TO THE BATPOLES #109: Louie the Lilac baffles, Bat-conference informs

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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TO THE BATPOLES #109: Louie the Lilac baffles, Bat-conference informs

Post by bat-rss » Thu May 02, 2019 5:13 am

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One of the reasons often given for the quality dropoff in Batman season three has been that, in one-part episodes with so many characters, time is tight. So how to account for Louie's Lethal Lilac Time, a one-parter that seems not to even have enough story for 22 minutes!? And yet, we seem to be missing things, as scenes are cut off before they appear to be over. Meanwhile, should Yvonne Craig be reporting Neil Hamilton to HR for #metoo-related reasons?

Also, Tim reports on the Bowling Green State University "Batman in Popular Culture" conference, and gives highlights of the '66-related material presented there. Plus, the Beat Torrent version of the Batman theme, and your responses to the Catwoman/Joker script episode!

http://tothebatpoles.libsyn.com/109-lou ... ce-informs

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #109: Louie the Lilac baffles, Bat-conference informs

Post by Mr. Deathtrap » Thu May 02, 2019 4:27 pm

Hello,

This episode was essentially a heavily padded Batgirl solo adventure, which was a good idea not executed especially well.

The cold open features Barbara Gordon and Bruce Wayne entertaining Dick Grayson and several friends at a beach house until Bruce and Dick were kidnapped by Louie the Lilac. Could someone please post pictures of Barbara from this scene. Thanks in advance.

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #109: Louie the Lilac baffles, Bat-conference informs

Post by clavierankh » Thu May 02, 2019 4:38 pm

So, with Barbara in that outfit,walking around giving us all angles, what Paul remembers is shadows on the back drop?

Regarding Bruce referring to Batman in third person, In Batcave scenes they always are in full costume and refer to Bruce and Dick in third person (I think Bruce was in the Batcave in the Archer episode and maybe in the movie). In the screen test Batman had his Cowl off and Robin mask off

I think there is an in universe reason and a practical reason. The in universe reason is as an exercise to keep their identities separate and not slip in public. Always referring to their other identies in third person even in private reinforces the habit. +

The practical reason, and I hope owners or makers of Television accurate cowls will confirm this for me, the cowl I don't think is easy to slip on and off. In the screen test the cowl was cloth and fairly easy to put on and remove. I think the series cowl has shell which makes it more difficult and would have messed up Adam's hair, especially in the removal.

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #109: Louie the Lilac baffles, Bat-conference informs

Post by Mr. Glee » Thu May 02, 2019 7:12 pm

This episode gets my vote for "worst episode of the series," but I'm looking forward to hearing the podcast anyway.

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #109: Louie the Lilac baffles, Bat-conference informs

Post by epaddon » Thu May 02, 2019 8:35 pm

Just an awful episode all around. Berle's delivery is so bored and low-key that it just screams, "I'm showing up for my paycheck to burn off the commitment to ABC after they cancelled my variety show!"

Now comes Filler Time!

Filler Scene #1. Mister Freeze ends up being the second villain in S3 to be mentioned without appearing (joining Black Widow who was mentioned in "Wail Of The Siren")

Filler Scene #2. I have to dissent from the defense of Barbara regarding her not telling her father about Louie etc. Even if I grant that she didn't see Louie specifically, she was still a "material witness" to a kidnapping and you would have expected her to have gone through the mug books regarding the henchmen who would have been identified as working for Louie (especially in those suits!) So it's more the fact that Barbara seems to be revealing less than she knows to the authorities that rubbed me the wrong way there.

Filler Scene #3. Thanks for resurrecting my ancient post from another blog regarding the "inside joke" of Barbara's regarding the "previous tenant". :) Recycling the no-longer-needed GH sets for Batgirl was the perfect way to give the illusion of something "new" for S3 at little cost in a year when cutting costs was the rage for Dozier (it begs the question though of what they would have had to do for Batgirl changing if GH had not been cancelled! One suspects that maybe we would have seen the more simplistic costume change from the test film with Killer Moth or something along those lines)

Of course the thing that struck me on viewing the episode again before listening to the podcast is, if there is a simple door that provides access to the secret room (that Barbara takes Gus through) then why does Barbara bother to use the revolving door in the first place?? This episode has revealed she's got some Gladys Kravitz style neighbors in the building who've been complaining to the maintenance man because of it, so maybe in the future she should just use the regular door!

