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Batman 66 Bat-Probe: Episode 1: Hi Diddle Riddle
Reviewed by Geena Phillips, © 2014

Format: TV
Genre:   Batman!
Review Date:   July 11, 2014

It's astounding, in retrospect, how much this show came out of the gate firing on all cylinders. Lots of TV shows, even great ones (and especially ones as high-concept as this), take time to find their voice, or at least to lock down how they wanna tell stories.

But not Batman.

Where do I start? Let's see:

As soon as the police figure out that the Riddler is back in town, Commissioner Gordon detective-shames all his top (old white male) cops ("Do YOU know how we can defeat him?") on his way to the conclusion that the only sensible course of action is to call in Batman.

Wow! I did not remember that this episode makes specific mention of the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents (twice!); I'll be very interested to see if this happens again. While I'm on the subject, I notice that Adam West's Bruce Wayne is, at least early on, kind of a brooder.

I'mma fast-forward to the signature scene in this episode: the nightclub. Batman, after making a spectacularly low-key entrance, ends up being roofied by the stunning Jill St. John (honey, I'm pretty sure you could have gotten him to sleep with you without dosing his drink), performing the immortal Batusi, and handing his car keys over to a cop ("You're in no shape to drive, Batman").

The takeaway for Batman: Best to leave the clubbing to Bruce Wayne, buddy. (Add'l note: Jill St. John's character is named Molly; which leads me to wonder if she actually spikes Batman's drink with MDMA).

While Batman's in the club getting his freak on, Robin (being underage) is stuck waiting out back in the Batmobile, where he is hypodermicked (it's a word NOW, assholes!) into unconsciousness by the Riddler (don't do drugs, kids!).

The Riddler then tries to steal the Batmobile, only to discover that the Batmobile is protected by Viper (Liberace Edition). So, he changes his plan, kidnaps Robin (way to escalate your upcoming prison sentence, there), and tries to set fire to the Batmobile.

However, the Batmobile, being possibly the smartest character on the show, is having none of it, and promptly extinguishes the flames (and, by "flames," I mean "sparks and colored smoke"; I'mma warn you up front: If you don't dig colored smoke, then Batman is NOT your show).

The episode ends with Robin strapped to a gurney, with the Riddler holding a scalpel to his face. Pretty menacing, right' Well, as the voiceover promises, "The worst is yet to come!"

Stay tuned, True Bat-Believers! #samebattimesamebatchannel



Check out RevolutionSF reviews of every episode of Batman 66 by Geena Phillips, who knows more about Aunt Harriet than you. Send comments to geenacanblowme@gmail.com .

 
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