TO THE BATPOLES #110: "The Impossible Crimes": Semple holds Stadd’s Feet to the Fire

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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bat-rss
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TO THE BATPOLES #110: "The Impossible Crimes": Semple holds Stadd’s Feet to the Fire

Post by bat-rss » Thu May 16, 2019 5:45 am

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In 1965, as production of Batman was starting to get rolling, Lorenzo Semple was having some difficulties in getting across to writers his vision for the show. Leonard Stadd's "The Secret of the Impossible Crimes," a script that Semple rejected, shows Stadd's take on Semple's vision after reading the script for "Hi Diddle Riddle." The result is a funhouse-mirror version of Batman '66: it's recognizably the show, but bizarrely distorted in some ways. Once again, an unused script helps us understand what Batman '66 is, and what it isn't.

http://tothebatpoles.libsyn.com/110-the ... o-the-fire

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epaddon
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #110: "The Impossible Crimes": Semple holds Stadd’s Feet to the Fire

Post by epaddon » Thu May 16, 2019 6:39 am

Before I dive into the podcast, I looked over Semple's memo and honestly I can't disagree with the bulk of his criticisms because I do find that they echo a lot of the things I found wrong with the script in terms of execution (the pointless red herrings at the beginning, the absurdity of Alfred as Batman, the silly "Batograph" gimmick). Semple didn't seem to object to the villain's plot, he objected to it not being presented simply but then forgot that this *could* have been done with a decent rewrite. It was evidently Stadd's misfortune to submit this so early in the process when the series was trying to establish himself whereas if this had been later on and Semple had a chance to see what other kind of scripts were being submitted, he might have realized that this one wasn't completely hopeless.

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #110: "The Impossible Crimes": Semple holds Stadd’s Feet to the Fire

Post by bat-rss » Thu May 16, 2019 2:58 pm

epaddon wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 6:39 am
Before I dive into the podcast, I looked over Semple's memo and honestly I can't disagree with the bulk of his criticisms because I do find that they echo a lot of the things I found wrong with the script in terms of execution (the pointless red herrings at the beginning, the absurdity of Alfred as Batman, the silly "Batograph" gimmick). Semple didn't seem to object to the villain's plot, he objected to it not being presented simply but then forgot that this *could* have been done with a decent rewrite. It was evidently Stadd's misfortune to submit this so early in the process when the series was trying to establish himself whereas if this had been later on and Semple had a chance to see what other kind of scripts were being submitted, he might have realized that this one wasn't completely hopeless.
Yes, he likely would have been more flexible later in season one!

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epaddon
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #110: "The Impossible Crimes": Semple holds Stadd’s Feet to the Fire

Post by epaddon » Thu May 16, 2019 3:17 pm

Well I enjoyed listening! Thanks first for pointing out that the deathtrap from the Penguin episode wasn't the only item from this script that Semple likely lifted (the point that made it into the Joker episode with Donna Loren later on). That kind of puts Semple's adamant rejection of the script in a more self-serving light because a rewrite would have meant he'd be without things he could use to bail his own scripts out conveniently.

Semple's criticisms in general as I said were spot-on but where I'd disagree with him is on the issue of the "left-turn" the story takes regarding Joker's ultimate plot with the nuclear reactor and coming so late in the script. Season 1 is in fact loaded with "left turns" in Part 2 like for instance in "Purrfect Crime/Better Luck Next Time" where Catwoman's interest in the pirate treasure of Captain Manx is only made clear in Part 2. "Fine Feathered Finks" also gave us a left-turn in the plot by not even introducing the character of Dawn Robbins until Part 2 (granted, Penguin is waiting for Batman to give him an idea he can seize to turn into a caper but it might have helped to foreshadow that by referring to the Dawn Robbins character in Part 1).

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #110: "The Impossible Crimes": Semple holds Stadd’s Feet to the Fire

Post by gothosmansion » Fri May 17, 2019 2:56 pm

The two U.N.C.L.E. scripts that Stadd received a solo credit on had some mis-direction to them...one of them a good bit. The misdirection was what made it such a great episode. In fact, the beginning seems to have nothing to do with the rest of the episode, but it ties back together in the end.

I guess he had improved by then. I don't want to go into too much detail and spoil the episodes for those who haven't seen them....Yeah, I'm worrying about spoiling some TV show that aired before I was born.

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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #110: "The Impossible Crimes": Semple holds Stadd’s Feet to the Fire

Post by epaddon » Sat May 18, 2019 2:12 am

And to add to my point about how the characters of Miss Alliance and Daphne should have been combined so that Miss Alliance could turn on Joker and then help tip Batman off as to where to nab him, this would also have taken care of the problem of the too-short tag since it could have given us a common S1 tag scene of the henchmoll being "reformed" (Blaze, Finella) and getting a "Batman appreciates the assistance you gave, and you will now be able to reform yourself" speech from Bruce accompanied by that familiar S1 tag music for such scenes.

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