Batman "The Worst Is Yet To Come": Rewatching Batman '66

Discussion in 'Comics Central' started by Mel O'Drama, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, re-re-re-re-watching really. But @Willie Oleson's recent purchase and a conversation with @Seaviewer this week reminded me that I've started to watch it twice since it came out on BD over four years ago. Both times - for one reason or another - I haven't made it past the first season. It's many, many years since I've watched the entire series.

    A bout of insomnia last night saw me spontaneously watching Return To The Batcave, which has served as an entree to the series proper, which has been airing here this afternoon.

    The last rewatch thread on the old forum was a thorough affair. This one is probably going to be more of the non-sequitur variety. Stay Tuned, Bat-fans.


    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well - the homoerotic subtext was on the nose immediately. The coded talk. Dick having to curb his enthusiasm to spare Aunt Harriet who wouldn’t understand his and Bruce’s secret life. It’s all there in Dick’s first scene:

    Bruce: "Oh there you are, Dick. Feel like a bit of… fishing?
    Dick [exploding with excitement]: “Holy Barracuda! You mean…” [Bruce nods at Aunt Harriet and Dick tries to be cool] “Sure Bruce. Sounds swell!”

    In fact the first two-parter ended as it began for Bruce and Dick:

    Bruce: “Dick. Would you like some help with that algebra?”
    Dick: “I sure would, Bruce.”

    Even though we clearly see Bruce and Dick looking at the algebra textbook there’s just something in the line that makes one wonder. And by the fifth episode, when Bruce and Dick were talking in enthusiastic code about “ball games”, you could draw your own conclusions.


    Burt Ward’s Dick is adorable, if you’ll pardon the expression (and since Ward was married with child when filming these episodes, any double entendre isn’t as icky as it might be). Ward’s lack of experience paired with an (over)abundance of enthusiasm is very endearing. There was a moment in the second episode where he unconsciously lip-synced along with Frank Gorshin’s lines like a child in a school play, anxious to get to his own upcoming line. As I remember this occurred a number of times over the course of the series.


    The first episodes pretty much have everything that a Batman episode would for the rest of the run. It’s curious to think there was a time when the formula was fresh, but it matters not, so artfully executed is it. Even the Batusi is in there, worked into a scene where West delivers possibly my favourite line of the entire series (so soon?!). Standing in the middle of a go-go bar, in full cape and tights Batman is offered a table but refuses:

    And this is where his “large, fresh orange juice” is spiked. Drugged Batman is just hilarious. Adam West slurs masterfully and the sight of him feebly thumping on the steering wheel of the Batmobile incoherently mumbling “Where… have… they… got …Robin?” had me in stitches.


    Gorshin is just too good for words. It’s fair to say that watching as a child I never really got him. Cesar Romero’s colourful Joker and the slinky Catwomen [sic] were my favourites then, but Gorshin’s Riddler is so intense he almost makes Jack Nicholson look like Des O’Connor. The manic laugh. The wild eyes and wide grin. There’s a moment in the second episode where he’s interrupted while about to violently attack the restrained Robin and no matter how many times I watch it I believe he really would have done some damage. It’s one of a number of veins of darkness through the garishly coloured pop-art surface.


    Burgess Meredith’s Penguin is also a delight. His quacking delivery and the cigarette holder between his little teeth crack me up. I actually know someone with a smile just like Burgess’s and it’s quite a feat to take them seriously.


    Romero’s incessantly shrieking take on the Joker can perhaps be best summed up in a scene when his laughing mug is given a close up in the midst of a crime spree by a TV crew. A drunk man watching from a saloon bar says with terrified recognition:


    The series looks very expensive. There are sumptuous sets, very nicely dressed. Crowd scenes with lots of extras. And while the costumes may be derided by fans of Christian Bale’s interpretation, it’s clear that a lot of effort has gone into the look of the clothes in the series, whether it’s the wacky henchmen’s ensembles, Alfred’s Savile Row style or the vibrant Sixties-a-g0-g0 dresses of the young women.


