Friday, August 29, 2014

Quick, Robin! The Instant Bat-Boot Regenerator!

When we last left our heroes, in a cliffhanger ending at the end of BATMAN '66 MEETS THE GREEN HORNET # 1, Batman, Robin, The Green Hornet, and Kato were glued to the top of a fast-moving train headed straight toward a tunnel, and hero-squishville! 

But, if issue # 1 represents "Wednesday", and its typical promise of certain death, issue # 2 brings "Thursday" and its requisite hair-breadth escape.   

The Hornet and Kato find their own way off their "rail car of doom", as (separately) do the Caped Crusaders. 

...Odd that neither team thinks much of rescuing the other, but we'll let that pass for a still greater oddity. 

Via remote-control, Batman employs the Bat-Copter, which had been hovering nearby, to lift himself and the Boy Wonder out of their Bat-boots, which had been affixed to the train by their old enemy Colonel (now General) Gumm.

Up they go, just in time, leaving their boots behind!

Yep, here's a close-up shot of their Bat-Bare-Feet!

And another full-figure shot of them on the ladder, sans shoes.

But, WHAT'S THIS, as they ascend to the safety of the waiting Bat-Copter? 

Their Bat-Boots are BACK! 

...And, before even such miracle workers as they, could possibly have changed into a spare pair! 

Then, safely back on the ground, and reunited with The Green Hornet and Kato, the footwear has faded once again! 


I thought about it for a time (Imagine the luxury of being able to ponder such things!) and I realized that, while it might very well have been an unforgivable error on the part of both the artist and the editor, it might be something else entirely...

It just might be a tremendous and purposeful HOMAGE to those wonderful days of 1960s television, where STOCK FOOTAGE was employed wherever possible to cut costs - and, on occasion, that stock footage didn't quite match the newly filmed scenes. 

Yes, the reason Batman and Robin have boots, in a situation where they couldn't possibly have, is an ingenious nod to the sixties-era use of stock footage - in this case stock footage of the Dynamic Duo climbing the ladder to the Bat-Copter... Boots and all

...Or, it just coulda been a mistake!  You decide! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Holiday Interuptus!

HERE, at this post, I discussed my unexpected enjoyment of the first three episodes of the 1972 Hanna-Barbera animated series THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS on Warner Archives DVD. 

That continued into episode four, “Hero Sandwiched”, the plot of which could easily have passed muster as a FLINTSTONES or a JETSONS.  Gus Holiday becomes an “accidental hero”, and lets it go way-too-far to his head.  Loved the news headline of his meeting with the emperor: “Nero Meets Hero”! 

Brutus is having fun too!  "Laugh! Laugh! Guffaw, even!"

The fun continued into episode five, “Switch is Which”, in which the usual “sit-comedy-of-errors” finds Gus and wife Laurie forced to switch places in order to land a demanding  client for Gus’ boss “Mr. Tycoonius”. 

We’re moving right along, hitting all the familiar beats such a plot would offer, when Gus says something to daughter Precotia that would require a humorous pause before continuing.  Pause-performing Precotia plays her part perfectly, momentarily freezing in place but for an eye-blink or two for effect... 


Normally, I tend to take that last hour-or-so in the evening, after the wife has gone to bed, to enjoy something on DVD, on the big-screen living room TV, as a wind-down before retiring.  And, this night’s wind-down were these two episodes of THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS. 

Now, what this means is that I was TIRED at this point, and didn’t fully realize what had happened. 

Wait for it...

Sure, Precotia had done “the humorous pause thing” – a sure fire laugh getter since Jack Benny, who probably stole it from the REAL Romans – but, through that delightful haze that signals the onset of sleepy-time, I momentarily failed to realize that the disc had FROZEN. 

Could "Mister Freeze" be responsible for this?
And, that it had frozen in such a perfect spot – after the completion of a line of dialogue, and DURING the “pause reaction” that was expected to follow – that the disc-freeze failed to register perceptively, as quickly as it might otherwise have.   

MOVE, darn ya, MOVE!

As I stared at the screen waiting for the action to resume, my ACTUAL thought-reaction was: 
"I know this is a seventies-era Hanna-Barbera cartoon, but shouldn’t SOMEONE have MOVED by now?!”

