#101 LOUIE, THE LILAC
10/26/67. Written by Dwight Taylor. Directed by George Waggner.
Louie plots to control the minds of Gotham's flower children. Robin is
subdued after sniffing Louie's alba vulgaria-poison lilac and Batman is put
away by a vase to the face. The Caped Crimefighters are then left in Louie's
Hot House to be devoured by a giant Brazilian man-eating lilac. A showcase for
the series' fantastic use of color. With hippies, flower children and pop
music, this is a time capsule of the period. Milton Berle plays Louie, a
perfect touch. BatBits:At the end of this episode, lyrics accompany Batgirl's
typically instrumental theme.
#102 THE OGG AND I
#103 HOW TO HATCH A DINOSAUR
11/2/67,11/9/67. Written by Stanford Sherman. Directed by Oscar Rudolph.
Egghead joins with Olga, Queen of the Bessarovian Cossaks to kidnap
Commissioner Gordon. The ransom: a 10 centtax on every egg consumed in Gotham,
Olga plans to marry Batman. Batgirl arrives to save the day, but the
crimefighters are blinded with tear gas. Egghead seems to work better on
his own rather than as Olga's second banana and does not seem as dangerous
as before. Anne Baxter as Olga is not of supervillain status and their
plans are more silly than outrageous, reaching too far for camp.
Vincent Price was Yvonne Craig's favorite series guest. "Any day that I
worked with Vincent Price was especially wonderful," she recalled. "He was
bright and witty and erudite. I always looked forward to the day he was to be
in." BatBits:The Neosaurus creature in #103 was also used in an episode of
LOST IN SPACE. Since Twentieth Century Fox was involved with both productions,
many of the sound effects heard on Batman are the same as Irwin Allen's science
#104 SURF'S UP! JOKER'S UNDER!
11/16/67. Written by Charles Hoffman. Directed by Oscar Rudolph.
Joker and his men shanghai surf champ Skip Parker from the Hang Five, a
surfers' hangout. His beach bunny, Barbara Gordon, sees the Jokermobile
driving away and phones the Commissioner. Chief O'Hara and Commissioner Gordon,
disguised as surfin' dudes Buzzy and Duke, visit the Hang Five, joined by
Batman and Robin. Joker uses his Surfing Experience and Ability Transferometer
and Vigor Reverser, to acquire Skip's surfing abilities. Batman and Robin
are poisoned and turned into human surfboards.
The series' gradual trend away from camp to self-parody erupts into an
out-and-out parody of the show itself, which heretofore had been forbidden.
The sets appear inexpensively designed with cheap props due to tighter
budgets, actually working to this episode's benefit. BatBits:Rumor:Frank Sinatra was upset because Cesar Romero beat him
out for the role of the Joker.
#105 THE LONDINIUM LARCENIES
#106 THE FOGGIEST NOTION
#107 THE BLOODY TOWER
11/23/67,11/30/67,12/7/67. Story by Elkan Allan. Teleplay by Elkan Allen
Charles Hoffman. Directed by Oscar Rudolph.
Lord Marmaduke Ffogg (Rudy Vallee) and Lady Penelope Peasoup (Glynnis
Johns) steal a collection of snuffboxes from a Londinium museum. Batman, Robin
and Barbara Gordon travel by ship to Londinium, the Batmobile and Batcomputer
secretly stowed away. The Gotham Guardians meet with Ireland Yard
Superintendent Watson to discuss the man-made fogs masking the thieves'
escapes. Robin is taken on a tour of Ffogg's estate, supposedly a post
girl's finishing school, and learns the students receive shoplifting lessons.
As Batman and Robin return to a country manor house dungeon-turned-Batcave,
a deathly fog bomb attached to the Batmobile explodes. Ffogg is equipped
with a memory erasing device, but a ridiculously convenient Recollection-
Cycle Batrestorer quickly solves the problem, an example of the series'
overabundant Batgizmos. Budgetary problems adversely affected this trio of
episodes, the overall mood suffering from too obvious sets.
Recalled Yvonne Craig, who played Batgirl, "Rudy Vallee was without a
doubt one of the worst people I've ever worked with. I had so lookehd forward
to working with him. He'd been in the business for two hundred years. And
he came on the set and he was an absolute churl. He was the meanest man, just
awful. It was a three-parter, we thought we'd never get rid of him. His
cohort, Glynnis Johns, was just a dream." BatBits:In total, 32 writers recieved screen credits for working on the
"You better leave the crime fighting to men." -Batman to Barbara Gordon
#108 CATWOMAN'S DRESSED TO KILL
12/14/67. Written by Stanley Ralph Ross. Directied by Sam Strangis.
