13 COOL THINGS About BATMAN ’66 Season Three

And, yes! There were 13 COOL THINGS!

Back in the fall, columnist 13th Dimension columnist Jim Beard put together two great features extolling the considerable virtues of the first two seasons of Batman ’66. Now, he’s back with a loving look at the oft-maligned Season 3.

Why now? First, this week marked the anniversary of the show’s final episode: “Minerva, Mayhem and Millionaires,” which aired March 14, 1968 and guest-starred Zsa Zsa Gabor. And second, because the final volume of Jim’s Batman ’66 episode guides — featuring essays by a wide variety of contributors, including 13th D regulars like Paul Kupperberg, John S. Drew, Chris Franklin (and me) among the many — is out now. (The books have classic, swingin’ Bat-titles and you can click these links to order: Zlonk! Zok! Zowie! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season OneBiff! Bam! Ee-Yow! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season Two; and Oooff! Boff! Splatt! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66 – Season Three.

One anniversary. Three books. Three columns. Dig it!


I’m big enough to admit it: When I sat down to pull out 13 things I love about Season 3 of Batman, I began to think it was going to be a thankless task. Don’t get me wrong, Gothamites; I love the show, but even the most ardent admirer of it can be hard-pressed to say good things about the third season.

Then something happened. Buoyed by the enthusiasm my essayists made evident in Oooff! Boff! Splatt!, I made my way through the episodes and made notes and before I knew it I had my 13 things and all was well in the Batcave. So, let’s get to it — Holy in No Particular Order, Batman!

Batgirl. I suppose it’s a no-brainer to include the Dominoed Daredoll here, but in all honesty, Batgirl really is a breath of fresh air to the show. Yvonne Craig’s sparkle and spunk even pump up Messrs. West and Ward when they hit those times when they were probably wondering what the heck they were still doing in tights. Batgirl makes even the dullest or dumbest episode a treat.

Father and Daughter. One of my most favorite things about Yvonne Craig’s presence in Season 3 is the absolutely lovely repartee she had with Neil Hamilton. I have always maintained that you could truly believe they were actually father and daughter.

Londinium. I enjoy the three-part Londinium episode, not because it’s a terribly realistic portrayal of a trip to England, but because it was a fascinating idea: Take Adam West’s Batman out of Gotham City for an entire adventure. I wish they’d been able to do that more.

Lady Prudence. Speaking of Londinium, I really dig Lyn Peters as the closest thing we get to a “moll” in those episodes, Lady Prudence. She’s hip and kicky and not entirely bad, which makes her a bit more three-dimensional than most of the other villains’ hench-chicks.

The Flower Children. It’s almost always amusing to watch the “establishment’s” view of hippies and flower children on 1960s and 70s TV shows, and the far-out young people in “Louie, the Lilac” are no exception. What makes it even more fun is Barbara Gordon’s reaction to them.

Frank Gorshin. After the strange replacement Riddler of John Astin in the second season, it’s great to have Gorshin back in “Ring Around the Riddler” for one more turn as the Prince of Puzzlers. I like to imagine him and the studio brass sitting down to negotiate said return to the strains of the Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out.”

Fred. Scorch me if you will, but I get a kick out of Fred, the erudite “bandito” in “The Great Escape/The Great Train Robbery.” It may have something to do with the character being played by the great Barry Dennen, who would go on to star as the screeching Pilate in my beloved Jesus Christ Superstar in 1973.

Dina Merrill, Fred Dennen, Cliff Robertson, Victor Lundin

Villain Cameos. With the disappointing loss of the twice-a-week status of the show in Season 3, we got the unique “sneak peeks” of villains scheduled for the next week. It was always fun, even if the cameo didn’t always line up with the story for the crook’s proper episode.

Verdigris. The cavorting, creepy Martian of “The Joker’s Flying Saucer” may be my favorite henchman in the entire series. Wickedly played by actor Richard Bakalyan, Verdigris poses the tantalizing question: What exactly is he?

The Approaching Decade. It may be challenging to put a finger on this one, but I love how you can see the coming 1970s in Season 3. It’s mostly in the fashions—Bruce Wayne, for one, is loosening up in what he wears—but there’s also some attitude change going on, too.

Dinosaur. Batman disguises himself as a prehistoric “Neosaurus” in “How to Hatch a Dinosaur,” which is actually just a costume they borrowed from Lost in Space. How can you not love that?

Cabala. I’m a fan of classic radio shows of the past, and so also a fan of Howard Duff as “Richard Diamond.” That leads me to loving him as Cabala in “The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra,” and his totally un-hip hipness.

The Batcave. Nearly an entire episode about the Batcave and an attempt to break into it in “I’ll Be a Mummy’s Uncle”? Yes, please.

Zlonk! Zok! Zowie! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season One is published by Crazy 8 Press and lists for $14.99. Click here to order.

Biff! Bam! Ee-Yow! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season Two is also available, at $15.99. Click here.

Ooff! Boff! Splatt! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66 – Season Three is also available, at $12.99. Click here.




Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Anyone ever hear the rumor that the Dr Cassandra episode was originally planned for Sonny and Cher? Kind of makes sense.

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    • There is evidence in official papers and studio documents to show that the duo filmed a cameo (possibly even a window cameo), but for some reason it was never used.

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  2. Howard Duff was Sam Pade , Dick Powell wax Richard Diamond

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  3. No mention of the siamese human knot?

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      • For me it was Aunt Harriet (holy missing relative) That appeared in Ring Around The Riddler.
        Sad they never mentioned her name again after this episode.

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  4. How do you think of Eartha Kitt’s Catwoman stands up, on it’s own?

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  5. Great list Jim! The sublime insanity of Dan’s favorite “Surf’s Up, Joker’s Under” would have to be on my list as well. Plus, Yvonne in that bathing suit!

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