Episode Title: The Catwoman Goeth
Original Airdate: December 29th, 1966
Last week’s episode of Batman featured a team up between a well-known villain, Catwoman (Julie Newmar) and a new villain, Sandman (Michael Rennie). The result was quite possibly one of the worst episodes in the history of the series. Can part two possibly recover? That may be a bigger cliffhanger than the actual one…which sees Batman about to be stitched into a giant quilt. Let’s see what happens in part two of our story, The Catwoman Goeth.
Somehow, Batman manages to maneuver one arm slightly so that his restraint on that arm is cut. Then with his free arm, he removes his utility belt and uses it to lasso the control lever and stop the machine. Meanwhile, Sandman takes the “sleepwalking” Robin off to Catwoman’s lair in the stolen Batmobile. He turns the Boy Wonder over to the feline villainess and leaves to continue his plot against pasta mogul J. Pauline Spaghetty. As for Catwoman, she decides to toy with Robin by sending into her deadly maze.
Now freed, Batman heads back to the Batcave. Without the Batmobile, though, he has to take the subway. He and Alfred decide to use the tracking device on the Batmobile to try and locate Robin and the villains. Guess Batman had GPS way back in the 60’s. After examining the map, Batman tracks the Batmobile to a district full of run-down factories (which even have signs stating such). To get there, he hitches a ride on the back of Alfred’s “Alf-cycle.”
Meanwhile, Sandman has reunited with J. Pauline Spaghetty, under the guise of Dr. Somnambular. But that’s not all, the two intend on getting married, which gives Sandman access to her huge fortune. As for Catwoman, Sandman has given the address of her hidden lair to Commissioner Gordon so as to completely cut her out of the loot. Batman then pays Catwoman a visit and gets her to reveal Robin’s whereabouts…though, we never see his actual rescue from the maze. Our heroes then jump the Batboat and head for Spaghetty’s private island where they do battle with Sandman and his men.
Well, this episode is an improvement over last week’s, but it’s still no great shakes. Sandman is just an incredibly boring villain. He has no gimmick or wild antics…so, appropriately I guess, he ends up putting the audience asleep. The presence of Julie Newmar’s Catwoman helps things slightly, but she’s not given a heck of a lot to do in this episode. She does have a nice scene with Batman, though, that continues to up the romantic tension between the two.
I did like the gimmick of Catwoman’s maze in this episode. It’s got electric walls and some other dangers which could’ve been exploited further…but oh well. Ultimately, the maze would’ve made a better cliffhanger than the whole quilting machine thing. It might’ve been better to have Robin thrown into the maze at the end of the last episode and then have him spend much of this episode trying to navigate his way through.
We do get a bit more comedy this time around. This episode’s best moment comes about midway through when Batman goes to recover the Batmobile and is encountered by two police officers. One of them is new to the beat and has no idea who Batman is. He attempts to ticket the Caped Crusader for various parking violations. The other officer tries to explain, but it’s in one ear and out the other with this rookie cop. Batman, who always tries to cooperate with the police, ends up apologizing for the violations…even though the Batmobile was stolen and left illegally parked by Sandman. What a good citizen.
In the end, these two Sandman episodes were pretty bad. I’m glad this story represents the character’s only appearance of the series. Next time we have a villain who made several appearances on the show, though. David Wayne returns as the Mad Hatter in The Contaminated Cowl. Same bat-time, same bat-channel (superhero).
Bat Gadgets Used:
Batmobile Tracking Map
Holy Rat Trap