Catwoman bursts into a luncheon honoring Gotham's ten best-dressed
women, setting off a Hair-Raising Bomb which destroys the others' hair-dos.
The Feline Fury ties Batgirl to a pattern cutting machine to keep Batman
busy while she steals the Golden Fleece, $1 million in woven gold.
"We felt it was a very provocative idea," recalled producer Charles
FitzSimons about executive producer Bill Dozier's selection of Eartha Kitt
as Catwoman. "She was a cat woman before we ever cast her as Catwoman. She
had a cat-like style. Her eyes were cat-like and her singing was like a meow.
This came as a wonderful off-beat idea to do it with a black woman."
Noted Yvonne Craig, "I thought Eartha was perfect because she was very
catlike anyway. And I liked that she was my size. I could beat her up.
I come up to Julie [Newmar]'s bellybutton. Not good in a fight."
But Kitt lacked Julie Newmar's statuesque sexiness. The usual romance
between Catwoman and Batman was missing in Kitt's episodes, in part, probably
due to Kitt's race.
Director Sam Starngis goes for a number of his longer takes, including one
in Catwoman's lair that lasts a full minute. And not to be missed: Alfred's
bit as the oldest living hippie. BatBits:Envisioning Catwoman as black was unique to the television
series, an experiment that hasn't been repeated.
"You are a heartless, hairless man. I am liking you more an more." -Olga to
#109 THE OGG COUPLE
12/21/67. Written by Stanford Sharman. Directed by Oscar Rudolph.
Olga, Queen of the Bessarovian Cossacks (Anne Baxter) again teams with
Egghead to steal the Sword of Bulbul and the Egg of Ogg. Egghead plans to
steal 500 pounds of condensed caviar (at $200 per ounce), stored at the
Gotham City Bank. Batgirl gets Egghead to turn stool pigeon and lead her to
Olga. Egghead declines from a strong second season villain to a whiney brat.
Typical of third season: not serious enough for camp, not outlandish enough
"I knew Anne for a long time," recalled Vincent Price. "I had done a
couple of movies with her [THE EVE OF ST. MARK (1944), A ROYAL SCANDAL
(1945).] I knew her very well, but she had retired from the movies and gone
to live in Australia. She had a couple of babies when she lived in the
Outback and had a terrible time." BatBits:Originally planned as a third installment for episodes
#102/#103, all were shot together over nine days.
"No thank you. I never use tobacco in any form." -Bruce Wayne refuses Joker's
#110 THE FUNNY FELINE FELONIES
#111 THE JOKE'S ON CATWOMAN
12/28/67,1/4/68. Written by Stanley Ralph Ross. Directed by Oscar Rudolph.
Joker is paroled and immediately links up with Catwoman (Eartha Kitt),
plotting to break into the Federal Depository. With help from Batgirl, the
Dynamic Duo locate and subdue the villains. While querying Joker regarding
his return to crime, they shake hands with the Grim Jester and are zapped by
Joker's buzzer which slowly numbs their senses. Goofy courtroom scenes in
#111 and Catwoman's KittyCar is a bizarre, fun vehicle. Pierre Salinger,
formerly JFK's press secretary and a senator from California played
underworld lawyer Lucky Pierre, the result of meeting Bill Dozier at a
cocktail party. BatBits:Catwoman and Joker are among Batman's earliest comic book
adversaries, initially appearing in Batman #1 (Spring 1940), and became the
best-known and most frequently seen Batman anatagonists.
#112 LOUIE'S LETHAL LILAC TIME
1/11/68. Written by Charles Hoffman. Directed by Sam Strangis.
Two of Louie's gang members kidnap Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson for a
million-dollar ransom. Batgirl is dumped into a vat which Louie orders
filled with hot oil. Milton Berle reprises his stern interpretation of Louie
in another Batman parody.
"That was a difficult shoot," observed director Strangis. "We were out
in Fox's Rancho Park and almost a thousand kids and adults came crowding
around to see Batman and Uncle Miltie. Miltie is quite a ham. He went out and
told jokes and signed autographs. We lost a day of shooting." BatBits:The Instant Unfolding Batcostumes With Utility Belts (just add
warm water) are unveiled, another in a dippy line of astonishingly convenient
Batjunk developed by authors who write themselves into a hole. What was camp
quickly became cliche because no matter how bad the situation, the Caped
Crimefighter never had to think too hard (just like the writer) since some
lifesaving Batgizmo would be handy.
