SCRIPTS: the story that became "Dr. Cassandra"

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bat-rss
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SCRIPTS: the story that became "Dr. Cassandra"

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The next scripts we'll discuss on TO THE BATPOLES! podcast are two versions of DR. CASSANDRA: The first draft of "Batman Meets his Match", which includes only Dr. Cabala(!), and then (allegedly) final script for "The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra." Look them over and post your comments here, and we'll quote some on the podcast. Will post later when we've scheduled our recording of the episode.

Batman Meets his Match

The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra
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chrisbcritter
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Re: SCRIPTS: the story that became "Dr. Cassandra"

Post by chrisbcritter »

Just read through the first one - the way Dr. Cabala's role was written, first thing I think is that Dick Shawn would have nailed this role! :D
Wonder who they may have had in mind for the part?
Also, on both scripts: Hmm. So it was "surge" before it became "thrust". :mrgreen:
"To the medical eye, such childish claptrap means only one thing, young man: You need some sleep."
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Therin of Andor
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Re: SCRIPTS: the story that became "Dr. Cassandra"

Post by Therin of Andor »

Oh, these are exciting! Lafcadio Cabala. While not making it to the final draft, we have a first name for Cabala!

Siren and Shame were once part of the Arch Villains group? And it seems the "Ronald Ray Gun" was a very early casualty.

More to come as I read on! The TV episode in repeat was always elusive to me in the 60s and early 70s. Not sure I ever saw it in first run. But in 1980, when I was scrounging second hand bookshops, "Batman" episode guides started turning up in books, such as in Gary Gerani's "Fantastic Television" (1977) and, later, Issue #6 of "Epi-Log" magazine (1991).

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My custom Dr Cassandra and Cabala by Ian McLean, on Flickr

And later:

I noticed on Wikipedia that Ida Lupino was diagnosed with polio in 1934 (when aged about 16). "The 'New York Times' reported that the outbreak of polio within the Hollywood community was due to contaminated swimming pools. The disease severely affected her ability to work, and her contract with Paramount fell apart shortly after her diagnosis. Despite her health problems, Lupino directed, produced, and wrote many films, including a film loosely based upon her travails with polio titled 'Never Fear' in 1949, the first film that she directed. Her experience with the disease gave Lupino the courage to focus on her intellectual abilities over simply her physical appearance. In an interview with Hollywood, Lupino said, 'I realized that my life and my courage and my hopes did not lie in my body. If that body was paralyzed, my brain could still work industriously... If I weren't able to act, I would be able to write. Even if I weren't able to use a pencil or typewriter, I could dictate.' Film magazines from the 1930s and 1940s, such as 'The Hollywood Reporter' and 'Motion Picture Daily', frequently published updates on her condition. Lupino worked for various non-profit organizations to help raise funds for polio research."

Ida Lupino has two stars on the "Hollywood Walk of Fame" for her contributions to the fields of television and film — located at 1724 Vine Street; and 6821 Hollywood Boulevard. Her cousin, actor Richard Lupino, spent time in Australia, and for a time was a star of our naughty prime time TV soap opera, "Number 96", as a shady character named Earl Goodman.

So many lines in the scripts keep their wording through both drafts. That first, first draft is impressively intact compared to what was filmed.

Interesting that Dr Cassandra's jail cell will be paisley, not polka-dotted.

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Dr Cassandra in her new cell by Ian McLean, on Flickr
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Re: SCRIPTS: the story that became "Dr. Cassandra"

Post by Kite Kid »

Because Cabala is such an odd name, I had long theorized that the original concept probably was the other way round: Dr. Cabala and his wife, Cassandra. Seems I was partially correct. If it had been done that way, with all that hepcat dialogue intact, it might have been suited to Sonny & Cher.
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Re: SCRIPTS: the story that became "Dr. Cassandra"

Post by Therin of Andor »

Kite Kid wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:15 am Because Cabala is such an odd name
Kabbalah
/kəˈbɑːlə,ˈkabələ/
noun: Cabala
"The ancient Jewish tradition of mystical interpretation of the Bible, first transmitted orally and using esoteric methods (including ciphers). It reached the height of its influence in the later Middle Ages and remains significant in Hasidism."
If it had been done that way, with all that hepcat dialogue intact, it might have been suited to Sonny & Cher.
We do know that there was interest in having them in an episode. And Dozier hints at a [window?] cameo already filmed, but unused?

