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Second Thoughts: "Instant Freeze/Rats Like Cheese"

I didn't realize it until I started reviewing the third season episodes that most fans don't really blink when it comes to the change in actresses for Catwoman. While most will say that Julie Newmar is THE Catwoman, they are just as happy to see Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt in the role. And yet, whenever other villains are recast in the series, there seems to be some sort of split in the fandom as to who is, not only the definitive actor in the role, but the only actor in the role.

And I have to say, I'm that way with George Sanders as Mr. Freeze. I love his cool, collected demeanor throughout the entire story here. And I hold him up as the gold standard when it comes to comparing the actors that followed who played Mr. Freeze. They don't hold a candle.

But here we are at an episode I gushed at in the podcast. In watching it again, I noticed a few things:


- The exterior for the skating rink - Do we see that in several other episodes? I'm sure we do.

- Why does Dick keep feigning a punch at Diamonte? It looks silly.

- I have to wonder what the crest was on Bruce's jacket. He wears it in several episodes. It's to a club or group, but it would have been cool to see him visit it once and find there was crime afoot.

- Our first "atomic batteries to power" scene since the premiere. Note the gloves on Robin as they depart. They are much lighter than what he wears in the rest of the episode. This is stock footage from the first episode and the gloves were changed to a darker color after the first one.

- We commented on how much we love the hot and cold paths in this episode. What I never noticed is how the entire table where the goons are seated is in the path. It would have been easy to simply block out the exact area where the men are, but the table extends a little futher out and it is red too. I also like the way the path shrinks as the cold is put back in place.

- The freezing chamber Batman uses to test his cold tolerance will be seen in several other episodes. It's a shame though that the camera lingers on the sign. While it's part of the joke, the sign is only handmade and looks cheap, not funny.

- Didn't realize that Batman tracks down his quarry by using the Lucite Map as he did in the upcoming Mad Hatter episode.

- I really liked that Mr. Freeze allowed himself to dress normally in his own environment. He only wore the costume when he went out.

- The leggings on all the Batmans look a little loose fitting as they stand before Freeze at the diamond exchange.

- Robin says he's studying Italian. In other episodes, he's studying other languages. I wish my kids were going to his school.

- Wasn't the Batmobile heading for the Gotham City Hotel? Why activate the Bat-turn then? I mean, Bat-turns are my favorite, but this is silly.

- That is Adam West putting out that fire himself with the rug.

- A little presumptuous on Freeze's part to have the skywriting with "Strike two" ready to go as he completes the crime. Also, it's odd to think that anyone would see the writing in the night sky.


- We're still at the point in the series where Gordon has a group of police officers surrounding him. They don't say anything, but they are they as they keep vigil with Gordon at the hospital.

- Again, the cleanup of the stock footage is spectacular. I don't know what game is actually playing there, but it looks good.

- There's a scene where Dick and Bruce are watching baseball with the Princess. We've talked about Batman curbing Robin's exurberance at times, but here Bruce looks like he wants to slug Dick as Dick enthuses about the game, forgetting formality with royalty.

- I quick line about Dick being trained by having to go to the board meeting would have been a good idea.

- I would have also liked a line or two from Freeze explaining why he went to such lengths to get Batman. He had him dead to rights on a couple of occasions and did nail him in the street. It was just luck that he and Robin survived. But the whole plot hinged on Freeze stealing the various diamonds, including Diamonte, and then using him to trade for Batman.

- I noticed in watching these early episodes that the shots of the Batcave were much wider, giving us a better perspective of the Batcave and making it seem vaster than it probably was.

- Why does Alfred refer to Batman as Master Bruce in front of Robin?

- Budgets were clearly slashed in the second season as we have a helicopter taking off in this story, but in future second season stories, we'll just get stock footage and the suggestion that the copter has picked up a passenger. (Joker in "The Zodiac Crimes" for one.)

- Again, noting the room shading for the cold and hot areas. It's not a simple split screen. There are angles to the dividing line.

- It's interesting to see that Freeze has the ability to gauge the temperature. He talks about dropping the temperature of certain alcoholic drinks.

- For some reason, as a kid, I seem to remember O'Hara being late for the kill more often because he got stuck in traffic or lost. In reviewing the episodes, that's not the case.

- Aunt Harriet appears to be coordinating the party at the end as she tells Gabrielle to bring in the desert.

- I wonder what kids who knew Batman thought when they saw the next week tag for Zelda the Great.

In the end, my opinion of this two-parter hasn't changed. It's still a strong entry and one I can watch over and over again. So where does it place in the rankings with the others so far?

1: The Joker is Wild

2: Hey Diddle Riddle

3: Instant Freeze

4: Fine Feathered Finks


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