And gee, what if someone else looking for a match were to open a drawer and see a sign that says "Instant Batgirl room transformer" or whatever it said??

Even worse. Picture dropping the instant Bat costume pill in a glass of water and suddenly a henchman comes in and grabs it out of his hand because he thinks its Alka-Seltzer and drinks it down!

I remember Percy Helton as the drunken Santa in "Miracle On 34th Street" too. Nobu McCarthy (Lotus) had a number of better TV guest shots over the years, my favorite being the 1976 Christmas episode of "Barney Miller" where she plays a mugging victim that Detective Yemana (Jack Soo) takes an interest in, not realizing that her regular occupation is that of a lady of the streets.

You will be in for a rough ride with Nora Clavicle! :) (notwithstanding the presence of henchlady Inga Neilsen, one of the most beautiful women of the 60s)

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #109: Louie the Lilac baffles, Bat-conference informs

Post by BAT 77 » Fri May 03, 2019 5:53 am

Regarding the Nora Clavicle teaser at the end, is this the the only time on the show where a character acknowledges and interacts with Desmond Doomsday (aka The Voice of Doom)? She seems to respond to Dozier's last line in the episode.
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #109: Louie the Lilac baffles, Bat-conference informs

Post by BATWINGED HORNET » Fri May 03, 2019 1:43 pm

Not much to add the observations about this bottom-scraping episode, other than it was sort of nice to see Bruce and Dick as themselves for the majority of the episode, just to remind audiences that they had lives outside of being the Dynamic Duo.

I know Dozier was pinching pennies until they screamed by this point in the series' production, but to add some visual interest to the costumes-growing-from-water scene, I would have used the Batman and Robin uniforms that were still sold as part of Ideal's Captain Action figure line.

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While they were not screen accurate (in fact, they weren't based on the TV series at all), at least there would have been the chance for kids to "oooh!" at the sight of detailed, miniature costumes unfolding as part of the process instead of the food coloring and toilet paper strips we were supposed to think would turn into Bat costumes.

This would have been in line with other 60s TV productions using licensed products as part of the series; in 1967, the producers of Star Trek used one of AMT's U.S.S. Enterprise model kits to become the wrecked U.S.S. Constellation from "The Doomsday Machine,". Over in Irwin Allen-land, a good number of Remco's battery-operated Lost in Space robot toys appeared in that series second season episode, "The Mechanical Men." .

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Again, Dozier and Company would grit their teeth at the idea of spending a few extra dollars on action figure costumes for one scene, but it would have made the episode memorable.
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #109: Louie the Lilac baffles, Bat-conference informs

Post by Lord Death Man » Sat May 04, 2019 2:17 pm

One of my favorite episodes, mostly due to Nobu Atsumi's scientist character Lotus. I'm kind of surprised she merited little more than a name drop in the podcast; she's one of the few molls (if she was indeed a moll and not a partner) that actually was integral to the main baddie's plan and not just a 'go'pher', and one of the few that was shown to be brilliant, capable, and accomplished as well as attractive (Nobu was a former Miss Tokyo).
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #109: Louie the Lilac baffles, Bat-conference informs

Post by P “Junior Batman” Y » Sat May 04, 2019 3:35 pm

:( Lord Death Man, you are right to call us on our non-discussion of Atsumi’s performance, as well as Lotus’s scientific prowess. She’s not even played stereotypically, beyond the association of “lotus” with “the Orient” and dangerous femininity (lotus flower as pretty poison). Discussing her would have given us more context for Batgirl’s functions in this episode. We’ll read your post during a future Bat-Mailbag session and discuss it further. Sorry and thanks for pointing out the lapse!

