The trouble in Gotham City continues to vex Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward). With villains like Egghead (Vincent Price), Olga (Anne Baxter), King Tut (Victor Buono), Catwoman (Eartha Kitt), and the insane Joker (Cesar Romero), Batman and Robin have their hands full. Fortunately, there is a new hero in town. While Barbara Gordon (Yvonne Craig) might seem like a wallflower, she becomes Batgirl at night and helps the Caped Crusaders fight the dangers that threaten the city…lookout Gotham, Batman, Robin, and Batgirl are prowling the streets!
Batman—Season 3 ran from September 14, 1967 to March 14, 1968 and is the shortest of the three season. The season faced ratings drops and ABC planned to cancel the series. NBC had planned to continue the show but vandalized sets resulted in the show’s cancellation.
Batman was an institution growing up. I can remember watching reruns of this series over and over again with back-to-back episodes running for an hour block five days a week. For a kid, the episodes all blended together and first season seems like third season. Watching the episodes individually, you can see that the third season of Batman had producers and writers trying for new ideas to keep the popular series running.
Batman always was kitschy. The series really banked on it by this season. Many of the jokes surrounded the “square-ness” of Batman and Robin and how they are too perfect. You get things like Batman and Robin covering their eyes and allowing Batgirl to be kidnapped by Catwoman because they can’t open their eyes in a women’s changing room. You also have the completely reliable utility belt which seems to have exactly everything Batman and Robin need (this later doomed the movies Batman Forever and Batman & Robin when Schumacher decided to go for the campy nature of the TV series). This camp feeling is a stark contrast to the Batman of the ’80s and ’90s that evolved.
In turn, Adam West and Burt Ward are perfectly clean and sculpted. West knows all the answers and the go-to-guy for wisdom (although Alan Napier’s Alfred also seems to be all-knowning). Neil Hamilton continues to be completely oblivious to anything going on around him as Commission Gordon and Batman’s villains remain the reason to tune in with fun guest stars like Cesar Romero, Ida Lupino, Victor Buono, and Milton Berle. This season featured Eartha Kitt taking over as Catwoman (from Julie Newmar), and Eartha Kitt was blacklisted in Hollywood not long after this season aired. The series also features fun cameos on occasion like a teenage Jerry Mathers (in “The Great Escape”). The guest stars really keep you coming back.
The big addition this season was Batgirl. The character was developed to replace Betty Kane who first appeared in Batman #139 (April 1961). Barbara Gordon first appeared in Detective Comics #359 (January 1967) and was partially developed due to this series. As a comic book reader who grew up with the fully developed Batgirl, it is a bit odd to see Bruce Wayne as Barbara Gordon’s romantic sparring partner when Dick Grayson was generally paired to her in the comic book. She does add some needed female levity to the series though episodes like “Nora Clavicle and the Ladies’ Crime Club” show that woman’s lib have a long way to go.
I wish Batman had continued. I will say that this series kind of damaged the brand and it took years to get over. The Batman comic in the ’60s became light, ’70s work to repair it, and ’80s Batman was sometimes unnecessarily dark as almost an opposite to this series. I realize the Batman series of the ’60s isn’t for everyone, but growing up with it, it is fun to revisit. Long live Batman, Robin, Batgirl, and their “POWS”, “BANGS”, and “POPS”…it was a simpler time.
Batman—Season 3 Complete Episode Guide:
3.1 Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin (Episode #95) Airdate: 09/14/67
A planned date with Barbara (Yvonne Craig), the daughter of Commissioner Gordon (Neil Hamilton), goes south when Penguin (Burgess Meredith) kidnaps Barbara with intents to marry her. As Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) seek to stop the Penguin, Alfred (Alan Napier) finds Barbara Gordon has a secret that could change Batman and Robin’s future.
3.2 Ring Around the Riddler (Episode #96) Airdate: 09/21/67
The Riddler’s back and manipulating boxing matches. With Batgirl’s help, Batman and Robin find that the Riddler has a new secret weapon: The Siren (Joan Collins).
3.3 The Wail of the Siren (Episode #97) Airdate: 09/28/67
The Siren seeks to expose Batman’s true identity and is using Commissioner Gordon to get Batman…but Batgirl might save them all!
3.4 The Sport of Penguins (Episode #98) Airdate: 10/05/67
The Penguin is back and targeting Batgirl, Batman, and Robin. Teamed with Lola Lasagna (Ethel Merman), the Penguin hopes to rig a horse race.
3.5 A Horse of Another Color (Episode #99) Airdate: 10/12/67
The Penguin and Lola continue with their horse race scheme but when Dick and Batgirl enter the race, Penguin and Lola’s plans could fail.
3.6 The Unkindest Tut of All (Episode #100) Airdate: 10/19/67
King Tut (Victor Buono) has returned and is predicting crimes…but Batman and Robin suspect that Tut’s predictions might not be honest. Tut might have a surprise for Batman when he discovers Batman’s real identity.
3.7 Louie, the Lilac (Episode #101) Airdate: 10/26/67
Louie, the Lilac (Milton Berle), targets the flower children of Gotham City…and plans to use his flower children for his nefarious plans.
3.8 The Ogg and I (Episode #102) Airdate: 11/02/67
Egghead (Vincent Price) and Olga (Anne Baxter) have teamed up to kidnap Commissioner Gordon and demanding Gotham pay a tax on every egg eaten in the city.
