So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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epaddon
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Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by epaddon » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:04 pm

Ffogg and Peasoup as characters were doomed the way they were written. But you could have gotten a salvagable story from characters like that if you'd given them a MOTIVE that made sense for why they're committing their crimes and to me that would have been simple if they were stealing to cover financial losses, escape foreclosure etc.

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Jim Akin
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Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by Jim Akin » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:08 am

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.

QQ

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AndyFish
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Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by AndyFish » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:59 am

I agree with Quill-- Berle's character was a lazy conception-- why not have Berle play a character with some humor-- which he was actually good at? Instead he's playing a character that might have worked if you had a more serious actor in the role-- James Coburn comes to mind.

And Catwoman doesn't count, Elmr, we're only talking characters made up for the show.

Lets alter the question a bit-- were there any established characters that didn't work on the show? I'd argue not, although I suspect a few of you are going to take shots at Zelda and Evol Ekdol-- I like 'em.

Offbeat works sometimes, and I also agree with the sentiments that even some of the bad episodes have something good about them-- like Batburgers or climb guest stars that make the episode fun. I cannot, however, think of anything good about Nora Clavicle's appearance other than the pain was almost over.

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Mr. Deathtrap
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Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by Mr. Deathtrap » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:17 pm

Citizens,

I think we can throw out celebrities playing themselves as villains for the topic of doomed villain concepts since these characters are being shoehorned into the show instead of being ideas to be realized in the show. So, Chandell and Zsa Zsa are out.

The Nora Clavicle character was misunderstood from the get go by her creators, as has been mentioned previously. Was she a true believer or using the movement for some evil end. If that question had been answered and conveyed in the script maybe . . . .

The British aristocrats were thrill seekers who had a number of nicely evil ideas, like holding Barbara Gordon hostage. We might have gotten away with a single principle villain or had Lady Peasoup be the planner while his Lordship know the secret of making the fog. Anyway, the script, after a few rewrites, might have been a really good story.

I think the Louie the Lilac character is weak from the get go. He is a gangster fixated on flowers. This idea is so laughable other gangsters would not be taken seriously. He might be a match for Chief O'Hara. Maybe.

The idea of creating an alternate Riddler when Frank Gorshin was unavailable was probably just bad. Substituting the Puzzler for the Riddler may seem like a sensible way to use a good script, but it was, I believe, doomed. Better to give John Astin a second shot as Ridder or put it beside the Pnguin script waiting for Burgess Meredith and move on the the next story.

The Doctor Cassandra idea may be weak, but basically worked. She is a criminal who commits crimes by doing what seems impossible, apparently by magic.

The series missed one line of stories by not using a villain who was a mad scientist like Hugo Strange. I find that oversight hard to understand. The role would have been so natural for Vincent Price or Telly "Blofeld" Savallas.

Mr. Deathtrap
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AndyFish
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Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by AndyFish » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:48 pm

I disagree with most of you who are putting the diss on Liberace-- forgetting that THOSE were the highest rated episodes of the whole series, Liberace played the twins in a way that actually seemed like it could be two different people, and I give him props for that. He actually seemed a bit dangerous. Ditto Zelda who also threatened Aunt Harriet-- possibly the most innocent of innocent victims available unless Peter Parker's aunt was making a guest appearance.

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Yellow Oval
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Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by Yellow Oval » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:36 am

I's gots to goes with pretty much Season 3. Bad acting, bad writing, cheap production... This pulled down any and all potential no matter who was involved. The one exception being the Joker's Flying Saucer episode which did give me the creeps as a kid with the background music, searchlights, Chief O'Hara with the binoculars, and the general all-round air of panic. Joker's green-faced henchman, Verdigree, didn't help matters. :mrgreen:
"Hmmm... I don't like the twist this joke is taking. Let us away! Let us away!"

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Pengy
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Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by Pengy » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:21 pm

Nora Clavicle was doomed to failure. A feminist with only two hench women, and a plan to blow up Gotham with little exploding mice.

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Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by marvelbloodhound » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:00 am

Dear fellow bat-fans,

As far as as villains go, I'd have to CONCUR regarding Nora Clavicle. Keep in mind that this IS factoring in Astin's Riddler! Or, as "comic book guy" on the Simpsons would phrase it best, "Worst episode, EVER!" Thank you for your time...

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Aussie Batfan
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Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by Aussie Batfan » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:09 pm

Agree with just about all the comments on the success or otherwise of the TV Villains.
Is it just me or does looking through the list highlight the opinion that an awful lot of the female villains didn't seem to work?
It would appear that whenever an actress agreed to guest on the show the producers/writers had to create yet another 'femme fatale' to threaten Batman. And most of them just didn't seem to be all that threatening!
Catwoman - the original and best of all female villains - is really the only one that could be taken seriously as a danger to Batman. I guess they eventually realised that and maybe that accounts for why they kept repeating her role with three different actresses.
Mind you, when an older actress such as Shelley Winters, Ida Lupino or Tallulah Bankhead agree to appear, you're going to have to find someone other than Catwoman for them to play!
I know someone has mentioned it previously, but why couldn't they have used Poison Ivy as a villainess on the show?? I think maybe the issue was that her character had only just appeared in the comics in 66-68...
And again, not a suitable character age-wise for some of the legendary actresses to play.
Interested to hear your ideas.
Take care,
Terry

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Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by marvelbloodhound » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:34 am

Dear fellow bat-fans,

Here's my theory regarding season 3. I don't THINK that they intentionally made it like it was. Maybe they ran out of ideas, all of the good stuff was used in the half of a first season and the second season. The only GOOD thing to really come out of season 3 was Batgirl, and YES, that Joker and Catwoman team-up!

