Thursday, October 13, 2011

Episodes 45 & 46: The Clock King's Crazy Crimes/The Clock King Gets Crowned

Season 2 Episodes 45 & 46
Original Air Dates: 10/12/66 & 10/13/66
Special Guest Villain: Walter Slezak as The Clock King
Guest stars: Eileen O'Neil, Herbert Anderson
Written by: Charles Sinclair
Directed by: James Neilson

A mysterious clock spouts knockout gas at Harry Hummert's Diamond Store, the poshest gem store in all of Gotham. If there's a clock anywhere in the crime, it's got to be the work of the mad genius, The Clock King! 

PE: If Harry Hummert (played by Dennis the Menace's dad) has the grandest jewelry store in the city, why does it look like it's been decorated by Ma Parker and her hillbilly boys? Would the plush shag carpet keep your mind off the high prices?

JS: From what I hear, that's luxury set dressing compared to what we can expect to see in Season 3.

PE: Well, it seems like we've caught everyone at Wayne Manor in a bit of a...pissy mood? Alfred answers the batphone with a long heavy sigh and Dick and Bruce are pummeling poor ol' Aunt Harriet (who just wants some attention) in the study. In fact, when the call to the batphone comes, you get the sense that they'd rather face a nuclear blast set off by The Joker than spend one more minute with this old codger. Thank goodness Hariet's got Bruce's surprise party to keep her going. That and her happy pills.

JS: Strangely enough, I don't think you're exaggerating. It was as if Bruce had to hold himself back from beating Aunt Harriet. I was bracing myself for a BUH-BAM! title card.

PE: Judging by those things above his eyes, I'd say "Caterpillar King" might be a better moniker.

JS: Based on our first glimpse of her, I thought we might have a memorable babe in the making with Millie (O'Neil). Unfortunately, despite legs that rival Sherry Jackson's, she was underutilized.

PE: Genuine guffaw escaped me when I saw the deep inside joke in the art gallery. Imagine, the producers of Batman spoofing themselves as "pop art." I actually thought Clock King's accurately titled "Time I Had a Joint" sculpture looks better than most "art" I've seen these days in museums.

JS: The B&R art reminded me of the Topps trading cards.

PE: Batman shows he was a trailblazer in the art of photoshopping with no more than a glossy and a magic marker. Maybe that's how he spotted the heavily-disguised Minstrel a few episodes back. 

JS: You're forgetting that the dynamic duo are trained in the art of deduction.

PE: First display of slinkies as a deadly weapon. You can tell they really adhere and prevent the Dynamic Duo from capturing the villains. Burt Ward has to actually hold his slinkies tight around himself.

JS: Don't let anyone tell you these guys were lacking when it came to acting.

PE: Our celebrity window-opener this episode is none other than the late, great Sammy Davis, Jr. Now this guy would have made a great villain (if played straight).

JS: Are we to believe Sammy lived or worked in a building that was a haven for criminals? It offers a chance to think of him as a villain the boys just never crossed paths with.

PE: My O'Hara dialogue of the episode comes when Harriet invites the Commish and the Chief to Wayne Manor for Bruce's surprise party at around "Sevenish." O'Hara, without missing a beat, exclaims "On the dot!" Since Bruce already knows about the party, the only surprise will be if O'Hara makes it to Wayne Manor without getting lost.

JS: There's nothing that says nutrition like a couple of medium-rare BatBurgers! Do you think the Batmobile has built-in condiment dispensers for those trips to the drive-in?

PE: It's no wonder Bruce can't stand to spend time with Aunt Harriet. Look at the crap she buys him for his birthday. Can you see that dopey clock amidst the den's antique time piece collection or that beautiful Victorian sofa? That clock looks like it should come filled with a stout ale.

JS: For a Clock King, I can't say that any of the clocks particularly impressed me...