3.9 How to Hatch a Dinosaur (Episode #103) Airdate: 11/09/67
Egghead and Olga steal radioactive isotopes and a fossilized egg of a neosaurus with plans to hatch it, but Batman, Robin, and Batgirl are out to stop it!
3.10 Surf’s Up! Joker’s Under! (Episode #104) Airdate: 11/16/67
The Joker (Cesar Romero) and his crew have returned and has a plot to take over the waves of Gotham City by kidnapping Gotham’s greatest surfer Skip Parker (Ronnie Knox) and surfboard maker Hot Dog Harrigan (John Mitchum). Batman and Joker will be taking to the surf to see who will be King of the Beach!
3.11 The Londinium Larcenies (Episode #105) Airdate: 11/23/67
Londinium is being struck by a crime ring. Ireland Yard has called in Commissioner Gordon to bring Batman and Robin to Londinium to stop the crime. With Barbara Gordon tagging along with her father, Batman, Robin, and Batgirl learn that Lord Marmaduke Ffogg (Rudy Vallee) and his sister Lady Penelope Peasoup (Glynis Johns) might not be as respectable as they appear.
3.12 The Foggiest Notion (Episode #106) Airdate: 11/30/67
With Barbara being wooed by Lord Ffogg and Lady Peasoup to teach at their school, Batman and Robin try to prove Lord Fog is the villain and determine his next step.
3.13 The Bloody Tower (Episode #107) Airdate: 12/07/67
Batman, Robin, and Catwoman are closing in on Lord Ffogg and Lady Peasoup, and Lord Ffogg and his allies actions are turning deadly as they go after the Crown Jewels!
3.14 Catwoman’s Dressed to Kill (Episode #108) Airdate: 12/14/67
Catwoman (Eartha Kitt) is back in town and taken Batgirl hostage. Catwoman plots to steal a golden fleece from Queen Bess (Karen Ericson) of Belgravia while planning a trap with Batgirl.
3.15 The Ogg Couple (Episode #109) Airdate: 12/21/67
Egghead and Olga are back and have stolen the Egg of Ogg and the Silver Scimitar of Taras Bul Bul. When they set their eyes on a shipment of expensive caviar, Batman, Robin, and Batgirl must stop the heist.
3.16 The Funny Feline Felonies (Episode #110) Airdate: 12/28/67
The Joker has been released from jail and teamed with Catwoman. Joker and Catwoman are seeking a hidden trove of gunpowder…and stealing a nightshirt from Little Louie Groovy (Dick Kallman) and Karnaby Katz (Ronald Long) could be the key.
3.17 The Joke’s on Catwoman (Episode #111) Airdate: 01/04/68
When Catwoman and Joker’s plans go south, Batman puts the criminals on trial. With the help of a lawyer named Lucky Pierre (Pierre Salinger), Joker and Catwoman could turn the tables on Batman, Robin, and Batgirl.
3.18 Louie’s Lethal Lilac Time (Episode #112) Airdate: 01/11/68
Louie the Lilac has kidnapped Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne while attempting to collect rare ingredients for his perfume. With Batman and Robin nowhere to be found, it could be up to Batgirl to rescue Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.
3.19 Nora Clavicle and the Ladies’ Crime Club (Episode #113) Airdate: 01/18/68
Nora Clavicle (Barbara Rush) has booted Commissioner Gordon from his post and taken over the city’s leadership roles with her army of upwardly mobile women. Nora has a plan and only Batman, Robin, and Batgirl may stop her.
3.20 Penguin’s Clean Sweep (Episode #114) Airdate: 01/25/68
Penguin has a new plan and it involves poisoning Gotham City’s money supply. With a dangerous disease threatening the city, Batman, Robin, and Batgirl must contain it quickly.
3.21 The Great Escape (Episode #115) Airdate: 02/01/68
Shame (Cliff Robertson) has escaped prison with the help of Calamity Jan (Dina Merrill) and her mother Frontier Fanny (Hermione Baddeley). When Shame, Calamity Jan, and Frontier Fanny kidnap Batgirl by hitting Batman and Robin with fear gas, Batman and Robin must overcome their fears to save her.
3.22 The Great Train Robbery (Episode #116) Airdate: 02/08/68
Shane launches his master plan, and Batman only chance to stop Shame could be hand-to-hand combat.
3.23 I’ll Be a Mummy’s Uncle (Episode #117) Airdate: 02/22/68
King Tut has escaped prison and seeking out a Nilanium vein under Wayne Manor. When he discovers the Batcave, King Tut realizes Batman’s true identity.
3.24 The Joker’s Flying Saucer (Episode #118) Airdate: 02/29/68
The Joker is out to drive Gotham City crazy by making everyone see UFOs. As Batgirl, Robin, and Batman try to get to the bottom of the mystery of the flying saucers, the Joker plots to build a real flying saucer to bank on the fear.
2.25 The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra (Episode #119) Airdate: 03/07/68
Dr. Cassandra (Ida Lupino) and her husband Cabala (Howard Duff) have started attacking Gotham City by using a potion that makes them invisible. When Cassandra joins with Batman’s greatest villains, Batman, Robin, and Batgirl could be outnumbered.
2.26 Minerva, Mayhem and Millionaires (Episode #120) Airdate: 03/14/68
Minerva (Zsa Zsa Gabor) has some of the richest clients in Gotham…and her spa uses technology to steal their fortunes. When Minerva goes after Bruce Wayne, she could learn Bruce’s darkest secrets.