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #109: Louie the Lilac baffles, Bat-conference informs

Post by High C » Thu May 09, 2019 10:09 am

FWIW, Atsumi, who was credited as Nobu McCarthy throughout her career, even after her marriage to her first husband was over, was contracted for only two days of the three-day shoot. Still, Nobu did a promo photo session in costume, one pic of which was reproduced in Joel Eisner's original Bat-book in the 1980s.

I also enjoyed her performance, and as Lord Death Man indicated, she pretty much was the brains of the operation given how little Louie knew about making perfume. I also liked her line reading of 'I was hoping you'd say that,' after Louie says he intends to double-cross Bruce and Dick and kill Batgirl anyway. She also gives a nifty evil smile at that moment!

As for the podcast, I enjoyed it as usual, although I certainly disagree on Berle's performance. I'd say he was mailing it in, but that would have required the effort of actually going to a mailbox. I liked his performance the first time around, but here it was as if Catwoman had gassed him with her latest invention, Cat-A-Tonic.

Eisner has suggested that his appearances were due partly to burning off an ABC contract. I don't know if there exists any documentation for that. In any event, I suspect the filler had to do with the fact they wanted to limit Berle's screen time because he was known to blow takes and the schedules were so tight.

I'll admit, I spent way too much time on this, but I unofficially clocked the amount of screen time (sans being in the background of the fights) Berle had in the two eps. He had 6:32 in the first and 6:40. Compare this to Frank Gorshin, who clocked in at 9:05 in his lone season 3 ep. So what I'm saying is that they were trying to work around Berle, rather than work the ep through him as they would with Gorshin.

I suspect 'lilac time' was an attempt to give Berle a 'moment,' to use a line you guys often have used.

You guys made an excellent point about how this seems like a Batgirl solo story, but they didn't want to go all the way and have her save the proverbial day. Paul's joke about the all-seeing, all-knowing Bat-computer was funny, as was his assessment of Dick's costume.

Some other observations--it's interesting that Louie's 'invisible spray' (uh-huh) rendered Princess Primrose motionless and Batgirl unconscious. I guess Louie can adjust it to whatever Charles Hoffman's scripts require.

The more I think about it, the more I don't like some of Billy May's music. When you guys played the Dough-zier narration in the middle of the episode, I noticed how his villain cues and some of his Batgirl cues sound very similar, too similar, too mod. There's not enough foreboding like the best Riddle cues.
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #109: Louie the Lilac baffles, Bat-conference informs

Post by Dr. Shimel » Thu May 09, 2019 4:55 pm

High C wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 10:09 am
Eisner has suggested that his appearances were due partly to burning off an ABC contract. I don't know if there exists any documentation for that. In any event, I suspect the filler had to do with the fact they wanted to limit Berle's screen time because he was known to blow takes and the schedules were so tight.

I'll admit, I spent way too much time on this, but I unofficially clocked the amount of screen time (sans being in the background of the fights) Berle had in the two eps. He had 6:32 in the first and 6:40. Compare this to Frank Gorshin, who clocked in at 9:05 in his lone season 3 ep. So what I'm saying is that they were trying to work around Berle, rather than work the ep through him as they would with Gorshin.

I suspect 'lilac time' was an attempt to give Berle a 'moment,' to use a line you guys often have used.
While I'm loath to quote from Wikipedia, this one sentence about Berle in his bio plays into the possible reluctance of the producers to have him on the set any longer than they had to: "Berle's long reputation for taking control of an entire television production—whether invited to do so or not—was a cause of stress on the set."

Many here are familiar with Berle's notorious appearance on SNL in which he alienated everyone enough with his arrogance that Lorne Michaels kept that episode out of the syndication package.

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #109: Louie the Lilac baffles, Bat-conference informs

Post by epaddon » Thu May 09, 2019 5:51 pm

Given Berle's early TV history fame, they should have made him the first Bat villain to try and escape dressed like a henchmoll!