#113 NORA CLAVICLE AND THE LADIES' CRIME CLUB
1/18/68. Written by Stanford Sherman. Directed by Oscar Rudolph.
Mayor Linseed arrives at a testimonial banquet for Commissioner Gordon
and, under pressure from his wife, promptly replaces Gordon with Nora Clavicle
(Barbara Rush), a women's rights advocate. Clavicle dumps chief O'Hara,
as well as Batman and turns the department into a women-only force. But Nora
is up to no good as her girls later heist the Gotham City National Bank.
Batman, Robin and Batgirl are tied into a Siamese human knot; the slightest
move and they crush each other. Nora and her henchwomen unleash crates of
explosive mechanical mice on Gotham. The lack of major villains (against
whom Batman is at his best) make this episode close to unbearable.
"We had a horrible time getting into it," said Yvonne Craig about the
Siamese human knot, "because Burt is inflexible. They would say, get
closer, get closer guys. We had to stay that way for rather a long time and
he was complaining that it hurt. I said, 'It's supposed to hurt.'" BatBits:The Ideal toy company released a Batgirl doll in 1967.
#114 PENGUIN'S CLEAN SWEEP
1/25/68. Written by Stanford Sherman. Directed by Oscar Rudolph.
The Penguin infects a bin of bucks at the U.S. Mint with Lygerian
Sleeping Sickness germs and destroys the only available vaccine (after
inoculating himself and his gang.) Citizens begin tossing their currency
into the street and Penguin promptly vacuums up the cash-laden boulevards.
Penguin is rich, but cannot do anything with his ill-gotten gains. Penguin
helps a modest story in material reminiscent of the first or second season,
a change of pace (back to camp) during a season of parody.
"I became extremely frustrated and unhappy, and wanted out," said Adam
West in a 1987 "Starlog" interview. "There was nothing I could do to
convince the producers or the studio to make improvements. I was just a hired
hand. Eventually I lost all interest because I felt the series was being
neglected. They weren't spending the money they should have and we weren't
getting the scripts we deserved. I didn't wand any part of that kind of
situation. But I still hated to leave the character because Batman had been
good to me." BatBits:This episode's in-joke was to cast John Beradino as a doctor.
At the time, Beradino had protrayed Dr. Steve Hardy on General Hospital for
#115 THE GREAT ESCAPE
#116 THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY
2/1/68,2/8/68. Written by Stanley Ralph Ross. Directed by Oscar Rudolph.
Shame escapes from jail with the help of his girl friend Calamity Jan,
her mother, Frontier Fanny and a Sherman tank, planning to steal a diamond
and some cash from the Gotham City Opera House. Batman, Robin and Batgirl
are sprayed with fear gas, Shame taking a fraidy-Batgirl with him to his
stable. Cliff Robertson reprised his role as Shame, one of Batman's weaker
villains, but an improvement over #59/60. Barry Dennen as Fernando Ricardo
Enrique Dominquez, or Fred, a Mexican character with a British accent, is
Scripter Stanley Ralph Ross, who also developed Egghead, Siren, Archer
and King Tut, created Shame. "They said we have other guys who can do the
comic characters," Ross recalled. "We need you for originals. So that's
why I kept coming up with originals. My favorite original after the Archer,
was Shame." BatBits:Shame's moll, Calamity Jan, was played by Dina Merrill,
Robertson's wife. Watch for Jerry "The Beaver" Mathers in #115 as Pup,
"Turkey legs! My favorite fruit." -King Tut
#117 I'LL BE A MUMMY'S UNCLE
2/22/68. Written by Stanley Ralph Ross. Directed by Sam Strangis.
Tut escapes from Mount Ararat Hospital and purchases a piece of land
adajecent to Wayne Manor to mine a vein of the world's hardest metal,
Nilanium. After checking with the Batcomputer, Batman learns that Tut's
slanting mine shaft is aimed at the Batcave. Batman and Robin give chase
in a mine car, but arrive too late; the pharoah's crew is already in the
Batcave. Next to #41/42, one of the best Tut adventures.
"I worked on HUSH...HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE [19650 and WHAT EVER
HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? ," recalled director Sam Starngis, "and I knew
Victor from way back then. He was always terrific. Victor was family. He
would always come on the show and have a great time." BatBits:Watch for comedian Henny Yongman as Manny the Mesopotamian.
