TO THE BATPOLES podcast #87: An Eggsasperating Eggsercise

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TO THE BATPOLES podcast #87: An Eggsasperating Eggsercise

Post by bat-rss » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:17 am

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In this episode, we discuss the original arrangement of the three Egghead/Olga episodes; the theme of eating that runs through both of these; the disappointing characterizations of both Egghead and Batman; and is Batgirl, or any kind of good-guy competition to Batman, getting to be annoying? Also, did you get the joke about the Russian folk song The Volga Boatmen?

Plus, the Gallants' version of the Batman theme, the announcement of a CONTEST, and your mail!

http://tothebatpoles.libsyn.com/087-an- ... eggsercise

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #87: An Eggsasperating Eggsercise

Post by High C » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:40 pm

I eggreed with some of what you guys said, but diseggreed with a few things. :lol:

First of all, what were the odds that a story in which borscht figures prominently in the plot would NOT be penned by Stanley Ralph Ross??

One thing I disagreed with was Paul's assessment of Anne Baxter's performance. I thought it was too far over the top and it didn't grab me at all. I agree she had little to work with, however. I certainly see that she and Price were having a good time. In my case, it didn't translate to the viewer having a similar good time.

As Paul said, the Cossacks were boring. Worse yet, for me, they were creepy. Obviously, they had no lines to save money, which makes them come off as robotic. It's like they're mindlessly doing Olga's bidding. Not since the 'guinea pigs' in the movie have I seen henchpeople with less 'agency' of their own.

I loved Tim's line about the cauldrons having 'the stench of Mortimer'!!

Paul made a good point about how the Batgirl fights were staged. You would think the Gotham City Henchpeople's Unit would have issued an alert to its members to NOT stand in front of BG and wait to be kicked in the face. Or at least they could have worn hockey masks.

Pat Becker, who played the lab technician, must have had a Fox contract. All of her credits were Fox ones. She now does a local show in Oklahoma about dogs, which is funny considering she played one of Catwoman's kittens.

http://dogtalktv.com/
'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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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #87: An Eggsasperating Eggsercise

Post by Dan E Kool » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:47 am

High C wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:40 pm
Paul made a good point about how the Batgirl fights were staged. You would think the Gotham City Henchpeople's Unit would have issued an alert to its members to NOT stand in front of BG and wait to be kicked in the face. Or at least they could have worn hockey masks.
To which Batman replies:
https://youtu.be/6-MEsUtXHEE
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #87: An Eggsasperating Eggsercise

Post by Jim Akin » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:58 am

High C wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:40 pm
One thing I disagreed with was Paul's assessment of Anne Baxter's performance. I thought it was too far over the top and it didn't grab me at all.
I don't like these episodes much, but I consider Olga a highlight amid the season three dreariness.

She is very, very cartoony, with her Boris-and-Natasha accent, and that is regrettable in the overall context of the show: I agree with what I think is a majority here that the balance of darkness and earnestness in the best season one shows is preferable to the jokey sitcom approach of season 3 (and much of season 2).

But, having accepted season 3 silliness for what it is (since there's no other choice), I think Olga is a gem. I love watching Anne Baxter's expressions when Olga responds to other characters' lines. (Watching her often entertains me more than the dumb dialog she's reacting to.) Maybe because the main cast had begun phoning in their performances by this point in the series, I also find it great fun to see someone so committed in her role—even if the character and her storyline are at best half-baked.

Comparing Baxter's performances as Zelda (early in season 1) and Olga (mid-season 3)—and the scripts for the respective episodes—sums up the shift in tone over the show's three seasons in a fairly tidy nutshell:

Zelda wasn't a "supercriminal," or even the real force behind her crime wave, but she was a tough cookie—it was she, not Eival Ekdol, who suspended Aunt Harriet over a pit of fire. Baxter played her pretty convincingly—at least until the appropriately hammy scene showing her reformation. (Not to mention, her episode saw two machine-gun murders and had Batman speak a line about calling the morgue!)

Olga, by contrast, is an absurd caricature, whose claim to power is somehow vested in a giant coffee pot, and whose most diabolical doomtrap involves death by caviar. It truly had become a different show.

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #87: An Eggsasperating Eggsercise

Post by BATWINGED HORNET » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:36 pm

Another good show, guys.

In Joel Eisner's Official Batbook, he points to "Flop Goes the Joker" as the transition from the Joker as--
"...an arch criminal with a superior intelligence into a spoiled brat with a childish mind"
That statement was not only true regarding the Joker, but the handling of characters in the following season, with Egghead in the running for Most Childish Villain against the Joker; gone was the Egghead who seemed intelligent and a bit cutthroat in his debut arc. In season three, he was a whining punk led by the nose, hiding behind Olga and not posing any sort of a threat. He--like season three Joker--was reduced to a man-child, and if that was the typical Bat-villain / tone of the series, then 1968 audiences would not have been surprised when Batman was cancelled. After all, what's a superhero show without believable villains?

Paul, I thought I was the only one who ever thought of Roger C. Carmel when the Cossacks were on screen; they were like an army of Harry Mudd or Gumm clones, and yeah, that's not a good thing.