PE: One heck of a Bat-Crime-Computer to be able to come up with all the Smiths who've been convicted of crimes in Gotham. The way Bats connected Mr. Smith with The Clock King gave me a major headache. I'm still not sure what all that mumbo-jumbo was about.

JS: I like it better when the computer just spits out an answer and we can all get on with our lives.

PE: Looks like Dick Grayson's been into Aunt Harriet's eye liner again.

JS: Is it me, or does Burt Ward have a passing resemblance to a young Carrie Fisher? Picture him with the cinnamon roll hairdo... Maybe it's just the eye makeup. Let's hope.

PE: Chief O'Hara congratulates the Caped Crusader on a job well done. In fact, he says "I couldn't 'a done a better job me'self". Do I detect a note of sarcasm in Batman's voice when he answers back, after a pause, "Thank you, Chief, coming from you, that's high praise indeed."

JS: I think he was thinking about O'Hara's acrobatic act a few episodes back, and realizing they actually didn't have to save him.

PE: I'm not sure the beats were right in this episode. Several times, the actors are standing around, seemingly waiting for their cues, especially after the "come down" after a fight sequence. Of course, they may have just been as bored as I was.

JS: Not only do we see the reverse Batpole action introduced in the film, here we get to see the Compressed Steam lift buttons. Buttons, mind you. And yet Batman's is once again significantly larger than Robin's. And to add insult to injury, it's not enough to recognize the buttons are different sized, but they still require labels. Just in case a guest was in the Batcave and didn't notice.

PE: So, let's start keeping count. How many buttons on that wall and how the heck do they keep them straight in their heads?

PE Rating: 

JS Rating: 

Next up... Egghead! Same Bat Time, Same Bat URL!


  1. In light of Gary's insightful depiction of the potential antagonism between the producers of Batman and the world of comic book aficionados, it's nice to see that the series isn't timid about teasing another part of it's fan base: hipsters and upper-class collectors of pop art. "Time Out of Joint" and Clock King's disguise are one level of satire, but as with the later Joker story, the real joke is in the way everyone else receives them.

    This may also be the right time to laud the contribution of gifted voiceover artist Desmond Doomsday. His narration is one of the most memorable aspects of the series and on the rare occasion he has something special to do, he shines. (This is the one with all of the "meanwhile"s, right?)

  2. JS: "Picture him with the cinnamon roll hairdo... " Please, let's not.

    At the risk of Christine's coming down on me like a load of bricks, the only things this episode has going for it are Miss O'Neil's gams. Meanwhile, meh.

  3. In the art theft scene, Clock King exclaims "Ahhh, my favorite clock masterpiece ... and it's mine, all mine."

    Curiously, he then takes possession of what looks like Dali's "Phone on the Beach" with not a clock or watch in sight. I take it the production crew couldn't get hands on a print of "The Persistence Of Memory."

    Glenn :)

  4. Actually, Clifton, I concur. "Meh" was exactly what I was thinking about this episode. I wasn't totally bored by it, but I didn't really love anything about it either. If I were into Miss O'Neil's gams, at least there would have been something for me to be excited about in this episode. I just wondered why she always had a feather duster in her hand.

    Maybe Batman labels the buttons and poles so Robin doesn't try and use his. I'll bet their bedroom doors are labeled, too.

  5. Christine: "If I were into Miss O'Neil's gams … ." Your choice of words is, ah, stirring.

    "I just wondered why she always had a feather duster in her hand." That set me wondering, too. Then I wondered what you do with clocks. You set them. Wind them. Oil them. Dust them. Maybe the latter has more visual appeal, or maybe she used the duster in nefarious ways. (I just slapped myself.)

    Until returning to the series I had forgotten how much labeling there was. John and I have already tangled over this; now I yield to his original observation. Everything damn thing is labeled. Why haven't we seen Acme® Label-Makers in the Batcave and the Commissioner's office? Greenway's budget set aside a fantastic label fund. When money for everything else ran out, the labels were last to go.