    The visuals really make this (and they certainly pop in gloriously remastered HD. Like Molly eating caviar from that huge jar that looks more suited to a catering establishment’s pickled onions. Or the signs in the Batcave (for the first time I spotted that one of the filing cabinet drawers is neatly labelled “Combustible Agents”). Such attention to minute detail. It’s almost as though they were crafted to be watched on huge screens with freeze frame facility. Strange to think that when this first aired there weren’t even colour TVs in the UK.
     
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  3. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    As Robin ran through a verbal “recap” of Mr Freeze’s origin for the sake of the audience (who at that point had still to meet Mr Freeze for the first time) it occurred to me that there’s no real sense of beginning to the Batman stories here. The villains are already part of Batman's world and there's a pre-air history. We haven't seen it all.

    Were this to be produced today, Mr Freeze’s beginnings as a monster created by Batman himself would certainly be shown in great detail. Probably over the course of a season or two during which time we could get into his psyche and develop a relationship with him. And intertwined with any other number of ongoing stories featuring other key villains.

    A couple of decades ago we might have been introduced to Freeze in an origin episode. Perhaps even a two-parter.

    But you’ve got to love Batman’s approach. With this series, the whole dramatic story is given to us in one line of dialogue as Robin helpfully reminds his mentor:

    Less is more. It could be seen as a sign of the times. But it could equally be seen as a sign of confidence and effective writing.

    Perhaps the powers that be felt an origin story would slow things up and feared a young audience losing interest. Batman’s own origin is given just a passing reference in a line of dialogue from the very first episode and even then it’s rather oblique. But it’s crucial at the same time. A simple, seemingly throwaway reference by Bruce to the historical murder of his parents (and it’s named as murder rather than being dumbed down) tells the audience - should we care - all we need to know about Bruce’s motives for wearing his underwear over his tights.

    The psychological angle - rich as it is in the Batman mythos - is not the story this particular team wanted to tell and all things considered it’s probably a wise move. Leave it to Burton and Nolan in years to come. There's a formula here from first to last episode. It works and the audience had darn well better get used to it because there'll be little deviation.

    Besides, if the placement of a line can tell a story so effectively, we know it has to mean something when Batman, having defeated Mr Freeze, gravely speaks:

     
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  4. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The Dutch angles used for the villains are highly enjoyable. It may have been used all along but I'm increasingly noticing it as the first season goes on.

    It's most effective - and slightly disorientating - when there's a comparable standard shot of the same scene. For example, in The Thirteenth Hat there's a shot of the villains' car zooming along the street, filmed from a jaunty angle. Then a similar shot of a non-villainous car filmed in a more prosaic way. Later in the episode, Batman and Robin visit the Mad Hatter who has disguised himself as a sculptor friend of theirs, but as soon as the heroes go into the next room, the Hatter and his henchmen's discussion is shown from an angle that's unsettlingly askew. As an artistic choice I really like it.

    Speaking of the disguised Mad Hatter, David Wayne was both unforgettable and hilarious in the role. There's a sense of the outrageous that's the perfect fit. It's a knowing kind of outrageousness, but at the same time not trying too hard as later episodes were wont to do.

    What really made it a fun watch were touches like the Hatter's hair. His hair, moustache and eyebrows are all completely mismatched in colour.

    [​IMG]

    And to disguise himself, he donned a beard that was a different colour still.

    [​IMG]

    It's outrageous and not a little silly, and I love this series for it. The fact that it was both accepted and unmentioned by anyone adds to the fun. There's a strong suggestion that it was even unnoticed. Batman and Robin were completely fooled by his false beard and wildly eccentric accent but were able to deduce he was an imposter from an innocuous throwaway line. It's the essence of camp. The actions speak for themselves and even though everyone may be in on the joke everything has a reality within the parameters of the series.