Tim, the feeling that Batgirl was one character too many applies to the entire season. Even watching this as a kid I found her hands-on-hips sassy act annoying and thought she brought an end to any development of Batman and Robin as effective crimefighters. It was all about Batgirl sassing her way into investigations

Great points about some fan behavior related to false history, and West selling the red light district version of the show ("Golden P*ssy")..
Jim Akin wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:58 am
Comparing Baxter's performances as Zelda (early in season 1) and Olga (mid-season 3)—and the scripts for the respective episodes—sums up the shift in tone over the show's three seasons in a fairly tidy nutshell:

Zelda wasn't a "supercriminal," or even the real force behind her crime wave, but she was a tough cookie—it was she, not Eival Ekdol, who suspended Aunt Harriet over a pit of fire. Baxter played her pretty convincingly—at least until the appropriately hammy scene showing her reformation. (Not to mention, her episode saw two machine-gun murders and had Batman speak a line about calling the morgue!)

Olga, by contrast, is an absurd caricature, whose claim to power is somehow vested in a giant coffee pot, and whose most diabolical doomtrap involves death by caviar. It truly had become a different show.
Interesting contrast, and yes, by the time of Olga, it was a different show--a caricature of something else.
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #87: An Eggsasperating Eggsercise

Post by Mr. Glee » Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:36 pm

I think I'm in a minority of one regarding this story; I actually prefer it to the prior Egghead story from Season 2. The catch is, you really need to watch all three parts in the originally-intended order, and have a copy of that very informative article posted at the Batgirl/Bat-Trap site handy so you can keep track of what got changed and/or deleted.

I can see why the producers felt the story wasn't strong enough to carry three consecutive weeks, but splitting them up only made the problem worse (a weak story was effectively replaced with no story at all.) They would have been better off airing parts 1 & 2, then have the villains make a clean getaway and drop off Batman's radar for a couple of weeks...then have them resurface later to carry out the final stage of their plan.

The story doesn't really seem like a step down for the Egghead character to me; I didn't think he came across as a particularly smart villain the first time around, and that Gotham City lease plot didn't require any special brain-power - any of the villains could have come up with that.

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #87: An Eggsasperating Eggsercise

Post by robinboyblunderer » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:15 pm

I think Egghead's bigger plan was deducing Batman (and consequently Robin's) identity. He definitely was more ruthless and interesting in his first appearance in my opinion.

Perhaps Olga would've worked on her own (though I still didn't care for her at least she wouldn't have emasculated Eggski) with Egghead given his own episode or teamed up with an already established villain if they had to. They could've done a really good battle of wills between Batman and Egghead.

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #87: An Eggsasperating Eggsercise

Post by HELLOLARRY » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:49 am

This, like the majority of season three episodes, feels like the later seasons of the 1950's Superman. Borderline entertaining but mostly just goofy and boring.

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #87: An Eggsasperating Eggsercise

Post by High C » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:08 pm

robinboyblunderer wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:15 pm
I think Egghead's bigger plan was deducing Batman (and consequently Robin's) identity. He definitely was more ruthless and interesting in his first appearance in my opinion.
This. And in fact, he pretty much had deduced Batman's identity.
'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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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #87: An Eggsasperating Eggsercise

Post by robinboyblunderer » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:51 pm

I think Bruce focusing on trivia was a clever solution. Too bad they didn't use Egghead on his own, with a real battle of intellects between the two, you've got the Eggpuns and general goofiness for the camp factor and the contest between two genius men for the drama, a balance more in tune with the first season. I would've just preferred him as another one-off villain like Bookworm and False Face than what we got with his third season appearance.

Aside from the cleverly written henchmen and some good one liners from Batman, Shame could've just been a one time villain as well. Certainly his story and character were not worthy of a two-parter in the third season.

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #87: An Eggsasperating Eggsercise

Post by cammy85 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:34 am

The third season multi-parters were all team-ups whether necessary or not. They must have been trying to fill their quota of multi-parters there because single episodes would have been too boring after awhile. Maybe we got the episodes like Shame and Calamity Jan and Lord Ffogg and Lady Peasoup because the other actors were tired of the changes. At least they did the Dr. Cassandra and Cabala episode on its own instead of a multi-parter.

To the point of this thread: These first two episodes of course were supposed to air over three weeks and The Ogg Couple was supposed to be part one or two. We all know what a mess The Ogg Couple was so it's probably good they didn't have it in here.

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #87: An Eggsasperating Eggsercise

Post by clavierankh » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:09 am

You mention in this episode the lack of death trap cliff hangers. I had hears that Dozier was afraid people wouldn't remember them one week to the next. People certainly remembered the giant clam.

I think there was a desire to make each episode stand alone. That way a viewer who missed the previous episode wouldn't feel he missed a lot and tune out right away. There is some proof of this if you consider they took one episode of the Egghead Olga trilogy and ran it as a stand alone episode. Imagine trying that with one of the Zodiac Crime episodes of one of the Penguin Marsha episodes.

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #87: An Eggsasperating Eggsercise

Post by robinboyblunderer » Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:28 pm

If true I think it was simultaneously underestimating the audience and not considering that people can easily tune into Part 2 and still enjoy it. Escaping a death trap is a pretty simple thing to understand. It's the third season at that point people had a really good idea of what to expect.

Could there have been a financial factor to single episodes? I wonder if the salary was less for a single episode than a two parter but even so, they're still paying out for even more commissioned scripts if there are more single stories. And did three part episodes pay more?

I guess not having to construct death traps saved some money but then, they could've found creative ways around that; not every trap needs to be a giant mousetrap, knife-mobile or giant bell. King Tut or Catwoman could've kidnapped Robin and threw him on some cushions in the corner of the lair, giving more time to Batgirl and using him as a hostage instead of a trap as well.

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