By Joel Eisner
By far the worst episodes of the entire series let alone the third season. With the exception of actress Glynis Johns there is nothing worth while about these three episodes. The only reason it was done as a three parter was to cover the cost of the guest stars (they needed the two parters to pay for two guest stars) but the three parter was used to pay for the extra bit players and the extra outdoor sets and the redressing of the regular set, besides the two guest stars.
Yvonne Craig, “Rudy Vallee was without a doubt one of the worst people I’ve ever worked with. I had so looked forward to working with him .He’d been in the business for two hundred years. And he came on the set and he was an absolute churl. He was this little old cranky man. He was the meanest man, just awful. He didn’t interact with anyone, and when he did, all he could manage was a snarl. It was a three-parter; we thought we’d never get rid of him. His cohort, Glynis Johns, was just a dream.”
Rudy Vallee had been a big singing star in the 1920's and 1930's but now he was making a comeback on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Why they gave this part to a non Brit, is amazing. They had several British actors on the show but when it came to a leading British part, they gave it to Vallee. James Mason had expressed interest in doing the show, why not use him. Glynis Johns had scored big in Mary Poppins but now was appearing on television. Lyn Peters gave up her career in the early 1970's to marry actor Paul Burke (star of Naked City and 12 O'Clock High).
Of the three henchmen, Harvey Jason ( a regular character actor,) Larry Anthony (his career ended in 1969 and then disappeared), Monte Landis is the best known of the group for his many appearances on the Monkees tv show.
Maurice Dallimore last seen in the Chad and Jeremy episode where London was London makes his last appearance on the series (he was also the British delegate in the Batman movie. The four girls were bit players who had very short acting careers.
There was one more cast member (seen here with director Oscar Rudolph)character actor Joseph Abdullah (who last appeared in episode 87-88 as a guard,) was to have appeared in one of these episodes in as the character of Fagin. At the time the musical “Oliver!” based on the book Oliver Twist was a big hit on Broadway and was then in production as a motion picture. The addition of the Fagin character would have been a parody on the Dickens’ story. Recently uncovered behind the scenes production photos of director Oscar Rudolph with the Fagin character prove the scenes were filmed, but as to why they were cut out, is unknown.
Writer Elkan Allan (Cohen) was a prolific British reporter and columnist for Variety and the Times. He was the producer of the British tv series Ready Steady, Go. this was his only venture into American tv writing. Probably because he was British, but they still turned the actual script over to Charles Hoffman who did his own tinkering on the script, no telling how much better the original teleplay was before it was rewritten.
Aunt Harriet makes the second and final of her two cameo appearances in this episode. Madge Blake died on Feb. 19, 1969. She had been in poor health for quite awhile. She had fractured her left ankle, and then died of Arteriosclerosis,
Madge and her husband both worked for the U.S. government dining World War Two, and both had top secret clearances. They ended up in Utah., working on the detonator for the atomic bomb. She later started working in local plays in. Riverside. California and was discovered by Fanny Brice.
Prior to Batman, Madge got a call about a new series starting and they wanted her to accept a role. Due to conflicts with the Leave it to Beaver show, where she was already under contract, she had to turn it down, but recommended her friend. Frances Bavier who went on to accept the role of Aunt. Bee on the Andy Griffith Show.
Alfred drove around Londinium in his second cousin Cuthbert’s taxicab. No doubt another one of his lookalike relatives.
Next Eartha Kitt takes over as the Catwoman.