    Being driven by righteous anger and a thirst for revenge against those who have wronged him in the past, there are parallels between The Mad Hatter and Digger Barnes. Mostly though, with his ginger tiptoeing walk and his obsession with chintzy headwear (not to mention lines like "Curses. My super-mesmeriser is on the blink") David Wayne is brilliantly unrecognisable here.

     
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  5. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Now that was a strange creature. A highly fantastic Adam and Burt reunion wrapped around what appears to be a largely true story of the show's origin. I guess they were too old for an actual Batman reunion movie by then/
    That of course went completely over my head.
    The Riddler was always my favourite. I suppose the concept of the clues just intrigued me. As I got older I began to appreciate the Catwoman's charms a bit more
    And of course they did just that in Batman: The Animated Series.
    I think the recent animated movies have gone a little too far in that direction as well.
     
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  6. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Out of interest, what did you think of John Astin's interpretation?


    :D

    I keep forgetting how little she appeared in the first season. By the beginning of the second season, Lee Meriwether had probably done as much Catwoman as Julie Newmar.

    It's partly down to the Comics Code Authority, I suppose, since Catwoman hadn't appeared in the comics for a decade or so at this point. And one of the nice side effects is that she did return to the comics off the back of the series.


    I've never watched it, but I've heard great things about the series.


    Interesting. You'd think that animation would allow for a little more OTT stuff, but I suppose even in that medium the trick is to play against the cartoon stuff.
     
  7. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes... it is a little strange strange. But interesting enough. I hadn't watched it before though I knew it existed.

    Before last weekend I'd assumed it was one of those reunions where they sit on the set and have a scripted nostalgic chat about the series, so there was more to it than I'd thought. I found the biopic part far more satisfying than the interlinking reunion scenes which interrupted it.

    Having it endorsed by the actors could be a double-edged sword, I suppose. The writers got their facts straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak. But perhaps they also had to toe the line and write with less objectivity. I am quite grateful they skipped over all the depraved sex stuff that Ward claims West introduced him to (though not surprising. West has always said there's great exaggeration there and I'm inclined to agree with him to a great extent). All that considered, it was interesting how the end of Ward's first marriage played out, with it coming across that he had an insecure and controlling wife who pretty much left him because his character was kissed by another character in front of a film crew.
     
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  8. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Adam West's delivery paired with his character's foibles make this series. Like when the Joker rigs a fruit machine to kill the bound dynamic duo. Facing the very real possibility that he is about to be murdered, Batman, his voice quivering with righteousness, flatly tells the Joker:


    Or the scene where he finds False Face robbing a bank:


    Not only is this depiction of Batman as an overgrown Boy Scout everywhere - leaping out of the Batmobile at Police Headquarters, for example, only to be briefly thwarted by a temporary sign saying only police could use the space - but it extends into his Bruce Wayne alter ego. Bruce is not so much a brooding womanising loner as a do-good, nerdy, Pollyanic substitute teacher. Each episode sees him modestly discussing his charitable causes with committees and stiffly extolling the virtues of whichever subject Dick is struggling with (in an episode I watched last night, Bruce and Dick had a conversation about different types of wood. Read into that what you will).

    It's satirical, of course. Clearly it's a tongue-in-cheek spoof of the idealistic heroes of DC's Golden Age. And a nod to earlier heroes of the screen. But perhaps it's also a statement of then contemporary comics which were handcuffed by the regulations imposed by the Comics Code Authority.

    The Authority, which put their stamp of approval only on comics that met their rigorous standards, was a response in part to Fredric Wertham's fear-mongering book Seduction Of The Innocent. A book which heavily criticised comics in general and Batman in particular for corrupting children. The impact on the Batman comics was significant. Catwoman was written off the comics for a long time for fear she garnered too much empathy from readers (a big no-no for a "villain"). There was a concern that a single man taking in a youthful ward could in some way turn its readership gay, so Aunt Harriet Cooper arrived to live with them and in came Batwoman and the original Bat-Girl who were essentially created to be a symbol of Bruce and Dick's virile, testosteroney heterosexuality. Or at the very least, their beards.

