Saturday, February 13, 2016

Batman, Episode 9 - Zelda the Great (1966)

Batman, Episode 9 - Zelda the Great (1966)
50 years ago...
"Zelda the Great," the ninth episode of the Batman TV series, premiered on February 9th, 1966.  This episode introduces the villain "Zelda The Great," a stage magician who commits a $100,000 bank robbery every year on April 1st.  She uses the money to purchase new props for her show designed by magic trick designer Evol Ekdol.

Gotham City Police Shine the Bat Signal
Zelda uses all of her powers of stagecraft and illusion to combat Batman.  She also has the weird habit of breaking the "third wall" and telling her plans directly to the camera, which kind of breaks the "reality" of the show, but is pretty true to the old comics, where the villains used to do that all the time.

The Shadow of the Bat Falls on Zelda
Zelda is so good at what she does that neither the police nor Batman has any clue as to who she is or how to stop her.  So Batman decides to lay a trap for her by planting a story in the paper that the money she stole was counterfeit.  Then he arranges for a valuable emerald to be displayed, hoping she will try to steal that as a replacement, with Batman, Robin, and the Gotham City Police Department laying in wait to capture her.  But the plan backfires when she realizes it's a trap, and instead tries to recoup her loss by kidnapping Dick Grayson's Aunt Harriet!

Bat-Facts for Zelda the Great:
Special Guest Villainess: Anne Baxter as Zelda

Featured Gadget: The Bat Signal

Robin's Catchphrases: "Holy Venezuela," "Holy Hole in the Doughnut," and "Holy Backfire."

Comic Book Origins:  Based on the 1965 story "Batman's Inescapable Doom-Trap!" from Detective Comics #346, written by John Broome and drawn by Sheldon Moldoff.

Cliffhanger Text: "Holy Backfire's right!  Aunt Harriet has just one hour!  What'll it be??  Splash or salvation??  Hold a hopeful breath for Aunt Harriet until tomorrow..  Same Bat-Time!!  Same Bat-Channel!!"

Holy Backfire!
More screencaps after the break...


Ineffectual Policemen

The Desk of Bruce Wayne


The Bat Signal Lights up the Sky

Aunt Harriet

A Call to Duty

To the Batpoles!

Examining a Clue

Chief O'Hara Says Something Stupid

"Extry!  Extry!  Read all about it!"

Zelda the Great Poster

Robin Employs a Magnifying Glass While Examining a Clue

"Wow!  Lights!"

Gordon Stares at the Bat Phone While Contemplating His Inadequacies

"Hello, Dominoes?  I'd like a large pizza topped with moths and mosquitos, please.  Charge it to Bruce Wayne's credit card."

Big Joke on Bank Bandit

The Gnome Book Store:  Secret Headquarters of Evol Ekdol

Evol Ekdol Examines his Stolen Currency

Zelda Enters In a Puff of Colored Smoke

"This Crazy Cash is Countefeit!"

Ekdol is the REAL REASON Zelda is Greater Than Houdini

Crocodile Tears

Evol Ekdol's Latest Death Trap

"Kryptonite!  Now we'll show Superman who looks prettiest in tights!"

"In conformity with the plan for the further advancement of industrial production, to approximately double state capital investments in industry..."  Wait, what does that have to do with a rare jewel being on display?  Curse you, "freeze-framed HDTV!"

Old Ladies Love Rare Jewels

Smoke Bomb!


"Moths and mosquitoes?  That sounds like something a bat would eat!  Who is this?"

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