TO THE BATPOLES #123: Dr. Cassandra makes the show disappear

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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bat-rss
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TO THE BATPOLES #123: Dr. Cassandra makes the show disappear

Post by bat-rss »

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As Batman neared the end of its run, the budget situation got worse (occasioning the need for an invisible fight), and the writers threw caution to the wind: witness at least half a dozen double entendres in "The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra" — this at a time when most viewers who were old enough to get these naughty jokes had already bailed. In this episode, we examine this, this final episode written by Stanley Ralph Ross.

PLUS: Lily Munster has a deja vu episode, John Burgess sends us his own take on Hefti's Batman theme, and we read your mail about our discussion of the Dynamic Duo on The Adventures of Superman radio show!

http://tothebatpoles.libsyn.com/123-dr- ... -disappear

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Therin of Andor
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #123: Dr. Cassandra makes the show disappear

Post by Therin of Andor »

"Holy nostalgia, Batman!"
Therin of Andor

(aka Ian McLean, from Sydney, Australia)

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BATWINGED HORNET
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #123: Dr. Cassandra makes the show disappear

Post by BATWINGED HORNET »

Hey--A Munsters / Colonel Gumm reference! Can't go wrong with that as a start....then you guys just had to review the Cassandra episode...

Yeah, Batman's "thrust of manhood" line was so tired and old by that point because Dick had crushes on girls as early as Suzie ("The Joker Goes to School" arc), was seen on a date in season two, etc. The only way that so-called joke would have worked is for Robin--with a stereotypical East Coast "nay-bah-hood" accent--to slap Batman on the back of the head, and say, "What? You new to dis show??"

About the Minerva teaser, I recall someone (I will leave nameless) posting in a Batman thread from another board (and possibly the Batcave Podcast or the To the Batpoles blog) insisted--with not a bit of fact to support his position--the "THE END" superimposed over Zsa Zsa's rear just had to be an example of a double entendre and nothing else. He deliberately skipped over one thing: by the time the Minerva episode was getting ready to go before the cameras, didn't Greenway already knew the series had been cancelled? That would explain the one and only time in all 120 episodes that "THE END" was ever added to an episode.

That kind of finality is even absent from the end of the movie, with its "THE LIVING END....?" tag. At best, suggesting that it was the end of the film, but not the end of all things Batman like the Minerva teaser.

..and honestly, of all actresses who guest starred on the show, if Dozier and the Gang wanted to go for the double meaning of "THE END" In that sense, I would think any Newmar episode would have served that purpose in such a more effective way...er…

About the episode's story...what story? By this time in the series, villains of the Cassandra/Cabala kind leads me to believe if that mythical fourth season happened, the so-called adversaries would have moved toward the childish types that populated Sid and Marty Krofft and live action Filmation series in the decade to come.

Yeah, Batman did not need a fourth season, where the likes of Jonathan Harris, Jay (Dr. Shrinker) Robinson, Billie Hayes and Charles Nelson Reilly would have been the Special Guest Villains.

"The Worst is Yet to Come"...you bet!
Beneath Wayne Manor

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Therin of Andor
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #123: Dr. Cassandra makes the show disappear

Post by Therin of Andor »

"THE END???" - revisited for Minerva's cameo in the "Batman '66" comic.

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Minerva and Sandman cameos by Ian McLean, on Flickr
"Holy nostalgia, Batman!"
Therin of Andor

(aka Ian McLean, from Sydney, Australia)

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gothosmansion
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #123: Dr. Cassandra makes the show disappear

Post by gothosmansion »

I think most of the jokes about Robin being too young to like women were Ross-isms. Ross did write the line in a Catwoman episode, "You were taking in by her, Batman, but I'm too young for that sort of thing." That is one of my favorite lines that Ross ever wrote. I will say I agree with Robin that Batgirl was pretty when she was asleep...and awake...and just all the time. I first started crushing on her when I was 11 so, even if Robin was a late bloomer, he does have good taste.

I also found the line where Batgirl said "I'm going flat" and Cabala replying "what a shame" was hilarious.

I did hate the price saving measure of having the fight in the dark. Just so cheap.

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epaddon
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #123: Dr. Cassandra makes the show disappear

Post by epaddon »

Speaking of fighting in the dark......who punched Catwoman out?

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chrisbcritter
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #123: Dr. Cassandra makes the show disappear

Post by chrisbcritter »

Ross would probably hedge his bets by saying "Nobody - she knocked herself out after she tripped over the Riddler." :lol:
"To the medical eye, such childish claptrap means only one thing, young man: You need some sleep."

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High C
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #123: Dr. Cassandra makes the show disappear

Post by High C »

I must admit, I can't find that much to like about the actual episode, although Paul's praise for Ida Lupino is well-deserved. It's too bad they didn't give her a better character. She understood the genre, having done a Wild, Wild West the previous TV season as a Dr. Frankenstein-esque villain. Lupino certainly outshone the material.

As for your podcast, I'll point out that Nora Clavicle, of course, had no henchMEN, but did have henchwomen. ... I agree that Stanley Ralph Ross writing Robin as a 12-year-old had grown so tired by then, considering the gags weren't all that amusing to begin with.

No offense to anyone, but I don't buy into the speculation elsewhere about potential casting. It sounds like, based on research by Bob Furmanek of the Bat-board, that Sonny and Cher had been signed to do something on the show in season 2 before it apparently fell through. I doubt, at this juncture, the producers would want acting neophytes in lead roles, the way they had Liberace in season 2. And Liz and Richard were WAYYYYYYYY out of the Greenway price range.

