Monday, November 21, 2011

The Batscholar on Episode 96

By Joel Eisner

Gorshin's token return to the series was too little to late. Besides the stupid plot, the cheap limbo sets and cameo by Aunt Harriet (she is in her seat one minute and when her cameo is over, she disappears from her seat and not seen until she arrives in Londinium several episodes later.

The thought that the petite Gorshin could ever defeat Batman is ridiculous, in fact Batman himself said when he saw it was Riddler in the ring, that he was even smaller than Robin and it wasn't a fair fight.

The introduction of the character of the Siren in this episode was an attempt to bridge the gap between each episode, now that the cliffhanger endings had been eliminated due to the now once a week format. For this episode, it appeared that they were short of material which is why she turned up in both the middle and the end of the episode. Later most of the villains just turned up in clips connected to the previous episode with either a phone call or just show up in another location and is reported back to Gordon.

The gang is made up of regular stuntman Gil Perkins (Bluebeard from the Batman movie) and Nicholas Georgiade who like Paul Picerni was a regular member of Robert Stack's team on the Untouchables. Stock contract player James Brolin made the last of his three guest appearances (having the least to do of all three parts). Former child star Peggy Ann Garner (former wife of Albert Salmi, Captain Tucker from Lost in Space) is better known for her role in the film A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. She died in 1984 at the age of 52. She was in her mid thirties when she did this show. It appeared that Fox abandoned their usage of unknown Fox young starlets in favor of former name actresses who were looking for a career boost.

Now we come to Joan Collins, Like Garner she was in her early thirties at the time and her career was on a down slide, she later went on to appear in a number of low budget horror films such as Tales that Witness Madness, Tales from the Crypt (1972) where she is murdered by Santa Claus and Empire of the Ants, it wasn't until she was cast in Dynasty that her career turned around. In one of her biographies, she talked about Batman, but actually remembered very little and in fact thought the show was done in the 1970's.

With the changes to the series, so went the salaries.

Robin was still short changed in favor of Batgirl. Gordon and O'Hara finally were paid more than Alfred (I have no idea why). The Guest Villains were paid more for the half hour than the full hour in the previous seasons.

3rd Season Regular Cast Salaries
Batman $2250.00 per half hour
Robin $450.00 per half hour
Batgirl $1500.00 per half hour
Alfred $650.00 per half hour
Gordon $750.00 per half hour
O’Hara $750.00 per half hour
Guest Villain $2000.00 per half hour
Actor Frank Gorshin “When I was first approached to play the Riddler, I thought it was a joke. Then, I discovered the show had a good script and agreed to do the role, but only on a show-to-show basis. Now I am in love with the character.” “I developed the Riddler’s fiendish laugh at Hollywood parties. I listened to myself laugh and discovered that the funniest jokes brought out the high-pitched giggle I use on the show. With further study I came to realize that it wasn’t so much how I laughed as what I laughed at that created a sense of menace.”

Next The Siren


  1. With the exception of the terrible sets, I didn't mind this episode. As a kid watching this, I was glad to see Gorshin back as the Riddler and the boxing theme was not a bad idea. But, oh, those horrible sets! LOL

    I also find the part about their salaries interesting. I wonder what they would be if you pro-rate them to 2012's economy.

  2. That Robin salary is pretty staggering, considering he was drawing in a lot of the teeny bopper crowd and was so instrumental in the series by that point.