and Robin
[in armor] and takes them over this giant trough and drops them in, and
[they] go through a giant funnel into a trash bin. We're up about 20 feet,
when the director tells them to let go. I said, 'Let us go, bull. You can't
let us go in the funnel with all this junk and metal? You can't do that.'
He said, 'Gee, you're stuntmen.' And I said, 'Yeah, but we're not idiots.'"
Ultimately, dummies were sent through the tunnel.
BatBits:Carolyn Jones returned as Marsha. Several shots of the
Batman set and crew can be found sprinkled throughout #76.
"Only the Riddler and his ilk would have such a flagrant disregard for
private property. This door will have to be repaired." -Batman to Robin
#79 BATMAN'S ANNIVERSARY
#80 A RIDDLING CONTROVERSY
2/8/67,2/9/67. Written by William P. D'Angelo. Directed by James B. Clark.
Riddler robs Batman's charity dinner and the Gotham City Bank to raise
funds to purchase a destructive De-Molecularizer. Batman and Robin, thinking
they are posing for life-size marshmallow figures of themselves, discover
they are sinking into quicksand atop a giant cake, a classic comics riff.
John Astin takes over the Riddler role, but is not as nutty and over the
edge as the Prince of Puzzlers demands (or at least as Frank Gorshin has
accustomed us to).
"The reason John Astin played the Riddler," recalled Gorshin, "was
because I had a night club commitment which I couldn't cancel. They
wouldn't let me out and the sudio wanted to do that episode at the same
time. So, instead of waiting for me to be available, they figured I wasn't
indispensible; they put my clothes on somebody else. I was really offended
that they did. Of course, I understood the logistics and everything. There
was nothing they could do. They had a schedule and so forth.
BatBits:During 1966, Thursday installments of the series were
rated the fifth most popular TV show while Wednesday segments were tenth.
BONANZA was the series at #1.
"Robin, warm up the Bat-spot analyzer while I take a sample of this
affected cloth." -Batman