Thursday, October 29, 2015

same bat-channel

The third season (episodes 95-120) was a reduction, two nights became one night. Often episodes seem rushed. Management was worried, but the show relaxed. The Bat Duo and the the two top cops became chummier, and Alfred was often with the duo in the bat cave. The next episode began at the end of the current episode, new adventures in the same day. Earlier the episodes were self-contained, and rarely mentioned previous information, and could be broadcast, and especially could be watched in any order (with the caveat that each show was a in two parts).

New characters were introduced, and were prepared for in the later episodes of the second season. The addition of new characters is a sign of desperation, the old formula was becoming stale. The stamp episodes (85-86) of season 2 had introduced the bat computer as a character, it was acting up and on the fritz, it would be tinkered with from now on.
Robin: Fine time for the Batcomputer to let us down! 
Machines and gadgets were prominent from the batginning. The batmobile (a tricked out '55 Lincoln) had been a character immediately. Batman's utility belt had more stuff in than Fibber McGee's closet.

Barbara Gordon was mentioned to arrive, and when she did, she was Batgirl. She became a beloved character, and the Dynamic Duo became the Terrific Trio. Alfred got more time, and really became a member of a quartet.

But the bosses and the network were getting cheaper. The show was making money off of toys. Batman bubble gum cards were sold, in addition to lunch boxes, costumes, and assorted other stuff. A lot of recycled footage was being used. The sets had a black background, like the stages in high schools and small colleges. This began appearing at the end of the earlier season (89-90 and real noticeably in 91-92 with the Joker's paintings and Robin's deathtrap cliff hanger, but it looked good). 'Modern Art' was (and is) ridiculous. Alfred's elephant painting was good, and would be fine as a child's book illustration.

The show was changing its identity. Gotham City was a fictional New York City. The first few episodes of the 3rd season could have easily been written for the first two seasons. Librarian Barbra Gordon worked at Gotham Public Library, the exterior film footage shows the New York Public Library. The words are cut in stone. Also cut in stone, in similar footage, Gotham City Museum was Los Angeles County Museum (episode 109). Gotham City moved to the California coast for surfing (Episode 104). The next three episodes (105-7) were in 'Londinium', Gotham City's alternate London England identity.

Current events did not much seep in earlier, but with episode 100 (the 6th of season 3) we see a political acknowledgement of events. In a back lot, a movie theatre's street entrance becomes Gotham's soccer stadium, and the game is between the Doves and the Hawks—the political debate over the Viet Nam War and governmental policies. The next episode mentions the 'flower generation', and Batman approves.

Nora Clavicle (episode 113) is not politically correct to-day. The women's rights supremacist is flanked by two nordic goddesses. One issue extremists are still ridiculous. The series stupidest moment came with the 'Siamese love knot'.The pied piper scene of the mice going to the dock is surreal and silly. The props and the black background are silly, it is supposed to be day time. This reminds one of surreal silent cinema of Weimar Germany. The cast is having fun, as the stake body truck backs in with the tied up villianesses.

The most silly comic moment came in hatching a dinosaur egg (episode 103).  A zapping machine was to revive an egg. The six foot hatchling breaks the shell and puts fear into all of the criminals, whom run into a Paddy wagon. Batman was in a Lost in Space inter-galactic beast outfit. Another fun episode (118) has Joker flying his green gang in a beryllium space saucer. The trippiest was the next to final episode, which was heavy with current (and now extinct) clumsy slang, and double entendres. They knew the gig was up.

No comments:

Post a Comment