As far as Gorshin's Riddler romp in that season, it felt like something was missing from him. Don't get me wrong, there were riddles and all, but, just seemed like he WASN'T the same as the first season. In that season, he was THE villain of the series! He had that "everything to prove and NOTHING to lose" mindset! Seriously, other than the budget cuts, what the SMURF happened?!

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High C
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Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by High C » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:58 am

Aussie Batfan wrote:
Catwoman - the original and best of all female villains - is really the only one that could be taken seriously as a danger to Batman. I guess they eventually realised that and maybe that accounts for why they kept repeating her role with three different actresses.
Well, Bruce Wayne was seconds away from committing suicide per Siren's commands, so I'd say Siren posed a threat to Batman. . .
Aussie Batfan wrote: I know someone has mentioned it previously, but why couldn't they have used Poison Ivy as a villainess on the show?? I think maybe the issue was that her character had only just appeared in the comics in 66-68...
Good question. From what I've read, Dozier was made aware of her existence, and he certainly seemed interested in having more female villains in S3 than in the previous two seasons. You'd think they could have found a spot for her.
'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.

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Riddlersgurl
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Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by Riddlersgurl » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:42 pm

I don't think they were destined to be bad, per se.

It's just that some of the concepts were so terrible on paper, how could they translate well to the screen?

Simple; they didn't.

Some of the created characters worked well; like Bookworm.

Ingenious, menacing, highly educated, and more than a little nuts. Oh yeah! He worked.

For me, Shame didn't work. He came off as being too much of a hick to me, to be really evil.

Ma Parker; there's no one more dangerous than a mother with a machine gun. Especially when backed up by her kids.

Lord Fogg and Lady Peasoup? GAH!

The Black Widow? Hmmmm...I'm kind of on the fence. On the one hand, she was a real menace with her control over poisonous spiders, but on the other, she was so OLD! I have nothing against old people, but at least pick someone who is young, attractive, and can pull off being cold blooded.

Egghead? Vincent Price has always been one of my favorite actors, no matter what role he plays. Take away all of the stupid egg puns, or at least cut them by a third, and you have a truly dangerous man. After all, only he got the idea to find out who Batman was by the process of elimination.

Olga? A former dishwasher turned Queen of the Cossaks? While I am all for rags to riches stories, this one just didn't cut it for me.

Louie the Lilac? Please. Milton Berle just wasn't that menacing as a scent obssessed gangster.

Colonel Gumm. Uh.......words fail me. NEXT!

The Archer.......I can't remember, but was he at least a good shot?

The Minstrel.......makes me think of Gilderoy Lockhart from Harry Potter with all of the preening. Only the Minstrel actually KNEW what he was doing when it came to electronics and such. Lockhart was a peacock who was only good at affecting people's memories, and zapped himself into stupidity.

False Face? Scared the snot out of me, and I still refuse to watch those episodes. As a little kid, they would give me nightmares.

The Clock King? Meh.

Uh.....who else am I missing?

Probably a lot of people, but I can't think of anyone else at the moment.

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dell
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Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by dell » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:59 pm

Riddlersgurl wrote:It's just that some of the concepts were so terrible on paper, how could they translate well to the screen?

Simple; they didn't.
That's the point I was trying to make. Was the concept of a particular villian bad on paper? If he or she was bad on paper then no matter how good the script and trhe actor it was not going to be a good episode.

By the way, I like your list and prety much agree with it
dell

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clavierankh
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Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by clavierankh » Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:36 pm

I started a thread like his on the old board. I believe there really isn't any such thing as a bad concept, just bad execution. Bad writing,bad casting bad acting, bad direction, any combination of the three can doom a concept.

Chandell: Liberace was fine as Chandell, basically playing himself. The show was doomed by him playing twin other Harry. He just wasn't menacing. Expand James Milhullin's as Mr. Sly. Making him Chandell's agent who has forced him into a life of crime.


Black Widow: At her age and only months from death Tallulah Bankhead simply was not a femme fatale. Either cast a younger woman or make her a master mind pulling the strings from her web.


Louie the Lilac: the second one made no sense what was so great about his perfume that he could corner the lilac perfume market? The first one suffers from being a one parter and having to move too fast. He was going to control the flower generation but too what end.? Inthe first or second season it would have built up to a super crime which the flower children would help him pull. Either as a diversion the way Catwoman used the student demonstration she organized at Chimes square or as means to another end the way Joker used rigged vending machines and juvenile recruiting to try and rig a basketball game.

High C quoted my feelings on Nora Clavicle earlier.

Egg Head was good in his first episode the team up with Olga made him look like an idiot

Olga could have been good on her own if they could come with a good caper in Gotham that would help her regain her throne.

A big negative about the third season was cutting the show in half and not allowing, as the first two seasons did, a criminal executing a step by step master plan towards a super crime.

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epaddon
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Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by epaddon » Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:40 pm

Barbara Stanwyck would have been the perfect casting for Black Widow in terms of having the older woman femme fatale quality.

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