The BATMAN ’66 Top 13 Episode Countdown: #13

True or False Face/Holy Rat Race…


Holy Batstravaganza!

Every day between now and 1/12 — the 50th anniversary of Batman’s TV debut — we’ll be counting down our Top 13 episodes. For more info on our latest Batman ’66 celebration, click here.

And bring on those comments — either here or in whichever social-media thread you found this. We want to hear your thoughts!

Now to #13


There’s a what-might’ve-been quality to this first-season episode. False Face, who was more or less a TV show construction, would have been a great recurring villain. Unfortunately, this was a one-and-done.


Malachi Throne was sinister in his creepy translucent mask — and red fright wig — and had a physicality that gave him an extra edge of danger.

Myrna Fahey’s Blaze is a fan favorite and she provides more than window dressing as False Face’s henchwoman: She’s an integral part of the villain’s oddball gang.


The plot itself is fittingly twisty-turny with only one real downside: If the subway deathtrap makes Gotham City feel like an East Coast metropolis — as it should — then the climactic chase says lo-fi Southern California backlot.

But on the whole, it’s a strong, straightforward episode that leaves you wanting more False Face.

NEXT: #12 — One “Wild!” episode … (click here)

Maybe I should call this Batman '66 Fortnight?


Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Agreed. Malachi Throne was great. There was a weird and exciting quality witnessing his improbable transformations into other characters. False Face also had a great theme written for him. Nelson Riddle did such a good job painting the musical feel and background of the show. (One of my big beefs with the bluray/DVD release is there was no feature on him or Neal Hefti. That would have been nice) False Face’s theme was eerie and like the character it’s a shame it was never used again.

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    • I agree entirely, Andy. Such a great episode, very exciting, and never predictable as the overused Penguin and Joker characters were. Also loved the theme music of FF. Riddle and Hefti definitely are due for more attention, as Star Trek OS finally put out the complete music for episodes, all three seasons.

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  2. One of my favorite episodes. He should have been in more of them.

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  3. Malachi throne was at a Hollywood autograph show not long ago in los Angeles. One of the dwindling number of guest villains still living as the 50th anniversary approaches

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    • Sadly, Malachi Throne passed away nearly three years ago, on March 13, 2013.

      Back when the False Face episodes aired, he was famously dissatisfied with the way his character was presented, using masks instead of make-up (as was used in just one scene, where FF was disguised as an armored-car security guard). His withdrawal of his name from the credits led to the infamous “Special Guest Villain: ?” titles.

      In his later years, Malachi had long since made peace with the character and came to appreciate fans’ love for those episodes. He was a gracious presence at conventions, and is missed by many bat-fans.

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      • His last appearance at a Hollywood autograph show must have been in 2012 early in the year I had tried to go to it but just couldn’t make it there. There was Adam west Burt ward andd Julie newmar and several actresses that had played henchwomen on the tv series.

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      • Thanks, Jim, for this great info. I thought maybe that was him made up as the armored security guard. Great episode, loved his work on Star Trek OS too.

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  4. While he may not have been happy with the masks, his physicality is what makes him stand out, even moreso, day I say, than Frank Gorshin. I always thought it was a shame he didn’t make a return appearance in the second season.

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  5. Actually False Face did come from the comics, Batman 113 to be exact. He was featured in the first story of the issue, titled “The Menace of False Face”.

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    • Yes, that’s why I termed him “more or less a TV show construction.” There was a False Face but they were not similar.

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      • The original False Face predates his appearance in the Batman comics. He was a villain in The Seven Soldiers of Victory. In that incarnation he actually bore a strong resemblance to the tv version.

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  6. I remember when I first saw this in 1966. It was the first time I was scared–and liked it very much!!! More to the point, I found it an exciting episode. Had the series maintained this suspense, I think it would have lasted longer. I did get to meet Malachi Throne in Detroit in 2006, and it was a good time! And I consider Myrna Fahey one of the finest molls in the series, hands down!!!

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  7. I absolutely love the fact that it took this long but true bat fans have come together to bring the 66 batman back to life, look at all we get now, real 66 figures, books, a animated movie, shirts, all sorts of property replicas, and it looks like the possibilities are endless now, wow what technology and the love of this great show and the actors has done to our society. Batman forever!!!

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  1. The BATMAN ’66 Top 13 Episode Countdown | 13th Dimension, Comics, Creators, Culture - […] 13. True or False Face/Holy Rat Race […]
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