Episode Title: The Clock King’s Crazy Crimes
Original Airdate: October 12, 1966
So far in season two we’ve seen five villains, but only one (Catwoman) has been one Batman’s iconic enemies from the comics. Our episode today, though, brings us a comic book villain making his debut on the show. However, this story two-part story would be his only appearance. Walter Slezak is Clock King in The Clock King’s Crazy Crimes.
Our story begins with a robbery at a local diamond store. The crooks were able to pull the job when a clock in the shop sprays gas, knocking out the employees and patrons. Such a crime could only be pulled by Clock King. Batman and Robin spring into action and since time is of the essence, they head directly to the diamond shop rather than stopping at police headquarters first.
As our heroes investigate, Clock King launches the next phase of his plan. He poses as a pop artist bringing a bizarre sculpture to a gallery. The strange piece of art, though, is actually a device to cut through the wall of the gallery so Clock King can steal a painting. Since Batman sees a live news report from the gallery, he spots that the strange artist is really Clock King and races off to stop him. A fight breaks out, but Clock King is able to use some strange springs to tangle up our heroes and make an escape.
But Clock King leaves behind one of his watches. Batman takes it back to the Batcave and analyzes it. This leads him to believe that Clock King is hiding in a synthetic gem factory. Sure enough, they find the villain there..but he is waiting for him. Next thing we know, the Caped Crusaders are trapped inside a giant hourglass with bright purple sand pouring down on them. Cue the cliffhanger narration…
Is this the zero hour for the Dynamic Duo?
Are the sands of time really running out for Batman and Robin?
At long last have they met a gritty, granulated, inglorious fate?
Tune in tomorrow!
Like many of Batman’s guest villains, Walter Slezak had quite a career prior to coming to Gotham City. He was in films like Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat and appeared with Ronald Reagan in Bedtime for Bonzo. As Clock King he does a fine job, but doesn’t really do a whole lot to stand out. Ultimately, the fault for this probably falls more on the writers. They just don’t take advantage of Clock King’s gimmick. To be honest, it’s not that strong of a gimmick to start with. He’s pretty much just a guy who like clocks.
The episode still has a number of fun moments. Strangely, one of Batman’s first stops in trying to determine Clock King’s next crime is to visit a drive-in burger joint. Supposedly a girl who once was an accomplice of Clock King’s now works there. Unfortunately, she’s since moved…so instead of getting info, the Caped Crusaders just take a hamburger break. Actually, they get Bat-Burgers. Doesn’t sound that appealing to me.
Probably the highlight of the episode is the celebrity window cameo that comes as our heroes scale the side of Clock King’s lair. The window opens up and we see none other than Sammy Davis Jr. He confesses to be a fan of Batman’s “act” and invites the heroes to come see his act sometime.
Even though this episode doesn’t do a whole lot to stand out, I gotta admit the cliffhanger is great! I mean a giant hourglass is a cool trap…but it’s made even better that the sand inside is purple! How will they ever get out? Find out next time in The Clock King Gets Crowned. Same bat-time, same bat-channel (superhero).
Bat Gadgets Used:
Holy Main Springs
Holy Sun Dials