Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Episodes 53 & 54: Green Ice/Deep Freeze

Season 2 Episodes 53 & 54
Original Air Dates: 11/9/66 & 11/10/66
Special Guest Villain: Otto Preminger as Mr. Freeze
Guest stars: Dee Hartford, Marie Windsor
Written by: Max Hodge
Directed by: george waGGner

Mr. Freeze has kidnapped beauty queen contestant Miss Iceland and plans to lower her body temperature until she agrees to marry him. That's not all the Frigid Fiend is up to: he's initiated Operation Hate Batman, a smear campaign designed to turn the population against the Caped Crusader. Add to that, he's demanding one billion dollars or he'll turn Gotham into an ice skating rink. Wild!

PE: Bright Bruce answers the batphone to Commissioner Gordon's strangled "Help me, Batman." He then turns to Dick and says "The commissioner. I think he was trying to tell me something."


JS: A brilliant scene. Bested only by the dynamic duo's arrival at police headquarters. Just in case Gordon and O'Hara aren't dead, Batman brought along plastic explosive to finish them off...

PE: Robin is really going to town rubbing the frozen knuckles of Chief O'Hara. It seems to work though. 


JS: Once he got through with the knuckles, he did a heck of a job cleaning up the office before the media arrived.

PE: Newspaper woman Nellie Majors (Windsor) talks her head off while the other newspaper reporters behind her seem to nod off. I don't blame them. Batman is kind enough to call her attractive but I think Nellie has a point when she tells the Dark Knight that his "mask seems to make an excellent blindfold!" 


"No—I am your father!"
JS: I'm sorry that we lost the optical effect in Mr. Freeze's lair from the first season. But aside from that, Mr. Freeze 2.0 is a marked improvement.

PE: Robin's elementary lessons seem to be coming along fine. Following his work on percentages last episode, he's working on fundamental spelling: "I...C...E? Ice!"


JS: On top of everything else, I was impressed to find out that Mr. Freeze was actually Luke Skywalker's father.

PE: By golly, the fake Dynamic Duo look as fit as the real thing. In fact, the faux Robin looks just like Burt Ward's double (who should have gotten star billing over Ward since he seems to have more screen time).


JS: You can just see the pride in those henchmen when they get to trade out their normal henchmen-wear for a day.

PE: Wild!

JS: What's that about, anyway?




PE: If that silly Bat Crime Analyzer can predict what Mr. Freeze's next crime will be based on his past crimes, why doesn't Bats, in his spare time, feed the cards for all his foes in the crystal ball and head them off the pass? Another job for Alfred perhaps?


JS: I loved the artist's rendering of a frozen Gotham City. What most people don't realize is that Fox reused that painting 36 years later in The Day After Tomorrow.



PE: Since Harriet addresses Mayor Lindseed's date as "Linda" rather than "Mrs. Lindseed," I'll assume that Gotham's mayor is just like every other mayor in America!


JS: Marie Windsor would later appear as Eva Miller, owner of the boarding house in Tobe Hooper's TV movie adaptation of Stephen King's Salem's Lot.

PE: When Mr. Freeze crashes Wayne Manor's snob party, Bruce and Dick are mumbling about getting their long underwear on and doing something about it. They should really watch what they say since they seem to have an eavesdropper just behind them. Harriet's the only one at the party with a clear, calm head. She swears that Mr. Freeze's voice sounds just like the caterer for the party she spoke to over the phone.


JS: For those playing at home, PAM! is back.

PE: Wild!


JS: Okay, now you're really starting to freak me out.

PE: There seem to be a lot of bandwagon jumpers in Gotham this episode (as many as there were last episode). Harriet, Commissioner Gordon, and Chief O'Hara all question their faith in the Dynamic Duo. What fools. And then there's the Opie Taylor lookalike who boos Batman and Robin's poster right in front of the boys while they're in their civvies. Batman forgives the little bastard in the end though and offers to "take him for a ride." Do you think the police ever found the body?


JS: So did that kid somehow win a walk-on in an episode of Batman?

PE: Jeeeesus, that Robin is a whiner. So,yeah, he's freezing in a "cone of ice" (actually, to me, it looked more like a bubble bath), but they've been down before in worse scrapes. You can just see that Batman wants to get free so he can smack his youthful ward.


JS: Now I've got a hankering for a Sno-Cone...

PE: Following last episode's satire on the American public's idiocy when it comes to elections and candidates, this episode doles out a bit of smackdown on the American tabloid. It's kept to a minimum though unfortunately. I think this show could have gone down the same road as "Hizzoner the Penguin," and been more enjoyable. It's not a bad episode. It's just not very memorable (except for the bubblebath cones, which I remember vividly watching during the episode's first run). Preminger's not as good as this old codger remembers him. This was his sole appearance as Mr. Freeze (which also doesn't jibe with my memories of many episodes featuring Preminger). We'll have to see how Eli Wallach fares as the third and final Freeze later this season. If anything, I'd say Preminger's portrayal of Mr. Freeze inspired Joel "The Franchise Killer" Schumacher when it came time to design the villain for the final film of "Volume 2", Batman and Robin. Of course, that role went to Arnold Schwarzenegger and the rest is infamy.

JS: Once again, we close an episode with Gordon speaking directly to the camera. Wild!


PE: Wild!


PE Rating: 



JS Rating: 



Next up... The Joker! Same Bat Time, Same Bat URL!

5 comments:

  1. At least he didn't say "Groovy" or "Far out man."

    Glenn :)

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  2. After appearing on this popular show, Preminger must have felt hip enough to direct SKIDOO. Wild!

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  3. I am not too wild about this episode. Wouldn't Mr. Freeze be more apt to exclaim, "Cool!"

    I found it surprising that none of the beauty queens screamed when Mr. Freeze and the henchmen broke into their dressing room to kidnap Miss Iceland, including Miss Iceland, as she was being carried off. It's also odd that, even though Miss Iceland is in a bathing suit in a freezing cold cell, the woman's teeth don't even chatter. Talk about Ice Queen. Wie-uld!

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  4. I do not understand your willful misinterpretation of lines and scenes in order to heap derision on a show that you claim to love. "I think he was trying to tell me something" made me burst out loud in laughter, and "Linda Lindseed" is pretty funny too. When Batman arrives to revive Commissioner Gordon at the beginning, he struggles to find him, although he is sitting right in front of him! And the sign in the Batcave that says, "To Service Elevator", which is only about 5 feet away! How about his passionate yet deadpan speech that nothing ever hurt him like that little boy's boo? Very funny!

    I loved this show as a kid, and am loving it now, on a different level, as an adult. Aunt Harriet would call the mayor's wife by her first name, having met her several times before this party. Great shots of the Batmobile in this episode. I don't know how they achieved the frozen pool effect at the party, but it looked pretty real to me. It's also funny how Bruce always takes the right Batpole to leave the study, but lands in the Batcave on the left one! Never questioned for a second that the Dynamic Duo changed costumes on the fly.

    Would like your reviews better if they were actually reviews, and not simply 2 guys taking potshots at the script. I think you've liked about 3 episodes since the series debut. It would also be a better read if you'd react to what each other is saying, as it reads now like one of those musical duets where each person recorded their part separately.

    I thought that Mr. Freeze's stroking his eyebrow and repeating "Wild!" was a reminder of the comic strip origins of the show. I wish the nattering reporter could have had some comeuppance in the end. Maybe they could have made her Opie's mom, and had her apologize.

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