The ME-TV BATMAN Episode Discussion Thread

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

Moderators: Scott Sebring, Ben Bentley

Post Reply
User avatar
AndyFish
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:42 am

The ME-TV BATMAN Episode Discussion Thread

Post by AndyFish » Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:41 am

For those of you who want to discuss episode specifics, I thought we could create a post which cover the evening set of episodes being shown on ME-TV each week. If you don't have ME feel free to watch the episode (if you have them) being shown and join us for a lively and friendly discussion.

One of the benefits for me to the ME-TV showings is that it gets me to watch episodes I'd probably never watch again otherwise-- since I tend to watch the same favorite 15-20 episodes over again. ME is showing me (pun intended) that a lot of these "lesser" episodes have hidden gems to them.

This week, July 27th 2013 7pm
THE SANDMAN COMETH
THE CATWOMAN GOETH
"Batman and Robin are alerted when Mooney, a policewoman working undercover as a member of The Catwoman's mob, vanishes shortly after warning Gordon that Catwoman is planning to join forces with a European criminal known as The Sandman for committing a crime."

TRIVIA:
Derwin Alley, where Catwoman's hide-out is located, was named after the episode's second unit director, Bill Derwin.

According to co-writer Ellis St. Joseph, this and the episode which followed ("The Catwoman Goeth"), as originally planned, were to have Sandman as their only villain, and Robert Morley had agreed to play the part. Then, the producers decided to incorporate Catwoman into the story, and co-writer Charles Hoffman was brought in to make the necessary changes. St. Joseph was very much dissatisfied with the new direction the script was taking (although evidently not enough to have his name removed from the credits), as was Morley, who backed out of doing the part. David Tomlinson was then offered the part, and declined for the same reason. Michael Rennie, who was doing a lot of TV at the time, ultimately played the role.

The title is based on the play 'The Iceman Cometh' by Eugene O'Neill.

Aside from the spin off movie, the only episode featuring Catwoman not written by Stanley Ralph Ross.

The character name J. Pauline Spaghetti spoofs the name of billionaire Jean Paul Getty.

User avatar
High C
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:01 am

Re: The ME-TV BATMAN Episode Discussion Thread

Post by High C » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:51 am

Great idea, Andy!

These are a fascinating pair of episodes, mainly because of all the changes going on behind the scenes. Never understood why TPTB would take someone's script and graft a Catwoman story onto it, except for the obvious reason that viewers, especially any males who were past puberty, couldn't get enough of Julie Newmar, and understandably so. It's no coincidence she appeared in 11 episodes in season 2, including a cameo in Ma Parker. Always wondered what actress might have been cast as 'Sleeping Beauty' had CW not been included.

Anyway, what ended up on the screen wasn't bad, but had some flaws. I thought Michael Rennie was OK (and probably better than Robert Morley, IMO, having seen him be not at all funny as a megalomaniacal villain in the movie Road to Hong Kong) but the story itself was disjointed because of CW's addition. Although I liked Julie's performance a lot--the rewrite went away from the usual 'crush on Batman' stuff and I thought she was deliciously evil, especially in the maze scenes.

I also liked, and I would love to know if this was part of St. Joseph's original script, the scene in part 2 in which the two GCPD cops discover the Batmobile empty and the veteran cop says at one point they shouldn't arrest Batman because 'he's got pull with Gordon and O'Hara.' I know that wasn't a place the show really could go, but it was fascinating to hint at how the GCPD didn't like being upstaged by the Dynamic Duo all the time. (Of course, it would have helped if they weren't always written as being totally incompetent.)

Interesting eps, but I always will wonder what might have been.
'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

User avatar
Mr. Deathtrap
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:32 pm

Re: The ME-TV BATMAN Episode Discussion Thread

Post by Mr. Deathtrap » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:35 pm

Hey High C,

I'm sure I've read the reason Catwoman was added to the ep TBTB were contractually obligated to use her in a particular number of episodes. This explanation does not explain why THIS story was chosen to include her.

Happened to see this story recently and noticed Gordon hesitating to call Bataman upon Money's disappearance and in the next scene Aunt Harriet implying the Batphone had been sounding nonstop. This slip demonstrates the degree to which the story was rewritten.

Batman's encounter with the cops in Derwin alley suggests padding to me, but also hints at what the original deathtrap might have been. The script focused on the Batmobile and I know some trap ideas were shuffled from story to story. I therefore believe Sandman may have put our boys to sleep and arranged to have the car squashed the way Penguin did with his armored adversaries in another episode with the Dynamic Duo inside.

