Batman S:02 E:53

Episode Title: King Tut’s Coup
Original Airdate: March 8. 1967

Earlier this season, Batman and Robin battled with King Tut (Victor Buono) in a story which ended with the villain returning to life as a mild-mannered professor of Egyptology at Yale. But as we open this episode, he gets bonked on the head by a flower pot, launched off a window sill by a clumsy window cleaner. That’s just the ticket to make him King Tut once again. Let’s find out what kind of evil plans he has in mind in today’s episode, King Tut’s Coup.

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Shortly after the transformation, Tut and his men (two college football players also struck on the head with flower pots) steal a valuable sarcophagus from a Gotham museum. It turns out that an Egyptian costume ball is due to take place the next day. Bruce Wayne happens to be the chairman. It also seems that a local pantomimist named Sphinx has been attacked by Tut and his men. A scroll full of clues has been planted on the poor victim, which Batman takes back to the batcave to decipher.

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The message declares that Tut is out to defeat the Caped Crusaders and to “claim mine own.” Our heroes aren’t sure what that means, but are sure Tut will show up at the costume ball. Police are put into place at the ball, dressed, like everyone else, in Egyptian style costumes. When they spot Tut enter the party, they whisk him off to Commissioner Gordon’s office. However, it turns out the man they nab is actually the deputy mayor (who does look a bit like Tut). Meanwhile, at the party, Tut and his men succeed in nabbing Batman’s date, the lovely Lisa Carson (Lee Meriwether).

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Thanks to a tracking device that Batman had conveniently placed on Lisa, our heroes find the location of Tut’s hideout. The obligatory fight happens, but ends with Tut clunking Batman on the head with a vase. Next thing we know, Batman is sealed in a sarcophagus and lowered into a pool of water. Cue the cliffhanger narration…

Cliffhanger Narration:
It appears to be a death worse than fate!
Batman has been in sticky situations before, but never like this!!
And what of Robin, who’s fit to be tied??
Is this Batman’s Waterloo??
Tune in tomorrow, same bat-time, same bat-channel…
At your own risk.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love Victor Buono as King Tut! He’s so fantastically over-dramatic in the part. The way he sneers, and rolls all his R’s is just perfect. It’s crazy, but a very different approach that what we get from many other Batman villains. I also love that he’s not necessarily a villain that’s out for money. This time he’s mainly concerned with revenge and love. Just like how he thinks he’s the reincarnation of King Tut, he thinks Lisa is his Cleopatra. I know, I know, King Tut and Cleopatra weren’t a couple. It’s just a show, folks.

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Speaking of Lisa, this episode has a interesting batch of female guest stars. Lisa is played by Lee Meriwether, who is no stranger to Gotham. Just a few months before this episode aired, she was filling in for Julie Newmar as Catwoman in the Batman movie that bridged the gap between seasons one and two. A bit jealous of Tut’s fascination with Lisa is Neila, who looked so familiar but I couldn’t place. Turns out it’s Grace Lee Whitney, most famous for playing Yeoman Rand on Star Trek. We also have one more female guest star courtesy of a window cameo. This is one I had to look up. I’m afraid I’m not quite old enough to recognize Suzy Knickerbocker, who was a popular society columnist of the day.

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The story for this particular episode is actually not all that spectacular. The episode stays interesting, however, thanks in large part to Buono’s commanding screen presence. He sure seems to have the upper hand on Batman right now. There sure seems to be no way out for our hero. Find out what happens next time in Batman’s Waterloo. Same bat-time, same bat-channel (superhero).

Bat Gadgets Used:
Batrope
Electronic Translator
Bat Tracking Device

Holys:
Holy Jet Set

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