    Comics were getting increasingly safe, and in the midst of it came the TV series.

    For as long as I can remember, the series has been associated with camp. There's no denying elements of camp permeate the series, whether by design or otherwise. It's generally perceived that knowing camp is not a good thing. And there are probably more examples of media that has set out to create camp and failed than there are successful ones.

    If this series is camp, perhaps it succeeded because there's a balance between the knowing and the ingenuous. Adam West knew exactly what was doing, while Burt Ward mostly didn't. Ward, for example, has criticised West for saying his lines too slowly. He felt it was an attempt on West's part to get more screen time than him and doesn't seem to understand that without West's skilled and hilarious stiffness - and slowness - the series wouldn't be the success it is.

    Furthering the balance, most of the regular supporting cast play it completely straight while the colourful villains go OTT. Alan Napier wonderfully underplays Alfred's blithe acceptance of everything going on around him (his cleaning duties extend to dusting the Batcave's atomic pile) adding to the surreal hilarity. Neil Hamilton's Commissioner Gordon is permanently outraged and yet inscrutable (his velvety John Forsythe-esque voice add such class to the proceedings). Standing beside him, Stafford Blake gurns for Gotham as Chief O'Hara. While Madge Blake as the hand-wringing, tremulous-voiced Aunt Harriet is either endearingly terrible or the best thing on it. Perhaps she's both. She's certainly a contender for one of the campest things on the series (ironically, rather than ending any suggestion of a gay subtext, this Aunt Harriet fuels it. Freud would have had a field day with the onscreen dynamics at stately Wayne Manor).

    There are those who say the TV series ruined the character, but I would argue that the series simply shone a light on and magnified what was already there. It accepted that a one-dimensional four colour world of characters who lived in a world of absolutes (the world the Comics Code Authority was encouraging) was ridiculous. It embraced the ridiculousness. Loved it even. And in bringing it out into the open, to an audience wider than any comic had reached (and certainly one far exceeding sales of Wertham's book), didn't it in some way challenge it?

    And didn't the tide start turning with this series? Catwoman's Season One appearance marked the character's first appearance in a dozen years and she was such a hit that she returned to the comics where she's become one of comicdom's key examples of an anti-hero. A new Batgirl was created at the behest of the series creators and Barbara Gordon would go on to become one of comics' most empowered characters.

    Could we go so far as to say that the Batman series actually set the comics on the right path?
     
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  9. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Julie Newmar's Catwoman certainly had the best reveal of any character in the series so far. There was a nice build up and an air of mystery to her. We see her shadow, her glove, her cat o'nine tails. As the episode goes on we meet her first in shadows and then - in a scene worthy of a thousand music video homages - she turns a light on and there she is in all her feline glory.

    Lighting and atmosphere were very noteworthy in the Catwoman episodes. They felt important. There's a scene where Robin collapses onto the spotlit floor of a darkened room and lies there as the scene goes on, perfectly captured by the spot. Later in the episode the duo find themselves in the dim catacombs of Catwoman's lair. When the moment is right, spiked walls are properly revealed to the pair, each being lit in turn. These moments added a sense of the theatre.

    The spiked walls were part of just one of many moments where the stakes felt high. In fact the spikes weren't even the cliffhanger. They followed a fall through a trapdoor and were followed in turn by a bomb in the room, a suction jet whisking Robin away and Batman being attacked by a tiger. Real season finale stuff! And at the end of the second part, Catwoman's apparent death (she fell into a bottomless pit) added a dash of pathos to the proceedings.

    It's not the only apparent death in this course of episodes. The duo themselves have more than once seemed to be killed. The most dramatic example saw them as fugitives from the law who actually ended up getting shot by police with machine guns. They don't mess about in Gotham, it seems. Except they do, because the bullets were rubber and the deaths fake. But it lasted long enough for it to be an audacious move for the era and considering the target audience.

