Episode Titles: Marsha, Queen of Diamonds
Original Airdate: November 23, 1966
Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s was pretty awesome. As a kid, not only did I get to experience all the great pop culture offerings of those decades, but thanks to UHF channels that filled their schedules with reruns I also became an expert on the TV of the decades the preceded. That’s how I discovered the Batman series, as well as so many other greats. Stuff like The Monkees, I Dream of Jeanie, Gilligan’s Island, The Munsters, and The Addams Family. Speaking of the Addams’, this week our episode of Batman brings us one of the stars of that series. Morticia herself, Carolyn Jones, stars as the titular villainess in Marsha, Queen of Diamonds.
As we begin, Gotham police are on high alert because the Queen of Diamonds is rumored to be back in town. Even going so far as to beef up security at local diamond stores. At one location, Chief O’Hara shows up with none other than the Queen of Diamonds. He then assists her in stealing the famous pretzel diamond. It turns out that O’Hara has been put under some sort of spell. Of course, Commissioner Gordon calls the Caped Crusaders into action.
By the time our heroes show up at City Hall, Gordon is gone. Turns out he has gone to confront Marsha, but while there she hits him with one of her love potion darts. The potion is concocted by Marsha’s Aunt Hilda, a witch with a pointy hat and everything. Now the Commissioner will also do whatever she bids. She gets him to summon the Dynamic Duo to her lair. When the heroes show up, Marsha hits Batman with one her poisoned darts. Though it takes everything he can muster, Batman manages to fight off the love potion. A fight with Marsha’s men breaks out, but during the fight Robin is hit with a dart. His will is not as strong and he even ends up fighting with Batman. Now Marsha has something to bargain with. She demands the giant Bat-diamond that powers the batcomputer in the batcave or Robin stays her love slave forever. She also demands that she gets to go to the Batcave to get it. However, Batman has sworn never to let a stranger into the Batcave. Marsha has a solution, though. If she marries Batman, she won’t be a stranger. So…Batman must now marry her in order to save Robin. Cue the cliffhanger narration…
Mr. and Mrs. Batman??!!
The Dynamic Duo may become a trio!!
The Queen of Diamonds aims high!
Find out tomorrow whether she misses…or Mrs.!!
Same bat-time, same bat-channel.
And hang on to your rice!
After a pair of truly dismal episodes our last two weeks, this installment is a breath of fresh air! It’s not a stellar episode, but it’s got it where it counts, so to speak. Carolyn Jones is a great addition to the series’ rogue’s gallery. Of course, I’ve always known her from The Addams Family, but in recent years I’ve seen her pop up in a number of films I’ve seen. She was a very talented actress. Though there’s certainly a humorous side to her character, she doesn’t camp it up like many of the show’s villains do. A few other Addams Family cast members will be making appearances on the show in the future, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves
The stand-out scene of this episode is the sequence where Batman struggles to fight off the effects of the love potion. The expressions that Adam West makes are a joy to behold. It’s also fun to see several of the other regular cast members (Burt Ward, Neil Hamilton and Stafford Repp) turned into puppy dogs by the love potion.
This episode also does a decent job of planting some seeds that I assume will pay off in the next episode. We only briefly get to see the witch Aunt Hilda, played by Estelle Winwood. We are also given a hint that Alfred and Aunt Harriet may be up to something to try and save Batman from having to marry Marsha. Speaking of the supporting players, we also get a great lead henchman in the form of Woody Strode.
Overall, this episode is a return to form for the series. But are going to see a new addition to the Bat-family next week? Will Batman really say “I do?” Find out when we look at Marsha’s Scheme of Diamonds. Same bat-time, same bat-channel (superhero).
Bat Gadgets Used:
Holy Fate worse than Death