TO THE BATPOLES #163: "Phantom Pharaoh" Reveals Semplian Batman

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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bat-rss
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TO THE BATPOLES #163: "Phantom Pharaoh" Reveals Semplian Batman

Post by bat-rss »

Image

As the early episodes of Batman were being produced, and broadcasts had not yet begun, Executive Script Consultant Lorenzo Semple, Jr., was editing scripts and trying to get across his vision for the show to the other writers. Robert C Dennis and Earl Barret’s script for “The Phantom Pharaoh” gives us a peek at Semple’s vision for how Batman, Robin, and the other characters should be written. This time, we look at the script, the comments Semple wrote on it, and how it differs from the end product that was broadcast (“The Curse of Tut”/“The Pharaoh’s in a Rut”).

ALSO: The Bennie Music version of Hefti’s “Batman” theme, and more of your response to our “Bat Rankings” and other episodes.

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"I'm half-demented with whimsical outrage!"
-- The Joker, in a line cut from "The Joker's Epitaph"
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #163: "Phantom Pharaoh" Reveals Semplian Batman

Post by Dan E Kool »

Which "Black costume 66 Batman" viral image is Tim talking about? He mentions it in the opening of the podcast, after the Hans Zimmer Bat-theme song.
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Ben Bentley
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #163: "Phantom Pharaoh" Reveals Semplian Batman

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I enjoyed this week's episode a great deal, some really enjoyable observations. I have to admit though (like most conversations about Lorenzo), it really compounded my sadness that my quest to track down "Bat-Poop" reached a completely dead end.
Dan E Kool wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 7:38 am Which "Black costume 66 Batman" viral image is Tim talking about? He mentions it in the opening of the podcast, after the Hans Zimmer Bat-theme song.
I believe it is this one, courtesy of our very own Anthony Antman:
Screenshot 2021-07-14 at 16.10.40.png
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #163: "Phantom Pharaoh" Reveals Semplian Batman

Post by Dan E Kool »

Thanks, Ben. I think I had a pair of pajamas that looked just like that as a kid.
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High C
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #163: "Phantom Pharaoh" Reveals Semplian Batman

Post by High C »

Fun comparison, sirs, of the script to the aired version.

Some observations:

Yes, just how does Tut fill out his criminal gang each time? Especially the women fanning him? Holy bad part-time job! I guess his last season 2 arc was the only glimpse we got into seeing how he got his henchmen, although the two college football players quickly got over their amnesia and got into the criminal planning. How Grace Lee Whitney's character got involved was another story, left untold.

It's too bad they didn't use wrestling footage. I think that would've been funnier than the demolition derby, for some reason. ... Oh, and in answer to your question, Tim, in Catwoman's Dressed To Kill, it is implied that Bruce and Dick change into The Duo in the back of Bruce's limo while on a shopping trip in downtown Gotham City.

As for some of the Semplian touches, I understand his desire to make Batman a dull straight-arrow and not give him even a touch of the sardonic nature of George Reeves' Superman. However, the problem with that came once Semple departed. Dull Batman quickly became dullard Batman, IMO, in the hands of such writers as Ross and Sherman. If Batman had just a bit of suaveness to his personality under Semple, perhaps that transition to blithering idiot at times in late season 2 and season 3 wouldn't have been so effortless. (Speaking of CW's Dressed To Kill, think of Adam being forced to knock over mannequins with his eyes closed while saying 'pardon me.' Ugh.)

Another season 3 difference. In Wail Of The Siren, yes, shocking, I know, that I can instantly recall a line of dialogue from that episode, when Siren says she is going to call Bruce Wayne, Allegro asks, 'The millionaire playboy?' Siren responds, 'The soon-to-be ex-millionaire playboy!' By then, the villains bought into the image of Bruce as a swinger as opposed to a goody-two-shoes, which was NOT what Semple intended, as you pointed out by him wanting that exact phrase excised.
'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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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #163: "Phantom Pharaoh" Reveals Semplian Batman

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Yes, that is the one!
Ben Bentley wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 8:15 am I enjoyed this week's episode a great deal, some really enjoyable observations. I have to admit though (like most conversations about Lorenzo), it really compounded my sadness that my quest to track down "Bat-Poop" reached a completely dead end.
Dan E Kool wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 7:38 am Which "Black costume 66 Batman" viral image is Tim talking about? He mentions it in the opening of the podcast, after the Hans Zimmer Bat-theme song.
I believe it is this one, courtesy of our very own Anthony Antman:

Screenshot 2021-07-14 at 16.10.40.png
"I'm half-demented with whimsical outrage!"
-- The Joker, in a line cut from "The Joker's Epitaph"
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #163: "Phantom Pharaoh" Reveals Semplian Batman

Post by BATWINGED HORNET »

Another winner, guys.

Tim, your "...he's too busy serving on every committee in Gotham City to chase any skirts." had me straining to not make an appropriately timed Andrew Cuomo reference.

About the "playboy" trait purposely removed from the '66 Bruce Wayne: it's odd that Semple did not want Wayne to keep that side of his personality--it would have added more color to the character, and a more balanced life other than being a human rule machine living only for his committees and tutoring Dick on his various school subjects.

Getting rid of the stretcher obstacle course was the best choice--that was just too silly, and it lost the intensity of Wayne's escape quickly turned into the threat of death in the cliffhanger.

Semple was pretty insightful about how Robin should be written--specifically the way he's supposed to function as a fully thinking second-half of the Bat-team, and should not be used for stupid sight gags, like the suggestion he follows Batman on a bicycle. If the bicycle bit happened so early, i'm certain most writers after that point would have turned Robin into the equivalent of a child just jumping around with a cape and making no adult-level contributions of his own.
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