    Great lines have been coming thick and fast. A couple of favourite boy scout Batman lines are...



    An interesting moment in the Catwoman episode as she purloins a British expression and then (naturally) has to explain it to the all-American hero. The phrase? "TTFN". It wasn't my favourite Catwoman line though. That honour goes to a line she purred at one of her henchmen...

     
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  10. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    It was pretty much Astin's Gomez Addams "on steroids", as they say - which was okay as I loved that show, too. But Gorshen's manic delivery is missed. I wouldn't have minded seeing a team-up between Astin's Riddler and Carolyn Jone's Marsha, though.
    I would just have preferred that they had made them as though it was still 1968 and not put in the ironies of a present-day viewpoint.
    My father never got it, either. The show works on two levels - for children and for adults. I've been able to appreciate them both over the years but my father thought West was just a bad actor.
     
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  11. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes - that's my memory of it too. I suppose whoever put the green leotard on would have been handed a poisoned chalice of sorts, simply because they weren't Gorshin, but I think it didn't help that Astin is so strongly associated with another iconic role. Gorshin - apart from his one-episode stints on Charlie's Angels and Wonder Woman - I only really know from Batman, so he just was the Riddler for me.

    That's why Lee Meriwether's Catwoman worked fine for me. There was a physical resemblance to Julie Newmar and she was completely unknown to me outside of this role.


    Now that could have been interesting. And why not work Ted Cassidy's cameo into the same episode.


    I can fully understand why someone could think the series - or any aspect thereof - is just bad. I think it helps to be in on the joke that the actors knew they were making a comedy.

    They seemed to have most fun with scenes that are ostensibly aimed at children, like the "public information" moments about the importance of homework or wearing a seat belt. West plays it with OTT pomp and gravitas and Ward's "Gosh, you're right Bruce" responses all but wink at the audience.

    Like you, I enjoyed it on a different level when I was very young. I was more invested in the stories and the action. I don't remember finding it funny (that came as I got older), but I do remember finding it fun. The cliffhangers were exciting to me, but I don't remember feeling any sense of real danger or concern for their lives. It was just a case of wondering how they'd "cleverly" get out of it. Rewatching today, the cliffhanger resolutions are the parts that make me want to groan and laugh at the same time because of how big a cheat some of them are. It's like hearing a terrible old joke told by someone with such skill and charm that you find yourself getting on board.

    It's burlesque, really. Rather like pantomime or a Carry On film. And just like those it's a question of how one interprets the layers and whether it appeals on that level.
     
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  12. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Holy Bat-Binge!

    Despite this little voice inside telling me I may be watching a little too quickly, I've already watched up to the forty sixth episode. Plus the 1966 film that came in between the first two seasons. I'm not watching quickly because I'm hooked. The latter part of Season One was so that I could watch the film version at the weekend. And the first part of Season Two is because a sixty episode season feels like an incredibly daunting task and I want to make a dent in it.

    But like anything, overindulgence and focus on quantity can detract from enjoyment and leave one feeling a little wiped out. And so I do.

    That's not to say the series isn't continuing to prove enjoyable. Treats in the latter part of Season One included Frank Gorshin's Riddler dressed as Charlie Chaplin to perform a skit; Victor Buono camping (and sweating) it up (incredibly, he was only in his late twenties here) and Roddy McDowall going completely over the top as The Bookworm. Not to mention a couple of Alfred-heavy episodes - always a good thing.

    I've watched Batman: The Movie so many times that it's difficult to look at objectively. It works on just about every level, from the rubber shark to Robin's "Holy Heartbreak!" on realising that Kitka is Catwoman. The budget is visibly larger, but whether it makes a difference is questionable (Season Two has benefitted from some of the film's additional toys and tweaks to the Batcave). But the writing is king here. The "some days you just can't get rid of a bomb" sequence is hilarious. The Salvation Army bringing in the sheaves; the nuns; the woman perambulating her baby and even the little ducklings. Each obstacle is funnier than the last.