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #109: Louie the Lilac baffles, Bat-conference informs

Post by BATWINGED HORNET » Thu May 09, 2019 6:16 pm

High C wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 10:09 am
I also enjoyed her performance, and as Lord Death Man indicated, she pretty much was the brains of the operation given how little Louie knew about making perfume. I also liked her line reading of 'I was hoping you'd say that,' after Louie says he intends to double-cross Bruce and Dick and kill Batgirl anyway. She also gives a nifty evil smile at that moment!
Probably the best moll of the season. Then again, she's more than the average moll considering Louie's entire operation rested on her shoulders.
As for the podcast, I enjoyed it as usual, although I certainly disagree on Berle's performance. I'd say he was mailing it in, but that would have required the effort of actually going to a mailbox. I liked his performance the first time around, but here it was as if Catwoman had gassed him with her latest invention, Cat-A-Tonic.
Heh. Yes, I agree on the point about Berle's performance; he was just showing up, probably thinking going through the motions was "A-level" for anyone, because he was Uncle Milty.
The more I think about it, the more I don't like some of Billy May's music. When you guys played the Dough-zier narration in the middle of the episode, I noticed how his villain cues and some of his Batgirl cues sound very similar, too similar, too mod. There's not enough foreboding like the best Riddle cues.
May's music for Batman was as much a hard separation from what had come before as the loss of Aunt Harriet & the standard two-part story. May's scores for The Green Hornet fit that series like a glove, with
its mix of the GH theme with jazz and 50s crime-inspired cues, but that was one of the elements that gave TGH is own character. That said, the May sound on Batman was more of a distraction than support for scenes (with the exception of GH cues used for the crossover) , as if the series (or producers) were trying to abandon any of the early years flavor. Some would say May (with Dozier leading the charge) accomplished that.
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #109: Louie the Lilac baffles, Bat-conference informs

Post by epaddon » Thu May 09, 2019 8:19 pm

Do we know if the replacement of Riddle with May a case of deciding a new sound was needed for Season 3 in terms of the format or a case of Riddle "moving on" and necessitating the replacement? Riddle I know spent the bulk of the 67-68 season doing all the scores for the Ron Ely "Tarzan" series.

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #109: Louie the Lilac baffles, Bat-conference informs

Post by gothosmansion » Fri May 10, 2019 7:11 am

In the past, I think I considered this the better of the two Louie the Lilac episodes, which I know is akin to saying to was the better of the two times an anvil was dropped on my head. Until listening to the podcast, I didn't realize how plotless it really was.

I hope I don't get in trouble for saying this, but maybe Yvonne Craig's bare midriff is a sign that a terrible excuse for entertainment is on the way. She co-starred in one of Elvis Presley's worst movies, the wretched Kissin' Cousins, and spent a good portion of it in a two-piece. In both cases, I think it was to distract the male audience so we wouldn't notice how awful the story that we're watching actually is. Of course, she famously had on a bikini in the U.N.C.L.E. office in One Spy Too Many, and that movie was entertaining. This paragraph isn't to knock Ms. Craig, just to point out that producers may have used her obvious beauty to cover up production short-comings.

The biggest "what the?" for me was Bruce being able to perform veterinary surgery. I don't even think Bob Haney would have thrown in a plot point that "out of left field" and if he did, he would have made it much more entertaining. I never blinked an eye at the expanding costumes, because I was already used to the Flash storing his costume in his ring in the comics.

Speaking of Brave & the Bold, would the episode have worked better if Batman had been taking a group of underprivileged kids to the beach, like he took them on a picnic in B&B 188? (NOT written by Haney, BTW) If Hoffman just wanted to use the beach motif to get Yvonne Craig into some sexy beachwear (which may have been the excuse for both this and Surf's Up), Batgirl could have come along as a chaperone and worn her bat-kini. By that, I mean a bikini, but worn with her cowl, cape, utility belt and gloves (got to keep those fingerprints hidden.)

Another of the chaperone's could have been a veterinarian and Louie could have had the motive of humiliating Batman as well as conquering the perfume market. Yeah, that would still be an awful script, but hey, Bat-kini.

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