The story as envisioned with just the Sandman might have been a fascinating addition to the show if submitted during the first season when series was discovering itself and settling on the formula into which the show was ultimately shoehorned.

What we got I agree had some good stuff with Catwoman, her maze, and both she and Catwoman constantly scheming to double cross each other. Oh, I also like her all female gang.

Mr. Deathtrap
Tune in for their exciting conclusion. Same Bat-Time! Same Bat - Channel!

Bob
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:33 am

Re: The ME-TV BATMAN Episode Discussion Thread

Post by Bob » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:35 pm

Now I know why this episode was so terrible, but loved the fight and doom trap

User avatar
Mr. Deathtrap
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:32 pm

Re: The ME-TV BATMAN Episode Discussion Thread

Post by Mr. Deathtrap » Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:39 pm

Hey Bob,

When you say "doom trap" are you referring to the maze in which Catwoman placed Robin and the policewoman or the Button stitching machine upon which Sandman left Batman to sew up his fate?

Thanks.

Mr. Deathtrap
Tune in for their exciting conclusion. Same Bat-Time! Same Bat - Channel!

Bob
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:33 am

Re: The ME-TV BATMAN Episode Discussion Thread

Post by Bob » Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:16 pm

The stitching machine. That was a cool idea

The maze may have been the most lame doom trap ever. Wow, that was a terrible episode

User avatar
Mr. Deathtrap
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:32 pm

Re: The ME-TV BATMAN Episode Discussion Thread

Post by Mr. Deathtrap » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:11 am

Bob,

The button stitching machine was a cool idea.

Strap Batman to a mattress above which a needle moves around and periodically descends. plunging deeply into the victim and the foam. Transform Robin in a sleepwalking servant to turn it on and leave it to sew up Batman's doom. Then, turn the dozing dupe over to Catwoman and her girl gang.

The escape was also good, Batman thought his way out and we got to see it. He did not rely on a convenient item from his utility belt used off screen.

Beautiful.

Mr. Deathtrap
Tune in for their exciting conclusion. Same Bat-Time! Same Bat - Channel!

User avatar
chrisbcritter
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:59 pm

Re: The ME-TV BATMAN Episode Discussion Thread

Post by chrisbcritter » Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:39 am

Guess I'm the odd man out - I always liked these episodes since I was a kid; it sure made me a fan of Michael Rennie (who, I found, didn't get to play comedy much). Looking at them now I do see the seams in the writing, as well as one unanswered question: What are all those doodads inside Sandman's fur coat? The stethoscope is the only thing he used on J. Pauline, Robin, and the cops (that one off-camera). Anyone have a script - original or revised - that has an explanation?

User avatar
AndyFish
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:42 am

Re: The ME-TV BATMAN Episode Discussion Thread

Post by AndyFish » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:16 pm

Starts out as One of the stronger pairs of episodes from the second season because of the new ground it covers; Aunt Harriet wanting to investigate the strange beeping from Bruce's study, seemingly endless because the Commish Is desperately trying to reach Batman who happens to be on a camping trip with Dick and a host of over aged Boy Scouts 20 miles off the main road, the dual episodes suffer from some rushed storytelling where we don't see Batman meet with Commissioner Gordon or rescue Robin.

There is some sloppy continuity too, Catwoman seems to forget she had a crush on Batman, and Robin doesn't seem to distraught that he might have killed Batman while under Sandmans control.

Interestingly, The Catwoman has female henchmen (henchwomen) known as kittens and one of them is a police woman planted by Commissioner Gordon, one of the first times the police infiltrate the lair of a super villain, even if they are no more effective than usual, at least they're giving it a try.

The Sandman is a second string villain who would have likely gone down in the annals of Bat history along with The Archer and The Minstrel but he's brought up a notch thanks to the addition of Catwoman. Julie Newmar displays some of her best acting here, and she proves herself a solid comedianne in these episodes, but her exit, like most of the script is rushed.

Directed by veteran film director George WaGGner who keeps things moving, and kudos to the writer for attempting to break pace from the average episode. Overall not on par with the best of episodes, but far from the bottom episodes.

NEXT WEEK: The Mad Hatter!

User avatar
chrisbcritter
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:59 pm

Re: The ME-TV BATMAN Episode Discussion Thread

Post by chrisbcritter » Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:24 pm

and Robin doesn't seem too distraught that he might have killed Batman while under Sandman's control.
When Robin wakes up, he doesn't seem to remember what he was doing while asleep under the influence of Sandman (and he gets pretty mad when Sandman tells him). However, the second time he gets put to sleep he remembers what he did the first time ("He's dead ... I pushed the switch that killed him."). When he wakes up again he's dealing with being threatened by Catwoman and sent into the maze, so I guess there isn't time for mourning at that point...