    The big selling point of the film was the opportunity to see the four key villains together. Just the thought of it is almost too much, but it works well. I'm not sure it's accurate to say that they all get their big moments. The Penguin gets a nice solo sequence as he bluffs his way into the Batcave disguised as an old sea dog, while Catwoman gets to seduce Batman in her disguise. Riddler and The Joker are mostly doing ensemble stuff, but manage to steal a few scenes (Gorshin especially, who chews up the submarine scenery magnificently).

    Lee Meriwether is a great Catwoman. I enjoy her performance. As mentioned earlier, it's probably helpful that Newmar had appeared enough to establish the tone of the role but not enough to own it at this point. Meriwether's take is somewhat less frivolous than Newmar's was, but it's played with the essential mix of humour, darkness and sultriness. Incidentally, there's a nice little video where Meriwether - in full Catwoman garb - is interviewed about the role (with a little plug for Namu and The Time Tunnel).



    Meriwether's features remind me of Madonna. Looking at her, I keep seeing that yearbook photo of young Madge with dark hair. Once seen, I can't un-see it.


    Newmar has returned for the second season and is also very welcome. I had to admire her lack of vanity in one of her disguises. No sexy Russian spies here. She went for full-on old, toothless lady with no makeup. Her great sense of humour came across, particularly in the moments where Catwoman - despite her disguise - couldn't resist feeling up the muscles of someone assisting her.

    There was also a little Catwoman cameo in prison during the Ma Parker episodes. It didn't add anything to the plot, but it was a really nice touch.
     
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  13. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm approaching the middle of Season Two which means I've now passed the halfway point for the entire series, which I'm thoroughly enjoying again.

    Some of the "new" Season Two villains are getting my attention a little more. No doubt in large part because their particular modus operandi isn't established enough that I can just switch off. But also because of casting. Shelley Winters. Vincent Price. Liberace (two Liberaces, for heaven's sake). And Carolyn Jones lusting after Adam West's enormous Bat-diamond. Which is a thing, apparently. The Marsha, Queen Of Diamonds episodes also had the soapiest cliffhanger yet, with Batman blackmailed into marrying Marsha.

    [​IMG]

    Otto Preminger as the recast Mr Freeze was interesting in an extracurricular kind of way. I spent most of his scenes looking for signs of tension or awkwardness due to his infamous on-set clashes. I spotted none, which is perhaps a testament to the professionalism of the actors.

    Mrs Cooper and Alfred have been given a little more to do here and there, and an episode is always better for it.
     
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  14. Seaviewer

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    According to the Official Batman Batbook by Joel Eisner, Newmar was always the first choice but she wasn't always available.

    In the movie, Meriwether plays essentially the same character with a slightly harder edge. Narratively it works because it's the first time that Batman sees her without her mask and it kind of leads in to the implied romance we see in the second season.

    By contrast, Eartha Kitt's Catwoman is effectively a whole new character, more claw and less purr, as I like to say. And of course the romantic angle is abandoned entirely, presumably because of the racial taboos of the time. She even has the Kitty Car instead of the Catillac. It's easy to imagine that the original Catwoman has finally used up the last of her nine lives and been replaced in the costume by someone else. After all, legacy characters are quite the thing in the comics, not so much on TV.

    The Catwoman in the 1968 cartoon also seems to take her cues from Kitt's interpretation although she doesn't resemble her visually and she has a completely different costume, based on an earlier one from the comic books, I think.

    It helps if you think of them as one-hour episodes split in two.
    Re-watching recently I was struck by the fact that George Sanders was using a fake German accent before the part was recast with people with (I assume) real accents. I know nothing of Mr. Freeze's history in the comics but if he's supposed to be German it seems odd that they would initially cast such a well-known Englishman,
     
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  15. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes. And I believe she was similarly unavailable in the third season (I've read this was due to her shooting Mckenna's Gold). I have wondered if they considered Lee Meriwether for the third season's Catwoman once they knew they couldn't have Newmar.



