Well, we’ve made it to the end of Batman season two. It’s hard to believe, actually. I mean, with 60 episodes to cover, we’ve been in this season for over a year! It was a season full of familiar faces, a hearty helping of new villains, and a few weak moments for the series, too. So, before we move on to season three, let’s take a quick look back.
Season two certainly stuck with some of the elements that worked best in the series’ debut season. The return of such villains as Cesar Romero’s Joker, Julie Newmar’s Catwoman, Burgess Meredith’s Penguin, and Victor Buono’s King Tut made for several memorable moments. However, the absence of Frank Gorshin’s iconic take on the Riddler was very much missed. He was the most used villain in season one, but in season two the Riddler made just one appearance, and that was in the form of John Astin instead of Gorshin. The weak attempt of reworking a Riddler story with another villain, the Puzzler, made Gorshin’s absence all the more obvious. Some of the new baddies did, however, hold their own. Welcome additions included Egghead (Vincent Price), Shame (Cliff Robertso), Marsha, Queen of Diamonds (Carolyn Jones), and the reworked Mr. Freeze (Otto Preminger and Eli Wallach)..
Unfortunately, season two began to show the occasional chink in the armor, so to speak. There were several storylines that were just plain weak compared with some of season one’s highlights. We also had some truly embarrassing moments, the biggest being Tallulah Bankhead’s dreadful appearance as the Black Widow. On a whole, though, season two still had it where it counts, with several crazy capers and cliffhangers.
Moving on to season three, we’re going to see some big changes for the series. Whereas the first two seasons featured mostly two-part stories, airing on consecutive nights, for season three Batman changed to airing just one night a week. So, gone were the cliffhangers that viewers would have to wait 23 hours to see the resolution of. However, the episodes would begin featuring cameos by the next week’s villain at the end of the story in order to tease viewers with what was to come next. Season three also sees a few casting changes. We’ll have a new Catwoman, who we’ll get to when her episode arrives. The declining health of Madge Blake, who plays Dick Grayson’s Aunt Harriet reduces her to just a few cameo appearances. The biggest change, though, is the addition of a new recurring character. Yvonne Craig begins appearing as Commissioner Gordon’s daughter Barbara, also known as Batgirl.
The first appearance of that iconic character comes next week in our first episode of season three, Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin. Join us, same bat-time, same bat-channel (superhero).