As far as why they needed to cut costs, an educated guess would be that because they had two villains and only one episode, they couldn't amortize the extra cost the way they did in the multi-part season 3 arcs. Just a thought.

I also liked the Londinium shoutout as you guys did. And yes, much like Joan Collins, Ida Lupino was born in London, only in a different section of that huge city. The one thing about Lupino on which I would disagree with Paul is that some of the accent is still there. Note how she addresses Riddlah and Jokah. I will concede it perhaps resembled the upper crust Eastern US accent you have mentioned before. (Batmin? What are you doing here? Is my fedora in danger?)

And, of course, Paul's reference to animated suspension made me laugh.

As for that awful dress, it actually was making its FOURTH appearance on Batman. Octavia and Josie Miller wore it AND it was on a rack in Catwoman's hideout earlier in season 3, Eartha Kitt's solo episode. I think it was A. Pennyworth or somebody on this board who first pointed that out. Looking at that scene the other day, I also noticed one of Glynis Johns' Peasoup outfits is on a mannequin in CW's hideout.

OK, as for the actual episode, I have a ton of problems with it, and many of the same ones as the commentators.

First of all, why alchemy?? As Paul noted, alchemy is usually about turning base metals into gold. I'd add finding the 'fountain of youth' also is a goal. This invisibility plot is more mad scientist-ism than anything else.

I detested the backstory of her loser family. Imagine a comic book introducing a new villain and quickly establishing that he/she was likely a loser and not worthy of respect. It seems counter-productive to me.

I concur with DeCandido that Ida pulled off the stupid hipster dialogue better than Duff. As for why it was written that way in the first place, keep in mind Greenway also thought Uncle Miltie would be a huge draw for the hippies...

And of course, Ross is the same person who once wrote a scene in which a group of male college students mobbed the Duo and were oblivious to Julie Newmar. Uh-huh.

How about this trademark Ross-ism? '15th Ave.' instead of Fifth Ave. Ugh.

Finally, I concur with others--no way those arch-villains would take orders from these bozos. And when exactly did Batman have time to make an anti-Ronald Alvino Ray Gun doohickey?? Immediately after they were revived, they left the Batcave.

Also, it' s a minor quibble, I admit, but it bothered me. Batman sneers at Cassandra's lack of credentials early in the episode, yet addresses her as Dr. Cassandra at the end in Adam's patented 'poor deluded creature' voice. He should not have addressed her as Doctor. It doesn't fit his beliefs.
'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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epaddon
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #123: Dr. Cassandra makes the show disappear

Post by epaddon »

Duff and Lupino's volatile marriage was on the rocks by this point. They separated a couple years later though the divorce took a decade to finalize and when it was, Lupino had a wastebasket made with his picture at the bottom.

Their sitcom "Mr. Adams and Eve" sadly will never be seen again because apparently the episodes were lost at some point in the 70s or 80s and but for one or two, haven't resurfaced.

Duff and Lupino also played a husband and wife with a marriage on the rocks in an episode of the 1962 lawyer series "Sam Benedict" starring Edmond O'Brien.

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High C
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #123: Dr. Cassandra makes the show disappear

Post by High C »

This isn't quite 'Bat Deja vu,' but it is, I think, an interesting and arcane Bat-connection.

In 1983, famed Hollywood photographer George Hurrell did the shoot for Joan Collins' iconic Playboy spread. What does that have to with this episode? Well, my research into Dozier's budget paperwork and on-set photographs has revealed that Greenway would pay freelance photogs $75 ($577.87 today) for one day of work in season 3, taking on-set and promo photos.

In the pre-digital age, these photos first would be developed on what were called contact sheets, which some of you may have seen on ebay or the like. The sheet would have several smaller images, and one could pick out the right ones to use and mark accordingly how they should be cropped. The photographer would write his/her last name on the side with a Sharpie.

Well, I once got my hands on a contact sheet from this episode. Lo and behold, it said 'Hurrell' on the side. I guess some other photographer could have put his name down as a goof, but that would be counterproductive to getting paid, I think. I have to believe Hurrell was on set. Plus, Hurrell was well-known in Hollywood and we know Dozier had a Rolodex bigger than Batman's utility belt.
'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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Dr. Shimel
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #123: Dr. Cassandra makes the show disappear

Post by Dr. Shimel »

Lupino's British roots stem from the fact that her father, Stanley, was an actor from there. Interestingly, her father threw a party for actress Thelma Todd, who was good friends with Ida, in December 1935 at the Trocadero in Los Angeles. The following morning, Todd was mysteriously found dead, which resulted in a grand jury looking at the case and Ida testifying.

While nothing was ever proven, Todd was divorced from Pat di Cicco, who had mob ties. Interestingly, di Cicco's name was also connected to the equally mysterious 1937 beating death (also at the Trocadero) of Ted Healy, who had helped form The Three Stooges--with Wallace Beery alleged to be the killer: http://www.playgroundtothestars.com/201 ... trocadero/

Back to Batman: I've noted before how Howard Duff was able to manage his appearance in the episode despite co-starring on Felony Squad at the same time. In one episode that was presumably filmed at the same time, his character is shot and wounded at the start, which allowed him to conveniently "convalesce" offscreen, before making a cameo at the end of that episode.

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