Episode Title: The Foggiest Notion
Original Airdate: November 30, 1967
If you recall, our last adventure in Gotham…uh…actually didn’t take place in Gotham. We all headed off across the pond to Londinium and…actually…not a lot happened. Episode one of this three-part adventure was a whole lot of setup and not a lot of action. Let’s find out if things get better in part two of this story, The Foggiest Notion.
Our last story ended with Batman’s Londinium batcave filling up with fog due to a fog bomb stashed on the batmobile by one of Lord Marmaduke Ffogg’s henchmen. Luckily, Batman’s general emergency bat extinguisher took care of things. We pick up the story in the office of Superintendent Watson, where the heroes are conferring with Commissioner Gordon. Just then, Barbara Gordon arrives with a package that starts smoking. It’s not a bomb, though. Inside the box Batman finds three small bells. This leads him to inquire if there is a pub nearby called The Three Bells. Of course there is, and it’s been taken over by the mods. The pub is down by the docks, so the heroes deduce that Lord Ffogg and Lady Peasoup may be trying to get their hands on a shipment of miniskirts due into the harbor. This would allow them to control the Londinium fashion scene.
Batman and Robin arrive at the pub, but Robin can’t go in (under age, you see). Inside, Batman finds a bunch of mods, as well as Lord Ffogg and his gang. A literal barroom brawl breaks out and Batman is somehow overpowered the long-haired freaks. Meanwhile, outside, Robin spots Lady Peasoup and her girls on the dock and manages to cut free the boat of miniskirts so they can’t get their hands on it. The girls then capture Robin, though, near-molesting him in the process.
While all this is going on, Barabara is at Ffogg manor as she has been invited to fill in as an instructor at the girls school. She soon suspects that something is not right about the cricket pavilion on the grounds. She becomes Batgirl to investigate and ends up finding all sorts of stolen goods. However, Prudence shows up and uses some gas to freeze Batgirl stiff as a board.
Back at the pub, Lord Ffogg uses a special device to erase Batman’s memory. As Batman stumbles outside, Alfred spots him, but our hero has no memory of his trusty butler. Luckily, Alfred has a Recolleciton Cycle Batrestorer back at the Londinium Batcave. Upon regaining his memory, Batman calls up Watson’s office, where we now see that Chief O’Hara has made the trip to England, as well.
Meanwhile, the villains are about to take care of Batgirl and Robin. The Boy Wonder is tied up to the gears inside Londinium Bridge…due to be crushed. Luckily, the Batcomputer tells Batman where to go (how it knows this I still don’t know) and Robin is saved…with the obligatory fight with the bad guys following. However, Lord Ffogg uses his pipe to create a smoke screen so he can escape. As for Batgirl, she’s still captured and we won’t know her fate until next time.
This week’s episode is a bit of an improvement over last week’s, though it’s still not quite up to par. The big takeaway from this episode is that the story makes several leaps for convenience sake. This starts from the first frame. Remember, part one ended with the Londinium Batcave filling with fog. Now we just jump past that and are told that a bat-gadget took care of things. I guess long gone are the days of elaborate ways of getting out of the cliffhanger. Then we also have Barbara being offered a teaching position at Lady Peasoup’s girls school. This was mentioned briefly in the last episode, but let’s face it, it’s just there to give her a excuse to be snooping around Lord Ffogg’s mansion. Then we have the batcomputer still somehow being able to read minds. It spits out the word “winch” which alerts Batman to Robin about to experience death by bridge. How on earth does the computer know this. Not only that, though, if it is smart enough to know what’s going on…why doesn’t it just tell Batman, “Robin is at Londinium Bridge?” All it says is “winch!” I mean, is it just trying to screw with Batman? Why not just give him the full story?
I will say that Rudy Valee and Glynis Johns do a better job as Lord Ffogg and Lady Peasoup this time around. They have some funny back and forth banter this time around which makes them a bit more colorful. I especially liked the moment when Lady Peasoup mentions Batgirl to Lord Ffogg for the first time. He hasn’t seen the lovely crimefighter yet so he responds with surprise, to which Peasoup replies, “Bats come in both sexes, Marmaduke.” All throughout this episode, Glynis Johns has such a droll delivery which is good for a few chuckles.
So, this episode is an improvement over the first installment, but we’re still not at the level we get with villains like Riddler or Joker. We’ve got to come back one more time, though. Remember, Batgirl is tied up in the dungeon. Join us next time for The Bloody Tower…same bat-time, same bat-channel (superhero).
Bat Gadgets Used:
General Emergency Bat Extinguisher
Batmobile Bat Tracker
Recollection Cycle Bat Restorer
Holy Rising Hemlines