    It's interesting that in a couple of Season Two episodes Batman and Robin have both instantly recognised Catwoman when they've seen her out of costume and it's only just dawned on me that this is probably because of the events in Batman: The Movie.

    As far as the mask goes, I've lost track of when she's worn it or not. I don't really associate it with Newmar's Catwoman as most pictures of her in costume lose the mask. So I'd thought it was something that was worn on the whim (much like all the villains suddenly wearing them in The Movie) but it makes sense that she wears it when operating in public. I'll try and keep tabs on it from now on.



    It's a long while since I've seen Kitt's interpretation and I don't remember her very well at all. The first thing I think of when thinking of Eartha's time on the series is the Kitty Car. And as I remember the Third Season was a little dafter in general. So I link her up with silliness. I'm curious about what I'll make of her this time round.



    This is also something I'll be looking out for. I think last time I watched Season Three I would have been too young to pay attention to the dynamics in this way.



    Interesting.



    Ironically, I believe it's based on the comics' interpretation of the costume from the series. It's what she wore for a couple of years from her 1967 return to the pages, though for some reason the comics re-coloured it green and added little scales.



    I think I've subconsciously done just that.



    I agree. Maybe the powers that be just decided that it's all Europe so why not.
     
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  16. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    According to Twitter, today is the 51st anniversary of the day "Burgess Meredith made an uncredited cameo appearance on THE MONKEES in near full Penguin attire in the episode "Monkees Blow Their Minds."" So there.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    *Checks calendar*

    My goodness. So it is!!
     
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  18. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    My palpable excitement on seeing David Wayne re-enter as The Mad Hatter has reinforced how enjoyable I find him as a villain. I could listen to his bizarre faux English accent and pronunciations all day long (there's a great deal of stereotypical public schoolboy in there and, even stranger, a touch of Ronnie Corbett). Not to mention his vocabulary. There aren't many people who can get away with throwing words such as "soupçon" around.

    The Contaminated Cowl was great fun. Who wouldn't enjoy watching Adam West earnestly deadpanning exposition about his radioactive cowl while looking like this:

    [​IMG]

    Sadly, the follow-up episode wasn't as consistently fun. The episode was held back by lengthy and uncharacteristically dull dialogue in the Batcave. There was, however, still lots of good stuff - particularly around the reactions to the "deaths" of Batman and Robin.

    Even sadder, this second double-bill is the final appearance of the Hatter. Still, quality over quantity, I suppose.
     
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  19. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    If I'm not mistaken, apart from King Tut's alter ago, The Mad Hatter was the only costumed criminal who was given a "real" name - Jervis Tetch - and somehow he seems diminished by it.

    When I was a kid it never occurred to me to wonder if Joker, Penguin and Catwoman even had real names and, frankly, I don't think we're better off for knowing the names and backstories that have been supplied in other media. It just seemed more fun when they dressed and acted that way just because they wanted to, without being tethered to some pseudo-rational motivation.

    E. (for Edward) Nygma for The Riddler, in particular, stretches credibility. Obviously he became The Riddler because he likes riddles but are we expected to believe that he likes riddles because his name is a homophone of "enigma"? Or is that just a massive coincidence?

    And don't get me started on Harleen Quinzel.
     
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  20. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Perhaps because the TV series version is the only one I'm familiar with it's never bothered me. Although them knowing his name doesn't add anything to the story either, so it does seem a little pointless.


    Catwoman would be the exception for me. Her Selena Kyle identity in many ways is a distorted version of Bruce Wayne. The duality and the pull between dark and light made sense and enriched the character for me. That said, I think the TV show does a nice job of capturing the shared attraction between them in a simpler way.


    I'm completely with you on both counts. The Riddler's alter ego makes the TV show Penguin's "K.G. Bird" pseudonym look subtle.
     
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