User avatar
High C
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:01 am

Re: The ME-TV BATMAN Episode Discussion Thread

Post by High C » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:23 am

AndyFish wrote:There is some sloppy continuity too, Catwoman seems to forget she had a crush on Batman
That's fine with me. WORST development of season 2, bar none, IMO, was the declawing of Catwoman and the silly juvenile schoolgirl crush on Batman. I wish CW had been written this way all the time. Kudos to Charles Hoffman on this one.
'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

User avatar
AndyFish
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:42 am

Re: The ME-TV BATMAN Episode Discussion Thread

Post by AndyFish » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:14 am

I agree, I never liked the Catwoman crush storyline, I prefer when there is some flirting, as we saw all the way back in Batman #1 (1940) where she only does it to gain the upper hand.

bat lugosi
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:36 pm

Re: The ME-TV BATMAN Episode Discussion Thread

Post by bat lugosi » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:20 am

I suppose the school girl crush doesn't show because Stanley Ralph Ross isn't writing this one. Personally I don't have a big problem with the crush though I do admit it works better in some places and not so well in others. Batman sipping a milkshake with Catwoman is ridiculous but that seduction scene at the end of Batman Displays his Knowledge is Julie Newmar's finest moment.

I wouldn't be so hard on the season 2 Catwoman, IMO Batman acts just as sappy towards her.

I feel like it makes sense for those two characters to be attracted to each other but crushes is pushing it. IMO what makes sense for Catwoman is she is not sure if she wants him...or wants to kill him but knows she loves to toy with him...and Batman should be attracted to her but disgusted by the fact she's a criminal and is smart enough to hold her at arms length.

While I don't get the typical Catwoman has a crush on Batman vibe in these Sandman episodes, you can tell in one of the scenes even if It's just briefly that Adam and Julie have excellent chemistry, there is subtle flirtation going on, but unfortunately it's a rushed scene.

My opinion on the episode is that it's ok, but that's about it, I would say not counting the Eartha Kitt episodes this is my least favorite pairs of Catwoman episodes. I didn't care for sandman over all.

Like everyone else though I love the maze, and I feel like the set up is really good.

User avatar
Robin's Girl
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 5:26 pm

Re: The ME-TV BATMAN Episode Discussion Thread

Post by Robin's Girl » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:05 am

I understand the script having issues, including the Sandman storyline, and the inclusion of the two villains, but these two episodes are still a couple of my favorites. (Though I may be a bit biased because just about every Julie Newmar episode is a favorite of mine.) I loved the inclusion of Officer Mooney/Catarina, and I loved the maze. The thing about that maze, was that it was so simple (other than the electrical fencing, which was villainous and sinister) in that it didn't have a closed or locked door, it didn't even have a door (just a flap over the doorway). But under the threat of Catwoman's gun, Robin walks into it knowing that it's a trap.

I do find it interesting that once awake he doesn't remember what he did while asleep, but once asleep he does remember what he did while asleep. It's an interesting plot. I particularly liked the part when Robin finds Mooney in the middle of the maze, and though he does seem saddened by Batman's demise, as always under the circumstances of the moment, he still tries to remain otherwise optimistic and positive about getting out and therefore appearing somewhat encouraging to Mooney, who has given up hope. I also enjoyed the last scene between Catwoman and Batman, where she does flirt with him but it's complicated by the fact she must tell Batman what she did to Robin.

My main issue with this episode, or rather the second part episode, was that I was so disappointed not to see Batman find Robin and Mooney and see him rescue them. I was really looking forward to that, but it's skipped and all we're shown is Batman in the Batmobile after the fact (supposedly with Robin, on their way to the Batboat.) That's my one qualm with these episodes.

I also loved the beginning when Dick and Bruce are camping with the other boys, because it's such a rare thing to see them living normal lives in the outside world, outside of the Dynamic Duo and even outside of Wayne Manor. I also really liked Aunt Harriet hearing the Batphone and questioning Alfred about all the beeping.

I really enjoyed these episodes, even though the Sandman seemed a bit odd and stiff in my opinion.
I prefer to believe it's because our hearts are pure. - Batman

bat lugosi
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:36 pm

Re: The ME-TV BATMAN Episode Discussion Thread

Post by bat lugosi » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:36 am

The episode might have worked out better if it was a three part special.

Post Reply