In this batch of episodes, let's indulge in some extreme escapology and a diplomat about to be taken in by a riddling menace.
1x09: Zelda The Great
An episode set during April Fools was going to be a bit of a tricky one and one that also included the Bank getting robbed for a third year in a row for exactly $100,000. It's also the same time that Zelda the Great herself (Anne Baxter) would arrive in Gotham to perform some of her most daring escape acts and team up with Eivol Ekdol (Jack Kruschen) in order to steal a valuable diamond before realising that it's a trap set up by Batman himself. This then resulted in clueless Aunt Harriet being kidnapped as part of the cliffhanger for this first part. Anne Baxter who plays Zelda is on good form here, though she's more infamous for her other role as Olga later in the show's run. 7/10
1x10: A Death Worse Than Fate
One criticism I have to have with this series is that sometimes it tries too hard to make most of it's female antagonists sympathetic. It's not that I hate the trope, it's just sometimes it's done a little too often as many of the female assistant to the baddies get an attack of conscience and try to help the Dynamic Duo against the baddie of the week. In this second part, Zelda somewhat suffers from that trope by actually helping Batman and Robin against Ekdol, even though she's still jailed for her own role in things. It's still a good two parter but it's a pattern that's hard not to notice throughout the series though. 7/10
1x11: A Riddle A Day Keeps The Riddler Away
It really didn't take long in the first season for the Riddler to re-emerge and the arrival of a royal visitor was clearly enough to bring the Prince of Puzzles out for a rematch with the Caped Crusaders. This two parter is unique in being one of the first episodes not to be lifted from a comic story as well but within the episode, the Riddler and his gang, along with a new female assistant Mousey don't waste time in causing mayhem during the Miss Galaxy content and of course, ending this one by having both Batman and Robin spinning around. It's a little hard not to pick up on how bondage heavy this show was at times. 7/10
1x12: When The Rat's Away The Mice Will Play
Now this was an excellent conclusion to this two parter. With the Riddler's scheming in full swing to swindle a royal visitor, there's an inspired bit where everyone believes the Dynamic Duo are no more and Riddler sends one of his cronies disguised as Batman to meet Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon. It's a delightful moment in an episode where the Riddler is at his scheming best, which makes his inevitable defeat all the more interesting to watch. 8/10
Next blog will delve into The Thirteenth Hat/Batman Stands Pat and The Joker Goes To School/He Meets His Match, The Grisly Ghoul.