Shame and Chandell carry a different vibe for me. I didn't like them back in The Day, but now I think they have a satirical edge, with Shame satirizing the ethos of the Western and Chandell the idea of the professional pianist as a seductive roue' (seen in many old Hollywood melodramas). Cliff Robertson did a fine spoof of a Western type, and while Liberace was not an accomplished actor, it would have been impossible to substitute another actor who had the same popular associations. No other performer could worn a sequined prison-uniform and conveyed the same in-joke.
FWIW, the Chandell ep is very nearly the only one on which poor Madge Bellamy gets the chance to do something more than just dithering about about Bruce and Dick's pecularities.
I like Zsa Zsa as Minerva, even though it's said the concept was intended for Mae West. At least Zsa Zsa was still pretty good looking in 1968; West would've been-- a mistake. I still don't like Clavicle, Black Widow, or Cassandra. Olga I can stand just for Baxter's comic brio.
Frank Sinatra, who wanted badly to be on the show, might have made a more effective Louie the Lilac, as might have George Raft or Robert Mitchum. The same is true of John Vernon, who was just starting to break into the American television scene in 1967-68 (he had an appearance as a baddie on The FBI on 3 March 1968, 11 days before the end of the Batman series).Quillpen Quirch wrote:I find Milton Berle hard to watch in just about everything, but I also agree with Andy's "Big Miss" assessment on Louie as a character. A "normal" Gotham crime lord would have been a good addition to the villain mix, but to be a worthy bat-adversary, he'd need some kind of edge. (Ma Parker and her brood -- which I consider a decent take on "civilian" villains -- more or less acknowledged as much, when they relocated to Gotham in order to get caught.) These advantages might include insider protection (via blackmail of Mayor Linseed or Commissioner Gordon?), a hostage (a la Zelda the Great), or some kind of pillar of the community cover ID (a criminal counterpart to Bruce Wayne's). Sorry, Louie, but a gardenia fixation just doesn't cut it.
The whole thing seemed like a bend-over-backwards excuse to mock/exploit "flower children" -- and to find an excuse for employing Uncle Miltie after his '67 variety show bombed.
And, in general, a menacing plainclothes crime boss would have been an interesting change from the usual costumed villains. Not that there is anything wrong with them, but it would have been an interesting change nonetheless.
Personally, being posed with the question of a villain destined to be "awful" no matter the script, casting, budget and so on it's hard to shake first impressions of what you ended up getting. On paper and basic concept alone, Nora Clavicle would be one who's motive, premise and general dated anti-feminist treatment of the storyline would have had me deeming it a zero from the get go. It would probably have to be so revised that villain would only resemble Nora Clavicle by name only.
Beyond that one, I think any of the villains could have been interesting if a good enough story was presented, some character tweaking possibly and excellent script execution was really up to snuff. So if I didn't have a hindsight 20/20 bias towards certain characters, I couldn't deem any of them as really doomed.
The question I'd like to pose (and maybe this should go on another thread) is the following:
Without relying on existing or changed casting of a villain (in other words, don't name WHO should or shouldn't play it) or budgets constraints or Season Three limitations, how would you make your least favorite Bat-villain a real contender among the top ones. What would be their main crime focus or ultimate caper? What would be their death trap? What would make them genuinely interesting and engaging? And don't say "left in the trash bin" kind of stuff.
I realized before I posted my original question that there was a possibilty that people would turn it into a complaint about season 3, but I decided it was worth the risk. I tried to make it clear that it wasn't about WHO played the character or the story, but the underlying character.
I think this horse has had its day and its time to put her in the barn.
One suggestion for Scott's idea is that we limit it to one episode at a time. We pick an episode and see what people think needed to be done to improve it. I'll let someone else take the reins on that one.
Worst villain concept ever...
which is a shame because Barbara Rush was gorgeous. Oh well, can't win them all.
Archer, Minstrel were boresville too. Much as I adore Art Carney, it was impossible for me to see Ed Norton as a menacing villain.
Nora Clavicle was an awful episode too, and an awful villain. Likewise for Dr. Cassandra, Minerva, Clock King.
Anne Baxter- she is very good but I am okay with Zelda but Olga was annoying.
John Astin- great actor in his way but who can follow Frank as the Riddler. If he was giving a different role he would be much better.
“The Puzzler”.....sheesh, that was pretty bad.
I believe this was a re-worked Riddler script, since Dozier wouldn't cough up more money to pay Frank Gorshin. The whole Shakespearean aspect was because that was Maurice Evans' area of expertise, but it's still a boring episode.Frenchy1939 wrote: ↑Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:12 pm Greetings! I am resurrecting this zombie thread from 2015 because I am rewatching episodes and “The Puzzler” guy was basically unwatchable. What was he supposed to be? Wait, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know. I just wasn’t digging watching some old man with lipstick and eye shadow. The plane at the beginning was cool. That looked like an Estes model rocket kit which was an interesting prop.
“The Puzzler”.....sheesh, that was pretty bad.
Puzzler needed something to make him more than a Riddler fill in. Makeup could have worked-- his face could have been scarred in a jigsaw pattern-- giving him an edge and scaring the kids.
Louie The Lilac recasting with a gangster like actor would have been better-- I second Frank Sinatra as a choice.
Interesting idea here-- bring 'em on!