Batman (1966) – True or False Face, and Holy Rat Race

False Face (Malachi Thorne) – who the hell is False Face? – shows up to menace Batman (Adam West) and Robin the Boy Wonder (Burt Ward) in True or False Face. Written by Stephen Kandel it first aired on 9 March, 1966.

Constantly in masks and disguises False Face sends false messages to taunt the Caped Crusaders and the pair are intent on putting the baddie behind bars once and for all. With lots of masks, and messages, the heroes and villains square off constantly, though the masks are odd, and the chase across the episode begins.

There are fisticuffs, some innuendo, and yet another femme fatale thrown in, Blaze (Myrna Fahey) to taunt and tease the heroes.

The character of False Face is hilarious showing up in one place before becoming, impossibly, another, and effecting confusion and escape, just to keep the episode and the heroes going. The pair put together part of False Face’s plan to steal paper from a secret warehouse to create counterfeit cash.

But that just leads the heroes into yet another trap, as it seems False Face has replaced Chief O’Hara (Stafford Repp) and interferes with Blaze’s interrogation which leads, of course, sets the pair onto a cliffhanger that will be resolved in the next episode.

Until then, we’ll have to worry about how Batman and Robin will escape as Blaze renders them unconscious leading to their captured and cemented to Gotham City’s subway tracks!!

It’s not quite as sharp and funny as some of the previous episodes, and it’s obvious that Blaze like most of the fatales who show up in the series, has fallen for the Caped Crusader, but will it be enough to save the pair before the cross-town express hits them?

Holy Rat Race aired the next night on 10 March, 1966. Once again penned by Kandel, our heroes quickly escape from their trap thanks to some help from Blaze and Alfred (Alan Napier).

Then the pair go to work sussing out False Face’s final plan, to rob Gotham National Bank, but False Face knows Blaze has betrayed him, and her life hangs in the balance now as well.

When the Dynamic Duo foil the bank heist, we get our first real chase featuring the Batmobile and a number of gadgets are brought into play, apparently, there’s a bat-laser, and a Batmobile decoy! The chase is carried out through an old standing movie set of city streets, and old west buildings.

The chase leads to a confrontation with False Face even as he tries to disguise himself as Commissioner Gordon (Neil Hamilton).

It’s goofy, the gadgets come out of nowhere, and strain a bit of credulity, but work within the context of the series, and it’s fun to see the Batmobile get a little more of the limelight in this episode.

Blaze, of course, must make her payment to society and return to show that she could be properly rehabilitated, something both Batman and Bruce Wayne believe in.

The politeness and social awareness continue, all while having a lot of fun. Let’s see what happens next time on the same bat-channel!


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