THEN, it kicked-in!  I ejected the disc and retried it twice more before reaching the unpleasant conclusion that I’d have to return the ROMAN HOLIDAYS set for a replacement. 
Okay!  Something's WRONG, here!

And so, for THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS, “all roads lead [back] to”.  But, before sending Gus and the gang on their (Appian) way, since the issue was with Disc One, I binge-watched Disc Two! 

As Disc Two exhibited no issues, I will simply KEEP my present copy of that disc, and send the defective Disc One back with an unwatched Disc Two.   …No sense risking additional issues with a completely “unwatched” replacement set. 
Back ya go! 
After all, as THIS POST shows, the replacement isn’t always better than the original! 

Okay, Okay, Precotia... We get the gag!  Now, cut it out!
Anyone else do that, when returning a set with one defective disc?   Share that, and any other defective DVD stories you may have, with us in our Comments Section, and make me feel better about my delayed (Roman) Holiday!    

Or, as Brutus the Lion would say:  “Whimper!  Whimper!  Sob!  Sob!” 

...Uh-Oh!  She's back again! 

No, Really!  Stop! It's starting to get CREEPY, now! 
Go away!  Your empire fell!  You're dust!    

Sunday, August 17, 2014

R.I.P. Arlene Martel.

At TIAH Blog, we mourn the passing of actress Arlene Martel, on August 12, 2014, at the age of 78.

Arlene Martel has had the distinction of being featured in TWO of the all-time greatest works of science fiction presented on television. 

She was, of course, best known for the role of T’Pring in the ultra-classic STAR TREK episode “Amok Time” (1967), which took full advantage of her exotic beauty.  I can’t count the number of times, over the years, that I’ve seen “Amok Time”.  It’s one of those things you can never see too often, and is about as close to perfection – in terms of story, acting / casting, and music score – as TV sci-fi ever got.

Arlene Martel was no small part of the success of “Amok Time”.  Her unexpected “Challenge” is surprise enough, but her final scene with Spock, when she ultimately explains her startling and unanticipated actions in that unsettlingly cool demeanor, is both brilliant and unforgettable!

Somewhat lesser known than “Amok Time”, though it shouldn’t be, is “Demon with a Glass Hand”, a 1964 episode of THE OUTER LIMITS written by the great Harlan Ellison, which paired Arlene Martel with future I SPY hero Robert Culp. 

Together, “Amok Time” and “Demon with a Glass Hand” are two of the best sci-fi productions to emerge from what was a great era for televised science fiction and fantasy – and Arlene Martel can lay claim to both. 

In addition, she may have only had one line (“Room for one more, Honey!”), as the “Nightmare Nurse” / Flight Attendant in TWILIGHT ZONE’S “Twenty-Two” (1961, also featuring Jonathan Harris of LOST IN SPACE), but it was a darned memorable one! 
Creepy, Honey!
"I have chosen my Champion..."

"...My Champion is Special Guest Star Jonathan Harris!"

"I?  No!  No!  It Can't Be!  Oh, dear!  I'm allergic to fighting Vulcans to the death!  And, my BACK is quite the disaster area today!  SAVE ME!"

Lest we neglect other genres, let’s note another personal favorite Arlene Martel appearance in HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL “The Princess and the Gunfighter” (1961) where, as you might guess from the title, Paladin is hired by the ministers of a foreign land to bring back their “runaway princess”, who has escaped into the expanse of the American West.  

Richard Boone, as Paladin, and Arlene Martel, as “The Princess", find a nice level of chemistry for what becomes an enjoyable "two-person show". 

And, though it was a very small role, here's Arlene Martel on BEWITCHED as witch "Malvina" in "How Not to Lose Your Head to Henry VIII" (1971). 

Sure makes you witch... I mean WISH, we could have seen more of "Malvina" in other episodes! 

Ms.  Martel's vast list of credits can be found HERE at IMDB.

You'll find more credits than you think, because, early on, she billed herself as "Arline Sax"  - as seen below in HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL, with THE OUTER LIMITS looking to be her first credit as "Arlene Martel". 

Click to Enlarge.

Rest in Peace, Arlene Martel... and thank you for all the great moments!