Second Thoughts: "The Curse of Tut/The Pharaoh's in a Rut"
As most people know who have listened to the run of the podcast, King Tut was the first villain in the series I didn't like. I felt that actor Victor Buono played him too broad and is quite possibly a major reason why the series turned toward the more inane for its humor. But as I progressed with the reviews, one thing I noticed was that his stories were the most consistent in terms of story content and continuity. In fact, when I complete the run of the reviews, I'm going to go back and watch them all back to back. In the meantime, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its premiere on ABC, here are some things I picked up in a second viewing:
- Just like everything else in the series, I couldn't help but notice that Stafford Repp's Irish accent is much more subdued. As the series progresses, he'll lay it on more thick.
- I preferred when Dick and Bruce were wearing casual suits compared to Dick's sweaters and Bruce's yacht club gear. It always reminded me of the 60s Filmation versions of the two.
- As Bruce and Dick are coming down the Batpoles to leave for Gotham City, I noticed that they have the force field projector from Lost in Space. Mind you, I'm sure both shows shared many of the high tech props, but this one stands out because it looks so unique.
- My goodness, Adam West was fantastic in the first season. The fervor and sincerity in which he delivered all his lines, for example his frustration at the idea of another young woman being lured into a life of crime, makes it come across as all believable. And yet, in the third season it will all come crumbling down.
- Another sad point of note - looking at Tut's hideout, it's spacious, decorated well, and has three walls! Also, the floor is not black. This will not be the case when we get to season three. It's amazing how striking the changes in the show are from the first to third season.
- Concerning the fight in the park - I get it that the stunt doubles were brought in to make sure that Adam and Burt weren't harmed, but when the fight breaks out, the two of them are handling the sword fight very well and up close. Suddenly, the camera cuts to a wider angle and the stunt doubles are there. It's very peculiar.
- This episode stands out as Adam also gets a fair amount of screen time out of the costume.
- It's funny how in these early episodes, when Aunt Harriet is in some distress, Bruce nor Dick ever take a moment to console her. In fact, there's Robin and Alfred in the Batcave leaving her to her misery.
- I'm sure I mentioned it on the podcast, but there is something very meta about Olan Soole playing the news reporter on this episode. Soole would go on to be the voice of Batman in the first version of Filiation's animated Batman. That show would premiere on CBS the fall after Batman was cancelled.
- I should use the scene where Tut orders his henchmen to send Nefrititi to the dungeon with my students. He uses the word, "Ho", which in Shakespeare's parlance means "now". When my students read it in class, it means something completely different for them.
- I totally missed that Alfred took a universal antidote pill before letting Tut's man in to "kidnap" Bruce Wayne.
- That goon has better disguise skills than False Face.
- I wonder where the service elevator is in the mansion. It lets Alfred off just to the side of the Bat-Poles in the Batcave, so it can't be far from the study. Surprised Aunt Harriet hasn't noticed it.
- Wow! Robin and Alfred get to use a lot of Bat tech in this episode in trying to find Batman.
- When the Batfight breaks out, Nefrititi continues to dance. She only clears away when the fight gets too intense. Was she insane? It's a shame that this wasn't brought up in the rest of the episode.
- It's interesting that Batman towards the end of the fight positions himself on the dais as though he's going to make a move, especially when it looks like Robin is pinned a moment by one of the goons, but then Robin takes him out easily.
- There is a hell of a lot of tech in this episode, including the remote Batmobile relay. Mind you, the tech isn't perfect as we see when the duo and Alfred are nearly blown away by the Batbeam.
So, in a second viewing, how do I rate this episode? Well, you'd be surprised. Mind you, I wish Buono didn't ham it up so much, but the story, the use of the tech, and the numerous outdoor scenes make this a really good episode.
1: The Joker is Wild
2: True or False Face
3: The Joker Goes to School
4: Hey Diddle Riddle
5: Instant Freeze
6: The Curse of Tut
7: The Purr-fect Crime
8: The Joker Trumps an Ace
9: A Riddle a Day Keeps the Riddler Away
10: Zelda the Great
The Bookworm makes his first and only appearance in the next episode. I loved it as a kid. I loved it on the podcast. Will a second viewing affect my view? Stay tuned, Citizen.