#118 THE JOKER'S FLYING SAUCER
2/29/68. Written by Charles Hoffman. Directed by Sam Strangis.
Abetted by a mad scientist cellmate, Joker's plans for a flying saucer
(to help take control of the world) are underway. The Dynamic Duo are
trapped in the Batcave from an explosion by a time bomb placed in the
Batmobile by one of Joker's henchmen. Another episode so crazy it must be
considered satire- a parody of the show itself. Alfred the butler is forced to
build a flying saucer so Joker and his gang can take off for outer space. BatBits:The comic book version of Bat-Girl was teen-ager Betty Kane,
niece of heiress Kathy Kane (secretly Batwoman). This hyphenated Bat-Girl
first appeared in Batman #139 (April 1961) and lasted just under three years.
#119 THE ENTRANCING DR. CASSANDRA
3/7/68. Written by Stanley Ralph Ross. Directed by Sam Strangis.
Criminal Dr. Cassandra (Ida Lupino) and her accomplice, Cabala (Howard
Duff), are capable of camouflaging themselves so they appear invisible.
Batman, Robin and Batgirl attempt to stop them from stealing the Mope
Diamond at Spiffany's Jewelry Salon, but the doctor's Alvino-ray gun flattens
the heroes paper-thin. The evil duo slips the flat trio under Commissioner
Gordon's ofgice door. At Gotham State Prison, Dr. Cassandra announces she
is releaseing Catwoman, Egghead, Penguin, Riddler, Joker, and King Tut.
Scripter Stanley Ralph Ross wanted to call Cassandra's weapon a Ronald
ray-gun. "This was the only time they really censored me," recalled Ross.
"The weapon took the third dimension out of them and made them into cardboard
cutouts. At the time Reagan was our governor. Alvino Rey was an old-time
band leader from the '40s." BatBits:Lupino and Duff both appeared in a situation comedy, MR.
ADAMS AND EVE, from 1957-1958. Not only did they portray married movie
stars, but they actually were married. At this time, Duff was starring as
Det. Sgt. Sam Stone on FELONY SQUAD, also for ABC.
Although she does not recall him being filmed, Yvonne Craig usually
brought her dog, Sebastian, to work, just as Alan Napier brought his
dog, Tippy. "Sebastian was a Yorkshire terrier," she recalled, "and he and
Tippy used to play. They were set-trained dogs. they would run around and
chase one another and never made any noise."
"Persimmon pressurizer? Holy astringent plum-like fruit!" -Robin
#120 MINERVA, MAYHEM AND MILLIONAIRES
3/14/68. Written by Charles Hoffman. Directed by Oscar Rudolph.
Minerva's Mineral Spa caters to millionaires, Bruce Wayne among them.
Minerva's Deepest Secret Extractor obtains the combination to the Wayne
Foundation wault. Minerva (Zsa Zsa Gabor) pops the Dynamic Duo into a
giant pressure cooker.
This final parody includes one-liners (Minerva: "I feel like a new man."),
too-bad-to-be-true-props, inside jokes (appearances by producers William
Dozier and Howie Horwitz) and dumb humor (Batman and Robin getting a massage
while in costume?). Not great material, but still a fun show.
When the series was cancelled in January 1968, executive producer
William Dozier remarked, "Well, we had a good three-year run. That's not
bad for what was essentially a novelty show. You've got to be realistic about
such series. They can't last too long. In fact, I was surprised that it
went a third season." Although the show still led its time slot in the
ratings, Dozier noted, adults had wearied of it, and the audience had become
kids who were just as happy watching the old shows; they don't care if it's
a repeat. So why go on spending $487,000 for new ones? Dozier and producer
Howie Horzitz appear as themselves at the beginning of this episode. We learn
that Dozier keeps his securities in a grandfather clock while "millionaire
producer" Horwitz keeps his cash in a TV set. BatBits:"You have to take it seriously," said Adam West in 1966 about
his work on the series. "I want to do it well enough that Batman buffs will
watch reruns in a few years and way, 'Watch the bit he does here; isn't that
great?'" West's speculations about the future came true since the show has
aired almost continuously since entering syndication. "I've never had
more fun doing any role than Batman," West said later, "It was a fortuitous,
lucky marraige of a lot of talents, and, as a result, it became a classic.
It's going to be playing forever."