Also Cher (and Sonny) in the Batmobile for a publicity shot. And the episode, "The Zodiac Crimes", with the singing duo called "The Twins" who look very similar to Sonny and Cher.

http://www.66batman.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4880
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Re: SCRIPTS: the story that became "Dr. Cassandra"

Post by High C »

Thanks for making this available. I've seen the outline, and thus knew that Cabala originally was the solo villain with two henchmen, and Doc Cassandra did not yet exist. But this is the first time I have seen scripts. The annotations on the first draft are particularly interesting. I'll begin with the first draft.

I noticed right away that Howie Horwitz (I believe that is his handwriting) suggested a 'gal.' (Well, at least he didn't say dame, right? ;) )
However, by not changing the teaser scene all that much, there is no mystery to the audience. We know it's a woman and a man, no element of surprise that it's an 'invisible woman.'

Of course, I noticed immediately that The Siren originally was one of the EIGHT (!) supervillains sprung from Gotham Prison. I suspect they nixed that because it was not worth spending the time to outfit and coif a stand-in. Too bad. It's not mentioned in the dialogue what Siren's 'cut' would have been. (Record stores, concert halls perhaps?) Shame also was nixed, and that was noted immediately in the annotations. Both were Stanley Ralph Ross originals.

I noticed that someone had crossed out the line in Desmond Doomsday's narration about how the bank is so conservative it pays no interest, and Horwitz wrote, 'put it back, it's funny.' Ross had one of those lines in the stage direction he put in to amuse the actors and the folks at Greenway--'tellers collapse like teenagers at a Beatle (sic) concert' as the invisible baddies knock them over.

How about when Cabala has a line of dialogue, 'I try to do my thing,' and Horwitz circled thing with a question mark. What a square, man. I won't repeat the sexist lines about Batgirl's anatomy, but will note that not only was the key line changed in the aired version, it wasn't in the final draft. I wonder if they were waiting for word from ABC Standards and Practices.

In the first draft, Cabala has the henchmen 'conk' Crichton and the prison captain on their heads to knock them out, and Horwitz writes 'little violent for our format.' Wow, I mean, they could have done the comedic slowly falling down bit. Horwitz then asks 'wasn't she (Batgirl) there once before?,' meaning in the Batcave. Nope. Good when the second-in-command doesn't even know the show's continuity.

Ross' explanation, as spoken by Batgirl, still makes no sense. I still do not understand how turning the lights off helps. The Trio could just as easily hit one another. Also, much like in Hoffman's Londinium rewrite, when did Batman have time to construct an anti Alvino Ray gun device?

The final draft calls Doc Cassandra a 'lovely young sorceress,' which makes one wonder if Ross had someone younger in mind. It's also fascinating that G. David Schine is written IN THE SCRIPT as the floorwalker. Can't remember seeing that in a Bat-script before.

Quick hits: He also used the slang word 'kype' for steal in his Siren teaser; I'm not surprised it was changed in the dialogue. ... I only noticed now, even though I've seen the ep many times, Gordon's line about how 'a Bat-fight seldom takes more than 40 seconds.' How meta is that? ... This had to be a network thing--A line of Alfred's dialogue has 'pray' switched to 'hope.' ... Batman's civic responsibility lecture at the end probably was cut for time. I don't miss it--just reading it, it kind of sounds more Joe Friday than Batman.

Sorry this is so long, but I still don't get the alchemy thing. Alchemy, from what I've read, was concerned mostly with turning base metals into gold or
finding the secret of youth, neither of which factors in here. I also can't stand the whole loser legacy thing, which exists just so Ross can throw off some Borscht Belt one-liners. What is the point of suggesting that your antagonist is likely to be a failure? (I mean, we all know she'll fail, but still)
'I thought Siren was perfect for Joan.'--Stanley Ralph Ross, writer of 'The Wail of the Siren'

My hobbies include gazing at the Siren and doing her bidding, evil or otherwise.

'She had a devastating, hypnotic effect on all the men.'--A schoolmate describing Joan Collins at age 17
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