Monday, December 12, 2011

The Batscholar on Episode 117

By Joel Eisner

By far the best King Tut of the Season. I know there are many of you who prefer the previous episode but as I pointed out this was part two of the same story. It was cut into two separate episodes and unlike Egghead and Olga, it was retooled and shot at different times with a different suporting cast. But it was originally a two part story (this was according to Stan Ross), One of major components to the story was the Bat-Dummies. When Tut reaches the Batcave, he finds the Bat-Dummy Closet, which contains the Bat-Dummy that was used against him in the previous episode. He then grabs it with a sigh of recognition, he joyfully beats it up, and then stomps on it.

I always prefered this episode because of the entire sequence in the Batcave and the revealing of Tut's real name, which I will get to in shortly.

Joey Tata, last seen as Penguin GOON, returns as Tut's chief henchman complete with beard and sunglasses.

Joey Tata,“The sets were wonderful. That whole set was fantastic. They had a whole thing on a railroad car. We were in it, and the camera was dollying with us. One of the things they left out because they didn’t think it was right, was when we were all toasting each other, and Victor lifts the glass and goes to drink. His beard gets in the glass, and after he finishes he lowers the glass, the beard is dripping down. ‘He went, ‘Arrgh!’’, like a pirate’. We thought it was just wonderful, but they cut it out; they didn’t like it.”

Victor's new Queen played by former Playmate Victoria Vetri, who at the time was about 24, the last of the younger females molls. Vetri appeared in numerous tv shows in the 1960's and in films like Rosemary's Baby and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth. She also appeared (uncredited as the human form of Robert Lansing's cat Isis), in the Assignment Earth episode of Star Trek. Most recently (as of Sept 2011) she was sentenced to 9 years in prison for shooting husband number four in the back after a drunken party. She is now 66.

Jock Mahoney returns but not as Leo Catwoman's henchman but it in the small part of H.L.Hunter, the mining Engineer. Comedian Henny Youngman has a nice bit of banter with Victor as the real estate salesman, Manny the Mesopotamian, and Jerry Lewis regular (and housekeeper for the Fly) Kathleen Freeman has little to do as Rosetta Stone (part of her scenes were cut for time when the episodes were split up).

Towards the end of the episode, Tut knowing Batman's true identity runs despite his bulk, up the mine shaft in the hopes of spreading the news to the world. Tut eventually is hit on the head by a falling rock from the mine shaft he reverts back to his former self as a Professor of Egyptology at Yale University. He real name was never revealing until this episode.

King Tut’s real name is Professor William Omaha Mackelroy, which is a Bat joke unto itself. Writer Stanly Ralph Ross loved to include private jokes in his episodes, such as names of his friends and relatives, his boyhood home address, etc. Well, this time, he named King Tut’s alter ego after the producer’s pet dog. You see, “William:” Dozier was born in “Omaha” Nebraska and had a pet poodle at the time named, you guessed it, “Mackelroy.”

Next: The final appearance of the Joker. Cesar Romero returns to Gotham to take over the world from stock footage of Klaatu (aka Sandman) Michael Rennie's spaceship from the original Day the Earth Stood Still.


  1. Actually, that's stock footage from William Cameron Menzies' INVADERS FROM MARS, a 1953 Fox release (the closest 20th ever got to a DTESS sequel). Footage of Klaatu's ship hovering over Washington turned up in TWILIGHT ZONE's "To Serve Man," eventually mutating into one of Harryhausen's flying saucers from EARTH VS. before the episode's final fade. Did Menzies actually use DAY's saucer prop in '53 for that "over the sand pit" shot that BATMAN later employed? Have no idea. But it stuck around the studio for a good fifteen years; Irwin Allen dug it out of mothballs for a color VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA episode around this same (late-'60s) period.

    Victoria Vetri's real-life situation is truly unfortunate. In addition to being a strikingly beautiful woman, she was a talented actress (making many guest appearances on major '60s TV shows, including THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE'S FATHER pilot). Unlike most ex-Playmates who took a shot at film stardom, Ms. Vetri was quite versatile and had a notable flair for comedy. This skill is on display (along with her spectacular physique) in "Mummy's Uncle," from those cute dialogue readings with Buono to her subtle wristwatch-check during a belly dance.

  2. Personally, I think they should have used this episode to have the Terrific Trio reveal their identities to each other. It would have created a different dynamic (sorry!) for the show. It probably wouldn't have saved it from cancellation, but it would have been different.