Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Batscholar on Episode 113

By Joel Eisner

This is not one of your typical good or bad Batman stories, it is another one of pure nonsense but not in a good way. If this was some attempt at make fun of women's rights, it falls flat and it if was to be a spoof of that type of show it falls even flatter. Barbara Rush, had just come off a long stretch on the Fox soap opera Peyton Place. She was known for her ventures into scifi with When World's Collide and It Came From Outer Space. But most of her movie career was over by this time and she stayed in episodic tv for years. In fact, when I tried to inverview her for the original Batbook in 1985, she was off on a cruise to France, on the Love Boat, and I was never able to reach her. She appears to be enjoying herself even in a self satisfying sense. She was also the exwife of actor Jeffrey Hunter, aka Christopher Pike, the original captain of the Enterprise in the first Star Trek pilot.

The character of Nora Clavicle was sort of a two-faced woman's activist. She wanted women to run everything and using the women of Gotham City to cease all domestic choirs, manages to take over the city from the men, but not to put woman's issues first, but to destroy the city using wind up exploding mice and collect on the insurance policy she took out on the city.

Her aides are not the usual bunch of hunky or out of shape actor stuntmen, but two statuesque beauties dressed in shimming gold outfits. Inga Neilsen who spent most of 1960's and 1970's playing the stunning woman parts in variety of tv series iand movides ncluding the Odd Couple, In Like Flint, the Sliencers and Mel Brooks' Silent Movie. She disappeared after the 1980's.

June Wilkinson on the other hand was a rival to Jane Mansfield in appearance and used it in dozens of movies from the 1950's until the 1990's. She later opened a chain of fitness centers in Canada and produced and hosted a tv series on the Encore network called The Directors. women we basically in this episode for their physical appearance than for their acting abilities.

Also in this episode is Mayor Linseed's wife Millie played by Jean Byron who besides apppearing in my favorite low budget film Invisible Invaders was a regular on Fox's Dobie Gillis show and later as Patty Duke's mother on her sitcom. She died in 2006 at the age of 80.

Also featured in this episode is Larry Gelman, later achieved tv fame for playing Vinnie on the Odd Couple tv series and as Dr Tupperman on the Bob Newhart show. Rhae and Alyce Andrece a pair of identical twins who were better utilized as twin androids opposite Colonel Gumm aka Roger C. Carmel in the Star Trek episode I, Mudd.

Finally, Elizabeth Baur (4th Policewoman) is the daughter of 20th Century-Fox casting, director Jack Baur and would eventually replace Barbara Anderson as Raymond Burr’s policewoman assistant on the Ironside TV series.

Yvonne Craig: “I enjoyed doing my own stunts on the show. We would choreograph the stunts on a lunch break or something. When you are doing a show, it can get really dull. You are sitting so long while they set up the lights, then you say a couple of lines, then they tear down the lights again. At least stunts are something that uses your physical energy a great deal. “We had a horrible time getting into Siamese human knot because Burt is inflexible. They would say, get closer, get closer guys. We had to stay that way for rather a long time and he was complaining that it hurt. I said, ‘It’s supposed to hurt.’”

The entire sequence with our three heroes leading the robot mice into the water and then Batman trying to get the last mouse to jump off is so silly its' painful. Almost as painful as the Human Knot. Anyway there are better episodes up ahead.

Next Penguin returns for his best and last episode of the season.


  1. Inga Neilsen's most famous role was as the silent, Amazonian bombshell "Gymnasia" in the film version of "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum" with Zero Mostel. She also played the role in many stage productions of the musical between the 60s and 80s.

    There's a recent You Tube interview with Inga.

  2. That line about Nora as a "two-faced woman's activist" is interesting, since usually the feminist character out to take over the world (which is such a popular idea in spy stories) STICKS to that reason for doing it. So the story having Nora forget all about that agenda AFTER taking over is kind of original.
    With one big exception that I know of. I don't know how many of you know them well, but that's also a favorite idea in the early "Destroyer" books - they're full of arch-feminist villainess characters whose criminal plans never seem to actually be ABOUT feminism.

  3. Barbara Rush's daughter Claudia Cowan is a long-time correspondent for Fox News Channel.

    June Wilkinson was married in the 1970s to NFL quarterback Dan Pastorini.