Friday, December 2, 2011

Episode 109: The Ogg Couple

Season 3 Episode 109
Original Airdate: 12/21/67
Special Guest Villain: Vincent Price as Egghead
Extra Special Guest Villainess: Anne Baxter as Olga
Guest Stars: Violet Carlson, Billy Corcoran
Written by: Stanford Sherman
Directed by: Oscar Rudolph

Synopsis: Egghead and Olga have stolen the Scimitar of Bulbul and The Egg of Ogg and more robberies are imminent. First up: a pricey  stash of imported caviar.

JS: Getting rid of Aunt Harriet not only saved money on payroll, it allowed them to demolish the Stately Wayne Manor front room set. Nowadays the boys can sit back and relax in their private study. Of course, I can't understand why they make Alfred answer the Batphone when they're home. Like it's going to be a wrong number or something.

PE: I think I liked Egghead a lot better as a scheming mastermind of evil rather than as Olga's whipped lapdog, following behind her like a U-Haul trailer.

JS: It must have been confusing for the kids watching  this during its original run. Didn't we just see Egghead on a donkey? Despite whatever changes they made, this still feels like the middle of another story.

PE: At last! Commissioner Gordon, in a throw away line, explains to us why these villains never spend more than the weekend in the hoosegow: a legal technicality has sprung the dome-shaped criminal. That I can buy. And what's with the phony "Oh, I must gather my strength and courage to summon the Batman once again! We've bothered him so much"? These dopes have never hesitated to bug the Caped Crusader if the mail is late.

JS: I'm going to pretend that was Gordon's way of apologizing for the whole Londinium adventure...

PE: At least Batman has given Gordon and O'Hara something to keep them busy: they're to come up with a list of "every egg target in Gotham City." They may have to work through lunch.

JS: As if the Bat Computer couldn't do that.

PE: Poor Gordon. His bad memory gets worse every episode. When daughter Barbara stops into his office, looking simply dreamy in her yellow smock, her dad tells her that Batman and Robin are on the trail of the Cossacks and cautions her not to let it get around lest the news causes a "panic in the streets." This, despite the fact that the Cossacks are wandering the streets of Gotham out in the open.

JS: Barbara was just as astonished as the rest of us that Egghead was back again so soon.

PE: Barbara cautions her bird just before she undresses in front of him: "you mustn't tell anyone what you see in here." Only time in my life I wish I had been born with feathers.

JS: Hang me from that cage stand and call me Charlie!

PE: I've taken to watching and re-watching Burt Ward in scenes where Robin has to react to Batman's prattling. Some video genius should make a montage of these scenes sans West and pop them up on youtube. I about split a gut at his double takes and "Gosh, yes, Batman"s in this one. Pay particular attention to the "caviar" sequence in the Batcave.

JS: It didn't seem like they put much effort into shooting the process footage for Batgirl's ride into town. The angle was off, and the camera car seemed to hit a few potholes (almost as many plot-holes as the screenwriter hit).

PE: That sword-dance routine that Batgirl pulls off might have looked better if all involved had thought to rehearse it first. The swords aren't coming anywhere near Batbabe's feet. Imagine how awful the battles in Batman would look if they weren't heavily choreographed and storyboarded. I'd also be more convinced about Batgirl drowning in that caviar vat if it was a little deeper than three feet.

JS: Yes, we all appreciate that Yvonne Craig was a talented dancer, but that sequence went on and on and on. Of course, if they're going to linger on something, let it be Batgirl.

PE: This was Vincent Price's last appearance on Batman. A shame it wasn't a better episode. From here he went on to a resurgence in popularity thanks chiefly to a string of gothic horror flicks released by American International Pictures: Witchfinder General (aka The Conqueror Worm, 1968), The Oblong Box (1969), Scream and Scream Again (1970), and Cry of the Banshee (1970). He followed these up with a pair of films featuring, arguably, Price's most well-known character, Anton Phibes. Ironically, The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) and Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972) showed how well "camp" could be done if handled the right way.

JS: Until you said that, I never would have thought of it, but imagine how cool Dr. Phibes would have been as a Batman villain.

PE: And let him start with O'Hara!

PE Rating:

JS Rating:

Next Up... The Joker and Catwoman! Same Bat time, same Bat URL!

1 comment:

  1. Batgirl almost loses her cowl after slipping on the caviar that Olga tosses at her feet to make her lose her balance. If you freeze-frame the close-up of her face you'll see the mask is so disoriented that her nose is sticking out of the left eye hole! Yvonne Craig just goes with the flow and there is no retake. It happens so fast I guess they figured no one would notice.